Tuesday, October 25, 2011

One squillion photos of fall

Ok I'll be honest. I kind of love my schedule. Even though I may whine and thrash around every morning at 5:15 when that blasted alarm goes off, I really shouldn't complain. Being done with work by 2:30 most days is pretty awesome. Now that I'm finally used to the early mornings and early nights, I don't come home every day absolutely dead on my feet.

And even though my work week means I'm busy Tuesday through Saturday, it is super cool to have Mondays off. I can get everything boring I need to get done out of the way on the least busiest day of the week. You know, errands, laundry, blah blahh. Or I can ignore all that and go shopping. Or paint. Or lie on the floor and do nothing. There's no one to hang out with, and no plans I'm missing out on. I have a day all to myself and I'm in love with it. 

But back to my original point, it's fantastic to have the whole afternoon after work to do stuff, now that I don't feel the need to nap until dinner, eat, shower and go back to bed. 
Which means on the rare days when the weather is nice, I can go home, throw my camera in my bag and head back out to do some hiking and take approximately one squillion photos of fall before the sun sets.

Which is exactly what I did today. 
And then I came home and put all the nice, fancy photos through a Polaroid filter to make them look old and blurry. 
Don't ask me why. 
Don't you know that hipsters don't have to explain themselves?

Anyway, enjoy. Or don't. Whatever. I'm still going to love myself at the end of the day.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Never Have I Ever...

This post is a writing prompt from Mama Kat, by way of Amy, whose blog I adore and await with eagerness the news of her first ever baby showing up in the world. No matter boy or girl, it's going to be a well-loved little kid with a deep appreciation for sarcasm and wit from an early age.

Never have I ever...

1. Skied or snowboarded
2. Eaten sushi
3. Been to California
4. Had a manicure
5. Successfully learned how to drive a manual
6. Been skinny dipping....INAPPROPRIATE
7. Been skydiving
8. Slept under the open sky
9. Gotten a tattoo or piercing
10. Been able to finish a cup of coffee...ick
11. Ripped a phone book in half
12. Played chess
13. Hitchhiked
14. Danced in public
15. Ridden in a limousine 

...and yet I'd say I've lived a pretty fulfilling life.

What have you never done?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Recipe: Tarte Tatin

What do you do on a lazy Sunday evening when it gets dark too early and you've got a fridge full of delicious crispy apples?

Why, you make apple pie of course.

But not just any old apple pie, because these are Gala apples, too crunchy for baking. You make tarte tatin, an upside-down caramelized delight, found all over France. My dear host mother taught me to make this so many months ago in Switzerland. Having forgotten some of the finer points, what follows is a slightly different version from her creation. 

All you need is a 10-inch circle of puff pastry, 4 or 5 apples, half of a stick of butter, half of a cup of sugar and a sturdy 10-inch skillet. 

The hardest part is peeling, cutting, and coring the apples.
Literally where the expression "easy as pie" comes from. 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Coat the skillet with the butter and evenly spread the sugar. Lay the apple slices in tight concentric circles, covering the whole surface. Let cook untouched for 10-12 minutes on medium heat, or until the juices are bubbling and a deep golden brown. It's ok if the juice colors unevenly.

mmm...you can smell those apples cooking.... délicieux

Place the skillet in the preheated oven and let cook for 20 minutes.
When it comes out, (and for pete's sake, use an oven mitt, don't just grab the pan handle like I did) place the pastry circle on top of the apples and put right back in the oven for another 20 minutes, or until the pastry is puffy and golden brown. Seriously, use the oven mitt.

Let stand for at least ten minutes in the pan.
Shake the skillet gently to loosen the caramel. Place a larger plate over the skillet and flip over, making sure you have a firm grip on the skillet and plate.

Well hey there good-looking.

Don't be upset if some of the apples have stuck to the pan, just pop them out and squish-em right in to the tart. And don't weep if there are blackened patches. I promise it doesn't affect the taste. This is a treat that tastes better than it photographs, trust me.

Now this is a 10 inch pie, so technically it should serve 8 reasonable people. 
But it's Sunday night and we haven't eaten a real dinner.
This is no time to be reasonable.

In this house, it was cut into fourths and devoured with relish. Not with pickle relish, obviously, figure of speech here. Actually with vanilla ice cream. But you know what I mean.
Four slices of pie = four happy people. 
And that works out just fine.

Hope you had an equally tasty weekend!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Roses on a Friday

Days like today,
where the rain drips into every corner of my jacket 
and mind,
these are the days that I seek happiness in the form of flowers.

But let's be honest. I don't limit my bloom obsession to rainy days.
I like them on sunny days,
windy days,
days where I eat a ham sandwich,
pretty much any day I get out of bed,
but even more on the days that I don't.

Farmer's market flower stalls, wildflowers growing by the side of the road, even the refrigerator case at the grocery store....all sources of temptation. 

Someday when I have my own place, I'm going to be that person who even has a bowl of flowers in the bathroom. 
Yeah, just like your Grams.

Anyway, today presented itself with a 100% legitimate excuse (aside from the rain) for spending my money on an armful of plants: the 34th wedding anniversary of my dear aunt and uncle, who are so graciously letting me live under their roof here in Massachusetts.
Now I don't normally indulge, but for you two crazy kids in love, I opened up my pockets with wild abandon and bought roses.

Dusty pinks, warm vanilla, and a pop of tangerine petals....nothing quite so satisfying as taking a pile of unassuming buds and creating that perfectly arranged centerpiece. Throw in a few sprigs of baby's breath and we have ourselves a work of art that smells as good as it looks.

Happy Anniversary, Aunt and Uncle. 
And Happy "just because it's Friday" to the rest of you. 
Now go buy me yourself some flowers.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Margin of Vagueness

Ne vas pas
tous les côtes
des choses

garde, toi
une marge

-Jean Luc Godard

Do not 
all the sides
of a thing.

Keep for yourself
a margin
of vagueness.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Sunday Stroll

Hey people. 
Clearly, the updates are few and far in between lately. To be honest, I'm not in a writing mood. When I'm not working, I'm sleeping. Seriously. I'm tired all the time. Not sure what that's about, other than I'm a big baby and am having trouble getting used to working over 40 hours a week (a.k.a. "real life").

Anyway, went for a fall-ish jaunt through the woods this evening with some friends.  I say "fall-ish" because even though the leaves are turning, the temperature was firmly in the mid-80s. It was lovely to get outdoors and of course, get some more mileage out of my new camera. ;)


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