Friday, September 27, 2013

Coffee In The Dark

Around here the sun makes a sudden shift when the seasons change. The same day the weather changes the sunlight takes on it's new angle. In the flip of a flip-flop you need to change out your wardrobe. In this case to sweaters and long pants. Didn't I just get my shorts out? 

I start craving syrupy flavors added in my coffee. Pumpkin and allspice taste better now, not too heavy like in the warmer months. (But five seconds after Thanksgiving my tastes buds are done with PUMPKIN!) I want to lay down more rugs. Tone down the accent colors. Cook more and have plenty stocked in the cupboards. I dye my hair red instead of blonde. Cooler weather means long dog walks are tolerable but now we have to watch the clock so the sun doesn't go down while we're out. 
Photo credit Susan Weiner 
I wash the down comforters. Get the coats and scarves ready. The mittens matched up. We have coats but here they're more for fashion. Not hardly needed until February.

In Nebraska I don't recall the sudden shift around the equinox of a season. It was more like a bipolar episode going between high and low temps until you were in the belly of it. And then it was dark for 6 months. You got snow tires and changed to a winter antifreeze or your car wouldn't start. And you were so very cold. 

There would be spurts of sneaky warm days in March. We would layout in our shorts if it was 50 or 60 degrees desperate for sun, color and vitamin D. And then it would go back to sub zero and freezing at least until April, bipolaring until it was 98% humidity and 100 degrees. No wonder it's a very tornado friendly place.

I'm getting very's time for a pumpkin latte.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Flavor Of Love

You'd think I had an affair with all of the freedom of the night the newness of the setting and the lust for the flavors of something more delicate than thawed meat.
Many things have taken the back burner the last few years. Going to artsy movies and well, o.k. creativity in general have all shriveled from disregard. Energy and brain power seems to be used up in time management of kid meals, kid entertaining and kid needs among other must-get-done things. 
Gone are the days of paging through gourmet fish recipes and taking my time in the kitchen to prepare them. Food prep has to be quick and interrupted. As for eating out - that has to be quick too. The few times we've attempted it Mountain Man says, "This is the last time we take them out until they're in high school."

For my birthday we were invited to go out to eat and I jumped on it like a cat in heat. The prospect of a meal with adults and no kids, even if it was at IHOP, was a sublime gift.
Wine Map by Tuscaroa Mill
I poured over the choices. Where to go, where to go!! My creative juices although rusty turned on. Should we go to D.C. to a happening place or Middleburg steeped in history and texture or Bethesda where finding parking takes an extra 45 minutes. I settled on Leesburg. We are so close but I have little food knowledge of the area.
We went to Tuscarora Mill. I had often passed by the windows going to and from yoga. The patrons inside were enjoying holiday meals and after work tête-à-têtes. It always looked like a nice time, the reviews were decent and it has easy parking!

What a beautiful time. I took the lead and we started with a really good local wine with the help of the sommelier, a 2011 Verano
I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried pork belly which the chefs on t.v. often rave about. The meal was great. The company and conversation spectacular, I'm still soaking it in a week later with no regrets. The beauty of age.