This week has been a whirlwind of activity. Mostly, it’s been good (moving into my gorgeous new apartment in Davis Square, being wonderfully busy at work) but there’s been a little bit of bad as well (getting hit by another car while driving to said new apartment for the first time). Sometimes life throws you those unexpected curveballs; best thing to do is quilt it out. So my latest journal nine-patches are an optimistic—yet realistic—recording of the past several days. And for some reason, both ended up having to do with the weather. First of all, last weekend was primarily highlighted by two distinct things: rain, and big brown moving boxes. I think it’s pretty clear why I decided that this nine-patch was an appropriate homage:
On the other hand, all drama aside, this past week has also been the beginning of what has to be my favorite season. Yes, I love fall. No, the end of summer doesn’t make me sad. I love the sunny coolness and the ‘return-to-normal-life’ feeling in the air. I don’t even mind the back-to-school traffic (well, except when it rams into the side of my car). So my second nine-patch is meant to capture that autumn essence:
I felt like the pinky brown flowers in particular convey the lively but subdued feeling of the season. And since fall is a season of new beginnings, and I had to gather all my nine-patches for the move anyway, I took this opportunity to remind myself of where I’m actually going with these journal nine-patches. I have to say, it looks pretty cool so far:
And what better thing to do during the fall than bake bread? If you say ‘nothing,’ then I agree. And I’ve done it; my sourdough… The result? Quite a success! To be honest, I was nervous about my yeast (hmm, that sounds sort of sketchy) and the whole turning-to-a-sponge process, but the result was every bit what I hoped it would be. The loaves must have nearly tripled in size in the oven.
They had a thick, crunchy crust and warm, dense inside that was just the right amount of fluffy. For the first time, I made this bread in the morning rather than afternoon (since the sponge formed overnight) so we had sourdough sandwiches for lunch:
The one of the left is one of my personal sandwich favorites; smoked salmon, cream cheese, onion, caper, tomato, and an over-easy egg. The other one is my boyfriend’s; lots of chicken and mustard.
I’ve since been eating my lovely bread every single day for lunch. My only problem is that now I only want to make this exact sourdough, but I feel like that wouldn’t be very adventurous or beneficial to my bread-making skills. Regardless, I’m holding onto this restaurant (which I should probably mention can be found here: http://breadbaking.about.com/b/2009/05/06/whole-wheat-sourdough-bread.htm). And I’m contemplating imitating this delicious bread from When Pigs Fly bakery (sendbread.com); it has granola, craisins, nuts, and a little cinnamon.
Actually, this is one of the best bread companies around and it happens to be right across the street so, as my mother very astutely pointed out, I may want to make some weekends off bread-making to try out other culinary endeavors and buy my bread here! I feel like a little bread research is totally valid.
Last week’s pasta was a bit less of a success. I got a little overly ingredient-ambitious with this one: cheese, avocado, cream, plantain, crab, peppers, onions…
All god stuff, but if you throw too much together, nothing is allowed to shine. So I’m thinking of splitting this one up into a couple different pastas (for instance, one that’s primarily avocado, another that’s primarily crab). That’s the beauty of cooking; there’s lots of room for experimentation.
But back to the move: relocating yourself really makes you realize what you consider to be essentials. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t exactly travel light, but when I spent the first night in my apartment, I tried to narrow it down to the necessities. What did I need? Well, my fridge consisted of champagne, beer (not actually mine), a bag of cherries, and iced coffee:
I also brought my toiletries (hygiene is non-negotiable), sparkling water (it’s a serious addiction), my bathing suit/cap/goggles (my day doesn’t begin until I’ve gone for a swim), and my quilts:
In an otherwise empty bedroom, quilts add such necessary life! I’ve since moved my bunny, and he certainly helps as well. With this promising starting point, I can’t wait to make this place feel like home.