Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving wrap-up

'Twas the night before feasting...

The last thing I did before I went to bed Friday night was set the table, step back, and take a deep breath.

Bright and early Saturday, I was chopping.

Dad dropped off Mom en route to pick up family at the bus stop. Mom seized the Pete.

Patrick bonded with my Dad.

I had every hour planned out. Early, I chopped and diced and measured. In the afternoon, I cooked potatoes, both sweet and white. When a scrap of conversation caught my ear, I was able to join in, glass in hand. A number of these photos are from my camera, proof that I was a busy, but not over-scheduled Thanksgiving hostess. Wine was poured. Patrick was sent for more wine. Jen and Corrine arrived, introductions were made. It was one of those days where you enact about every social behavior you know: giving compliments, receiving compliments, making introductions, giving hugs, offering food and drink, inviting to partake. The whole thing made me feel very human, very alive, very loved.

My high point of the day:

The spread.
Okay, be honest. Who notices the napkins being on the wrong sides of the plates? Apparently, I didn't notice, either. Oops.
Everything turned out just about as well as I could've hoped. The potatoes were cooked through, the gravy was hot, the salad was crisp, the wine was red and plentiful. It doesn't take much more than that.
After dinner, there was sitting and conversing, bonding of humans to humans and humans to animals.
No matter how well you plan, there's always an element of luck in an undertaking like this. I'm very thankful to the kitchen gods for the escarole that was snatched from the broiler at the peak of doneness, the pine nuts which burned but still tasted fine, and the cranberry sauce which, after much fretting and cajoling, finally slipped gloriously from its mold, supple and sweet.
And though I spent some time Wednesday contemplating gratitude and making a long list, in the end there wasn't any better reminder than yesterday for what I'm thankful for: family and friends, farmers and food. A warm house full of happy people.
And tiny little pies.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


1. Watching Patrick sleep
2. Post Road Pumpkin Ale
3. Poppies
4. Bread machines
5. Laying in bed when it's snowing outside
6. Echinacea tea with honey
7. Kites
8. Old aprons
9. Pumpkin seeds
10. My great-grandmother's embroidery floss
11. Blog comments
12. Tomatoes
13. Rubber stamps
14. Alice's Restaurant
15. Wild rice
16. Pushpins
17. Pete's velvety gray fur
18. Lilacs
19. Stevie Wonder
20. Dancing in the kitchen
21. Dates (the fruit)
22. Good neighbors
23. Crisp apples
24. Rotary cutters
25. Indoor plumbing
26. The continued health and wellbeing of those I love
27. Gillian Welch
28. Fiddle tunes
29. Crate and Barrel
30. Corduroy
31. Stockings
32. Honey pots
33. Old china plates
34. Dried hydrangeas
35. Greece
36. Friends far and near
37. Cafes with live music and good beer
38. Turquoise
39. Teapots
40. Tulips
41. Hot pepper jelly
42. Raffia
43. Pinecones
44. Lucky stones
45. Obama
46. Keen shoes
47. Old buttons
48. Baked tofu
49. Anti-lock brakes
50. The kindness of husbands (mine)
51. This American Life podcasts
52. Seam rippers
53. Facial scrub
54. Plaid
55. Miniature clothespins
56. Sateen sheets
57. Pistachios
58. Thrift stores
59. Farmers markets
60. Mason jars
61. Bicycles
62. Mung bean sprouts
63. Tempeh
64. Aloe vera
65. Wedding pictures
66. Good news
67. Anne Michaels' poetry
68. Kate Wolf
69. Clogging
70. Wild strawberries
71. Dragonflies
72. Burt's Bees lip balm
73. Acorns
74. Toadstools
75. Photo albums
76. Broccoli
77. Woods
78. Farmers
79. Stone walls
80. Tissue paper
81. Dark chocolate
82. Brie
82. Marques de Caceres Rioja
83. Cable knit sweaters
84. Down-filled anything
85. Birds' nests
86. Compost
87. The ocean
88. Barn swallows
89. Desk lamps
90. Patches
91. The blog-o-sphere
92. Family
93. Golden retrievers
94. Uncle earl
95. Goats
96. Bobbins
97. Bluegrass
98. Greeting cards
99. Owls
100. Paisley

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Our guest room

Here, as promised, are more pictures of the guest room. Thanks, guys, for all your kind words!

