November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving '09: A diamond ring & creamed leeks

Jerad was supposed to go duck hunting yesterday morning, but he was still in bed when I woke up a little before 7:00 am (he usually leaves around 3:30).

"Weren't you going hunting today?" I asked as I woke him up.

"Yeah, what time is it?" he replied.

"It's almost 7! Didn't you set an alarm?"

"Oh shit! I must have turned my alarm off. Can you turn on the light?"

I rolled over to turn on the lamp, and when I rolled back Jerad had a diamond ring in his hand.

"This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for you," he said. "Will you marry me?"


He never planned to hunt yesterday. Sneaky bastard! ;-)

I've known that Jerad had a ring for a while now; he asked me to go to the jewelers to get sized last month (He had the ring specially made). But, I didn't know when he was going to propose. He caught me completely off-guard yesterday. It was the perfect way to start the holiday.

I think I’m too much of a negative person sometimes; I tend to focus on my daily stresses, instead of on all of the good things in my life.

So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’ve been thinking about what I am grateful for…

I am thankful for Jerad. He’s my best friend. I am lucky to have him in my life. He is very important to me. He calms me down, helps me focus on the important things, makes me laugh, makes me feel needed & wanted, takes care of the things I can’t (house chores like cleaning a dead possum out of the dryer vent & building new steps on the porch). Simply put: He’s awesome.

I am thankful for Gwen & Dick, Jerad’s parents. They have been so accepting of me and have generously welcomed me into their family. I am glad they live close & we get to see them often. I don’t feel so “motherless” anymore.

I am thankful for my friends, especially the Food Blogger Mafia gals (Kelli, Annie, & Steph): It’s nice to know a group of intelligent, funny women who’ve got my back. And for Ashby: I love that guy. And the Erins: I miss them both.

I am thankful for having a good-paying job, health insurance, a place to live, and the means to provide for myself.

I am thankful I am getting to know some of my co-workers better. It makes going to work a more enjoyable experience.

I am thankful for my job at Kitchen Conservatory, for all of Anne’s advice & guidance, and for knowing the wonderful women on staff there.

I am thankful for the opportunity to write for Sauce Magazine. My second feature article will be in the December issue!

I am thankful for Lewis the Beagle. Those big brown eyes and floppy ears melt my heart, even if he’s peed on the floor.

I am thankful that Mark from Bigelo’s offered Jerad a job. The bar is going to be open late on the weekends now, and Jerad will be bartending on Friday & Saturday nights (starting next weekend) from 9-12.

I am thankful I made creamed leeks with dinner yesterday. They were so good!

Creamed Leeks

photo & recipe from Gourmet

Serves 4

3 1/2
lb leeks, root ends trimmed
cups coarse fresh bread crumbs (from a country loaf, crusts discarded)
teaspoon salt
teaspoon black pepper
stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
cup heavy cream
  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Cut each leek into an 8-inch length, measuring from root end, and halve lengthwise, then cut crosswise into roughly 1 1/2-inch pieces. (You should have about 8 cups.) Wash leek pieces in a large bowl of cold water, agitating them, then lift out and transfer to another bowl. Repeat with clean water, then drain leeks well.
  • Cook bread crumbs with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in 3 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp and pale golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Cook leeks with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 12 minutes.
  • Transfer leeks with a slotted spoon to gratin dish. Sprinkle Parmesan evenly over the top. Pour cream slowly over leeks, then scatter bread crumbs on top. Bake until cream is bubbling and slightly thickened and crumbs are golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.

1. Bread crumbs can be cooked 1 day ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature. Scatter bread crumbs over leeks just before baking.

2. Leeks can be cooked and assembled in dish with cream (but not sprinkled with crumbs and baked) 1 day ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then covered & chilled.


KBO said...

I'm thankful for you, too! So happy for you guys. You'll make an honest man out of Jerad yet.

Jeni said...

YAY YAY YAY!!!!! Congratulations. I'm so happy for you.

Oh yeah, the leeks look good too :)

Marthe said...

Congrats!! Love the ring!

Evelyn said...

Congratulations! My husband and I are so excited for you :) Hanging out with you two at the winery tasting room is one of our favorite memories. Glad we ran into Jerad again and found your blog online.

Denzil said...


a.eye said...


kimberleyblue said...

Awww! Congratulations! What a great Thanksgiving! :)

Jamie said...

Congratulations! What a great entry:)

ashby said...

Congratulations to both of you.

Melissa said...

Congratulations Kelly! I haven't seen you at work in since before Thanksgiving and I haven't checked your blog since then. This is great news. See you soon. Melissa