Wednesday, October 20, 2010


6:30. The earliest I've been home all week and then some!

I have to confess: we've mostly been eating out lately and by "out" I mean at the hospital where I work. Of those more notable meals, Au Bon Pain now has their Harvest Pumpkin soup back in rotation. John prefers the Old Fashioned Tomato. We can't all have good taste.

Speaking of pumpkins, two weekends ago between lab and lab I got out to the Cedar Circle pumpkin festival. Lots of children (eh, what can you do), beautiful weather, plenty of pumpkins. Incidentally, I witnessed multiple kids cry while standing in the pumpkin patch. As an adult, I find this physically impossible and so was fascinated. One toddler did manage to run headlong into a not-very-tall pumpkin still on the ground. Again, fascinating.

So many pumpkins...
...and other assorted cucurbits.
Without remembering the last time I've been to a pumpkin patch, it felt a lot like the days back in Pennsylvania where the onset of fall would incur multiple mandatory trips for my cousins and my family to Strawberry Acres for apples and pumpkins. As a kid, they even had a petting zoo. That place was the shit. Needless to say, we bought some pumpkins from Cedar Circle.

...but only after multiple thorough inspections. It takes a strong man to manage my pumpkins.
That afternoon before the night shift in lab, John took one of our prizes under the knife and I roasted the seeds. Apparently the key to keeping home-roasted fresh pumpkin seeds crisp is: don't store them in an airtight anything (like I did last year, witlessly). They are still going strong in the paper bag on my kitchen counter.

Other things that happened in the past two weeks:
  - A visit to Poverty Lane Orchards with Ben to walk the dog and pick some apples for a crisp and then some. Ben turned out to have an excellent nose for apples but unfortunately also an excellent appetite.
  - My brother's birthday celebration and the subsequent Whole Foods shopping trip, where fresh pumpkin tortellini and crab/lobster ravioli made it in the shopping cart for a quick dinner two nights later. I highly recommend the pumpkin tortellini with a brown butter and sage sauce blanche.
 - Tandem sicknesses that resulted in an acute lack of beer-drinking. Making up for this tonight has so far been fruitful.
- Non-coffee dates. I don't drink coffee now in a show of support, but make up for it on the stove-top with the occasional bitter spiced drinking chocolate which John will drink if it doesn't attack him first. Last Friday, venturing out to pick up birthday chocolate for my brother and salted caramels for my sister necessitated a stop at the Dirt Cowboy for something warm and liquid.

Hot Chocolate

The air on my run today smacked with a winter crispness. I anticipate many warm drinks to come.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Scratched out on notes form yesterday . . . Beautiful day! The sun is slowly setting and casting golden light upon the autumn colored trees. I'm currently finishing off a glass of Ephraim, which is one of the best beers I have ever had. Surely the best double IPA I have ever tasted. So smooth, 280 IBU and packed with citrus. This is amazing stuff and I still have half a growler left. Awesome.

The wind is carelessly blowing through the trees while I pull down the slow burn of a Cuban Romeo & Juliet. The smoke is filled with vanilla and tobacco. A good smoke to wind down the day with. Earlier, Jen and I had been climbing apple trees at Poverty Lane. We picked a few Cortlands while Ben scavenged the ground for fallen fruit. Jen currently has some apple crisp baking away in the oven and Ben is now on the hunt for acorns. I don't think a person gets too many days that are as perfect as this in their lifetime. Truly a great day to be alive.

A few more puffs of the R & J and I can feel the edge coming off of Ephraim, leaving me with only sweet pine citrus. Excellent. The smoke itself is still filled with vanilla, but seems to be picking up some dark fruits as well, mixed with wood. Kobe and Madden (Mayo's dogs) are having a good wrestle among the leaves. Madden's tail is quivering in the air as he tries to engage Kobe in another romp around the yard. The R & J is adding a bit of pepper to the smoke now. The warmth is nice against the cold autumn air. I currently have my dark blue flannel on, buttoned up about as far as it will go. The popped collar fights a cool breeze.

Ben has come back form his acorn hunt and now is interested in the last drops of Ephraim. I've never known another dog that was as interested in beer as Ben. Funny dog. I can smell the apple crisp now and see Jen putting together a homemade pepperoni pizza through the window. All is good.

The leaves on the trees are beautiful and the sun is low enough now that the golden light has faded. Shadows are casting and the breeze continues. A flock of geese call in the distance. Jen is calling me to come in for dinner as I walk past the mums with their golden yellow centers and fiery orange edges. Our lone pumpkin sits with deep orange, surrounded by fallen leaves, as I open the door.


testing . . .