hobby-making

Usually I’m not a big hobby person. As a child, my pastimes of choice were reading and following my mom around to tell her how bored I was. She’d always tell me that I “just need[ed] to find a hobby” and my boredom would be solved.

20+ years later, I’ve (finally) figured out how to trick myself into finding new hobbies. Present it as “learning new skills” and I immediately get on board. That way, hobbies come to feel like personal development instead of activities to pass the time. Right? Right?

In the name of “personal development” a couple of weeks ago I signed up to learn a really foundational skill: how to make a flower crown! K, so not totally foundational to life as we know it, but so much fun!!

The class was held at Kanibal & Co (wonderfully curated shop in Jersey City, make the trip) and led by Christa Akers of A Petal to Peddle. Christa knows her stuff and has such a passion (and talent) for working with all things floral. Her excitement is contagious, to the point that I walked out thinking I should totally quit my day job to play with flowers all day.

Who knew that flower crowns involve so much floral tape? I didn’t even know what floral tape was before this whole thing started, but now I’m convinced that I should be stockpiling it for all future corsages and crowns, cuz who knows when my skills will be called upon???molly in flower crownNot sure if I’ve officially found my new hobby (since I don’t think I could get away with wearing a crown on the reg), but it was so much fun to learn something new, even if it was something on the silly side.

What are your hobbies? Any crazy craft that I should get into? Leave a comment! Teach me!!

engaged, ya’ll

We’re engaged!!! I’m late on blogging about it as we’re now about a month into it, but it’s fun to relive a little, so I’m going for it.

engaged

After over three and a half years together, Steve proposed on a trip that I had planned as a surprise birthday trip for him to upstate New York but that plan quickly got hijacked (much to my ignorance) and turned out to be a huge surprise for me instead. During the moment, all I could repeat was “this is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy” while having full body shakes. After officially accepting, my parents came waving out of the woods and I sounded like Kristin Bell when she found out a sloth was coming to her birthday party. It was awesome.

hillside schoolhouse

We celebrated with my family at the Hillside Schoolhouse which in all fairness deserves its own post of abject praise and adoration and I wish I could live in that place and weekend forever.

longest couch known to man

hillside champagneAren’t the innkeepers the cutest?

Now we’ve got a wedding to plan! We’ve got our “venue” booked (read: my neighborhood growing up in Massachusetts) and a “wedding planner” (read: my dad who relishes planning any event with many moving parts), so I think we can pull this thing off. We can’t wait!

pavlova = edible cloud

As I said before, I feel strongly that lemon curd is best utilized when topping pavlova. The awesomeness is all about the texture combinations: the creamy tart of the lemon curd and the weird (in such a good way), crunchy airiness of the little pavlova. Steve who had never tried it before said that “it changed his world-view,” so you know it’s gotta be good, even life-changing if your expectations are low enough.

Continue reading pavlova = edible cloud

curd’s the word

Lemon curd! So seductive in its flavor promises, but it’s one of those things that once I get it home (inevitably from some over-priced grocery store that convinces you with tasting samples), it can be tricky to find the right use for it.

Put it on toast? Slightly too sweet.
Put it on a muffin? Yea, but realistically, when do I ever make muffins?
Put it on ice cream? Eh, gotta wait for the right flavor combo.
Put it on pavlova? YES.

Before the pavlova though (which maybe you’ll be lucky enough to get a post about), we’re making our own lemon curd, people.

lemon zest and lemons

Most of the recipes I found called for an alarming amount of eggs/egg yolks. While I recognize that using a ton of yolks would only help when it came time for pavlova later, I couldn’t commit! Ultimately, I went with this recipe that walked the line of being manageable but not totally lazy.

butter

Lemon Curd (adapted from Epicurious)

Needs:

1/2 c. fresh lemon juice

3 tsp lemon zest

1/2 c. sugar

3 eggs

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small chunks

To do:

Off the heat, whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, and eggs in a large saucepan. Place saucepan over low heat and continue to whisk.  One tablespoon at a time, whisk butter chunks into the mixture. After first round of butter has melted, continue to add the remaining butter. Continue to whisk (almost constantly) until the mixture has a custard-like consistency (about 5-7 minutes).

Strain the lemon curd into a small bowl to remove any lumps and rogue pieces of lemon zest. Cover the lemon curd with a piece of plastic wrap (so the plastic is touching the surface of the curd – keeps that funky skin from developing) and chill for an hour before use.

lemon curd

The result should be tart and sweet, slightly custardy, but mostly saucy. Keep it in your fridge for up to a week, but don’t be surprised if you find that it’s gone before then.

storm prep: winter edition

A storm is coming, friends and with it, SNOW! Even if we don’t get that much (Update: 26 inches…), I’m planning to just chiiiiillllll pretty hard.

There’s an embroidery project to finish (embarrassingly it’s been at least 4 mos in the making), a new book to read, and I’m trying to find recipes that are good for a weekend of hunkering down and watching the world turn white and fluffy. So far, I’m thinking this , this, or this tested favorite. My main goal is to have a project to putter with for awhile and for the house to smell good for the afternoon. Manageable goals, really. So if you have suggestions for slightly finicky, time-intensive recipes, send them! I’ve got nothing but time on my hands.

The rest of the household has other ways of preparing for the storm:

cat preparing for storm

Yes, her face is directly on the pipe that feeds into the radiator. She’s having a serious love affair this season with the radiators, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Some of us huddle under blankets, others prefer to face-plant into hot metal.

I hope that if you’re on the east coast that your weekend is snowy, cozy, and safe and that you find something fun to putter with, even if that just means a new show to binge on.