It was the day before Valentine’s day and I was contemplating what I should make for Josh as a present. I settled on doughnut ice cream and was taking Amelia for her right-before-evening walk. I started contemplating the execution: soaking the doughnuts, infusing them in the milk vs. pureeing them in a blender with the milk and cream and then straining them.
We walk past the elementary school and out walks Sebastian. He’s six-ish, wearing a backpack that’s filled with way too many books, making it practically the size of him. He waves at Amelia and she immediately starts shaking her body with excitement like she’s doing The Twist. Sebastian asks if he can walk her to the corner and I say ok. We start to walk and he begins to tell me how he loves corgis and how they’re The Queen’s dog. He then asks if he can run and have her chase him in the field attached to the school. I say ok again and let her off the leash. He bolts down the field, she takes off, trying her hardest to catch up. They both run in the street and almost give me a heart attack, which makes me scream at both of them, asking if they’re lunatics. They come back and my stomach reenters my body. They run back and forth back and forth. Staring at their young energy makes me feel old, it makes me wish I was the one who was running, which is absurd because it could be. All I’d have to do is just run.
Sebastian falls to the grass and Amelia starts licking his face and he’s laughing and saying ew and laughing some more until finally Amelia stops and lays next to him. The sun is setting in this way only Los Angeles can set a sun. Hues of pink and blue and coral shoot out from the horizon making me contemplate God and nature and everything I say I don’t believe in. It’s transcendent.
I sit in the grass with them and listen while Sebastian tells me a confusing story, the way six-year-olds tell stories. I listen and nod and smile and listen some more and say to myself this is what good is. Sebastian’s brother calls him and they head home. Amelia and I walk off in the opposite direction to finish our walk.
And then I come home and make some of the best ice cream I’ve ever made.
I’m standing here eating a slice of this tart, in front of the mirror, studying this stupid wrinkle that has appeared—literally out of no where!—on my forehead. The wrinkle line is a vertical situation and is just sitting happily right in between my two eyebrows. I think it’s showed up—and is probably here to stay—because when I watch TV or read a book, I scrunch my face up. It’s my “concentration face.” I’ve made it for as long as I can remember. I suppose it’s just the way my face settles. Bad move, my friends. Bad move!
It’s made me think about how I don’t have a skincare routine. I don’t really have a regimen. And maybe I should. Ugh. Why can’t I be nineteen forever. Actually, nineteen was stressful. I just want nineteen-year-old skin forever. That’d be better. Since that’s impossible, I guess I need to figure out a skin treatment situation. Do you do this? Please share. Right now I wash my face with Cetaphil and then rub a bit of Josie Maran’s Argan Oil all over my face and that’s it. And that feels like a lot to me. I know it’s not enough…I just know it.
Not sure if you have noticed but the internets are full to the brim with gift guides. I feel like two years ago, I’d see…oh I dunno, like one or two or ten gift guides. Now? A million, I swear. They’re everywhere. So, like all of us, I’ve started sifting through them because I’m a good American and looove buying stuff. But then I realized that they’re not really all that helpful because everyone in my life is so picky and such weirdos. The gift guide for “boyfriends” or “dads” doesn’t really apply to the men in my life. Instead I’ve just found all sorts of new stuff that I want for myself, which sort of isn’t the point to gift guides.
One thing I do encourage is gifting something to yourself. I do this every year and it’s the best, seriously. It’s never a big ticket item or anything, just a little something that no one knows I want. I’m not sure what it’s going to be this year but I’m on the hunt. Send your unusual gift ideas my way.
And now, cookies.
And not just any cookies but persimmon cookies. I feel like people only half like persimmons.
I think they’re sooo beautiful. I’ve used fuyus in quite a bit of recipes this year but this recipe uses its counterpart, the hachiya persimmon. Fuyus are short and stout and can be eaten if ripe or super firm. Hachiyas should be eaten when they’re suuuuper ripe; I’m talking very very fragile and soft to the touch.
Hey giiiirl…do you hate gingersnaps like the rest of the world? Be honest…
The internet in the past week has taught me that EVERYONE hates gingersnaps. Maybe it’s a crunchy cookie thing or maybe people dislike the combo of gingerbread and the texture of the snap. I’m not totally sure. I do, however, know that when I asked what kind of cookies should appear during cookie week, a soft tender lil’ gingerbread cookie was suggested at least a dozen times.
