Category Archive: NaBloPoMo

Nov 11 2012

Happy Veterans Day!

Thank you to all who have served this country so that we may have the freedoms many of us take for granted today. From my grandfathers to my uncles, my friends to friends I haven’t made yet–all of you and more!–thank you. I hope you were honored today!

flags over 42nd street - poet in the pantry

Nov 10 2012

Slow Down Saturday: Last Week of Soccer

Last night, The Big Guy arrived home, safe and sound. I didn’ t really expect him to join us at soccer this morning–he had been 12 hours ahead of us for 2 weeks, after all–but he rose and was ready before the rest of us, eager to see the kids’ last games of the season.

On a balmy 45-degree Fall morning with mottled sunshine, we said goodbye to the Saturday routine of Fall. No more 4-hour stints in the cold, sitting around while little ones chase a ball back-and-forth. Soon, the Winter Saturday routine will begin–the one where The Big Guy works at one of the local ski hills for eleven or so weeks consecutively.

soccer sidelines photo booth - poet in the pantry

The kids played their hearts out. My daughter blocked 3 goals as effortlessly as can be, like she was swatting a fly from her freckled nose while she was taking part of higher pursuits… I don’t know, tea with royalty or something. Her team won for the first time this season, a strong way to end it. My son… was very focused on making sure I saw all he was doing. He’s cute, he’s friendly, he’s five, and it’s okay.

While they rake the leaves, I’m thinking already about decorating for Christmas. Even though I generally am a tad irritated at too-early displays, I can’t resist the urge this year–I want to make this space our own, tease out joy and laughter any way that I can. The walls are too white and they’re begging for adornment. For the time being, I will settle for obtaining the other 2 cake platters in the collection at Target, so I now can array a tower of treats.

colorful cake plate tower - poet in the pantry

Tonight will be family movie night–our first in several weeks with the entire family intact. Sleepy heads will nod off in the dark, fighting the inevitable in front of a flickering screen. No need to wake early tomorrow; bedtimes will be fluid. Time is fleeting, but we will enjoy the moments while we have them.

first meyer lemon bloom - poet in the pantry

first bloom on my meyer lemon mini tree

How did you slow down this Saturday?

Nov 09 2012

If You Don’t Like The Weather…

I’ve always lived in Connecticut. In fact, I’ve spent all but 8 months of my life living in the same small city where I was born. Some may consider this limiting, having never really left your hometown that so many were willing to run as quickly and as far as possible from–I call it having roots. I love sharing my city with my kids. And they love re-discovering my city with me.

New Englanders are known for talking about weather. We’re all amateur meteorologists, speculating about what will come from the sky next about as frequently as others may discuss sports games or television. Then again, if you wait five minutes, it’s bound to change anyway. Somehow, even though this has been happening our whole lives, we’re all befuddled together when it happens… and the conversation continues, a vicious cycle from which none of us can manage to break free.

the sky before the storm - poet in the pantry

Last week, we had superstorm Sandy. (I only just learned yesterday that it’s being called superstorm… is this the SuperStar of the weather world?) Wednesday, we had our first snow storm of the season, dumping on rush hour roads and driveways everywhere, before mostly melting Thursday. But only after I shoveled the driveway. Twice. I shouldn’t be surprised, but the timing was pretty lousy, especially for the victims of superstorm Sandy.

Before my husband left for his work trip, we tried getting all our ducks in a row. Somehow, some things got away from us, though. Like the lawn furniture, which I lugged down the stairs and into the garage that Sunday morning, just after dropping him off at 6:15 AM to catch his ride to the airport. Nevermind the fact that I’m not supposed to be doing any heavy lifting–it had to be done before Sandy came through and turned the yard stuff into an arsenal of projectiles.

Then there was the main brakeline busting on my 14-year-old truck this past Sunday, just after the incident at BJ’s. Press brake pedal–no pressure–pull into the first parking lot you find and bawl your eyes out. Proceed to call husband on the other side of the world, who is 12 hours ahead, time zone-wise, and sob nonsense into the phone, despite the fact that he isn’t exactly awake on the other side. Thank goodness for family and their assistance here at home to help me get through that emotional storm!

