Friday, October 27, 2006

simple pleasures

The first Yunnan tea and pumpkin pie pairing of the season has come and gone. Truly I think this is one of my favorite food/tea combos, with the rich maple/earth/molasses qualities of the Yunnan blending so beautifully with the pumpkin and spices of the pie. I try to put this off until November every year but this year I was a few days early. We had pie last night after our roast chicken and steamed green beans. Delicious. Perfect.

There are also a few Honey Crisp apples in the fruit bin, small red apples bursting with sticky juice and so honey sweet, only available for a few weeks every fall. I heard about these apples for years before I found them, they finally made their way West and they are worth every penny. So now I am hanging out and sipping a cup of rich Yunnan well sweetened with turbinado sugar. I think happily of pumpkin pie and apple slices, and dream of crisp fall leaves, while hoping that the Santa Anas calm down enough for the weather to merit actual long sleeves one day soon.

I am tinking back about 4 rows of Serrano - yet another Stupid Knitter Trick - I read the wrong line of the direction and bound off for size small, not size large. D'oh! Caught it 4 rows later when my count wasn't right. Ah well, live and learn. I'm shaping the sleeve cap at the moment. I think when I get that sorted and on waste yarn, I'll knit the body and then the second sleeve last. Stupid Knitter Tricks aside, it's going so beautifully.

Nothing like finding yet another mistake and realizing you have to tink AGAIN, to make you think of all manner of blistering invective that you can't actually say because you're sitting at the mechanics in a waiting room with a very nice elderly gentleman who looks as if he might keel over if you let loose.

I got one of my teapots back from the kiln today! It's STUNNING. Pics soon. They're having overglaze problems with Duncan, so the other teapot is not done. Both teapots are spoken for/sold, at this point, as far as I know. At least, I think one of them is spoken for and I KNOW the other one is sold. I'm getting a little antsy as I have presents and commissions to get done and am about to hit my retail holiday hell (and also it's NaNoWriMo!) and I have NO pottery made to sell and the kiln is being... vague... about when this will be sorted out. I do, however, have my Etsy storefront registered, and soon there will be actual content. And a banner, courtesy of Miss Knotty Mouse, a la Mousie Masala. So. Very. Shiny.


anodyne said...

Well, well, well...a fellow Yunnan and pumpkin pie lover as well as someone who favors Honey Crisp apples. Do we KNOW each other at all? :-)You've shown much more restraint waiting till nearly Halloween to have your Yunnan and pumpkin pie. We've had the combo twice already I think. :-) Honey Crisps are disappearing at an alarming rate as well!

I've even put Yunnan tea IN one of my basic pumpkin bread recipes this season. It's not a dramatic taste in the pumpkin bread, but you have a sense of it there even so. A nice earthy "bass" to the pumpkin and spices.

Tonight I even added pumpkin to some cornbread (recipe a friend pointed me to) with spices, little brown sugar and 3 T molasses. Made a really nice cornbread, a bit more cake-like and sweet, but still quite nice. I wondered if it would even go with a savory, but we had some turkey chili with chipotle, and I really liked the cornbread against that smoky chipotle bite.

I always start All Hallow's Eve morning by getting a pumpkin pie in the oven before it's even begun to be fully light. Somehow that ushers in the day in just the right spirit.

Notable aromas so far today:

Crisp autumn air
with touch of nutty decomposing leaf...
(outside early this morning)

Sweet winy apple...
(walking past a bag of
Honey Crisp apples in the garage)

Sweet raw pumpkin flesh
(a pumpkin carved
when the youngest got home from school)

Singed pumpkin lid
(carved jack-o'-lantern lit by candle in spite of all the warnings not to....and you know that fire and I don't mix well)

Nutty roasted pumpkin seeds
(now in the oven with
spray of olive oil)
with Penzey's Sandwich Sprinkles

"From kitchen windows
two pumpkin smells:
gourds being cut,
being baked."
Ray Bradbury/Halloween Tree

Will Pillage For Yarn said...

You know... I totally have you to blame for both the Yunnan/pumpkin pie addiction AND the Honey Crisp apple cravings. Just sayin!

Honey Crisp apples are still something of a rarity out here, Trader Joes is carrying them, and a few specialty markets, but they're not "mass market apples" at all. People are catching on, though, and they're starting to show up more places each year. In a way, I think it's sad. I prefer the small homely orchard apple or special varietal, to the huge, beautiful supermarket apple. I'd hate to see the flavor and character bred out of these apples.

anodyne said...

Yes, when we first discovered Honey Crisp here, just a couple orchards had them. In the last two years, they've migrated into a couple grocery stores and are now being brought in *out of state* as well as the locally grown. I should sit down with an apple to apple taste comparison state to state, like I do teas cup to cup! I wonder if "terroir" has anything to do with the end result?