Monday, October 31, 2011

My not so happy Halloween

Today I was home recovering from being a sickie all last week and after a lovely fall walk, I decided to make some pumpkin bread. I've been dying for a delicious loaf of pumpkin bread for weeks now, and recently made some of my own pumpkin puree. Each year, I usually just pick a basic recipe that sounds good and play off of it, adding some of my own spices, and whatever sounds good to me. Tonight I made a plain loaf with some ginger and a chocolate chip loaf. 

The whole time I was mixing ingredients, they all sat out on the counter waiting for their turns to be added. I stirred and folded the batter, greased up the pans and poured in the mix. All with this nagging in the back of my mind that I was missing something, but ignored it, . 

The batter seemed a little watery, but I popped it in the oven and began cleanup. About a half an hour into the cook time, I decided to check on the bread as I got dinner ready and when I opened up the oven, I was horrified. Both pans of bread were bubbling and boiling, with a dark grainy sheen on top. One word echoed in my mind in that moment.



I never but any in! The main ingredient in any bread! I rushed back to my computer and bring up the new list of ingredients. Surely it wasn't my own error, but that off this faulty new recipe. I scanned the list once. twice. and there it was.

three cups all-purpose flour.

After mumbling a few wordsthatshallremainnameless aloud. I stomped over to the oven ready to have a full blown baking temper tantrum. My pumpkin bread. . .ruined! All that fresh, handmade pureed pumpkin down the drain! 

And so I did the most ridiculous thing anyone would think to do. I took the pans out of the oven and added flour into them in some desperate attempt to have some dang pumpkin bread. Is that to much for a girl to ask! 

I knew it wouldn't work, and I type this, the bread is now in the oven, confused and flat and looking not very much like bread at all. 'Tis a sad day in my house.

Especially because in addition to ruining an entire batch of bread. . .I burned my chicken meant for dinner while dealing with this whole no flour fiasco. I don't even care. I'm eating them both.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

that fluffy white stuff

This morning when I woke up, I did something I rarely ever do. I checked the weather. Imagine my surprise when I saw one singular glorious word standing out like a beacon amongst the others.


Oh boy, did I get excited. Because I love snow. I love how it makes everything, even the city, seem quiet when it falls, and how sometimes it sparkles so much I feel God must just be up there throwing down buckets and buckets of glitter. I love stomping around in freshly packed snow, and stepping out side and being warmed by icy snow reflecting the sun.

Basically, it's clear that not only am I New England-er born and raised. I'm also one of those crazy fools who thinks snow is the cat's meow. 

Except when it February and it's been snowing for months and the snow piles are 6 feet high and all of my boots have sprung leaks. Can we all say, "Hello, last winter, I hope I never have to make your acquaintance again"? Even though I did love all the snow days from work you made possible. And late starts. And early dismissals. 

Unfortunately, though, as I sit here typing this, it doesn't seem that the snow is going to make an appearance in the Beantown tonight. At least as much as I can tell from my window. A friend just called though to say hello and informed me that it's snowing quite a bit in my home town in CT.

When she told me, I was tinged with an unnatural jealousy. Of someone else's snow. Don't say it, I already know. . .

Is it snowing where you all are?

In celebration of the almost snow here, I'm going to go have a ginger pumpkin cupcake I baked with friends last night and drink some cocoa. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Keene Pumpkin Festival

This Saturday, my mom, sister and I made the drive to Keene, NH for the famous pumpkin festival. There were lovely goodies to be had and thousands of pumpkins to look at. The real fun started at night when everyone began helping to light the pumpkins, though! I'll let the pictures do all the talking (for once). . .


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Not your momma's RATatouille

For the last year I have lived blissfully unaware of a secret menace lurking around my city's corners. Ok, blissfully unaware is not quite right, maybe it's just that I've been blissfully ingnoring these menaces.

Sure, I know in the grand scheme of the world rats exist. And I know that living in a city means I'm in closer proximity to them than I'd like to know. But I haven't seen them scuttling around anywhere, and as the old saying goes, "out of sight, out of mind."

