We're back in Portland! The snow was pretty much melted by the time we got home, which was kind of a relief (no need to run out and buy a snow shovel and salt). Patches was happy to see us and didn't seem angry that we had left her alone for two weeks. Our catsitter (Lori of Rainy Day Pet Sitting) was a champ and hiked 25 blocks through foot-deep snow to get to our house on days when the roads weren't drivable. Plus she sent me email updates every couple of days. I highly recommend her if you're looking for a pet sitter in Portland!
Christmas at my mom's house was pretty laid back, which was nice. I did some baking and some knitting (more on that once I have finished the project), and Patrick and I made belated Christmas dinner once my sister arrived. We ended up making ribs, along with macaroni and cheese, cornbread stuffing with sausage, butternut squash puree, and greens with garlic. We had apple upside-down gingerbread for dessert.
Since we couldn't find any butcher shops in town, we ended up going to New Frontiers in San Luis Obispo, which worked out well. We were especially impressed by their sausages (we got some for breakfast, as well as the sausage for the cornbread stuffing). The ribs turned out kind of salty (probably because we used all of the spice rub instead of only part of it), but they were still good. I think my favorite dish was the macaroni and cheese--very smooth and creamy. The stuffing was okay, but I think I'd go with normal bread stuffing in the future.
The gingerbread was nice, but the apples and caramel sauce made it a little soggy. I prefer their regular gingerbread recipe with a little apple compote on top (I made this a few years ago), rather than combining the two. Even though the meal wasn't perfect, my family was still really appreciative, which is great (and a good way to ensure that we will cook for them again!).
While there, I also made fudge (as mentioned earlier) and gingerbread cookies. The gingerbread cookies, like most gingerbread cookies, weren't the most flavorful cookies ever (I prefer ginger cookies), but they were fun to decorate!
I've been lounging around since we got back, not doing much of anything (though we have been making good progress watching the early seasons of The Office, which we should have done years ago). Maybe I'll find the motivation to do something crafty or house-related before it's time to go back to work!