Saturday, October 24, 2009


New love!  We went to the shelter today, just to look- and came home with this little darling.  She was the third cat we looked at, and she actually hadn't caught our eye right away- but the first two cats were both extremes of what we were looking for- and she is that perfect middle.  Matao pointed her out and as soon as she came into the room with us we knew we had to take her home.  She's been wonderful so far.  She's only tried to eat the fish a couple of times and only tried to rip my arm off when I made her come out of the closet. 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pumpkins and Tomato Sauce

I finally suckered people into picking pumpkins with me!  Actually that's somewhat of a lie, as next weekend will involve the same thing.  Whatevs.  The place we went to today was not quite what I was expecting- as in everything was pre-picked, you just walked through and picked out what you wanted.  When I went previously you actually had to remove yours from the vine.  And you'd think the ten billion little kids would be terrible, but they were actually pretty darling, and it was their parents that were awful.  Figures.

I ruined this picture, but just pretend like I didn't.








Those two alpacas were darling.  I came home telling Matao I wanted a pygmy goat again, but I think I'd give up goats for an alpaca.  Apartment alpaca... that sounds about right, doesn't it?

Back in Ballard we did a quick last minute run to the farmers market, where I picked up two pounds of gorgeous heirloom tomatoes.  We also had such great timing that someone shutting down their stand offered us all of his leftover cheese samples, so we had a great impromptu snack of cheese niblets and fuji apple chunks.  Nom.


I picked up the tomatoes with this recipe in mind, and currently I've got it all in the oven roasting.  I am seriously about to die from the smell.  It's absolutely ridiculous.  Hopefully I can talk Matao into eating pasta later this week.  I may have to resort to bribing him with sausage.  And I've said it a million times before, but I really am sorry about the weird lighting in my kitchen.  I need to figure out a way to make it work, but for right now this is what I've got.  I'm on the hunt for something small and portable that I don't need a light box for, so we will see.  

 Check out how huge those garlic cloves are.  I threw the full bulb in for comparison- and it's actually quite large itself.  I've been buying local garlic every chance I get, and the quality and flavor can't even be compared to what you normally find at the grocery store.  This stuff is gold.

All ready to go in.  Once this comes out I'll remove the seeds and skins from the tomatoes, and then cook it down for another hour with white wine.  I would marry myself right now if I could.

Maybe I'll still try.

♥ R.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday Night Solo Pickling Party

I finally did it!

Homegrown jalapenos, locally grown garlic, sweet carrots, red onions, and green beans.  My brine was a mixture of white vinegar, wine, water, sea salt, and a spice mixture that included lavender, sage, and orange peel, as well as oregano and some other goodies.  This was my first time pickling anything, and everything went really well.  Obviously it still might taste completely disgusting and we might die when we eat the first jar... but for right now I'm happy believing that I did everything right.  I did it based off of the recipe Matao's coworker gave him, a few things I read online, advice from my mom, and my general technique of using whatever the hell we have/I feel like. 

Oh yeah, and Matao has never sprouted an avocado seed before, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to change his life.  Because it is life changing, afterall.


Unrelated: last night was really wonderful.  I had tickets to Sunny Day Real Estate, so Becca came as my date.  Not only did we get to hang out in the oh-so-exclusive Paramount Club; drinking overpriced falsely named drinks (Pink Pussy? Excuse me???), and having first (or second) encounters with a bidet (best invention EVER), but the band was absolutely perfect.  I still remember hearing them for the first time when I was 7th grade.  It took a long time for me to really appreciate them (after they broke up, of course), but I'm so grateful that I got to see them play together.  It was almost as good as Lifetime getting back together.  ALMOST. 

♥ R.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Little Homies

Following up from yesterdays wah-wah fest- I wanted to post pictures from the apartment as of late.  Our outside plants are pretty much done for the year, but as the inside of the apartment comes together more and more- we end up with more and more plants. Using yogurt containers to start seeds is actually pretty genius, and probably something I'll do again this spring.  I've been cheating and using the light above the kitchen counter as fake sun, since we aren't getting much this time of year.  It works wonderfully.  So well in fact, that one of our onions has decided to take up growing sprouts of its own.  Matao is afraid of it.  I'm excited about green onions.


This guy is hanging out in the inside of a crock pot.  How adorbs is that?  We couldn't find any non-ugly pots at Goodwill (can you imagine!?), so I decided this was going to have to work.  And it does, rather well.


More Goodwill goodies.  The mirror has followed me through 4 moves, and I honestly can't believe it's still in one piece.  It probably needs to be painted a color other than Pepto pink at some point in time, but I find it sort of charming just the way it is.  The more abstract oil painting that is all shadowy in the picture is something I grabbed for $5 and love so so much, even though no one else seems to share my enthusiasm.  I still think it's one of the best things I've found.  This is the only wall with much of anything on it at the moment.  I have lots of art, I'm just seriously lacking in frames.  Tragedy.  Send help.


JalapeƱos!  Yes, we were supposed to pick/pickle these a while ago, but we got lazy/Matao got sick, so it didn't happen.  Luckily they've held up (and more have turned this insanely bright shade of red) so assuming that I can find time this weekend- pickled jalapeƱos will be taking over our kitchen.  STOKED.


