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archive for October 2015

them apples

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

Recipe: fried apple pies

It was bound to happen sooner or later, but honestly, I was hoping it would get here later rather than sooner. The winds have arrived. The other day we got a nice quick inch of snow and then we watched the winds carry those beautiful little flakes horizontally to the east. Snow and Blow. That’s what we call it here in Nederland. Even so, it makes for interesting cloud formations above which turn into pretty visuals for a few brief minutes at sunrise or sunset.


sunset



That window of comfortable weather and mild breezes may be coming to a close. I say this because Neva has really been enjoying her deck time while I’m working. I enjoy it too, since I’m not constantly telling her to get her nose out of the compost bucket in the kitchen. From our deck, Neva can watch three sets of dogs in three different yards/decks, and it’s just all so fascinating for her little puppy self. But when it’s really blowing or the snow is pelting her in the face, I’ll insist that she come inside. On the chilly days, she’ll curl up at my feet in her dog bed or invite herself (oops!) onto the couch. But given her druthers, she’d be outside romping through the snow. Her doggy day care person is on vacation for a couple of weeks, so Neva is now getting playtime with Dioji, our favorite neighbors’ pup. So far, so good. Dioji has the patience of a saint.

what a goofball

all four off the floor!



Autumn has been around for over a month now and we’re supposed to fall back an hour this coming weekend. I used to feel indifferent about the time change, but I must confess that I am really looking forward to it this year. Being woken up a few hours before sunrise each morning by a fully energized puppy is a little weird, because you didn’t get quite enough sleep, but you could conceivably get out of bed and get a jump start on the morning. Instead, it’s usually some drowsy disrupted half-sleep that we settle for which satisfies neither the sleep deprivation nor the hopes for greater productivity. I realized last week that I hadn’t touched any apples or pumpkins so far this season, although I have been happily stuffing my face with persimmons and pomegranates. And that got me thinking about pies. So I made pumpkin pie. And then I made these apple pies. Little apple pies. Little fried apple pies. Heaven help us.

apples, ice water, shortening, flour, cinnamon, sugar, salt

cut the shortening into the flour and salt

toss with ice water a tablespoon at a time

wrap up the dough and chill



**Jump for more butter**

get jjigae with it

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

Recipe: korean beef short rib kimchi stew (jjigae)

We got a proper snow last Thursday. Usually the first inch of snow marks the first snow of the season, but we got four inches! At the start it was a light snow that covered the deck. When I let Neva out into it, she hugged the edge of the house, remaining under the eaves – almost afraid to step on the snow. I was concerned. Had she forgotten all of the snow she played in as a wee puppy back in May and June? She had never seen it fall from the sky before and she stood there, watching it intently. By the time she went back out onto the deck for her second visit, she was already trying to eat the snow. Neva shoved her nose into it and put paw prints all over the white canvas. She asked to go back outside another 20 times that morning – just so she could play in the snow. Looks like Neva IS our puppy after all! I didn’t take any photos of Neva’s discovery phase because I was busy playing with the video and slo-mo on my iPhone. So if you want to see those videos and other shenanigans pertaining to Neva, find me on instagram at @jenyuphoto.

Over the weekend, we took Neva into the high country for a little walkie walk. She had a blast. Jeremy and I kept trying to gauge how she’ll do when we’re on skis, but the best way to know is to take her out on a ski tour. And the only way to do that is to wait for more snow. I will say that we were pleasantly surprised at how much more snow there was in the high country – about a half foot on average. Jeremy worried that Neva would get too cold in the snow (she has yet to grow her winter coat and her belly is still barely covered in baby fuzz). When we stopped to check on how she was, her hind legs were trembling – not from cold, but because she was SO EXCITED to keep going up the trail. Crazy little dog. [And she is quite little. I looked up Kaweah’s old records and found she weighed in at 51 pounds at 6 months of age. Neva was 31 pounds at 6 months.]