The best guest room tip I've heard was from Martha Stewart: keep a picture frame by the bed, use it to display a photo of yourself with your guest. That picture is my aunt and me, on my wedding day, right after she helped me lace up my dress. She's a special aunt, indeed.
Baltimore orioles painting by Annette L. Plath. (That's my mom!)

And of course, I had to take at least one shot using the best prop in the house. That's Pete.
The rest of this week is going to be very, very busy. Tomorrow, I'm taking care of all the pre-prep I can handle for my own Thanksgiving feast (which will be held Saturday). Thursday Patrick and I go down to Maryland for his family's Thanksgiving, always a fun time. Friday morning we head back here, I sprint to the grocery store, and work just as fast as my little hands can until 4pm on Saturday. (Don't worry, I do plan on sleeping Friday night). I've contracted my dad to be photographer for this event, so hopefully I'll have oodles of pretty pictures to post on Sunday. You probably won't hear from me before then.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Winter dusk

Here, dimly, are those curtains I finally finished. Somehow, and I'm not sure how, our guest room has managed to become perhaps the cutest room in our house. My aunt and her partner are spending the night after Thanksgiving there. It's definitely nice having it all purtied up for them.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A more perfect pear

Ooo, that's much better. That earlier pear picture was so appalingly ugly. I don't know why I insist on trying to take decent pictures at night. On my camera, it just can't be done.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The whole enchilada

Are we tired of my ceaseless punny post titles? I can't seem to get enough of 'em.

Tonight I was busy in the kitchen. I can never do one thing at a time, in the kitchen. I'm always making dinner and. Dinner and muffins. Dinner and homemade bread. Dinner and the main course of our Thanksgiving meal, which will keep in the freezer until next week. Suffice to day, it ain't turkey.

This evening, I made enchiladas. We have lots of tomatoes in the basement, and lots of peppers in the freezer, and lately sour cream and pepper jack have been household staples, so this wasn't hard to pull together. And about the slaw: Patrick and I have been eating more coleslaw than is healthy these last few weeks. In truth, I've been planning our weekly menus around coleslaw, around the need to eat the pile of cabbages that are really not keeping as well as I'd hoped they would keep in our basement. Every week I unearth a ghoulish, grayish orb, hack off the bad parts with a chef knife, and turn the remainder into an enormous bowl of cole slaw. Romantic, yes? Ok, well, home food storage does have its grim underbelly. But it's kind of fun, and definitely convenient, to rummage around in the basement for our daily dinner fixins. Nothing like a root cellar to make you feel like a true independent thinker, no sir.


1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 15-oz can stewed tomatoes (or one pint jar crushed canned tomatoes, from my basement!)
2 chipotles in adobo sauce

1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped poblano, banana, or red bell peppers
4 oz cream cheese
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced

12 6-inch round corn tortillas
1/2 cup pepper jack, grated

First, make the sauce: saute the onion and garlic in the oil until soft, add remaining ingredients and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup water, and puree in a blender or food processor. Set aside. Make the filling: saute the onion, garlic, and peppers until translucent, add the beans, cilantro, and cream cheese, and heat through. Remove the tortillas from their plastic bag, and wrap in a damp paper towel. Microwave for one minute. (This will make them pliable.)

Preheat oven to 375. Pour one cup of the sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Stuff each tortilla with about 1/4 cup of the filling, and roll loosely. Lay the finished enchiladas in the bottom of the dish, and top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce bubbles and the cheese is melted.

Mexican Cumin-Lime Coleslaw

4 cups cabbage, shredded
1 1/2 cups carrot, shredded
1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced

2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp grated lime zest
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin

Toss all the veggies together in a bowl. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small jar, shake until mixed, and pour over the veggies. This makes a tasty sweet-tangy slaw with just a hint of spice.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A perfect pear

Do all first-time holiday hostesses go beserk, or just me?

