The first 3 days of November were a nail-biting, emotional roller coaster ride. My heart was near palpitation levels. My feelings of apprehension on days leading to the election was on an all-time high. I am referring to the US Presidential Election 2020. This collective state of anxiety among Americans started when we cast our vote in October. On the day of the election, I intentionally avoided the news until early afternoon. Now that the election was over, I am glad to say that whichever side one is on, it is such a relief that it is over and we can begin healing as a nation.
Now that I got that terrible but necessary experience out of the way, November was mostly uneventful. It was a quiet month marked by worries and hypervigilance as the threats of the coronavirus continued to loom around us. Here’s to remembering November:
Thanksgiving this year was a very small yet nice dinner despite the worry and challenges of celebrating. I wrote about our Thanksgiving dinner on this post.
Saturdays at Home
- MAC AND CHEESE – We ate quite a bit (okay, a lot!) of mac and cheese this month. And I was in food heaven! As horrible as this pandemic is, I am able to eat food that I have avoided almost all my adult life after realizing that I am lactose-intolerant. Being able to shelter at home allows me to not just eat but enjoy milk and cheeses. And thank God, I have not really been sick even though I have been eating a lot of dairy. I think it has something to do with being less anxious while WFH. We had mac and cheese delivered from our favorite mac and cheese HQ, Homeroom. Mr Sweetie also picked up a big tray from Costco. We could barely make a dent. I gave the rest to my nephews when I saw them that weekend.
- BURRITOS – We also ordered burritos (meh!) from our go-to place that had always been solid. I was so disappointed as I have not had a burrito in months. Sadly, with the restaurant industry suffering, some might be forced to cut corners in order to survive.
- INDIAN PIZZA – And we had Indian-inspired pizza from Namaste Pizza for the first time. So good! Even Mr Sweetie who is not a big fan of Indian food really loved the pizza.
I am happy that I got to see my family twice this month although the visits were short but sweet. I went just to drop off my treats for them. I got my nephews Elf mugs, Advent calendars, different kinds of hot chocolates and snacks from Trader Joe’s. I got my sister holiday decorations for their new house. I wore a mask the entire time, socially distanced and was not able to eat lunch with them. Instead, my sister packed me all kinds of delicious Filipino food. They sent me home with dishes cooked by my brother-in-law such as pork sinigang (pork in sour broth), nilaga (boiled beef with potatoes and corn) and shrimp ceviche. They also got me ube flan baked by a family friend, tapsilog (beef, egg and garlic rice) and taho (silken tofu with syrup). As you can tell, I was so well-fed after each visit!
BFF SAN FRANCISCO DATE
BFF and I met up for a drink and Argentinian empanadas from El Porteno at the San Francisco Ferry Building. We celebrated her May birthday in November. (It has been our tradition to celebrate our birthdays months after the actual date. It is such a fun tradition that we have been keeping in years!) I bought us a half-bottle of champagne and I gave her her presents. In turn she gave me an ube pie that she baked which I enjoyed along with Thanksgiving apple and pumpkin pies! (Ube is purple yam and has been trending here in the US although I grew up eating it as dessert when I was a kid in the Philippines. Now foodies in the US are so into “everything ube”!)
IN THE KITCHEN
I have been pretty prolific in the kitchen this month. Aside from putting together a full Thanksgiving dinner for 5 on my own, I have been trying different recipes that I find online. Some were misses such as the totally forgettable noodle soup I made with shitake mushrooms. The Sticky Lemon Tofu which I have made few times already is so good that it is a keeper. I will post the recipe on my blog soon. I also tried to make Vietnamese Noodle Bowl. It was promising but I have to pickle the vegetables next time. The Persimmon Salad with Feta and Red Onion was the bomb. So straightforward simple yet so good. I posted my recipes for Bomb Diggity Blueberry Muffins and Gobbable Spinach Feta Tarts. Please check them out!
EGGS AND COZY THINGS
- Fried eggs on toasts are my new go-to comfort food. I just love eggs! I have been making them slightly gourmet by adding cucumbers, spinach or arugula then drizzled with fancy mayo or vegan dressing.
- I also had enjoyable quiet “me time” moments at home while Mr Sweetie was away for work for three nights before Thanksgiving. I spent those solo days decorating the house for Thanksgiving, and spent my evenings reading while enjoying a cheese plate and dark chocolates. As much as I miss him, a time of solitude is really such a balm for the soul.
- As soon as Thanksgiving was over, I decorated the house for Christmas. This is a first as I wait for December to roll in before I put up the Christmas decorations. However, we needed the extra and extended holiday cheers during this difficult year. By the end of November, I already watched 4 Christmas movies on Netflix, read 3 Christmas books and ordered many of the Christmas presents! Whoa! I used to take one day off from work — just one day! — in December for years every year just to be able to pack all of these Christmas activities in one day.
- Mr Sweetie has also been buying me cozy little presents such as fluffy slippers which are so perfect for the cold fall/winter weather and a cute mug that is so perfect for my tea! He knows I like and appreciate thoughtful little presents.
WHAT I AM GRATEFUL FOR
November is the time for giving thanks. I have made it my life’s focus to always give thanks and stay in gratitude whether in happy times or challenging ones. I am grateful for so many things, most especially during this terrifying year. I am grateful for what matters most. I am grateful for being able to hold on to faith in Him and be able to worship online with my family and BFF every Sunday morning. I am grateful for the gift of life and good health for myself, family, friends and all loved ones. I am very thankful for a warm and safe home that is full of love, bountiful food that we share and we receive, and for our jobs when many have lost theirs. While many are struggling with loneliness and isolation, I am grateful for Mr Sweetie, my family and relatives from all over the world who remain close in spirit, best friend, and close friends for always being ready with their love and support. I am very grateful for a sound mental health when many are suffering during these uncertain times. The blessings are countless in my life and my family. I pray that blessings be continued to be bestowed upon you and your loved ones as well, dear reader. Thank you for reading.