Pie Night

Somehow, out of the desire for a Friendsgiving of sorts, my cul-de-sac neighbors and I wound up having an entirely pie-based party tonight. It was a magical confluence of ideas and timing and one of the most fun things that has ever happened at my house. We wound up eating a meal that consisted of seven different pies. Let me tell you about them.

Everyone went with one sweet dessert pie and one savory entrée pie:

My next-door neighbors brought a classic pumpkin pie (with fresh whipped cream!); individual hand pies made with sausage, potatoes, and apples; and (!) a bonus banana cream pie.

My across-the-street neighbors brought a sour cherry pie and a zucchini pie (with egg and cheese).

I made an apple pie and a butternut squash galette.

Listen, y’all. Every single pie was fucking delicious. Here are some pie awards of great distinguishment:

1) best handful of nutrition and buttery flaky deliciousness: the sausage hand pie

2) most rustic French and beautifully seasonal pie: the squash galette

3) prettiest vegetable pie: the zucchini and egg

4) my favorite dessert pie: the sour cherry

5) the most classic and flawless fall pie: the pumpkin with whipped cream

6) the beat surprise bonus pie, and so decadent: the banana cream pie

7) the classic American pie: the latticed apple pie

Y’all. Somehow it was one of those rare occasions where the six children wound up playing (mostly nicely) together the entire night — I mean, granted, the two older girls (6 and 8) undoubtedly got annoyed with the four younger kids (aged 3.5-4) at various points, but they all did great. And! The grown ups got to be grown ups and talk about grown up shit like bookstores and fantasy kitchen renos and the return of bootcut jeans. I mean, thank god.

I finally even got to open up the giant bottle of red wine that’s been sitting in my kitchen forever because I can never imagine disposing of that much red wine. But friends, I think we did it.

ugh

The dog is currently whining outside my bedroom door because i don’t want him to come in here and get in the bed.

The children are currently whining in their bedroom because they “need something.”

I am currently whining here on this blog. I’m tired and my feet hurt and I feel like shoveling candy into my face with an actual literal shovel but I don’t even have any.

WOW I AM IN A BAD MOOD.

K

Pie Season

I love fall baking, especially pies. I mean, one can bake pies any time during the year, of course, but fall is when I tend to bake the most pies. Apple and pumpkin are my favorites for Thanksgiving — I love doing decorative crusts on the apple, especially. Here are a few inspiration images I’ve saved over the years:

Mine are never quite this elaborate, but it’s so much fun to try!

This weekend, I get the chance to bake a couple of early Thanksgiving pies for a neighbor-friend get-together, so I think I’m going to do a double-crust apple and a savory vegetable galette. Lots of folks on Twitter recommended the butternut squash and caramelized onion from Smitten Kitchen, which looks right up my alley. I love butternut squash for fall dishes (a fun gourd that sometimes gets forgotten due to all the pumpkin), but do you know what I really love? Caramelized onions. Cooked in butter, in particular. That smell is one of the most heavenly cooking smells I CAN’T EVEN STAND IT. So this recipe seems perfect. I think I’ll make the crust doughs tomorrow night, bake the apple Friday night, and then do the galette Saturday morning.

In other pie news, tonight I made the dough for Friday night’s pizza (this recipe is pretty much flawless every time) which will be resting and slowly rising in the fridge for the next couple of days. Pizza, apple pie, squash galette– pie season truly is upon us and I. AM. HERE. FOR. IT.

Magic Bullet

It’s that time again! Time to organize my new bullet journaling supplies, that is. I have recently received delivery of some of my favorite pens and a new notebook, so once I straighten out my tab situation I should be in good order for 2020.

I thought I might share some of my favorite supplies in case anyone is interested:

Leuchtturm 1917 A5 dotted grid notebook. This is such a great notebook, y’all. It’s no wonder why this is so popular. The pages are numbered and there’s a built-in index, for one thing, which means it’s already set up for bullet journaling. There’s the usual pocket folder and elastic band to keep it closed, and of course the subtle dot grid that helps me keep my pages neat while allowing freedom to doodle and hand letter as I like. Comes in a rainbow of colors, too. I went with navy this year, which is emerging as my favorite color of late.

Tombow Fudenosuke brush pens. I bought this three pack that came with two black pens of different hardnesses and a dual-tip black and gray pen that has become a fast favorite already. I am so into the gray for lettering.

Sakura Pigma Micron felt tip pens. These are my favorite, favorite everyday pen. I buy the “01” size, which is (I believe) the finest point they make. Please alert me immediately if you come across a double zero or similar. They are super neat seem to dry instantly — they don’t smudge or smear, even if you brush colored ink over them immediately after writing.

One item I haven’t found to my satisfaction yet: In the past I have bought these K&Company Smash Tabs in the fabric version, which are basically my holy grail tabs. However, this year I’m only seeing a listing for 12 tabs for $5.99, which seems ridiculous. I feel certain that I’ve ordered 36 for that same price previously, so. Hmm.

And one for the wish list: Stabilo Fineliner pens come in a million colors and have that fine felt tip that I love.

Got a favorite pen? Let me know about it. I mean it.

Quickie

Apparently it’s the last week of classes before Thanksgiving break and I have no idea how that happened. October and now November are flying by.

Today has been a busy day full of only the most boring nonsense: tasks like open enrollment for my benefits at work and updating my holiday card spreadsheet. (Obviously, I have a holiday card spreadsheet.) I also spent many hours grading papers and doing laundry and cooking and then the garbage disposal started leaking.

ANYWAY, I don’t have an idea for a post today, so please allow me to refer you to a few good things I’ve read recently — please enjoy:

  • Lauren Fleshman’s op-ed in the NYT “It is grown women, not girls, who top the most prestigious podiums. It is grown women in their late 20s and 30s breaking American records. It is American women in their mid-30s winning the Boston and New York Marathons. Imagine if we gave more girls a chance to get there.”
  • This Tom Hanks Story Will Help You Feel Less Bad “So Tom Hanks is as nice as you think he is and exactly what you hope him to be, which is great unless you are someone trying to tell a good story about him, with elements like an arc and narrative tension. ‘Saintly Actor Playing Saintly Public Television Children’s Host Mister Rogers Is Saintly’ is not a great story. But what am I supposed to do? He sat facing me, cheerful and focused and willing. Maybe this could just be a story that makes you feel better.”

Meal Plan Sunday

Here we are again getting ready to begin another week! But there is pizza to look forward to on Friday, so we’ve got that going for us, which is good.

Here are a couple of highlights from last week’s kitchen efforts:

Crockpot Thai curry and brown rice. Garbanzos, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers. They all hold up pretty well in the crock all day, especially if you cut the peppers a bit bigger. Cannot recommend strongly enough going to an Asian grocery for imported Thai curry pastes. The flavor is noticeably better.
Antipasto-ish salad. The protein was roasted garbanzo beans and I just went to town with artichokes, slow-roasted tomatoes, olives, peppers, and so on.

Sunday: Caesar salads (CW)

Monday: Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps à là PF Chang’s. These are super tasty but require a good amount of chopping. I like to make a double batch of the filling and repurpose some of it for another meal — see Wednesday.

Tuesday: chicken salad, maybe in sandwiches? CW is in charge of this one.

Wednesday: Rice bowl featuring sushi rice, leftover lettuce wrap filling as the protein, some other veggies, and yum yum sauce.

Thursday: BLTs (CW)

Friday: Pizza, New York Style. Will do one pepperoni and one veggie + Field Roast.

There you have it! Let me know if you’re making anything great this week, especially if it’s vegetarian or can be easily made to be.