Harvest Time: Apples!

The apple tree in the back yard has gone bonkers this year. I’ve made a first run at the apple harvest, filling this box more than half way. The apples are small and slightly underripe (read: pleasingly tart) and bake into lovely things. Like this yeast-based apple bread, which smells amazing when it’s baking and goes wonderfully with cheeses (we’ve tried chevre and cheddar so far; brie would be delightful). Or these apple muffins. I may have made 6 batches of these for a neighborhood End of Summer community event, and my neighbors may have eaten every single one. And …

Valentine’s Leftovers

Turns out, when confronted with petite homemade cookies topped with cherry jam and Safeway bakery cupcakes with 1.5 inches of frosting, most second graders will choose the frosting. I can’t say they’d choose the cupcakes since many of them licked the frosting off and disposed of the unwanted cake. Too bad I can’t bring myself to just bring cheap frosting and a bunch of plastic spoons to classroom parties. I now have a large quantity of jam-topped sugar cookies. They go really nicely with tea. Does 4pm work for you? Save

Candy Corn Restrospective

It was supposed to be quick and fun. Instead, it took more than an hour and inspired some… er… colorful language. So, should anyone else want to attempt making candy corn from the how-to provided by The Harvard Crimson Flyby, here’s what I learned: If you are using ingredients from the natural foods aisle (eg, not C&H powdered sugar), sift everything really well. I used powdered sugar from Wholesome Sweeteners and powdered milk from Organic Valley. Both of these clump up as a general rule but it’s never been a problem with other uses, although those usually involved a mixer. …

I Grew a Crisp!

The apple tree in the backyard gave us enough apples for an apple crisp! And even better, lots of the apples, although spotted a bit on the skin, were completely bug-free inside. I wonder if that means that I could have left them on the tree a little longer? Would they have gotten bigger? Or buggier? Save Save

Solstice in Fremont, 2011

I left the sunscreen at home this morning, since it was abundantly obvious that no one would be getting sunburned at the Fremont Solstice Parade today. It’s been one of the worst springs on record, and today, three days from the first day of summer, was rainy and cold. Actual puddles and everything. We went anyway, of course. At this point, it’s a tradition to go, partly to mark the beginning of summer and the slow shifting back to the dark time of year, but also as part of Caitlyn’s birthday season. She’s older now and knows the parade doesn’t …