These are the place markers for my Thanksgiving table, pattern and tutorial here. I love little projects that use little bits of things I have lying around: ribbon, fabric, craft leaves. It was fun to dive into my scrap box, pulling out pieces of this or than and remembering every project I've ever sewn. The embroidered scrap is a piece of the bag my new Crate & Barrel table runner came in. I adore, adore the runner, and the fact that it came in its own embroidered bag was pretty sweet. And the fact that I was able to use part of the bag? Well, that was even better.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Here's my tribute to a cold, snowy morning spent browsing my favorite shops. The thrifting gods were definitely smiling on me today.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hunting and gathering

Sometimes, there's nothing like sitting in my parents' kitchen with a hot cup of tea, watching rain beat the windows and the spruces bending in the wind. How nice it is to have a refuge, a place where I can go and be cared for. And it's always enjoyable to get out of the city, to roam and forage, pick handfuls of bright autumn weeds for my Thanksgiving centerpiece. When you live in a city, everything costs money. You want a centerpiece? Go to a store and buy flowers. Out at my parents' house, walk into the old barnyard and explore. It's the "riches of nature," literally. These little rose hips were just what I needed.

I came to my parents' house this weekend partly to reap without sowing: to gather the benefits of an overgrown field, a dusty old barn full of treasure, and a house stuffed with the slow accumulation of things that aren't used anymore. I needed things. I have a big house: lots of wall space, lots of shelf space. Finding ways to make it cozy has been my job. This time of year, especially, I feel the need to gather things for my winter nest, or something. Who knows? But the sight of all sorts of homey things-- table linens, teacups, baskets--stirs a powerful hoarding instinct, and I return to Binghamton, my car stuffed with goodies.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I'm off to my folks' house for the weekend, ta!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The perfect meal

This fall, I set out upon a journey to create the ideal curried squash soup. After trying variations which included apples or sweet potatoes, I've come to the conclusion that the best companion for squash is garlic, in no short supply. Here's the recipe I used.

Roasted Curried Butternut Squash Soup
1 2-lb butternut squash, halved and seeded
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
1 full head of garlic
6 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup plain yogurt
Preheat the oven to 350. Put the squash and onions on a greased baking sheet, and wrap the garlic in foil. Set it on the sheet too. Roast these guys for 45-60 minutes, checking occasionally, until the squash skin barely resists a poke from a fork. Once roasted, let them cool enough to handle, and scrape the squash pulp into a blender or food processor, along with the onion. Squeeze the pulpy roasted garlic out of its skin (not unlike toothpaste) into the blender as well. Add a little vegetable stock to facilitate whirling. Blend until smooth, and pour into a soup pot over medium heat. Add the seasonings, and the rest of the stock. Let the soup simmer for 10-15 minutes, tasting and adjusting the flavor. If it doesn't taste right, I've found the solution is more garlic, and a little salt. Right before serving, stir in the yogurt.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A humbling experience

So, there's me. I am wheeling a lumber cart through the aisles of Home Depot, feeling thoroughly self-satisfied and chock-a-block with impunity. After logging maybe a dozen trips there, I have finally learned the lay of the land. I can stride purposefully past the pencil-eared, carpenter-aproned Handy Guys, locate the exact hardware I need, and stride purposefully out. As I wheel my cart, I think, smugly, of how far I've come, and how nobly I've earned my home improvement stripes.

Arriving at my car, I ably pop the trunk and turn down the rear seats, and with some maneuvering, begin to slide the 31 x 82 piece of plywood into my trusty little Nissan Altima.

Nissan Altima. 31 x 82 piece of wood.

I snag on the window frame, and then on the lower lip of the rear seat. I apply pressure, hoping to somehow shrink my piece of wood the necessary two inches that would allow it to fit in my car. I begin to mutter.

I open all remaining doors to my car, and try my front seats at various angles of reclinement and declinement. At this point, however, it's become apparent that the wood is simply too big. %&*$!
At length, someone my Dad's age pulls up in a minivan. "Need some help?" he asks.
Oh, bless your sweet little old heart.

