yay for pals and new toys.

I went up to Grass Valley for Thanksgiving again yesterday. Anna came with me, so she got to meet the more distant extended family, and of course she got a universal seal of approval, because she's awesome. I can't quite remember if I had ever brought a girl there; possibly in 2000, but that would have been the Bad Relationship, so hopefully everyone's forgotten by now. In any case, my grandmother and Dad's cousins are more or less the only people who have ever ventured to ask me if I'm seeing anyone--something about me seems to warn people off that--and they're incredibly friendly people generally, so they were very interested and supportive in this new person I'd brought along.

We drove home last night, and then this afternoon was Angstgiving, the Thanksgiving of chosen family at my old house (The Unspeakable Houseness of Oakland). Anna had her son today and brought him, which made for a pair of 5-year old boys, one 6-year old girl, and a 2-year old girl. My friend Ann (who has the 6-year old) commented that it used to be Angstgiving was an only marginally kid-okay activity, and they'd have their daughter there with a sense that she was a bit of a disruption in the adult vibe; but once you get three kids together (with Anna masterfully enabling them to set up some balanced playing between them) they're very clearly their own determined element of the party. Most of the gang was really fine with it: the parents are our friends, after all. We're all getting older, and everyone having kids has triggered a lot of changes in how my communities work.

So, it's obvious when you enter my living space that I have a great love of objects. Upon examination, you discover that my objects are very carefully curated, and this is because I love objects mostly for what they're good for, and if they're not good for anything, I'll tend to get rid of them. I love my books because they have things I want to know and be reminded of and refer back to. The TV lets me enjoy movies more. I just got a butter dish, finally, after all these years, and I am overjoyed because I didn't think a butter dish would solve any of my life problems: I wanted a butter dish for itself, because then I would have a covered place to keep room-temperature butter. (It is everything I hoped for and slightly more, and I smile every time I use it.)

My latest curated addition is a large food processor, which Rachel and Darren gifted me from Houseness because they had two. A couple of months ago I wouldn't have had a use for it, but the author of How to Cook Everything swears by it, and all the recipes in the books are assume a food processor. They work fine by hand, but he goes on at length about how easy the food processor is.

And holy crap, he's right. Bread dough is just...boom, it's done, and mixed smoother than I can mix it by hand (and the same action will do the kneading when the time comes). So I'm completely excited, now that I can make more and different kinds of bread for people, with less time and mess and cleanup. I mean, it's nice to make it by hand and all, but if I can do the same thing more easily...awesome.