Archive for October, 2010


Today I made Smitten Kitchen’s Spiced Applesauce Cake (and applesauce). They are both delicious beyond words, let me tell you. I am not sure the cake is going to make it through the weekend (much to my workmates’ dismay!). I have canned the leftover applesauce for use at a later date.

Tomorrow I am going to make Peabody’s Hot Chocolate Marshmallows and *possibly* this apple cake, too.

Maybe if I make the apple cake then perhaps some of the applesauce cake will make it to Monday!!

It’s the last day of October and I am way behind on my baking, so I am making up for it all this weekend! 🙂

Over the next few days I am going to start planning the Thanksgiving menu. I am not sure whether to go with old favourites or to branch out and try new things. Anyone have any suggestions?


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Tonight I am:

  • Watching The Shining because it is my favourite “scary” movie. I don’t buy into all those gore-fests with murderous zombies or possessed dolls raving around trying to kill infallibly stupid people. No, what scares me is the idea of a perfectly normal father going ape-s**t crazy and chasing his own wife and son with an axe around a completely empty hotel in the middle of a frozen wasteland.
  • Listening to the new Kings of Leon album which I haven’t stopped listening to since I bought it.
  • Making my own hot apple cider which is loosely based on this recipe.
  • Baking pumpkin-spiced molasses cookies which are very loosely based on this recipe. They are delicious – I made the dough a few weeks ago and have it stored in my freezer to bake when the mood strikes. Awesome.
  • Lamenting over the fact that the only baking tray that will fit in my oven holds just six cookies at a time. Silly UK oven sizes!!
  • Catching up on the thousands of blogs I’ve neglected to read over the past few weeks.
  • Desperately wishing I had about a million of these, these and these. And this. And this. Very thankfully I already have these (thanks Kate!) and these!
  • Finishing off my scary story assignment for the I.V.W.G. meeting on Tuesday.
  • Evening-dreaming about getting to see my niece, Erin again.
  • Playing around with Photoshop actions and editing some pretty ordinary photos like this:


To extraordianry photos like this:


(I LOVE photoshop. )

And that is what I am doing with my Friday evening. What about you?!





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I should have known before I started… Given my lukewarm feelings about The Time Traveller’s Wife I should have passed right by this title in the bookstore. However, having always been a complete sucker for a novel with as good a title as this, and as fascinatingly beautiful a cover, I bought it.

My first mistake.

While reasonably well written this novel pretty much lacks any other redeeming qualities. The story is far-fetched and absurd to the brink of pointlessness. The setting is beautiful but flat. Every character, main or otherwise, is painfully stupid. None of them elicit the intended curiosity or sympathy. Julia, the most worthy character, is so horribly cruel that I couldn’t imagine feeling anything towards her other than annoyance. In fact, the only character I cared for at all throughout the entire 496 pages was a little white kitten.

I nearly gave up the book as a bad job three-quarters of the way through having (successfully) guessed the rest of the tale, however it sat on my bedside table mocking me, so I finished it. In my opinion The Time Traveller’s Wife was trite, obvious and far too long, but at least its characters were likable and the storyline was interesting enough to make me wish I’d thought of it first. Her Fearful Symmetry, however, was simply boring, unrealistic and a waste of my time.

My apologies to Ms Niffenegger. I do like her. Perhaps one day she can give one of my novels a pathetically scathing review. Until then I just hope she concentrates on making her next work even the tiniest bit believable.


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the apple of my eye

You may not know this about me, but one of my dearest desires in life is to have my very own orchard. I want to grow heritage apple trees and spend autumn afternoons crunching through crisp leaves on my own land. So today I took the first step. I did not buy land (not made of money, you know), nor did I buy an apple tree. No. I went to the Clyde Valley Orchards’ Fruit Day and talked to people about apples.

Awesome, right?

Well, it was. There were stalls and stalls of people selling their own goods, farmers’ market style, and also informative areas about types of apples, etc. There were also many different baked goods which I avoided because they weren’t going to be better than anything I could make at home. So.

It was really interesting and fun. Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. I got some great information about which breeds grow best where and how to tend the trees to make them grow healthy and strong. All of this information and I don’t have any land to grow anything on! And before you say I have a nice back garden let me remind you that I live in a swamp where we can’t even keep our flowers alive!

I did my best not to spend any money and I nearly succeeded. All I bought was a teeny tiny jar of jam. It was a gorgeous stall and I was drawn in immediately. There were so many bizarre but delicious varieties that I had trouble choosing. The seller lectured me on one particular variety of berry which is a hybrid and complained at length about how the Americans were claiming credit for creating this specific hybrid and how it’s typical for “those Americans” to take credit for everything before she realised I’m American. It was beyond saving, though, so she just apologised emphatically and we had a good laugh about it in the end.

There was also a group of folks pressing apples to make hard cider with, which was interesting to watch. I kept thinking they couldn’t possibly press them any further and it kept on going and going. There is a LOT of juice in an apple! I think they had a deal where if you brought your own apples they would press them for you, which is pretty darn cool. I didn’t have any apples with me, though, because I don’t have any apples full stop.

There are a few more of these events coming up in the next couple of weeks and I am looking forward to going to as many as possible. I am in search of an orchard where I can pick my own, to tide me over until I have an orchard of my own.

If you happen to know anyone in our area who is giving away large tracts of arable land please let me know. 🙂


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happy october

I love Autumn. Which you all must know by now. The first of October is possibly my favourite non-holiday day of the year.

So, to celebrate the beginning of fall, and in the same vein as A Bloggable Life, I have some pictures to celebrate the weather turning cooler…

Please go out and enjoy this weather – especially if you live somewhere super Autumn-y. Take pictures. Share them. If you get the chance to pick-your-own apples or pumpkins please enjoy it for both of us.

Tomorrow I’m headed to the Clyde Valley Orchards’ Fruit Day. I’m not sure what it entails but I expect stalls of people selling home-made preserves and the like. Awesome!


p.s. Sorry about the lack of posting – the internet at our house is still sketchy.

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