A little toddler puke in my mouth before sun-up, that’s what.
Or, that’s what I ate yesterday morning for the second time in my parenting career. And yes, that means this has become an annual occurrence in our house. Or in my mouth. Or whatever.
Happy new year?
We are pausing here until after the holidays. We’ll all be in California, spending Christmas together for the first time in seven years. We hope you are hunkered down with those you love, too. Thank you for visiting us here all year. We are oh so grateful to share this space with such lovely folks.
Eat, drink, and be merry!
Janet and Rachel
I am totally one of those people who has barely swallowed their last bite of turkey before they’re onto holiday baking. Thanksgiving pies are just a warm-up for the flurry of cookies and sweets that roll out of our kitchen in boxes and bags with little notes of thanks and warm wishes attached to them. I love baking–the rhythm and precision and the magical transformations that occur inside the oven–and the month of December indulges that love to its fullest.
This year, though, I wanted to concoct something that wasn’t sweet, too. Though it always boggles my mind, not everyone has the sweet tooth that I’ve got. Whereas the rest of the year I feel quite comfortable gaping incredulously at folks when they tell me they’re not that into sugar, the holidays are a time of embracing our differences and so this year I committed to coming up with a homemade kitchen gift that isn’t sweet. Read the rest of this entry »
Things have been slow around our kitchen lately. After a whirlwind of canning victory (oh the applesauce! glorious applesauce!), our lives switched over to MRSA-mode and there they’ve stayed for a week and a half.
We did make these muffins, though, and they’re pretty darned good (says the person who ate over half of them). I found the recipe at Kitchen Preserve, a website I’ve got a crush on because it brought these muffins into my life and because one of the sidebar categories is gin.
I’m pretty sure we need a gin category around these parts. Yes?
Just so you know, I used steel cut oats because we were out of old fashioned rolled and I think they gave the muffins a nice heft.
I also ate one of these muffins with a scoop (and by scoop I mean the remains of a carton) of butter pecan ice cream with salted caramel. That was umm…awesome. And kind of nutritious, right? WIN WIN, PEOPLE.
What are you all eating these days?
My hippie aspirations began in high school, grown out of an admiration for the few hippie kids in my prep school world and their promise of acceptance for weird kids like me. The hippie kids were nice, you see, down for dance parties and staring up at stars while we lay on our backs in backroad fields. They liked music and weed and they shared in my questioning of the norms of our insulated lives. I never quite became a hippie, though, never quite fit in just right in any group. But the kindnesses those kids showed me at the height of my awkward years–the kindnesses they have continued to show me as we’ve grown into adults and largely stemmed away from each other–have always stuck with me. I’ve carried a bit of hippie in my heart, I guess, a sliver of self that leans towards earth and relishes sun. It’s this sliver that’s left me itching to can, that propelled my hands forward to grab ten pounds of apples at the grocery this weekend when they were local and organic and only 89 cents a pound.
I mean, 89 cents you guys. That NEVER happens around here. And though I’ve been making applesauce ever since Max was born, it’s never really saved us any money. It has afforded us organic fruit, though, from local farms, and nothing but apples and cinnamon going down our throats. It’s been worth it, for sure, but I’ve only ever made small batches because the labor of peeling apples and such for virtually no savings just never inspires me to make epic amounts of sauce. Until now. 89 cents meant we were grabbing canning lids on our way to the check out. It also meant that John and Maxine were forced to spend their afternoon hunched over the kitchen sink, washing and peeling apples for me to slice and toss into our two biggest pots. A cinnamon stick or two was added to each pot and an inch of water drizzled down to the bottom. A fold of wax paper on top and some periodic stirring finished the applesauce off.
I should admit that I neglected to make sure our stock pot was big enough to can in. I mean, we don’t have any special canning equipment or anything. I’m sure it’s useful and all, but I just can’t wrap my mind around buying special equipment to store food the way my great great grandmother did. You know? The math just doesn’t add up for me. I was determined, though, and after giving myself a bit of a pep talk, I poured the cooled applesauce into the cooled sanitized jars and then set them into 140 F water (thanks to the candy thermometer my mom gave me of her dad’s), bringing the water to a slow boil for 15 minutes before removing the jars to our butcher block to sit without touching each other overnight. I tapped each lid this morning and none of them gave, meaning perfect seals all around. And now when I open our pantry I see a row of jars filled with applesauce. In total we got 8 jars out of 10 pounds of apples, meaning we made 8 jars of applesauce–good, organic, local, cinnamon-y applesauce–for less than ten dollars.
And that, ladies and gentleman, is what we-who-carry-hippie-bits-in-our-hearts call a VICTORY!
My best friend/sister Jessica Starr texted me this photo yesterday. I was standing in my kitchen, lamenting the necessity of dinner preparation. Needless to say, I changed my tune pretty quickly. Jessica lives in Manhattan, a fiercely dedicated psych ward social worker, trudging through the city to help evacuated patients and fight for the patients she calls her own. This without power, without heat or hot water, without resting her head in her own bed for nearly a week. She is one of the lucky ones in Sandy’s wake; she knows it and I know it. But still. This photo haunts, a stark reminder of how quickly it can all disappear.