Photo

mid-week recipe list

i was going to call this “mid-week recipe roundup” but for some reason that felt stupid. Thoughts? Anyway, I’m going to use this to list and briefly discuss some things I’ve made this week. This weeks seems to be particularly autumnal (so far, anyway).

1. Slow cooker apple butter: So good. Perfect. Wouldn’t change a thing. It has transformed my English muffins. I think tonight I will put some on cheese as an appateaser.

2. Pumpkin spice layer cake (pictured above). I usually really dislike cream cheese frostings, but you added a little pumpkin puree to this one, so it took away some of that lingering sharp cream cheese flavor. I also love making layer cakes, but it seems weird to not make them for an “occasion.” I made this for a small dinner party I had in Vermont this past long weekend. 

3. Pumpkin pasta casserole. This was…good. I am enjoying eating it. It isn’t blowing my mind, though. Next time I will make a note to put slightly more yogurt in it - I think it needs a little more liquid. 

AND THAT’S IT. WHAT YOU BEEN MAKING THIS WEEK?

Photo
THREE SENTENCE BOOK REVIEW.
Inferno by Dan Brown.

Whew, another lengthy and rollicking ride through art history. I don’t understand why Robert Langdon kept being described as droll throughout the book, since I’m pretty sure he didn’t crack a single joke. Also - there is no way that a lecture about symbolism  in Dante’s Inferno would leave a crowd of non-art historians gasping with horror and dread, cackling with amusement or providing a standing ovation to the speaker. 

THREE SENTENCE BOOK REVIEW.

Inferno by Dan Brown.

Whew, another lengthy and rollicking ride through art history. I don’t understand why Robert Langdon kept being described as droll throughout the book, since I’m pretty sure he didn’t crack a single joke. Also - there is no way that a lecture about symbolism  in Dante’s Inferno would leave a crowd of non-art historians gasping with horror and dread, cackling with amusement or providing a standing ovation to the speaker. 

Photo

So…wow. This photo didn’t look at all blurry on my phone.  I think I have incredibly shaky hands. OH WELL.

This represents the first usage of the apple butter I made last week (remember how I picked 1/2 a bushel of apples?). I combined a variety of ten different apples with cider, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar and agave in my slow cooker and let it boil down over night. This was the result! Luckily I didn’t have too much brown sugar left, otherwise this would have been way too sweet. I ate this on the go. Sidenote: eating anything pre-trash pickup on trash morning on Eagle Hill, where no one has ever heard of a trash barrel, is not for the faint of heart.

FACEBOOK

Follow me on Twitter @girldoes

Photo

I took this photo. Isn’t it good?

Just kidding, this is the photo from the New York Times review of All the Way, the new play about LBJ with Bryan Cranston at the American Repertory Theater. What I say here will echo much of what the Times said. So, why read this? Because mine is shorter and who’s got the time amiright? 

Let me begin by saying I am a huge fan of the Kennedy/LBJ era. For two years, I was a docent at the wonderful JFK Library in Boston. Coming from that historical perspective, this was a great play. I got to see the complex ins and outs of political figures I recognize and understand a bit about. It felt like I was watching a  very detailed, well-done presentation about a year in American history.

But.

That ain’t really what one longs for in a play. There was just so much happening and so much ground being covered, that there wasn’t a lot of time left for dramatic or character development. The moments of character development/insight that were THERE were great (LBJ’s final monologue about showing weakness) but just made me wish more existed in the work.

Cranston was awesome - as someone whose only prior experience with him was on “How I Met Your Mother” (I will stop referencing this show soon, I swear), I thought he portrayed a very convincing LBJ. I was actually much more excited about seeing Michael McKean as J.Edgar Hoover, but since the characters themselves ended up not being important, I felt that he could have been played by pretty much anyone and it would have been the same. 

Crowd wise, I was amazed. There was a row of people STANDING IN THE BACK. I get that it’s been sold out forever, but I was blown away by how much draw Bryan Cranston has, and to such a young audience (this clearly wasn’t the subject matter that was bringing in packed houses). 

Bonus facts: I got prosecco for $8 and got to bring it into the theatre and slurp. Also, the line for the women’s restroom was so long that me and another ballsy (ha) woman decided to storm the men’s room to urinate. Perhaps you’ll consider these the most important take aways. 