He follows me back to my home, toting my plywood, which slid easily into his Dodge Caravan. Fortunately, I was prescient enough to get his mailing address before he departed. Tomorrow I will deliver two loaves of date-nut bread onto his doorstep, and a card. Thank goodness people like him exist in the world, to bail out over-confident people like me, who have small cars.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Called back

Nothing like snow to inspire a day of crafting with a hot cup of tea, and a gray cat, by my side. A few days ago, I decided our guest room needed curtains. Thanksgiving motivated me: my aunt will be spending the night at our house. I love how hosting a holiday has compelled me to complete so many little household jobs-- I've hung paintings, installed weatherstripping, painted touchups, scrubbed baseboards-- and now, embarked on some pretty curtains, made from scraps, for our guest room.

For these, I'm trying a totally random, haphazard piecing technique. I took all the fabric I wanted to use for the project (mostly scraps less than a quarter of a yard each), and cut it all into various squares and rectangles, big and small. I don't press, I don't pin, I just sew together one piece at a time, working my way down the curtain block. I can't wait to take a picture of the finished curtains, hanging. That should come later this week, if it keeps snowing.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Oh, what a long and lovely day. It was the perfect day to gather both sets of parents for a fun, colorful tapas party-- gray, rainy, Novemberish. Tapas are something I'd wanted to cook for a long time: an assortment of simple little dishes, Spain-inspired, served with plenty of good wine.

The menu tonight was--
Focaccia with dipping oils (chili, rosemary, and basil)
Escabeche (that's a spicy pickled vegetable mix, with cauliflower, carrots, and jalapenos)
Broccoli Raab with White Beans and Garlic
Potato Chip Tortilla
Spanish Chickpeas
Citrus Salad with Dates
Mushrooms with Garlic and Parsley
Almond Cake with Peaches

On the side we had little dishes of pistachios, roasted red peppers, and olives, as well as the Sundried Tomato Mozzarella I made yesterday.

If it sounds like I'm bragging, it's because I am. A tiny bit. I love to entertain, but I have a hard time pulling off the illusion-- making it all seem effortless, as though I conjured a feast--POOF!-- out of thin air. My dinner parties are the kind where guests loiter anxiously in the kitchen, asking if there's anything they can do, trying to relieve me, the overwhelmed host.

Well. This time, I vowed it would be different. This time, I told myself that the tinkling of the doorbell would not reduce me to a deer in the headlights gaze. I've hosted dinner parties enough times, I should be able to get it right. I should be able to greet my guests at the door, take their coats, pour them drinks (or at least order my husband to pour them drinks), before ushering them to a beautiful table where hot food is waiting to be eaten.

Despite the tortilla that rocketed potato-eggy slime onto my stovetop when I tried to flip it, and the Almond Cake with Peaches that turned out more an Almond Crumbs with Peaches, the night was a success. Everything tasted good.

See, POOF! Magic. It was great spending time with both sets of parents, trading old family stories, telling jokes, and in general sharing the easy company of people who agree on the important things in life: politics, the arts, and good wine. Dinner was at 4pm; no one left until after 10.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Say Cheese: Cheesemaking Tutorial

Okay. Before I begin, I should admit, in the end, that cheesemaking is perhaps not the most photogenic pursuit. But I wanted to put this up here to prove to everyone that it's totally doable, this cheese business. Doable and fun, and even easy. Here we go.

Here's the supplies. Measuring cups, mixing bowls, a big stainless steel pot, rubber gloves, a long knife, a wooden spoon, a strainer. Everyone has these in their kitchen. Aside from that, you need a gallon of non-ultra-pasteurized milk, which is pretty easy to find. Pasteurized milk is ok, it just can't be ultra-pasteurized. It will say right on the carton.

Aside from the milk and equipment, you need a thermometer that reads to at least 105 degrees, rennet tablets, citric acid, and non-iodized salt. I obtained these odds and ends via The New England Cheesemaking Supply Co. It all costs maybe $20, tops.

Okay. So, the first step is to put a quarter-tablet of rennet into a quarter-cup of cold, unchlorinated water. I just ran some tap water through my Britta filter. Then, take 1 1/2 tsp of citric acid, and mix it in a cup of cold unchlorinated water. Stir to dissolve, and set aside.

