Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tart Cherry Pie for Our Vegan Thanksgiving (Retail Confidential And Why I'm Thankful)

Our Thanksgiving is a quiet one. We like it that way. We've both suffered through enough horrors of "Thanking with Others" to last us a lifetime. I grew up with quiet holidays. Dr. Thyme grew up with chaotic holidays. When we first met and I had the pleasure of being introduced to his clan, I was mostly in shock and as a result, it induced a case of agoraphobia that has lingered with me to this day. I don't totally blame his family for this, I could just as easily lay blame with the many years I'd spent in retail.
Yesterday I baked all day. I made two pies: a pumpkin (for Dr. Thyme) and a tart cherry (for me).

Monday, November 21, 2011

M.F.K. Fisher's Ginger Hottendots (Grateful for The Love of A Good Book And of Baking)

If there is one thing that heals, it's baking. I cannot tell you the number of times I've worked through grief via my kitchen. It must be in the hundreds. It's a gravitational force that beckons me forth: Here. Come in here. Preheat. Mix. Bake. Taste. There. It's all much better now.

The shift in the house from one less member is going to take some time to "deal with". I deal better with it if I am kept busy. I sat in the corner of my kitchen yesterday afternoon (god it was an awful day outside--cold, dark, rainy--very Novemberish) my feet propped up under me on my favorite kitchen stool, next to the bookshelf of baking cookbooks, pouring over the "cookie" sections. Because we needed some cookies. Because it is cookie-baking season and because I know that the instant that oven preheats and the aroma of cinnamon and ginger begin co-mingling with the everyday smells of us living here--it will override everything else. The mind will focus on other matters evoking pleasure: cookies. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Godspeed Mystique (A wayward soul if ever there was one.)

And now we are three. Yesterday was a gut wrenching day for our family. No matter how much preparing you do: visits with the vet, medications to halt physical symptoms--you are never, ever really ready. The crying and heaving and wondering if this or that might have made life "better"--it doesn't ease any of the pain. All you can do is let the grief wash over you and carry you further and further away from the moment when the last breath is taken. And we were there. Holding her. Well, Dr. Thyme did the holding, I was hunched over, my head in my lap, sobbing out loud. The pain is still sharp. Crying again now.

Mystique was a beagle mix we found on my birthday fifteen years ago.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: November Roses

Hard to believe. . .
best roses of the year. . .
blooming now.
Listening to: Sheryl Crow, Grace Potter And The Nocturnals, Michael Buble, and The Bangles.
(I. Heart. Pandora.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Vegan Almond Blondies (Norwegian Tosca Cake. . . Times Three)

Tosca cake: Norwegian in origin. Almond and caramel layered yellow cake. Something to do with Puccini's opera. Very popular among the Swede set. Also known as the Swedish Visiting Cake (from Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan). According to Dorie and her source, as the name implies, it is a cake for "visitors" because you can literally begin baking it when your guest(s) show up in your driveway and have a snack for them hot from the oven about forty-five minutes later. Easy peasy.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

White Bean And "Lotsa" Garlic Sage Soup with Swiss Chard (From My November Garden. . . Now Reading "Rin Tin Tin" by Susan Orlean And Realizing Again Why I Love Dogs So Dang Much)

Vegan Thyme: White Bean And "Lotsa" Garlic Sage Soup with Swiss Chard (From My November Garden. . . Now Reading "Rin Tin Tin" by Susan Orlea...
This soup originally began as a simple white bean and garlic/sage soup. It evolved as I cooked. I added carrots, fresh and canned tomatoes, then some garden finds. It was delicious. It was just what I needed to finish my day. I was recovering from a morning of stress. I wanted something simple. Our boy's eating had stalled again. Nothing since Friday night. Oh, a kibble here and there--and maybe a few treats. Here we go again, I thought. I called the vet yesterday and asked for insight into the "what now" question. Does he need antibiotics again, or another round of steroids. They said steroids--at least this would stimulate his appetite. So off I went for yet another visit to the vet. My fourth in a month. Sigh. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Vegan Donut Muffins with Vanilla Glaze Icing

I made these muffins on a whim last Sunday morning. I usually try to gussy up one breakfast on the weekends. To say I am not much of a morning person is a bit of an understatement. I try really hard to be. Anyway, earlier in the week, I was browsing through one of my favorite baking sites of all time, King Arthur, and there was something that caught my eye: the word "donut". Since St. Louis opened it's own Dunkin Donuts, I have had this insatiable donut craving. (As far as I know there are no vegan options there. . . yet. Look out the minute there are!) Just last month, I purchased one of those mini-donut makers. That was fun for a hot minute and it did provide some much needed donut relief. But I get bored easily. So new donut maker is packed lovingly away until the next urge strikes. Then this recipe came along. Dunut Muffins. Wow. Brilliant. I think I finally have an answer to the donut-at-home. Better yet, I've slightly improved their recipe with my additions of flax and some white whole wheat flour. I had the last donut yesterday afternoon as my "snack". Still delish!  

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