I’m going to be honest with you, I’m definitely not a sugar cookie master. I usually don’t even really like them. I love the way they look, actually, and often times find myself in awe of people like Marian. She’s a cookie artist. Chance are, if I walk into a holiday party and there’s a plate of sugar cookies seated right next to a plate of chocolate chip cookies, it’d be an obvious choice for me. Sugar cookies tend to be too sweet and flat-tasting for my liking. They’re sort of there just to look cute. And they do a good job at it—they’re the cutest!
I decided that if I was going to make sugar cookies, they had to taste good. So I swapped out some all-purpose for my beloved rye flour. I added some brown sugar for some depth of flavor and threw in a nice dollop of créme frâiche. I think it adds a nice texture. (Don’t worry, you can substitute sour cream if you’re unable to find créme frâiche at the market. P.S. Trader Joe’s sells it for a pretty inexpensive price.)
This whole holiday season situation is already stressing me out. It’s going way too fast. There are too many sales, too many DIY snow globes on Pinterest and seriously the photos of snow everywhere are making me jealous. I realize it’s not real life making me stressed, but internet life. It’s intense right now! I vote for us to put on some comfy socks and make/eat some marshmallows.
I’ve been dreaming about making coffee-flavored marshmallows for FOREVER! Forever. If you’ve never made marshmallows before, they’re muuuuch easier than you’d think.
By “classic pumpkin pie, ” I mean pumpkin pie spiked with rum, obviously. You know me.
This whole week I’ve spent under the covers with the sickness. Amelia thinks sneezes are the most terrifying thing in the world. Whenever I dramatically sneeze, she flinches, bracing for the worst. She’s a weirdo. Luckily (for me and her), the sickness has almost run its course.
One of the many downsides of being sick is the loss of taste. I literally can taste nothing. Everything tastes flat, bland, the same. Except this pie. I tasted every little sweet and spicy note and looooved it. At its base, it’s a classic, awesome pumpkin pie. Not too eggy. I have serious issues with super eggy pumpkin pie. It’s sweet but obviously not too sweet. And the spices! Hello. Perfect amount, I think.
One of my favorite movie food scenes is from Waitress. You know, the movie with Keri Russell (Felicity), where she plays a waitress who loves making pies. She names each pie after a sentiment running through her bones, like “I-hate-Earl-Pie,” “I-hate-my-job-pie.”
The other day as I was rolling out and crimping, I started to think about my feelings and what’d I’d name my pies. I’d probably have a “Will-Amelia-Ever-Stop-Chewing-Stuff-Pie,” and, “The-Most-Heartbreaking-Part-About-Adulthood-Is-Learning-Your-Parents-Aren’t-Perfect-Pie,” and, “Am-I-Going-Down-The-Right-Path-Pie,” and lastly, “Joshua-Is-A-Dream-Pie.” I just got all real with y’all. Pie therapy: a new method for de-stressing.
Hello my cute, internet friends! Yesterday I got an email from a friend I went to college with telling me that she has a friend whose son is being teased a lot at school for liking to bake. And I thought, how odd! Don’t kids love cupcakes and sweet stuff?! What kind of world do we live in?! Monsters, I tell you.
It made me think about my own childhood…I’m pretty sure a lot of us were teased at one time or another, some more than others. One of my best friends was openly gay from the time he was 12, and growing up in the South, he had no friends at all. I remember when we became friends, in our first year of college, he told me I was his first friend. He was 18. I remember crying when he told me that.
Being teased can make you feel so isolated, so super awful and it can make your world feel like a terrible place to live in. We have such thin skin at that age–and even now I can still be pretty sensitive. I imagine, as a parent it puts you in a peculiar position, too, because what do you do? You can’t yell at a ten year old for being mean to your kid, though I’m not sure I’d be above this seeing as I’m a super CRAZY dog mother at the dog park.
Have I ever told you that I’m a gigantic baby and cry all the time? I feel like I have.
What I’ve realized is that I think I actually like crying. I cry at weddings, I cry when I say nice things to people, I cry when I watch TV. And what’s kinda sick is that I actually watch shows that make me cry ON PURPOSE. Parenthood? Such a cry-fest of a show, and I looooove it! Yesterday, I spent most of the day in the kitchen with the show Secret Millionaire playing in the background. Have you seen this show? Good gracious. You will need a lil’ tissue.
If you haven’t seen it, let me give you a summary: A millionaire disguises himself/herself and goes “undercover” to an underprivileged city or neighborhood. They seek out people who are running foundations, charities or people who are simply trying to make a difference. Some of the stories are really amazing. If you’re ever having a terrible day, experiencing terrible people (this happens, some people do suck), watch this show. It’ll make you believe in the good of people all over again. The show always ends with the millionaire giving these people checks to help their foundations going. There’s usually tons of tears. If you love crying, you MUST watch this show!