Now, take your milk. Pour the whole gallon into your stainless steel pot, and set it on the stove. Pour in the citric acid solution while stirring, then continue stirring as you bring the milk temperature up to 90 degrees fahrenheit.

Once it's reached 90 F, take it off the burner and stir in the rennet solution. Then let the pot sit, covered, for five minutes.

This is when the transformation begins to take place. Out of this completely ordinary, innocuous pot of milk, curds begin to emerge. After the five minutes, take your long knife and cut the curd into squares like a checkerboard. Then you'll find yourself with this:

Pretty wild, I think. Put the pot back on the burner, and bring the temp up to 105 degrees while slowly stirring the curds. Once it's at 105, again take it off the burner, but continue stirring for 2-5 minutes. The longer you stir, the firmer the cheese will be.
By this point, you should have two substances in the pot: goopy white blobs of curd, and clear yellowish liquid. That liquid is, naturally, the whey, as in curds and whey. When I make cheese, I keep the whey and use a little here or there, in homemade bread or soup.

Now that you've got curds and whey, you want to separate one from the other. If you let the pot settle for a minute, the curds should sink, and you'll be able to pour off quite a bit of whey.

Ladle the remaining curds into a microwaveable bowl.

Now put on your special, hot pink cheesemaking rubber gloves...

(Okay, really, they don't have to be hot pink. But I think it's best if they are.)

Microwave the curds for a minute. When you pull the bowl from the microwave, more whey will have separated from the cheese, so go ahead and pour that off.
Microwave now for thirty seconds, and again pour off the whey.
Now, taking your white blob of cheesy goodness in your hands, knead and stretch it over a bowl until it firms up and begins to behave like cheese.
Add your salt before you forget, and any fancy-shmancy herbs you might want to throw in.

Sundried tomato mozzarella, anyone? You want to use about a teaspoon of salt per gallon of milk.
You can microwave the cheese for another thirty seconds, which will help you mix in the salt. Then shape it into whatever shape you want-- ball, braid, string cheese-- and dunk the shape in the coldest water you can manage.
These are my cheese-making exploits:
Almost a gallon of whey, and a nice ball of fresh mozzarella with sundried tomato bits. Oooo, yeah.
Our parents will be feasting on this ball of cheese tomorrow, since we're having them over for dinner. I've wanted to host a Tapas Party for some time now, and getting together for the first time, post-nuptials, to raise glasses of Spanish cava in celebration seems like a good occasion to me.
This time I vow to pause in the kitchen action to take pictures of my creations. It should be good fun.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Don't call me pumpkin

It was everything a fall meal should be. Earthy, savory, smooth, and hearty. This was Fettucini with Sauteed Mushrooms and Pumpkin Cream Sauce, inspired by my trusty Moosewood recipe for Pumpkin Mushroom Lasagna. Tonight, I had a mere cup of cooked pumpkin, no need for a ten-serving pan of lasagna, and most importantly, no noodles. So, I improvised again. The same way Patrick will play a guitar solo inspired by Miles Davis, I will cook a dinner inspired by that very singular, very excellent way that pumpkin, sage, and mushrooms harmonize. This is my solo, my kitchen riff.

Fettucine with Sauteed Mushrooms and Pumpkin Cream Sauce
1/2 lb fettucine
1 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cooked pumpkin
1 tbsp rubbed sage
a dash of salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/2 lb white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt and ample fresh black pepper to taste
First, start cooking the pasta.
In a saucepan, combine the milk, cream, and garlic. Put the pan over medium-low heat, stirring until it begins to steam. You don't want it to boil, so be careful. Once it's hot, add the pumpkin, sage, and salt. Cook without boiling for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Depending on the character of your cooked pumpkin, you may need to run this through the blender-- check to see if there's any stringy bits in the sauce, and blend if needed. Once it's blended and seasoned to your liking, set it aside.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan. When it's hot, add the onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent, about ten minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms begin to express their wonderful mushroomy juices. Then stop stirring, and let the pan cook for five minute intervals between stirs, until the shrooms are tender (and nicely browned) and the juice is evaporated.
To assemble: take your cooked, drained pasta and combine it with the pumpkin sauce. Put a pile of noodles on the plate (see above) and top with mushrooms.

