This post is several months late, but you know, it’s a spice cake and those are very winter appropriate (not to mention Thanksgiving appropriate if you want an alternative to pumpkin pie!) so here it is nonetheless. This past summer was the 11th year of my annual reread of Lord of the Rings, and this time my friend Katie joined me. To make it a truly immersive Middle Earth experience, every time we finished one of the books, we’d prepare a themed meal and watch the corresponding movie. For Fellowship of the Ring, we had a dinner of mushrooms that even Farmer Maggot would envy. But for The Two Towers, we wanted something sweet.
Halloween is coming!
Okay, it’s still a month away, but it’ll sneak up on you. Like Christmas always does, but way spookier and with much tackier decorations. Speaking of, have you ever really thought about what you’re buying when you buy Halloween decorations? You’re spending money on things to make your house look like actual garbage: cobwebs in a bag, bloody rags, maybe some rubber severed limbs. It’s pretty bizarre, all things considered, to have a holiday where you actively try to make your yard look like you’re some kind of mass murderer with a poor sense of body disposal.
That said, I do love Halloween. What better excuse to put together an amazing costume that represents who you truly are inside? Perhaps Batman, or Beetlejuice, or a sexy Spongebob Squarepants.
But even as an adult, the thing I love most about Halloween is the candy. Or rather, all the candy that goes on massive clearance the day after Halloween, muahahahahahaaha. And the king of all candy? KIT KATS.
BLUEBERRIES BLUEBERRIES BLUEBERRIES. The best berries (second only to the blackberry) and whenever they’re in season, I stock up with pints and pints of it. The best way to enjoy blueberries is to shovel them into your mouth, without shame or decorum. But another excellent vehicle for blueberry delivery, if you need to eat in a manner that is more socially acceptable, is the blueberry galette.
Golden, crispy crust and sweet, warm blueberries oozing out here and there — what’s not to like? Better yet, if you’ve got as much of a delicate hand as a herd of cattle, fret not because galettes are supposed to look messy and wild. It’s rustic.
The downstairs apartment is apparently undergoing renovation, so as I write this, my floors and walls are shuddering from all the banging, thumping, and mysterious mechanical sounds that make me think maybe a Transformer is trying to build boat with its fists in good ol’ #203. Good grief.
Anyway, that has nothing to do with cornbread. I don’t even have a clever segue planned. Speaking of boats… No. Nothing of the sort.
But cornbread! You’d think having grown up in Texas that I’d wax poetic about how Southern cornbread is unbeatable and that these Northerners just don’t get it right, and et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But you’d be wrong. I grew up eating a lot of the stuff when I lived in Houston, and I loved it then as much as I love it now. But up until recently, the best cornbread I have ever had was from a barbecue joint in Seattle. I mean, the actual barbecue was… not exciting. But the cornbread! Holy shit!
And now that experience has been dethroned by the little slices of cornbread heaven I had in… Vancouver, Canada. I know. But I had another Texan with me and we both agreed that this was the best cornbread, A+ cornbread, 5 stars, 10 thumbs up. So obviously, this is now a true fact: delicious cornbread can be found anywhere. Even in your own home!
I spent most of last week kicking back in Sunriver, Oregon. You guys, that place is incredible. The sky is vast, and so unmarred by big city light pollution and skyscrapers that at night, the stars look like powdered sugar dusted onto black velvet. And during the day, the sun warms the forests so that everywhere the air smells slightly of pine.
I’ve returned now to Seattle with remnants of many mosquito bites, a wicked farmer’s tan, and a hankering for these avocado paletas (or popsicles, if you will). Something about the high desert climate of Sunriver made me think of these. The hot, arid days there just demand something light and refreshing, but not overwhelmingly sweet like your traditional ice creams and sorbets. Enter the avocado.
I know. Avocado? In a dessert? But trust me, it makes sense. This won’t taste like you just froze some guacamole and put it on a stick. Think about the flavor of an avocado by itself — cool, kind of like a luxurious cucumber. Add in just a bit of simple syrup and lime for tang, and oh my. Summer treat heaven.