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Once again, I know it’s been forever since I’ve written.  We three traveled quite a bit over the holidays, flying to Nashville to see my family and then driving to Maryland to see John’s.  It was lovely seeing everyone, and getting to spend time in houses that are insulated and have dishwashers.

Ithaca, like everywhere else, it seems, is freezing cold right now, and the floorboards of our house are icy cold because there is not one particle of insulation at all.  So I dream of buying rugs to layer on the floors, or having someone come put insulation in the basement (even though we’re renting and it wouldn’t make sense for us to pay to insulate this place, unless we were going to stay here a few more years, which we’re not). The picture below was in one of the library books I got this week, and it pretty much sums up how I feel about life right now.

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So we wear sweaters and hats and put our bathrobes on over our sweaters, and wear slippers, and Will’s fingers are always cold. BUT we snuggle under blankets and drink tea and two days ago I finally thawed out a 4 pound bag of chicken necks a friend of John’s gave him.  Nice, local ones.  John knew I would want them, which I did, but it also took me awhile to look up what to do with them.  As it turns out, you can just make chicken stock with them! Without the chicken!

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This was lovely news, because I had been wanting some stock but I didn’t want to spend money on a chicken, or even chicken bones, so I put all four pounds of the thawed necks in our stockpot and made just the same way I would have done with chicken bones.  Tonight I made some hot and sour soup with some of the broth. (Surprisingly easy to make, and I’ve always used black pepper instead of white because I’ve never had white pepper on hand, but it still tastes amazing).

In other news, Will is just amazing these days. He’s 20 months old now and just beyond precious, and also crazy. (I’ve included pictures of him rather than of the chicken necks, because they aren’t the prettiest things in the world to be perfectly honest.) Anyway, Will is constantly cracking us up these days with his little dances and the way he says “da” for “yes” and how he seems to just understand everything we ask or tell him. He’s been saying some new words this week: hat, water, wow (if something is really amazing), and ding dong (like the doorbell).  He will sit and look at the pages of one of his books for quite awhile on his own, which is darling.  I just re-read French Kids Eat Everything, which inspired me to work a little harder at getting more vegetables and general variety into Will’s diet.  Tonight I gave him a few pieces of artichoke heart, and he refused to touch them, so I chopped them up and put them in his quesadilla.  He ate the whole thing and loved it.  He is obsessed with olives these days, loves red, yellow, and orange bell peppers (but not green).  He adores raw mushrooms but doesn’t care for them cooked. He loves brie and comte and smoked oysters.  He wants to try whatever John and I are eating– Thai lime & chili cashews from Trader Joe’s (which he loved) and whatever other random things we try to sneak while he’s around. I’m sure pickiness will come at some point, but for now I’m thankful that he is eating so much!
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