FACEBOOK

Twitter @girldoes

Photo Set

A BELATED WEEKEND RECAP.

Yeah it’s Tuesday. No one probably gives a shit what I did this weekend anymore. But I’m still going to tell you, because I packed a lot of fun and relaxation in this 2 day time span. I will break it down into sections of the day, so if you are more curious about how I spent my mornings (for example), you only have to point your eyes in that direction. I will keep each section to two sentences or less because, really, it’s Tuesday and no one cares about my weekend. That ship has sailed. 

FRIDAY NIGHT: I met my man and stuffed my face with a jalapeño burger at the Harvard Square Tasty Burger (pictured above, but please ignore that hat), then went to go see “Red” at the Emerson Umbrella in Concord. It was a well written and (mostly, except for that Ken character) well executed play, but I wondered why they included it in their season, since it’s been done in Boston twice since 2010.

SATURDAY MORNING: I got my wish and binge-watched several episodes of “How I Met Your Mother.” So, in terms of my goals set for the weekend (eat a bag of cheeseburgers, watch “How I Met Your Mother”), they were already mostly accomplished by Saturday morning.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON: I made pork patties and apples. These were enjoyed al fresco (this means outside) with a dry gin martini + 5 olives (my new favorite thing to make) and last week’s Sunday Times. 

SATURDAY NIGHT: I went to the small but fun Maker’s Fair in Union Square (I got to watch a Tardis being made in a 3-D printer and see a duct tape Serenity), then got a brew at the Independent. Then hustled to two birthday parties and collapsed into bed.

SUNDAY MORNING: I made blueberry pancakes, breakfast sausages and fried eggs and looked at pictures of adoptable puppies online. I also listened to an interview with Haim on WBUR in which they used the word “dope” 3 times.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON: I did homework: Reading, writing, but no ‘rithmetic (thank God). I cleaned my apartment and made a salad involving brussel sprouts (my favorite vegetable) and apples (I picked half a bushel, remember?)

SUNDAY NIGHT: Finally, more binge-watching, with friend and boyfriend (and Walter - see above)! And apple crisp eating. 

I am unsure of this layout. Will mull over what to improve upon for next weekend. I will probably forget to mull it over until Tuesday though.

Also, these photos weren’t taken by me.

FACEBOOK

TWITTER @girldoes

Photo

So I didn’t take this. I don’t tend to “do” food pictures, because for some reason it makes me angry when people comment on them with things like “OOO YUM YUM YUM YUM” or “invite me over!!!!” etc etc. I don’t know why. I’m a jerk. But I guess I don’t have qualms with posting pictures of food that others have taken. In celebration of my last Microsoft Excel class last night (did I mention I took an Excel for Beginners class at the Boston Center for Adult Education? I’m a jerk AND technologically stunted), my gentleman friend made us this dish. Brussel sprouts are my favorite vegetable, and you can see that this accommodates them and their gently charred leaves, encapsulated in what is essentially a carbonara sauce. And then he plopped some asparagus on top. I contributed a drink called a sherry cobbler (did I mention I love sherry? I’m a jerk AND technologically stunted AND an old fussbudget) which consisted of a nice dry sherry with some simple syrup and a muddled orange. MAMMA MIA! A fine Wednesday night indeed.

FACEBOOK 

twitter @girldoes

Text

Book - A Moveable Feast  by Ernest Hemingway.

I don’t like Hemingway, but this was my favorite one so far; I gave it a 3/5 on Goodreads, for what it’s worth. I like that he would say things like “I don’t recall what specific short stories I wrote on this trip, but I remember they were successful,” but he does remember every type of wine he had with every meal while he lived in Paris. The ending was sudden and sad, and I would like to take a peek at this alternate edition put together by his grandson.