Earlier this month, however, I joined a friend and we headed to Roxy's Grilled Cheese truck for a little outdoor dinner. After indulging in some delicious rib stuffed, and avocado, bacon stuffed grilled cheeses, we sat on a strip of lawn by the truck chatting as dusk settled over Boston. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a few little grey creatures hopping around in the grass maybe 50 feet from us and exclaimed "oh, Bonnie, look at the baby bunnies. . .or whatever those are. How cute" Squinting I tried to make out what they were. Bonnie, with much clearer vision than I turned to watch them. "Those aren't bunnies, Katy, those are rats!" With a shudder we both glanced at each other. "Well, I'm done" Bonnie exclaimed, as we both jumped up and made our way off the lawn, away from those nasty vermin.

Not more than a week or two later, my roomiefriend Becca and I were walking to our local Whole Foods for a late night treat. As we approached the store, I see a big grey thing hurrying along the sidwalk before slipping into a WF's pumpkin display, it's lighter colored tail bouncing behind it. "A rat! It's a rat!" I exclaimed in horror and also fascination. And so began another conversation about how gross rats are.

Despite a few shudder inducing recollections of those two disgusting moments, I'd really forgotten about this whole rat business. 

Until this morning.

Stepping out into the cool air, I hurried along my usual route to my T stop. Rounding a corner, I happened to glance down and was stopped short as I giant fur ball scampered right in front of me, almost over my feet. As soon as I saw that endless, scaly tale, I knew what it was. In horror, I watched as the rat dashed headlong into a pile of leaves right by the window of a "garden" (real estate speak for basement) apartment. Just like the one I live in. I nearly vomitted in horror.

And like the true irrational person that I am, as I walked to the T my thoughts began spinning. Why so many rats all of a sudden, when I've gone a year without seeing so much as one? I recalled an image of a town infested with millions of mice I saw on Animal Planet once, and I started getting worried that these sightings are a result of something terrible. A city wide rat infestation. It'll be like the Dark Ages. The Black Death hits Boston centuries later and I'm in the rat ruled center. This is a crises people!

Call me paranoid if you will, but I'm getting suspicious of this new influx of rat sightings.

The roommate and I have alredy agreed that the day a rat makes it's home in our home, we're outta town.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's Here! It's Here!

. . .and it was no small feat getting it here, let me tell you!

The "it" I'm referring to is our beautiful new, baby dishwasher:

A few months ago (a.k.a. June), you may remember me blogging about a little fiasco involving the death of my dishwasher and the almost death of my toilet in the same day. 

Our gracious landlords had  just replaced our tatty carpet and were a little hesitant to spend more money on a new dishwasher. After a few months, though, they let us know that one was ordered and on its way! Becca by default ended up in charge of the whole situation given that  the landlords only speak to her, and so she began the process of coordinating the delivery people and the maintenance people who needed to shut the water off in our building during install.

Can't be too difficult right? Wrong.

After placing endless phone calls to any number of people trying to organize two separate entities was proving incredibly problematic. And to add to the melee, Sears informed Becca at some point about 2 weeks in that the order had expired and our tiny little dishwasher seemed to be lost somewhere in the shuffle.

Let's jump ahead in time 4 more weeks, shall we? Becca and I are still sans dishwasher, but Becca has managed to secure the cooperation of our condo association once the dishwasher delivery folks got their act together. The people at Sears were having a lot of trouble keeping track of our DW, even after several supervisors and eventually a case manager got involved in our situation. 

At last, earlier last week, it seemed that the stars were aligned and we would be getting our dishwasher on Thursday. The delivery guys called Becca Wednesday night to confirm with here, but gave her a time several hours later than previously agreed upon. Becca explained the whole shenanigans and they agreed to rearrange the times back to the original.

Thursday 8 AM: Becca get's a phone call from the delivery/install man. Do we have the dishwasher already here? Umm, no sir. We were under the silly impression that's what you, the delivery man, were going to be doing. Several hours later, no dishwasher. And, once again, no one in the entire Sears corporation (if it is one!) seemed to know where it was. 

Becca rescheduled for Friday and the delivery dudes were once again a no show. Seriously, Sears? At this point we were really starting to get TO'd (oh wait, that happened round about week 3). 

But finally, finally after all that ado about nothing, our sparkling new DW arrived bright and early (actually later than planned) this Tuesday morning (afternoon). I'm beyond excited. It's white, with a shiny chrome looking inside. and best of all. IT WORKS! At least we think, we haven't actually run it yet . . .

