Oh boy. I have a lot catching up to do. I mean this mainly in terms of things to tell you, but I suppose it also applies to life in general, at the moment. We’ve been away from normal life for a long time, and that means we generally always have a lot of catching up to do.
First, the big news – we decided that we’re moving to Madison, Wisconsin at the end of the summer (!!!), where Brett will start his PhD program (at UW-Madison). We’re both really happy and very much looking forward to getting back to a sort of normal, stable, stationary life again (we’re not ready for it quite yet, but a few months from now sounds perfect). During our short visit to Madison earlier this month we found a cozy, homey flat to rent, and along with plenty of room for guests it has a huge screened-in front porch and a big colorful kitchen. I’m particularly excited about having the space and the stability to work on projects I’ve been wanting to do for a long time – like home-brewing, and canning, and making cheese, and setting up the smoker I got for my birthday this past fall. We always knew we’d be leaving Claremont at some point, so for the last two years or so we were there we avoided setting up some of these more labor- and time-intensive projects that would require new equipment and space. But now we have the perfect space to do it, and things like canning will make a lot more sense when we’re living somewhere with actual seasons, somewhere we won’t be able to access most produce throughout the year.
So – you can look forward to lots of posts about adapting to life in the Midwest and settling into our new home. Read more
Every once in a while I realize that something is easy. Unfortunately, I am particularly good at making things difficult – both in and out of the kitchen – but sometimes before I even begin to figure out how something actually works I just imagine it to be so difficult that I move no further.
Case in point: applesauce. What could be so difficult about applesauce? Answer: nothing, it turns out. I don’t know what I was so afraid of. Well, I suppose there is some peeling and chopping of apples, which can be kind of a pain, but not when there’s some good music on, or a good TV show playing in the background, or maybe a podcast, or just some good conversation. Let’s all hang out in our kitchens and drink whiskey with friends and make applesauce!
And if some of that whiskey manages to end up in the applesauce, then, OH WELL let’s go with it. Read more
Our first vagabond week took place in Eugene at Brett’s parents house, enjoying steamy hot Oregon summer days and cloudy, chilly, misty Oregon summer days (oh, Oregon). We rode our bikes along the river and ran on actual trails and had lunch with friends, and breakfast with friends, and (cheap, amazing) beers with friends. We drank Oregon pinot. We went to the Fair. We moved and unpacked and organized all of our earthly belongings, sorting them into “see you next year” and “mobile lifestyle” (aka living out of a car for three months) piles. Then we made that second pile smaller, and smaller, and smaller. We promptly reopened almost every box looking for the camera tripod, which eventually turned up in the backseat of the car. It’s going to be a long year of searching for and moving around our belongings.
And we ate cherries. Cherries, and cherries, and cherries.
Here’s a story about growing up:
1. Girl goes to college.
2. Girl meets boy.
3. Girl marries boy.
4. Wife and husband host their first Thanksgiving, with lovely other girl and boy guests.
5. Wife and husband eat Thanksgiving leftovers and drink Manhattans.
6. Wife and husband live happily ever after. Until the leftovers run out and they realize they can’t drink Manhattans every day.
Just a quick note, before we head into a jam-packed weekend. A few days ago I was in the mood for a drink and feeling festive (funny how those two feelings often go together), so put together a little fall-appropriate cocktail. I developed this from items we had in the house, but it was good enough that I’ll buy more cider specifically for this. A bit spicy, and filled with the flavors of the season. Enjoy! Read more
You can learn a lot about yourself through spending time in the kitchen.
Are you a patient person? Are you a detail-oriented person? How do you like to learn? Do you like detailed directions, or a basic idea to work with? Are you willing to put hours of time into something that may not work in the end? How well can you deal with failure? When you bake a cake that immediately crumbles upon taking it out of the pan and a frosting that gloops like thin glue, are you a person who throws it away and instead finishes that two-week-old In-and-Out strawberry shake in your freezer, or do you stick with it and eat it anyway? Maybe with some sprinkles? And a White Russian?
Here are some things I like: lemonade; fresh mint; front porches; bourbon; my husband.
Being a woman of action, here’s what I do about that:
We had what dare say was our most successful dinner party yet on Friday night. Without launching into too much superfluous narrative, here’s the details: Read more