Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
Happy fall. And happy apple picking season! My favorites are honey crisp apples. They are one of the few apple varieties that don’t cause me any sort of allergic reaction when I eat them. They are beautiful and bright, sweet and tart, and undeniably crunchy. They are great raw, and they are also wonderful to cook with.
I love making apple crisps and apple sauce, and of course—apple pie. But my very favorite dessert (or breakfast dish!) is swedish apple pie. I fell in love with swedish apple pie back in high school, when I was hanging out with my friend Ursula and we made it at her house from a family recipe. Swedish apple pie is really incredible because it is a hybrid between a pie and a crisp. It doesn’t have a crust. But the topping is a thick, crust-like, almost-cookie topping.
Now, the “official” recipe from Ursula was Betty’s swedish apple pie. I don’t know who Betty is. A family friend? Betty Crocker? Either way, I scribbled down the recipe from Ursula waaaaay back in the day, and I have been making and modifying swedish apple pie ever since.
Here is my swedish apple pie recipe. With love, of course, going out to Ursula. I think of her every time I make it. She is a vibrant, deep, amazing woman who specializes in doula-goodness, bodywork, and holistic embodiment. She reminds me that being good to myself is paramount.
First things first. Lube up a 9″ or 10″ pie plate or pyrex dish with a little olive oil or butter. Then wash, core, and slice up about 6–8 honey crisp apples. The goal is to press them into the dish and load the dish up to brimming full. I DO NOT peel my apples. Really, why make more work for yourself? Plus apple skins are packed with fiber and nutritional goodness. Especially if you are using organic or IPM apples.
Add 1 cup of flour, a pinch of salt, and a generous amount of chopped walnuts to the egg/syrup/butter mixture. I like to use a combination of organic all-purpose flour and organic hard red winter wheat flour. And I like a lot of walnuts, but you can use as few or as many as you wish.
Mix together well. Your batter will be very thick. If you overdosed on walnuts and it starts to get too thick, you can add in another egg.
You can serve swedish apple pie with a dallop of sour cream and high-quality cheddar cheese if you like savory. Or a scoop of ice cream if you like sweet. Or all on its own.
Sunday, September 26th, 2010
So this year’s melon growing experiment was un poco sub-par. We planted 5 plants total, knowing how much room they need. And oh boy, they do need room. We trellised our plants which helped. After all that work, we got 3 sugar baby watermelons and (thus far) 2 cantaloupes.
But this latest cantaloupe was incredible. Better than any cantaloupe I’ve ever eaten. Very sweet and fragrant and juicy!
Friday, September 24th, 2010
My posting has been erratic, I know. I have been consciously not using the computer at night. Which in turn means no writing. I write all the time in my head, mind you. Especially when I am lying in bed not sleeping. Which is a lot lately.
I haven’t been on the computer because I’ve been having icky no-fun headaches all week and I am trying desperately to get well and unwind after work and allow myself to fall asleep when I need to so that I can reclaim my sleeping schedule and sanity. I have been able to get to bed at absolutely reasonable hours this week, but now I have a new challenge: I am waking up in the middle of the night and having trouble getting back to sleep.
I used to be the gal who could sleep round the clock if I really wanted to without effort. I could sleep all day long. And then sleep some more.
Not so much right now.
What a mess I’ve gotten into waking up in the middle of the night! And when you don’t sleep well, you get stuck in this vicious cycle of being tired and cranky and uncreative. And then I don’t want to run because I’m tired. And I should run because it really will ultimately make me feel better.
You see? None of this is helping my head at all.
So yeah, as a result this week has definitely been UNCREATIVE. I don’t feel like doing anything — making coffee is somehow a monumental task for me right now. My love for writing and exploring and venturing is just tapped out.
Bare with me as I work through this. I would really, really love to hear from you about how you deal with sleeping issues. Or what helps you to get out a rut? What helps you to move on? How do you reach out?
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010
My week has been really busy and I have fallen behind on posting, house chores, sleep…
Oh, you know. I hope you are having a restful and productive week. Just wanted to say Happy Autumn! I cannot believe that summer is officially over and that fall is upon us. Wow. I find myself struggling to be mindful this week. I want to take it all in. I think it helps that fall is happening today, on a day when it is really warm again—in the 80s. Not a bad way to begin a new season.
Sunday, September 19th, 2010
Okay. I have Sunday anxiety. I have talked about it before. I hate Sundays. They are so hard for me. In reality, Sundays are a gift, right? They are part of the weekend! Sunday! A day off! A time to reflect. Gather. Renew.
But for me, Sundays are not a good day. I wake up anxious. So much to get done to start the new week. I fret. I balk. I feel stuck on Sundays. I associate them with school and homework and to-do lists and worrying about the start of a new week. I wake up and feel overwhelmed with house chores and ritual. I am never ready to face yet another week. I make mountains out of mole hills about all that I need to get done. Dishes, laundry, projects, visiting family… making lunches…
So I tried a new tactic this weekend and I think it worked. I came home from work on Friday night and did 2 loads of laundry to get them done right away. I cleaned the kitchen on Friday night so it wouldn’t be hanging over my head. I visited my parents and Craig’s parents early during the day today so that I didn’t feel “obligated” to do the Sunday visit as the day wore on and I got more and more anxious.
As a result, my Sunday afternoon was free and clear. Visits done! Laundry done! Kitchen clean! I spent the afternoon reading and napping and easing myself into the start of a new week. I was way less productive today, but somehow I felt more whole. I gave myself permission to relax and take it easy. Had I been awake, I may have even watched football with wild abandon.
Perhaps shaking up my schedule and my preconceived notions of how a Sunday “should” be is the key to conquering that Sunday anxiety. I do feel ready to start the week, so that is progress.