Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Beautiful Books

I've struggled with getting back into writing over the last few months. I'm tired after school, I don't feel like I have much to say, or I can't think of what I wanted to say...

There is such a thing as surgery brain and I feel like I still have it. I've been reading some very good books and cooking a lot especially for tomorrow's family day. We are having a full vegan spread with Tristan and Japhy. I'm in the middle of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz which is so interesting.

Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid (2022)  : This was an intense story of competition and family connections. Carrie is a not some cute little tennis player that you adore. She's fierce and not interested in making friends on the tennis circuit or in life for that matter. I read this book awhile ago but Carrie has stayed with me. I loved Daisy Jones and the Six which had a different style but just as interesting. Reid goes all in for her characters.

This Must Be The Place by Maggie O'Farrell (2016): I just finished this for book club and enjoyed the story. O'Farrell wrote Hamnet which I loved and so we picked another one of her offerings. This story has a crazy amount of characters but the story of Daniel is well-told and traverses continents.

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler (1993): I've wanted to read this for quite awhile but I'd read a few reviews of how real this one was so I waited until I was in the right space. Election time seemed to be the perfect time! It freaked me out and I was fascinated with the main character Lauren and how right Butler was about the direction our American society has gone. I want to read the rest of the series when I have time.

Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley (2022): This was beautifully written but so glaringly real and heartbreaking. It's a tough story about Kiara and her brother Marcus who are trying to live their lives in East Oakland after their father's death and their mother's arrest after a terrible grief-driven crime. This story was hard to read but well-worth it as it shined a light on how deep the lack of privilege is for young women.

If you are in need of a good story any of these will do very well. This week I also found a beautiful Native story Keepunumuk; Weeachumn's Thanksgiving Story by Danielle Greendeer, Anthony Perry, and Alexis Bunten. This is such a great story for understanding the real story of tomorrow's holiday celebration. I've decided we are going to forever more refer to it as our Harvest Festival. Enjoy...

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Fall Cooking

Two weekends ago I stayed with my mom while her husband traveled out of town. My goal is always to get her out and about which for her can be as simple as a drive thru coffee shop. On Saturday morning we did just that. She’s fallen in love with her local Scooters and it’s about the only choice in her small town. We picked up pumpkin spice lattes and two cinnamon rolls and  sat on her patio to bask in the sun. Because the day was so gorgeous we were able to stay out there for about two hours! We have to hold on to days like that as cold weather approaches. 

The next day our adventure was an Apples on the Avenue about 20 minutes north of her. Another day filled with sunshine but very windy. We were happy to enjoy the weather from inside the car. We picked up two bags of apples and headed home. I used some of those apples to make a delicious dessert to serve at two different events. I would make this again. And eat it again and again. I went to a small pre-Halloween party on Saturday night and we shared this with Grandmother's Sauce (recipe below) and then I served it again on Sunday when I made a birthday lunch for Kristin and Travis. I did give my mother some of the bread pudding as well to celebrate our Sunday outing.

Here is the Honey Apple Bread Pudding recipe by Melissa Clark on New York Times Recipes.  Hopefully you are able to click the link and look at the recipe. I know the whole subscription thing prevents this sometimes so I made a Google copy for you. I used a chunky French loaf instead of the Challah bread. I served delicious "Grandmother's Sauce" over the top and it took this recipe next level.  Also sometimes the sauce is perfect dipped on your finger straight out of the jar!

Grandmother's Sauce (from The Cottage; Casual Cuisine from Old La Jolla's Favorite Beachside Bungalow by Jane & Michael Stern)

2 cups whipping cream
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Whip the cream in a large mixing bowl. In a medium bowl beat the egg with an electric mixer until thick and lemony colored. Gradually add the sugar, beating until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Chill at least 1-2 hours so the sugar is fully dissolved. Makes 5 cups. 

I think you could substitute any fruit for the apples but at this time of the year the apples I picked up were tart and perfect in this dessert.  Enjoy!