alpine lakes are good for your soul

four of my favorite things: jeremy, neva, mountains, and snow



Snow is a game changer. It turns the backcountry into a different kind of playground. I no longer feel as if I have to beat the sun when I get outside and I don’t dread the heat of midday (or day, for that matter). Oh, and I can cook again! We don’t have air conditioning in the mountains, so we try to keep the exothermic kitchen activities to a minimum in summer. Once the temperature turns, cooking is a great way to feed our pie holes AND warm up the house. Thermodynamics always wins in the end, so don’t be fightin’ it. Months ago, someone posted a photo of their dinner at a Korean restaurant – something steaming, spicy and stew-like. At the time I couldn’t even wrap my mind around eating stew in the dead of summer while a feral little puppy was running my life. But now… now I’ve had the time to research some recipes, the puppy is more dog than puppy, and it’s finally cold enough to justify making jjigae – a Korean short rib kimchi stew. You know I’m all over that one.

rice cakes (tteok) can be found at good asian grocers in the frozen or refrigerated sections

rice cakes, kimchi, onions, hondashi, pepper, short ribs, butter, garlic, salt, vegetable oil, mirin, sesame oil



The first thing to do is caramelize two pounds of onions. Don’t be in a rush when you caramelize onions, because you won’t get caramelized onions, but burnt onions. Caramelization takes time, so give yourself at least 45 minutes. If you live in my neck of the woods 8500 feet above sea-level, give it more like 90 minutes. The key is to give it time, keep the heat just low enough so that the onions cook, but don’t burn, and stir occasionally.

melt the butter and vegetable oil

sauté the onions

when the onions turn translucent, reduce the heat

stir and cook and stir and cook until the onions are a rich golden color



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what the morning will bring

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Recipe: morning buns

Hey, I didn’t need to wash my car because it RAINED all day Wednesday! What does that say about me when my car is cleaner on a rainy day than a sunny day? Don’t answer that. Even better than the rain, was the snow falling at my house! It was too warm for any of it to stick, but the sentiment was there, and I’m pretty sure those clouds hugging the mountains will clear out eventually to reveal REAL SNOW on the high peaks. This is good. A month later than I prefer, but it’s still good.

As we shifted from cloudless, sunny, warm days to this cloudy, rainy, cold weather, the in-between was rather wonderful. A couple of mornings in a row granted us the right conditions for some impressive light shows, where sun and clouds and rain work together for a greater good. Of course, I was awake and alert well before the first faded rosy glow in the east appeared – because Neva stepped on my stomach at 5 am to snuggle down in the space between the two humans. From then on, it’s fitful sleep for me, so why not just get up and get to work? Thanks to Neva, I found chanterelles this summer and I have caught a lot of great sunrises.


we almost had the whole rainbow in this sunrise

but looking west, there WAS a rainbow (or two)!!



Earlier this week, Jeremy gave a lecture (A Tour of the History of the Universe) at the Chautauqua Community House in Boulder, hosted by the Colorado Chautauqua Association. It was a great talk and the sold out crowd loved it, asking several thoughtful and engaging questions afterward. I mean, who doesn’t love talking about black holes, dark matter, dark energy, the big bang, and where our universe is headed? Jeremy works hard when he has to speak in public, because he’s a bona fide introvert. I know a lot of people who claim to be introverts who aren’t actually introverts. In fact, most of the true introverts I know never say one way or the other because they don’t want to draw attention to themselves and because the extroverts never shut up (I’m an extrovert, by the way).

all eyes on jeremy



As you can imagine, after his talk Jeremy was completely exhausted. He spent the entire day on telecon, teaching class, attending his student’s oral exam, and then giving this lecture well into the night. He didn’t eat beforehand because he didn’t want to puke during the talk, so we had a very late dinner and then it was to bed so we could prepare ourselves for Neva’s early morning wake up leap. But in the morning, I did have some delightful homemade pastries on the counter for him while I rushed out the door, pajamas under my jacket, to shoot sunrise. The day is infinitely better when you start it with pastries. I am particularly fond of the aptly named morning buns.

the dough: sour cream, sugar, salt, egg yolk, orange juice, ice water, yeast, butter, flour

the filling: sugar, cinnamon, orange zest, brown sugar, vanilla



**Jump for more butter**