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Entries in nutmeg (18)

Sunday
Nov102013

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

When I fall in love with books and songs, I fall hard and fast and deeply. Belonging and acceptance can be a feeling so rare at times. When I find something that I can identify with, I draw myself into its world, surrounding myself with pages of words and looping tracks. Books are devoured in days, the written words joining me during spare moments throughout the day, at the dinner table, and late into the dark night. A single song may be put on repeat for weeks, meaningful for far longer than the few minutes it plays.

I breathe it in, taking in the experience and the moment, and I take and I take and when there's nothing more for it to give, I share it with someone else, hoping they will find the voice and spirit in it as I had.

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

And I ran back to that hollow again
The moon was just a sliver back then
And I ached for my heart like some tin man
When it came oh it beat and it boiled and it rang

The Stable Song by Gregory Alan Isakov is one of the few songs that speaks to me in a way so many others cannot. When it plays, I find myself stopping whatever I am doing and listening. Listening with ears-wide, mind-open abandon. A hundred listens later, I still get the chills, still find the words speaking to me. Each time the guitar tells a slightly different story, the chords evolving with my life and its changes.

Yesterday it was about loss, tomorrow it is about self discovery.

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

With my eyes shut tight, I imagine myself in the mountains on a warm summer night, the smell of green, of life in the air, the feeling of peace and sadness and emotion, and it somehow all fits together. The chords on the guitar allow me to live outside myself for a moment, live another life before my eyes open and I'm brought back to my kitchen table and my computer and an empty coffee mug and a distinct awareness of feeling drained but in a way I would never change.

I never want that moment to end.

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts are moist and spiced with the scents of autumn. Pumpkin is baked into a cake doughnut, adding a bright flavor to match its bright color. The doughnuts and glaze complement each other well, providing the right amount of sweetness when paired together. A cup of coffee in one hand and a doughnut in the other is the best way I've found to enjoy these.

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Monday
Oct282013

Butternut Squash Biscuits

Butternut Squash Biscuits

Small town life is growing on me. Though I've only lived here for two months, it feels longer. The town is modest, with only a few main roads, so getting around has been simple. I've settled in quickly, my new job as a high school teacher introducing me to a hundred fresh names and faces. In fact, lately it seems I can scarcely leave the house without running into a familiar face.

Familiarity is comfort.

Butternut Squash Biscuits Butternut Squash Biscuits

Last weekend I went to buy groceries as I do each week, pulling items off shelves and gathering them in my red basket. As I approached the checkout, the woman working greeted me, complimenting me on how my hair always seems to be in place, no matter the day. As my basket emptied, she stopped on a lone chocolate bar, pointing out how she always seems to find one buried in my basket. Good for you, she said. You know how to treat yourself.

Our society has become so anonymous, it feels strange to be recognized. To be a friendly face and to have a story, even if it is as simple as my love for dark chocolate.

Butternut Squash Biscuits

Since the advent of fall and all its cool weather, I've gravitated towards hearty dinners. A recent choice includes butternut squash mash, smoked sausage, and roasted mushrooms. After dining on it for two consecutive days, I decided it needed a new component, lest I grow tired of my new favorite. Instead of turning the entire squash into a mash, I saved a little of the puree and made biscuits.

Seasonal and spiced, the flavor melded well with my dinner. With a spread of cream cheese, an old mealtime favorite turned into something new.

Butternut Squash Biscuits Butternut Squash Biscuits

Butternut Squash Biscuits bring the taste of autumn to the traditional biscuit. Pureed butternut squash puree is mixed into biscuit dough and seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. The lightly sweetened biscuits have a savory flair, pairing well with comfort food such as soups and potato dishes. For tall and flaky biscuits, follow these biscuit tips and tricks!

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Thursday
Oct172013

Classic Apple Pie

Apple Pie

I have forgotten the smell of leaves. This is an admission of which I am not proud. I've been so focused on myself and my new job lately that I haven't taken time to really enjoy the world around me. With winter fast approaching, I feel like there is less time to appreciate this unique time of year.

Each day I see less of the sun. This week I arrived to work in the dark, the sun below the horizon, the sky a fading grey. The view outside my living room window has turned into a noisy and abrasive construction site. I cannot even see anything green—no grass, no trees, no leaves. The changing of the autumn colors feels completely hidden from me. I feel out of touch with the season.

Apple Pie Apple Pie

This weekend I had plans to stay indoors and work, when my boyfriend told me to put down the books. We're going outside, he instructed me. You need some fresh air. He was right. I had not spent any real time outdoors for months. We packed ourselves into the car, granola bars in the console, camera bags at our feet. We found a state park near my new town, parked the car, and went exploring.

The air was crisp, yet holding onto a little warmth from earlier in the season. The ground was damp and soft, smelling rich and earthy from a morning rain. The leaves didn't crunch beneath my heels, but being surrounded by the vibrant colors was plenty for me. We walked the winding trails, overlooking lakes and small valleys. It was a source of rehabilitation for me, a calm moment in the whirlwind that is life.

Autumn Colors Autumn Colors Autumn Colors Autumn Colors

Though I adore it, I have had apple pie only once or twice in my life. My first bite was at fourteen years old, sitting in a neighbor's kitchen, the reward for raking up a yard full of leaves. A dusting of stray leaves were left on the deck and the afternoon sun was golden, vivid details of a quiet moment. It seems such a chance memory now, remnants of a childhood past, but it has nevertheless stayed with me. And that pie, that pie has stayed with me too.

After returning home, pulling off shoes, and unbuttoning coats, I felt a new energy within me. Returning to the kitchen, I channeled it, creating the pie that happened upon my memories. Perhaps the best baking comes from outside inspiration.

Apple Pie Apple Pie

This Classic Apple Pie will stand the test of time, but rarely last longer than an afternoon. Apples are peeled and sliced, coated with cinnamon and spice, and mounded freely into a pie plate. Depending on the sweetness of your apples, you can add more or less brown sugar, but I found that 1/2 cup was enough for my slightly sweet apples. Brushed with egg and a dusting of sugar before baking, the crust comes out golden and flaky. Serve with family and friends, to warm your home, and to create memories to share.

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