Day 356: Solstice
We had a tender little gathering on Solstice eve, filled with good food, laughter, bedroom dancing, and game playing. Then a group of us walked over to the annual Winter Solstice Puppet Show, one of my absolute favorite Portland events. It was as special as ever. After, Wyatt, Jessika, and I had a little letting go ritual to end the night. It was all so perfect, and now I feel ready to welcome back the light.
Day 357: crafting, good food, and preparation for the days to come. Oh, and a Ryan Gosling marathon.
Day 358: Cooking and baking!! Today I fried up so many latkes in preparation for Chrismukkah tomorrow. And soon will be baking chocolate chunk cookies and maybe some toasted coconut shortbread. And probably more movie watching and good food. I really love this time of year and the break from work/school. I am doing my best to make every day count in ways that are meaningful to me as 2012 comes to an end.
Today self-care looked like dancing in the kitchen to Beyonce jams while baking biscuits. And then taking a plate full of said biscuits to a lovely birthday brunch for a dear friend.
It also looked like finishing up the majority of my class assignments (only 1 left!), making matzoh ball soup to kick the last dregs of this cold out of my system, and baking the best chocolate chunk cookies ever. I even managed to watch a movie! I love weekends.
I’m so looking forward to school being done tomorrow for the term, and for all of the crafting, cooking, reading, and movie watching that I will accomplish in December!
The final weekend before school begins. I’m ready and I’m not ready, I guess. I really tried to make friend time a priority this weekend while also emphasizing low-key, solitary times to get my head in the game for school. I had an epic brunch full of delicious home-grown and homemade food with Lisa, a crafternoon with Jessika and Kernan, baking time, a fatty picnic with lovely folks, reading for pleasure, and time chatting with a few out-of-town dear ones.
eggs benny with hollandaise, collards, and tomato on challah, fried purple potatoes, arugula salad with apple, fennel, asiago, and a basil vinaigrette and homemade chai. (most of it came from our respective gardens!)
my first apple pie! apples are from the tree in my front yard!
pear and granola muffins. These are so good! We had some pears going bad and I whipped these up super quick to make use of them. I will definitely make them again.
Now it’s off to bed early in preparation for my 14 hour day tomorrow!
Also, how is it that there are less than 100 days left in this year? Seriously, how did that happen?
plums. plums. plums.
I have been harvesting, canning, and baking plums for well over a week now and today I finished using the last of them. We have an epic golden plum tree in the backyard, and I did my best to make use of the bounty. There are still some way out of reach plums on the tree, but overall, I think I did a good job. I had some help from a few friends who came by and took some off of my hands, but I probably handled a few hundred on my own easily. I made: 22 half-pint jars of jam, 3 pints of chutney, 6 quarts of plums in syrup to be used in pies/crisps/cobblers, 1 pint of plum syrup for fancy drinks, 2 batches of plum drinking vinegar, 4 half-pints of plum butter, one crisp, and two cakes. Needless to say, I don’t need or want to do anything with plums for awhile.
However, I will say that every single day of working to preserve all of this fruit has been so incredibly joyful, in my body, and rewarding. I’m looking forward to sharing all that I made with my friends and family in the coming months. As well as looking forward to plums throughout the winter!
I have decided that one of my absolute favorite sounds, top 5 for sure, is the sound of the jar lid popping, indicating you have a good seal. Best.
first batch of plum jam. a combo of golden plums from the tree and black plums from the store.
cake #1. recipe here.
I took the cake to a picnic! it was a hit.
cake #2 before baking. recipe here.
And up next: figs! My neighbor has 3 huge fig trees loaded with fruit, and we’ve worked out a deal where I can go pick as many as I’d like in exchange for some of whatever I make. I’m so excited, as figs are one of my favorites, and I’ve never before had access to them fresh like we can get here.
I just had a glorious 4 day staycation between sessions of summer term. 4 days full of getting shit done, working hard in the garden, playing bingo (and winning $66!), warming my home, laughing with friends, cooking, baking, ice cream making, canning, and relaxing. It finally felt like a real summer. Some highlights:
Kicking off Thursday evening with celebratory nachos for finishing my classes:
Making basil ice cream (the ice cream totally matched the stove perfectly):
House warming party: (photos by jf)
brown butter sea salt crispies
pickled deviled eggs made by nicoletta
sausage!! the theme was Sausage Fest (cause we’re just that gay).
Marionberries in simple syrup:
And today I started the second half of the term with a new class. But I think it will be way less stressful than the first half of summer, and I will have four day weekends to go on adventures and get up to all sorts of fun things. Today I pickled radishes and greenbeans, made a quiche full of veggies and leftover sausage, and am about to make a peach and marionberry crisp. And then take a late walk with the tiny dog. Can’t complain really.
Green bean and radish pickles:
Sleeping in. Finally.
Planning baking adventures. For tomorrow.