Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pumpkin Eater

I thought perhaps we might skip the apple picking this year. I mean, I like apples as much as the next person, but what do you do with that 20lb bag you have to buy in order to pick ANY. Then I went to Back-to-School Night and read Georgia's essay about how her favorite thing in the whole world is to go apple picking at Honey Pot and get carmel apples, cider donuts and go thru the hedge maze (which always creeps me out and makes me think of that tragic scene in Harry Potter 4 during the triwizard tournament where Cedric gets killed by Voldy).

Since my girlfriend Stephanie was coming to visit, I decided it would be a fun outing for a Southern Californian whose only choice of apples are Red or Golden Delicious. Little did I know that Steph is an apple-a-holic. She eats at least 2 a day and would chose an apple over any other fruit whereas for me, apples are fine, but waaaay down the produce totem pole, below honeydew but above kumquats. Honey Pot was Apple Disneyland for her. She ran from tree to tree, plucking off fruit like Eve on speed, taking a giant bite then making all of us sample the many varieties. She fell in LOVE with Empire, those Snow White fleshy ones with an almost plum exterior and Golden Crisp, that are red like a hot house tomato. Sweet and sour yum yum. Then picture that dipped in carmel and rolled in roasty peanuts. Oh. My. Gosh.
Bea, who loves a juicy pear, was perplexed by the brown boscs. "It feels like a pear, it smells like a pear, but why is it paper bag colored?"

The girls were all freaked by pumpkin-a-saurus rex. We met a hilarious couple on the hay ride who told us all about their daughter's wedding. She got married in the fall and they decided to go for an apple theme. The wife describes the fruity center pieces, the desserts, the apple blossoms in the bride's hair. Then the husband starts talking about how they gave each table a secret name and seated people accordingly. "So the old people were at the Granny Smith table, and my nasty cousins sat at the Crab Apple, and my wife's brothers who drink too much were all at the Winesap table. You had your Pink Ladies, your Goofs, your Delicious..." We about died laughing at this hilarious old Yankee.

Once home, we got cooking. I made an apple-berry pie and Stephanie made a carmel apple tarte pictured above. It was so much easier than you'd think. Here's the link to the recipe:
http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/ild/2007/1107/tarte-tatin-apple-pie.html I have since made apple pancakes with apple syrup (thanks Aunt Deb for the recipe!), sent a million slices in w/ Bea for nursery snack, and tonite the kids made an apple crisp. And we still have a full produce drawer.

This weekend I went up to the Belmont Temple to take some one's senior portrait and saw this gorgeous thing. It looks like it belongs underwater. Below is a picture of another delicate flower.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Kiss my Brass

About a year ago my friend Mimmu (one of the funniest people on the planet) told her Exponent friends that she and her husband were moving to Finland, her native country, and that they were getting rid of lots of their old furniture, much of which had been in her husband's family for ages. Rachel, Coco & I went out to her place in Harvard to get Rachel a sewing table. She also ended up with antique mahogany twin beds and on Bea's behalf I adopted a brass bed of Grandma Sloan's that I SWEAR Mimmu said may have been slept in by Grover Cleveland (back me up Rach).

Said bed has been languishing in my garage, waiting for a serious cleaning and Bea to be ready to give up the crib. When my dear childhood friend and doer extraordinaire Stephanie came to visit this week, I knew it was time. Stephanie can do ANYTHING: cook, build, make jewelry. She's an art director and if it involves hands, she can do it.

After buying several brass cleaning supplies, we set to work on the headboard with some "help" from Bea. Notice how filthy the railings are.

After several cans of "Bar Keeper's Secret" and more elbow grease than I care to remember, we hosed it off and began the polishing process. Once it was shiny shiny, I wanted to lacquer it but Stephanie and the guy at Ace Hardware forbid me. "WWGCD?" (what would Grover Cleveland do?) You can see that both Stephanie and the bed clean up rather nicely.
The bed is so tall Bea has to use a step stool to get up. It both scares and thrills her.
Now if only I could get her to never touch her brass bed with those tiny little fingers....