Amy's Posts - Stories, Recipes, Photos & Ideas
Friends on the Walk
Mike and I are on a big walking kick now - doing the old 10,000 steps (about 5 miles). I have to admit I have a lot more energy during the day now, so we must be doing something right. And Gordon has a new friend! A lady in one of the neighborhoods we trot through has a big fake goldendoodle that she dresses up for holidays. This was during the summer -- and there's my baby trying to make time with her. He always did have a soft spot for chicks in water wings.
I was on vacation! We saw whales!
Took a little time in Rehoboth Beach, which always boils down to a ton of walking, eating and taking endless photos of the dog. (And one obnoxious photo of me trying to be as adorable as the dog, which failed miserably.)
We also spotted whales!
So after years of Fixer Upper's Joanna Gains screaming shiplap! in my ear, Mike and I finally broke down and did a "feature wall" (another great house show buzz word) in our bedroom. I was a little obsessed with the nail gun, and I probably shouldn't be left alone with it if there is anything handy to nail to a random wall, like a piece of wood, or a towel or a pork chop. I don't know if these pictures do it justice, but it looks FANTASTIC! Now I totally get Joanna's obsession. It makes the place feel like a high-end hotel that comes with a dog that takes up all the space on the bed. I highly recommend it, if you know someone like my dad who has more tools than an Ivy League fraternity and a lot of time to kill.
Living in the Northeast, where most of the birds are pretty blah compared to tropical regions, I've always had an affinity for goldfinches. They're bright and cute. Then I spotted this guy going medieval on my the black-eyed Susans I'm so proud of this year. Not sure what personal issues this goldfinch is going through right now, but I can tell you his buddy was going through the same issue a few flowers over. They ripped every last petal off several of my flowers like it was their job. Lot of passive-aggressive bird stuff going on.
My husband, Mike, has decided to become an artistic food chef... but only for our dog. We feed Gordon (Labradoodle) fruit every morning, but suddenly, that wasn't enough. Now Gordon is getting less food, but that food is much prettier for the four seconds he allows it to live before wolfing it down. Think of it as performance art.
In case you'd like to experiment with dog fruit artistry, below are Mike's latest creations using banana, melon, blueberries, apples and melted peanut butter. Gordon's in heaven.
All carefully arranged on only the finest paper plates.
My mother loves chocolate cake, but that dessert is an endangered species. Nowadays every "chocolate cake" on a restaurant menu is that dense, flourless "death by chocolate" stuff, and she likes classic chocolate cake. So, I make her one for her birthday, because I'm a tremendous, award-winning daughter.
I really wanted donuts this morning, but I couldn't talk anyone into going and buying them for me. Bastards. So I made a pie. It made sense to me at the time. I had 8-9 peaches that were getting ready to go around the bend, so it was a good way to save them, too.
The Sugar Peach Pie is like a sweet custard with peaches in it, sitting in a crust. There is no top crust. It is fairly easy to make and was a big favorite of mine as a kid because it is pretty sweet. I mean, it's not a donut, but it works in a pinch.
I have a secret about Charleston Restaurants.
It's pretty shocking, so you should get yourself some smelling salts. You'll have to travel to a 1940s screwball comedy or maybe a BBC Victoria drama to find some, but go ahead, I'll wait.
The best thing about marrying into a Polish family is the sudden appearance of pierogies: doughy dumplings stuffed with potatoes, cheese, meat, fruit or other deliciousness and then sautéed in butter. I mean, my husband, Mike, is nice, too, but he gets cranky if I try to sautée him in butter.
I belong to a little cooking club here (read: wine drinking club). Our theme this month was Greek, and it was my turn to do dessert. Obviously, baklava immediately threw open the saloon doors in my mind and announce it was ready for action. But, dang it, I hate doing the obvious thing. So, I thought, "What else makes me think of Greek cooking?"
Viola! Feta cheese... oh wait, I'm dessert... Hm. That is a curveball.
Feta Cheese Ice Cream! (with orange/lemon/mint sauce)
Sure why not. I mean other than the fact that my mother and sister-in-law both threw up in their mouths when told them about the idea.
Turns out feta ice cream is amazing. Of course, I could probably mix tile grout with heavy cream, egg yolks and sugar and it would end up tasting fantastic.
The sour cream and feta give the ice cream a nice tang that keeps it from being as overwhelmingly sweet and velvety as it sounds. The whole effect is very much like cheesecake. I added a tart syrup to add a little punch.
The story of how an apple pie saved me - first published in Skirt! Magazine.
Grief is a master of disguise. Like a vampire, it drains self-respect until you’re openly sobbing in the grocery store because they're out of spray butter. It masquerades as a hypnotist, fixing your gaze on one small patch of sofa for days. It is a ninja, ambushing as you walk into a room that used to feel less empty.
Sometimes, grief is a pastry chef.
Divorce and a string of family deaths had made 1999 a hard year for me. Trying to recreate my Great-Grandmom's apple pie recipe seemed a pro-active way to break my slide into depression. Every birthday and Christmas dinner of my childhood ended with Great-Grandmom's apple pie, and these were all happy times, unless you were hoping for cake. If you wanted cake, you were out of luck until my brother's birthday.
Grief had planted that seed in my head. I realized that somewhere around pie number thirteen.