Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What's going on (cue Motown music)

I know, I know. How long has it been since my last post? And I was doing so good for a while there…In all seriousness, October has sped by me and I can’t believe we’ve only got a week to go until November. A big part of that is because I recently spent ten days in Massachusetts – an unexpected trip, to be sure, and not for a fun reason. I know that when they lose someone special to them, a lot of other bloggers write some kind of tribute post, often zeroing in on how that person’s influence relates to the blog’s topic. And then tons of strangers out there in the universe write in with their condolences and special stories of their own, and perhaps the whole thing makes the blogger feel better, comforted, less alone. Well, maybe someday I’ll write a post about my grandmother’s food eccentricities, her penchant for baking, the cookbook collection she made me for my sixteenth birthday, the applesauce she and my grandfather made every fall, her unwavering encouragement of me and my aspirations…but I’m not there yet.
So in the meantime, let me do a little round-up of what’s been going in food-wise in my life. I made significant progress on the cookbook challenge before taking a break, but I’m getting back on track this week with four recipes lined up – eggplant gratin, radishes with compound butter, elephant ears, and cheese puffs (gougeres in French).
I made pumpkin mac and cheese the other day, a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens that I’ve been wanting to try for a while. It was eh, okay. I think in actuality it tasted just fine, but what I really wanted was ooey gooey cheesy mac and cheese, and this was not that. So I was disappointed and probably won’t make the recipe again. Tonight I’m going to try a recipe, also from BHG, for pumpkin rice pudding, which I think will be much more successful. Have I ever talked about my mom’s rice pudding? The recipe is from a Sun-Maid golden raisins box many years ago and it’s just the best. I wish she could make me some right now.
The brother and I had a nice fall day last Saturday – we did a corn maze, visited a pumpkin patch, and then carved those pumpkins (later dubbed Dennis and Amelia). I roasted up the pumpkin seeds with some olive oil, salt, black pepper, and a touch of cayenne – they came out pretty good! I also made an apple pie (the only one I've made so far the season -- ridiculous!). I used to like apple pie best when it was warm from the oven, but I think I like it better now nice and cold. Is that weird? The apples at the farmers' market are just fascinating -- and the cider is yummy too (although not as good as the New England stuff).
I drank sooo much Dunkin Donuts coffee and ate at least five Boston Creme doughnuts. True story. Although now I haven't had Starbucks in like, two weeks. That's a tragedy in my book.
Finally, I’d like to make an observation – Applebee’s food really sucks these days (except for the boneless Buffalo wings, which are always delish). I guess maybe it always sucked and I just wasn’t picky enough to notice. Well, I am now, and its ruined for me. Maybe for the best?
Oh, and let me say – I returned to the west coast with a stack of Thanksgiving related magazines about a foot tall. I’m still making my way through them – so fun! Have I mentioned lately how much I love the holidays?