When the snow storm was announced, however, I just about lost it with Mother Nature’s guessing game. I was in no mood for her moodiness given how the preceding week had been. Before my husband left, I asked about the snow blower, which is currently resting at my father-in-law’s house. I mentioned the vehicles not being ready for winter roads, lacking winter tires (and the Blazer lacking 4-wheel-drive altogether!). I expressed concern about having to shovel the driveway by myself (something else I’m not really supposed to do; darn back injury). My worries were brushed away like crumbs on your lap when you’re downing a greasy fast food burger in your car on your way back to work, late from your lunch break–no time for this. No need to worry. It would be early November: snow would not be a problem.

first snow 2012 - poet in the pantry

8 inches later…

It’s pretty. And evanescent (though hanging on somewhat, since there was another flurry Thursday night during my drive home–and subsequent stop to pick up 50 pounds of ice melt at BJ’s). But by the time the kids are supposed to play their last soccer games on Saturday, it should be gone, and we’ll be back to Fall weather. Until the next freak snow storm.

Stick around a little while… it’s sure to change. At least my husband will be back to face it with me, a team once again.

Nov 08 2012

Dutch Apple Crumble for Support for Sandy

It’s easy to take for granted the comforts of home. Running water. Toilets that flush. Refrigerators to keep our food fresh. Ovens in which too cook said food. Right now, however, not only are some going without these basic niceties we don’t even notice, we’re just so used to having them, but many more are now homeless, thanks to Hurricane Sandy

Picking up the pieces and moving forward will be incredibly difficult for these people. Whether their homes were flooded and require extensive repairs, like one of my friends on Long Island, or their domiciles were swept away entirely in the current, it will take a lot of time, patience, and money to get back to normal.

Sadly, I’m not in a position to head down there and lend a helping hand–family obligations prevent me from such–but I can’t let this go unnoticed, can’t continue on in my daily routine without doing something to help out. Monday night (October 29th), as the winds were howling outside my own windows and the trees swaying dangerously, I saw the New York City footage for the first time and I practically wept. Not long after, I saw mention of a texting campaign to donate to the Red Cross–text “RedCross” to 90999 and $10 will be donated, charged on your next cell phone bill. It was a little something, but it was something all the same, and I texted immediately. So much help would be needed.

Dutch Apple Crumble

Today, I’m participating in Barbara of Creative Culinary’s Support for Sandy event, coming together with other food bloggers to bring a comforting meal to the table and, once again, offer any help that we can. The image at the beginning of this post is a link to the American Red Cross’s website, where you can make a donation, as well. It’s very small, really–no nitty gritty hard work; your clothes will remain clean and you’ll still be in the comfort of your own home–but it could mean the world to someone on the receiving end. Please consider donating to the Red Cross to help those whose lives have been so deeply affected by Hurricane Sandy. These organizations are also helping victims:

  • The Salvation Army is also focused on providing food, shelter, and support to victims, and takes donations for storm relief.
  • Feeding America is providing food, water and supplies to those who need it as part of their disaster relief program.

Dutch Apple Crumble

I baked a Dutch Apple Crumble for our community table. It’s warm, it’s cinnamony, and it makes me think of feet kicked up in front of a fireplace, chasing away the chill in your bones after a Fall day raking leaves. Mmmm… the aroma itself is enough to improve ones spirits. Add a scoop of vanilla bean or cinnamon ice cream and you’ve gilded the lily.

May those in the wake of Sandy find comfort soon. I am thinking of you–please know that you’re not alone in this.

3.0 from 1 reviews

Dutch Apple Crumble
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 9
Ingredients
Filling
  • 6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ¼ cup granulated maple sugar (not maple syrup)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Crumble
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish (or a deep dish pie dish) and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine apple slices, sugars, and cinnamon, mixing well to coat the apple slices with the sugars and cinnamon. Spread in the prepared baking dish.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Work in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Sprinkle the crumbly topping over the apples, coating evenly, and press down gently to form a sort of crust.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until apples are tender and filling is golden.
  6. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

 

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