The Second through Fourth Days of Christmas

Technology is not entirely a foreign thing for our family.  On Christmas Day my grandfather fired up Skype and we had a video chat with my aunt and uncle and cousins in Seattle.  They were nearly snowed in and turned the camera out the study window so we could see the several feet of snow covering their yard, sidewalks and streets.  Was that really Seattle!?  That would be much more likely here in the midwest.


Friday morning we had family portraits down at the photo studio.  I think it takes a person with a very special personality to be a good family portrait photographer.  Not only a good photographer but patient, funny, and a child psychologist.

After the photo shoot, Tawn and I took Emily off her parents’ hands for a special afternoon with her uncles.  First off we headed to the Plaza, a nice shopping area down near the country club.  This is the oldest shopping district in town and is still a very nice place to visit.  Emily chose our dining venue for lunch: McDonalds.  Sadly, after several years of avoiding McD’s, I wound up eating there.


In the afternoon, we went to the book store to spend a gift certificate Emily and her sister received for Christmas.  At first, Emily tried to sell me the story that the gift certificate was only for her, but my sister clarified and so I insisted that Emily choose a book for her sister, too.

We stopped by the Gap and found a nice top for her on sale, something light enough that it can be worn into the summer.  Finally, we waited for uncle Tawn at Starbucks while he went shopping at a few other shops.  It took him a long time to return and after reading through all the new books together, Emily started to get a little impatient.

Saturday morning Tawn and I drove to Overland Park to meet one of the owners of the Gasper Family Farm.  They have a small, diversified family farm that runs in a sustainable manner and offers only 100% grass-fed, pastured cows, pigs, and dairy.  The more I’ve been reading about food safety and sustainability issues (Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma) the more I want to better understand what is actually available as far as sustainable, locally-produced food.

A few months ago I signed up for the Gasper Family Farm’s e-newsletter and decided that when I was back in KC I would buy some of their produces.  I emailed Susan, the “mom” of the farm, and placed an order for ten pounds of beef (combination of steaks, a roast and ground beef) and five pounds each of ground sage sausage and ground cayenne pepper sausage.


When I arrived at the designated pick-up point, one of her customer’s driveways on the corner of 80th Street and Hemlock, on a drizzly, freezing cold Saturday morning, Tawn thought it looked rather like a drug buy.  Sure enough, she pulled the frozen goods out of a cooler in the back of her Chevy Suburban, cash changed hands, and I bought a dozen freshly-laid eggs, too.

Back at home, I decided to put some of my sustainably made food to the test, baking a lasagna for dinner.  Mixing a pound of the beef with a pound of the cayenne pepper sausage, I had a nice bubbly lasagna ready a few hours later.  It was lovely. 


I still want to try the eggs, comparing the pastured eggs with the conventional ones my sister bought at the store.  I noticed that with the two eggs I used in the lasagna, the yolks looked much more vibrant than with conventional eggs.


Speaking of sustainable eggs, I was tickled to see that the eggs came out a rainbow of colors from pale pink to greenish-brown to beige to brown.  Emily and Ava thought this was pretty cool.

To accompany the lasagna, I did a roasted beet salad with a honey dijon vinaigrette.


Dinner was lovely.

In other news, here’s the video of our sledding last Wednesday.  With all the crazy weather we’ve had here, the snow was entirely gone by the day after Christmas and then a little bit of it was back by this morning.



16 thoughts on “The Second through Fourth Days of Christmas

  1. Those poor folks in Seattle! They sure have had their share of winter blahs… the snow storms, the power failure and the usual rains!  Sorry you had to eat at Mickey D’s. It just sounded so strange that you and Tawn would eat there… almost funny. 
     There was no video to view, Chris.

  2. Both of you eating at McDonalds? No…. *puts hand on your forehead* – maybe you’re both not feeling well. The yolks from the organic eggs I got over the summer were more orange than the regular eggs. I thought the shell might be thicker but it wasn’t (or I couldn’t tell).That lasagna looks pretty good.

  3. oh …Seattle just shared the same snow storm with her beloved neighbour……Vancouver…hehehehe,  MD…..a choice of your neice…. one of the children favourites?

  4. I think the yolk color has more to do with freshness than being free range. I get eggs that are right from the chicken (not organic and not free range) and the yolks are dark and tall when you break the egg. The shells on my eggs are white – due to the breed not the diet. A friend has chickens that lay eggs with greenish shells.

  5. 1. Impressive that the grandparents know how to use Skype and webcam, let alone a computer! 2. I envy your sled ride. The girls look cute out in the snow.3. I swear, that does look like a drug trade.4. I don’t know why I listed my comments. But glad to see your blogs are full of snow and smiles! :o)

  6. @ElusiveWords – @murisopsis – I’ve heard both in terms of egg yolk color.  The farmer did mention that the yolks wouldn’t be as rich as they are in the warm weather because there’s just less variety in what the hens are able to find to eat.  I’m hoping to do a side by side comparison before I leave.

  7. One reason I’m glad I am not in Washington state now. I worry about my sons though. My oldest caught the last plane out of Seatac before Christmas due to lack of de-icer. I could count on one hand how may times in my 44 years we had snow on Christmas in Washington.

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