Thanksgiving has come and gone, and we’re gearing up for Christmas on Mintwood Street.  But before we dive into all the cookies and jingle bells, I thought I’d recap some of the exciting things we’ve been up to the past few weeks.

Biggest and best news…for the first time in over three years, we can use the sink and take a shower in our bathroom!  After all this time showering in the basement, I can’t tell you how excited I am to have a nearly complete bathroom remodel.  Max is still working on building the medicine cabinet, but when that’s done I will definitely post pictures of the whole room.

The garden is pretty much done for the season, but we did experience some unusually warm weather in November with some interesting results out front. Not only were the irises pushing up through the soil, but our yellow rose bush started blooming again.

Thanksgiving rose

This photograph was taken the day before Thansgiving.  I can’t get over that!

Also very exciting…the batch of sauerkraut (our first ever) that I started in late October was ready and perfect.  We enjoyed our first taste of it with leftover turkey and are looking forward to hot dogs piled high with sauerkraut and winter dinners of pork and sauerkraut.  Yay for home fermentation!

Turkey and sauerkraut

I also wanted to take a moment to highlight one of my new favorite cookbooks.  I checked out Karen DeMasco’s The Craft of Baking before Thanksgiving and knew I had to make the loaf cake variation (teaser image above) of her gingerbread cupcakes.  This moist and spicy recipe includes beer, coffee, and chocolate…need I say more!

I ended up sharing the cake with both my family and Max’s, and it definitely went over well.  It was so wonderful to see everybody, especially the littlest member of the family.  My tiny cousin is the first baby we’ve had around since me!  Here’s the cutie with his doting aunt.

Henry and auntie

Just a little over a week until Christmas!