And if you're mocking me right now for being so whiny about a extra convenience dishwasher, let me tell you something. I spent the formative years of my childhood elbow deep is soap dishwater after dinner. I've paid my dues. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

A pumpkin brownie kind of day


Happy Monday! Finally, some fall weather has hit Boston, and you know what that means. I've been itching to do some baking! Fortuitously, my dear friend Jordana's birthday was Sunday (Happy Birthday J) and so I had an excuse to hit the ovens. These delicious little pumpkin pie/brownie hybrids seemed like the perfect treat for a autumnal birthday. I've never been an enormous fan of pumpkin pie like treats, but add chocolate to anything, and I'll eat it! I used someone else's recipe for the pumpkin "pie" part and then took liberties with the chocolate chunk brownies. If you'd like the recipe, e-mail me here. Or just stop by and I'll whip you some up!

Here are a few other highlights from my weekend. On Saturday, I took the 7th grade girl I mentor on a trip to the 'country' for some apple picking. I can't wait to make some applesauce this week. yummm!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Behold the "Free Collections"

Several months ago, you may remember a certain post about the new Kindle I had purchased.

Since that time, it has proved to be one of the best purchases I've made this past year, providing some great entertainment during my morning and evening commutes. 

When I was first initiated into the Kindle world, I started buying up the books that I'd had on my list forever, but hadn't gotten around to reading. One thing I didn't count on, however, was that just because the the books are discounted, doesn't mean they didn't still cost money. 

Thus began my introduction to the world of FREE COLLECTIONS.

Kindle has a whole selection of books that are $0.00. It's amazing. Just click on a book and it's on your kindle, for nothing!

There's just one little caveat. These books aren't free because they're best sellers, or because everyone loves them. No, they're free because no one would actually pay for them. I find that these free books usually fall into three categories:

Bodice Rippers

Christian Fiction

Best Seller Wannabe's 

Now, as tempting as is it to read a book entitled Raunchy Ranglers (oh wait, not that tempting) or indulge in one of the many BR's in the "Passionate Embrace" series I generally steer clear of these more unsavory varieties.

And Best Seller Wannabe's are usually Wannabe's for a reason. Terrible prose, confusing plot lines, and atrocious dialogue. 

So this has left me with the Christian Fiction subset. More specifically, Christian Fiction Romance. That's right folks, 9 times out of 10 I spend my mornings on the T reading sub par Christian fiction romance novels about  spit fire, hard working women who tame the rough and tumble mountain men through prayer and a modestly attired but no less attractive figure. And often as not do it with just as much awful dialogue and plots at the BSW's. Sometimes, I actually get a little embarrassed on the T thinking of the people that are reading over my shoulder. 

"You don't understand!" I want to tell them, "I don't have any choice. I'm on a budget, and David Baldacci and Michael Lewis just aren't an option right now. Try me next month when my budget restarts!" 

But yesterday as I was reading a nice little number about a maid working at the Biltmore Mansion, I actually thought to myself, "Hey, this is kind of cute!" and not only did I read it on the T, but I read it when I got home, and before going to bed and was excited to get back to it this morning. 

I don't really know what to make of this new development, I may have to break the bank a little and buy a Best Seller. Something, anything other than a christian fiction romance for free at the kindle store. To prove a point. 

Although, I think this latest book is part of a series. . .

I mean, not that I'm planning on reading the others if they exist. obviously. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Please, slow it down

Can someone please tell me how it's already October? Try as I might, I can't seem to remember all that much of September. A few stand out moment maybe, but it's mostly just a giant blur!

It seems October may follow suit, as it goes speeding by, scattered with fun memories that end all to quickly! Not to mention, I've already started Christmas shopping! 

Here are a few moments from my October so far, how has the month been going for you? Have you started holiday shopping yet? 'Cuz if not you should probably get on it. . .

From top to bottom:
1) Friends Rachel and Sarah enjoying VT apple cider slushes with apple cider donuts at the     Big E
2) Reppin' the home state. CT 3) more gorging the Big E-the famous Maine Baked Potato; 4) Finally saw the set of RR's new flick RIPD. No Ryan though, sadly; 5) Visiting Yankee Candle with my mom and sisters!