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Winter Ails

I've been sick. I never get sick, so the past few weeks have been tough on me... and even tougher on My Poor Driver who had to listen to me cough and complain. I had a flu shot early October, so have no idea what bug I caught. I can happily report to be finally feeling better, back running, and getting organized for Thanksgiving.

The Lovely Lisa will attend her 15th high school reunion in Portland the day after Thanksgiving, so the family is gathering at Taylor Manor for the holiday. I've ordered a local, organic, big, fat, butterflied turkey. I may roast the bird; DT may grill the bird. Stay tuned.

How is it possible we have a kid who has been out of high school for 15 years?

One thing that has cheered me is the view across the road to our neighbor's gorgeous maple trees... and our garden has one last hold-out:

And though my birthday was nearly a month ago, the celebration continues. Our gang gave me a new fireplace tool set on Saturday and, since we were away on my actual birthday, My Sister sent flowers after we arrived home:

A breath of Spring in November! I like this "Birthmonth" thing!

But don't let the photos of sunny skies fool you. It is bitterly cold in Oregon and we are at the tail-end of a brutal wind storm that has caused state-wide havoc. Trees down. Homes without power. All day, branches and fir cones pelted our roof. Scary. Freezing rain and snow are predicted tomorrow. All those pretty red leaves across the road have blown onto our driveway.

Shouldn't we be in Palm Springs?

Our deck yesterday morning, and this morning:

I showed the deck to Lisa and Leo during a facetime chat and Leo said, "You'd better clean that up, Bubbe".

Wanting to try something new this Thanksgiving, I decided on a Brussels Sprout Slaw experiment. I borrowed from a February 2013 Food & Wine recipe and a similar recipe in Gourmet in 2005 to create a very Oregon (Oregon produces 90% of America's hazelnuts) version.

The recipes call for thinly slicing (uncooked! raw!) Brussels Sprouts (stems and wilted outer leaves removed) with a sharp knife or using a mandolin to turn the sprouts into slaw. I'm far too lazy/would lose a few fingertips... so opted for my trusty old food processor and the 1mm slicing blade. Then (just because I am a germ freak), I put the slaw through the salad spinner.

One pound Brussels Sprouts, slivered
1 cup hazelnuts, roasted and skin removed, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (1.5 ounces) finely grated Pecorino cheese

1/4 cup best-quality extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup hazelnut oil
zest and juice of one lemon
Black pepper, to taste.

The Brussels Sprouts can be slivered a day before and kept in a plastic bag. Toss with the dressing about thirty minutes before serving and add the nuts and cheese at the last minute. Pecorino is super-salty, so I can't imagine you will need additional salt in the dressing. The result was pretty delicious and will be a fresh colorful crunchy addition to our Thanksgiving table. This recipe will serve about 6 people.

The incredible Oregon Duck football team won yet another game (at University of Utah) over the weekend and are now ranked #2 in the nation. The ENTIRE nation. Our stellar quarterback, Marcus Mariota, is always mentioned in any conversation including the word "Heisman". I think My Driver is very happy we are delaying our return to Palm Springs this year - he'll attend every home game.

Until my next update, I remain, your icy cold correspondent.