FACEBOOK

Twitter: @girldoes

Photo
Last night I went to go see Youth Lagoon at the Sinclair. Well. First, I went home, watched Gossip Girl, crammed two homemade chocolate chip cookies and a brew, dusted and did laundry. By the time I headed out the door, the show had started 30 minutes prior. That’s ok, because there was an opener, Pure X, that I was banking on missing. I ended up catching the last 15 minutes of their set and was vaguely unsettled by both their misguided hipster garb (one dude was wearing a sequined baseball hat) and their extreme reverb. What are they hiding under those hats? Under that reverb?
After an unusually long break for sound check and set up, Youth Lagoon came on. I love that his music is very ambient-y, but still heavily influenced by rock. His guitarist looked like a member of the Allmann Brothers Band, having one helluva time playing.
 Here’s a song. Imagine it live. 
Truth be told, I was tired. I stayed for about 30 minutes of his set, then motored on over to Brighton and shuffled into bed. I was quite pleased to be able to see him live, but wasn’t adamant enough to stay for the whole thing. 

FACEBOOK

Last night I went to go see Youth Lagoon at the Sinclair. Well. First, I went home, watched Gossip Girl, crammed two homemade chocolate chip cookies and a brew, dusted and did laundry. By the time I headed out the door, the show had started 30 minutes prior. That’s ok, because there was an opener, Pure X, that I was banking on missing. I ended up catching the last 15 minutes of their set and was vaguely unsettled by both their misguided hipster garb (one dude was wearing a sequined baseball hat) and their extreme reverb. What are they hiding under those hats? Under that reverb?

After an unusually long break for sound check and set up, Youth Lagoon came on. I love that his music is very ambient-y, but still heavily influenced by rock. His guitarist looked like a member of the Allmann Brothers Band, having one helluva time playing.

 Here’s a song. Imagine it live. 

Truth be told, I was tired. I stayed for about 30 minutes of his set, then motored on over to Brighton and shuffled into bed. I was quite pleased to be able to see him live, but wasn’t adamant enough to stay for the whole thing. 

FACEBOOK

Photo Set

A BREW OR TWO IN BREWNION SQUARE.

So, I’m taking two classes for grad school this semester. One of them is called Arts and the Community. Last night, for our second session, we met for a “field trip” in Union Square. I am obsessed with this neighborhood and hustle over there as often as possible. I decided to make the most of my academic jaunt by sandwiching the session with two brews at two businesses.

First: Precinct. I don’t love this place, but they have such a nice patio and my awareness of these last days of summer is constantly increasing. I had to take advantage. I sat with my book (The Rules of Civility by Amor Towlesand a Harpoon summer. 

Second: Bronwyn. I went there the second night they opened and have been obsessed for even longer than that (I still may have a google alert for them in existence). I hadn’t been to their beer garden yet, so dragged a couple friends along to sit at their artisanal and hearty picnic tables and drink beer out of enormous glass goblets, which require two hands. I had a sour beer. I don’t remember what kind, but I do recall that it was the most expensive. But, I don’t get sour beers too much so I decided to treat myself. Clearly I should go out of my way to remember their names in the future, so I can better justify my expenditures.

Union Square is a quickly evolving and changing place. There are still remnants of the gritty/culturally diverse area it used to be, but those are getting eclipsed by the Bronwyns and the Independents and the Backbars and the Kirkland Tap and Trotters. I’m not complaining, but some people probably are, and I’d understand why. I wonder what their goals are as a community. In the four years since I’ve moved to Boston, it’s always been a “fun” place, but that’s definitely accelerated in the past couple years. It still remains a bit of an outsider area - but when, if ever, will that change? And what would be needed to get it there? Does the community want that change to happen? These are some things to think about - perhaps i will set them aside until the next time I find myself lurking in that area with a brew.

FACEBOOK.

Photo

In the interest of “easing back into things” all I will say about my weekend is this: Yesterday I performed my third annual fall tradition of making moussaka (or moose kaka as some call it, although I can’t say who). This entailed going to the Whole Foods in Cambridgeport. I like going there and stocking up (for example: a case of wine for $35!), but also feel as thought 95% of the people who go there have never been in a public place before, and don’t understand the concept of being aware of their surroundings. 

BUT it resulted in a delicious, incredibly rich dish. Made with (not to brag or anything): CSA eggplant, CSA taters, porch parsley and tomatoes that were the fruits (heh) of my first canning efforts! Also a bechamel sauce on top which is still leaving my stomach reeling. I ate it with my gentleman friend and a glass of the aforementioned cheap wine. I’ll leave you with this incredibly blurry photo of my small batch of canned tomatoes.

Farewell,

Abbey

FACEBOOK

TWITTER