Our basil plant on the other hand... not so stoked.  It has been really pathetic since sometime in August, so I'm really not that upset.  Don't tell it I said that.

♥ R.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Don't Give Up.

I had this weird insecure and very close to self-loathing moment while grabbing a quick bite to eat with Matao tonight.  I don't always have the best answer to "what have you been up to?", although it generally depends on who is asking.  "Oh you know... making jam, getting excited about the huge quilt I'm planning in my head, singing to my plants, and spending a lot of time reading other peoples blogs."  Just the usual.  It can be hard telling people about my life when I've been at the same job for two years, I'm not actively running a small business, and I'm not in school.  The thing is- I am pretty damn content and satisfied with my life right now- but it's not always incredibly thrilling to talk about.  I get excited about the smallest, funniest things most days.  I am also usually so worn out by the end of my work day that coming home and baking cookies while watching re-runs of This American Life on Netflix is exciting.  And I really shouldn't feel like I have to justify that to anyone.  Not even myself.  I have never been the kind of person to be defined by my job or whether or not I'm going to school.  For me- my job is my means of survival.  I can pay my bills, I have health insurance, I have room to grow, and at the end of the day I don't feel like shit about what I'm doing.  I like what I do and I like the simplicity that comes from being able to walk out the door at 5pm and be done for the day.  And I will go back to school, and I will make plans to travel, and I will have a small business going again- but right now isn't the time for me to do all of that.  There are trade-offs for all big things in life, and at this moment I am working my way towards having my life be just the way that I want it.  Every single day is a project, and every single day I gain something.  Even on the days where the most exciting thing I do is laundry.

It's what's working for me.

♥ R.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I seem to have gone into fall/winter hibernation a bit earlier than normal this year.  When I get home from work all I want to do is cook up a bowl of something, sit on our big green couch, and one third each: stare out our windows/read blogs/watch This American Life re-runs on Netflix.  It's sort of tragic in it's own boring way.  Matao and I have always had opposite work schedules, so most of my evenings are spent at home by myself (which I love, don't be sad!)  During the week I am almost completely anti-social, because by the time I get home from work and decompress it's usually too late for me to go do much of anything that allows for my high school bedtime of 11 PM.  Wah wah.  It is a very homey, mellow life that I lead, which is even more ridiculous during the cold months. 

There was no such thing as "fall" growing up in Juneau.  The seasons quickly transition from kind of nice and sometimes crappy, to almost always crappy and very rarely nice.  It's not even the kind of cute cold weather where you get to wear leather boots and tights and wool coats with two buttons.  That would last 5 minutes before you were a frozen wet sloppy mess who smelled like wet dog and looked even worse.  The leaves don't change colors, they just fall off.  There are no pumpkin patches or apple picking or exciting new things at the farmers market (because there isn't one!)  And October is definitely not the right time of year to pick up hiking.  It's all sort of charming and wonderful in its own right (if you're used to it, anyway), but it's not fall.

Fall last year involved a lot of bike rides, fireplace fires, and baking cookies.  Two years ago it was terrible parties at The Big Nasty, and going pumpkin picking at a farm outside of the city.  Three years ago it was kicking leaves, apartment parties, and lots of baking gingery pumpkiny things with Schliebe.  My first year here I had just moved, was in school, and living on one of the worst blocks in downtown Seattle.  I'm pretty sure fall then consisted of trying not to get mugged, eating entire loaves of pumpkin bread from Cinnamon Works with my roommate, and long hours spent making patterns and sewing my fingers to my homework. All wonderful(ish) memories.

What I'm getting at here- is that fall this year is kind of lacking.  While I love our apartment and I love just being at home in the quiet- I feel like I'm missing out on one of the best seasons ever (you know, aside from those other three).  And I do realize that summer just ended, but since fall is my newly discovered favorite season, I feel like I really need to do it justice this year.  I have every intention of dragging Matao to a pumpkin patch, dragging him on at least one long bike ride, and at least one not-so-long hike, but the whole baking cookies/crocheting hats/being excited about wearing tights thing is sort of lost of him.  Poor boy.  So, kind of sort of but not really inspired by Amy's wonderful post on books and book stores, I'm compiling my list of my fall essentials.

- These are a requirement.  I have been making them for years, and aside from the ginger heart cookies at Paradise Cafe in Juneau- I have yet to find anything that even touches on being this wonderful.  I made my own vegan version all last year, and they turned out perfectly.

- Haunted Trails at Bastyr University!!!  Next weekend!!!  We are going!!!

- Dearest Inez on Etsy has all of these wonderful little accessories made out of felt leaves that I love love love.  I want four of her big earrings in different colors.


- Where to find U-Pick farms in Seattle, and the rest of Washington  This seems to be the best resource for U-Pick farms that I've found.  There are options for everything.

- Search for "Autumn" on Etsy.  In typical Etsy fashion- lots of lovely, ugly, weird, beautiful, and tacky.  I also love searching for "Ghost" and finding all of the lovely, non-tacky or Halloween themed things.

- Bite sized bacon caramels?  Holy wtf?  This has nothing to do with fall (other than the orange colors) but I feel like I need to work this into some sort of gathering at some point.  Whoa.

Whatchu up to?  What are your fall requirements?
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