Yes we did.

"And to all those who have wondered if Americas beacon still burns as bright -tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope."
This morning, my dad said on the phone, "I'm not one for trusting politicians. Really. But if Barack Obama was running for the office of Dictator for Life, I'd vote for him." I feel the same way.

It feels really good to be proud of my country again.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I've got you covered

They're done! I'm so happy.
The picture I had in my head matches pretty well with how these turned out. I love it when that happens.

I also love that I spent a total of $4, and needed no supplies for this project aside from thread, and now I have a new set of slipcovers that are not only way cuter than the original ones, they're washable, too.

Ah, small pleasures.

While my sewing machine was whirring away this morning, I was listening to Phil Ochs and Pete Seeger, two of my favorite folksingers to hear when my faith in my country could use some bolstering. At the end of the night, I'm hoping there will be joyful tears in my eyes. I'm hoping that after eight years of an administration committed to crushing science, enlightenment, creativity, and peace, we can usher in a new era in America. I'm nervous, though. I took solace in these words:

What's that I hear now, ringing in my ears
I've heard that sound before
What's that I hear now, ringing in my ears
I hear it more and more
It's the sound of freedom calling, ringing up to the sky
It's the sound of the old ways a-falling, you can hear it if you try...

Can you hear it, too?

Monday, November 3, 2008


There's a place inside me where my simple love of making pretty things rubs shoulders with my compassion for the world. Sometimes, my crafting is just self-serving creative expression. More often, though, it's a conscious act: this is one less thing I have to buy, one less thing sewn in a sweatshop, one less piece of junk that gets shipped to a landfill. My slipcovers are a good example, (not done yet, close, though) but they aren't what inspired me to post today.

This is what inspired me to post today. Mama to Mama.

It's one thing to be keeping stuff out of landfills. It's entirely another to be crafting to save a life. Please check it out. I might have to take a break from slipcovering to work on these.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


The squirrels in our neighborhood like to snack on pumpkins. That's the story with that picture.

Halloween in Binghamton was a sunny, sixty-degree day. In late October in upstate NY, that's pretty good. I was happy because I was able to finish washing my windows (yay). The kids were happy because they didn't have to wear a parka over their costumes. When I was a kid, every year my mom would suggest "Eskimo!" when I asked her what I should be for Halloween. Eskimo. A costume that needs no modification to be weather appropriate in this climate.

I was never an eskimo. This year, inspiration struck in my favorite of thrift stores, when I came across a blouse with the label Miss Rodeo America. It was blue and white, with lace and a leather lanyard. Perfect! I had boots, I scored a denim skirt and a hat at Salvation Army for about five bucks. It felt good to buy everything second hand-- it feels more authentic, somehow, than just going to a costume store and walking out with a bag of new stuff. And thrifting is always more fun than costume stores the day before Halloween.

Anyway. My original intent was Country Singer, but since my costume fell just a little far on the western side, I amended my image. Cowgirl. Yee haw, partner. Round 'em up. Howdy there, Buckaroo. Here are a couple shots from my husband's gig later that night. A couple very blurry shots, sorry about that.

Pirate babe, Cowgirl.
Genie, Chiquita, Cowgirl.
It was a fun time.
The other notable experience of the night was running out of candy for trick-or-treaters. I was a little hot under the collar for a minute, until I remembered my basement. I knew those sixty-five pounds of apples would come in handy! I hauled up a box of Galas and started passing them out, thinking oh, my house is getting egged for sure. But, no. Unbelieveably, most kids were excited. "Apples! Cool! I want to eat mine now!" These are American kids, greedy little sugar demons on Halloween? For awhile I had both apples and candy in the basket, and some kids took an apple even when faced with Three Musketeers. Mars Incorporated, take that. It was downright heartwarming.
I hope everyone had a sweet, safe Halloween.
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