An appreciated delay

23459107665_f9b37be917_b23091241399_6787c08fd5_b

The two week delay in finishing this roll of film and getting it to the lab is actually marvelous. I feel renewed looking at images I haven’t seen before.

I remember having cold hands and feeling like the sun was extra bright. It was a weirdly clear, sunny day in Seattle, after the two days of clouds and rain we’d encountered. We had our heavy packs slung over our shoulders after leaving the apartment we’d rented and walked towards the water, down steep hills. West Seattle and the Sound faced us and there was a cold breeze coming up the wind-tunnel like streets. The lack of caffeine in my system made this cold breeze not entirely welcome. My eyes were all over the place and my mind was as well. We walked right past the gorgeous library, and buildings that had actually been obscured by clouds the nights before. Cities always make me feel hyper aware of my ant-like existence.

22831970153_29495c5104_b23091138629_075be0331b_b

A brief stop in a cafe with big windows and odd coffee only made me hungrier, and in my standard clumsy state I spilled water all over the table and felt like a fool. Food was needed. We found a sushi place and devoured quite a bit of raw fish. We were right next door to the Seattle Art Museum and part of me wanted to venture back inside. I felt like a human battery recharging, sitting in the sun by the water.

I am in the midst of finishing papers and getting images back that were made when I wasn’t so stressed out feels destressing, even though writing about them is essentially shooting myself in the foot, as I should be writing about New Zealand government repatriation programs.

After the last member of our party departed, I spent the afternoon and evening in Seattle solo. I went to dinner by myself with a new book and had two large glasses of dark, dry wine while delving into a gorgeous story. I didn’t sleep at all in my hostel bed, and mostly tossed and turned, waiting for the first sign of morning. My ferry the next day was cancelled so the next day was a flurry of being transferred from bus to ferry, bus to ferry, to finally make it back onto the island. Huge waves tossed our ferry around and arriving in town it was pouring rain in a relentless manner. I got back to my apartment that still smelled like burned pancakes (a mini tragedy involving a spacey grad student and a hot burner) and settled back into my routine.

 

23432944776_00a281356c_b22830761194_7405fd7a72_b23350723462_fe5939c780_b

To finish, I miss making pictures. I want to make more of people. On this trip I made images of my friends tentatively, never outright trying to invade space or be intrusive. I wish I’d made more images on film. On this roll you will note the lack of portraits- I made pictures of food in lieu of people. I feel shy at times making portraits of people I am in close proximity with, as tempting as it is to photograph people.

So, this is a kind warning to everybody I will see over Christmas: I miss making images, and you are all potential subjects. Ready yourselves. I will not be shy, and I’ve got a low-light lens.

 

I made a thing. A thing made of Brie, butternut squash, and apples. A galette!

 

I tried to go to work today but I threw my back out of wack taking peanut butter chocolate chip toffee cookies out of the oven. I went to work for an hour and after realizing I couldn’t even sit comfortably I went home, put a hot pad on my back, and slept for a few more hours.

I feel so restless lately. I walk up and down the same streets. I’ve been devouring books, so many books, and they make me even more restless, because when I am done with them I am back to my life, not on a beach in Normandy or in the Carpathian mountains. I decided to foster some creativity and cook, which for me is always a test of my ability to read directions closely and not get too neurotic if it doesn’t come out well.

I have a folder on my computer that holds recipes for everything from Vietnamese spring rolls to sloppy joe sandwiches. However, one thing that I have wanted to try for months was a recipe that Happyolk posted. The recipe below is entirely from her, I take no credit!

She’s an amazing blogger in Colorado who posts beautiful photographs and recipes that make me want to drool. A lot of her posts are accompanied by gorgeous swaths of text. It’s more than a recipe- it’s a little mini story. She gets creative in clever ways, and this galette didn’t look too difficult to put together!

I’m not defective in the kitchen, but to be honest I don’t try. I’m exhausted after work and the gym, and the last thing I want to do is devote 1 or 2 hours to putting together meals.

However, lately I’ve been feeling very antsy and very disconnected to myself. I think cooking, or trying to, will give me a chance to listen to my body more and give it better things than something frozen or quickly, hastily put together. I’m trying all sorts of things to listen to myself more, because it’s hard sometimes to know what’s really wrong. Is anything really wrong?

Anyway, I followed her recipe pretty closely, except I already had pre-chopped butternut squash, so I sliced the small chunks pretty thin. I think getting a whole squash, peeling it, and then slicing much bigger slices would work better!

For the pastry dough you need: 

1 tsp sugar

Pinch of salt

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup ice water

12 tbs unsalted butter, cold

Mix flour + sugar + salt, then use the pastry chopper thing (ugh I have no idea what it’s actually called) or your fingers and break the butter apart and blend with flour until the mixture is course. Mix in the rest of the butter the same way. Pour in the ice water and mix dough into a ball. Roll dough flat, put in the fridge for 30+ minutes.

 

For the inside things (butternut squash, apples, cheese):

3 lb butternut squash

2 cups brie cheese w/o rind

2 apples, preferably Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, or Fuji (I used Pink Lady)

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

1 egg

Peel and slice butternut squash. Lay flat on a baking tray; drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Put in oven at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, then take out and let cool. Slice apples into 1/4 inch pieces with the peel on. Pull or slice apart the brie.

Take the dough from the fridge, and put on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Have it be about 12″ or so in a disc shape. Then begin layering cool squash, apples, and brie cheese as you want! Use all your ingredients, leaving a 1 1/2″ empty edge on the dough disc for pulling it up and securing the delicious filling inside!

Gently fold the edges up around the filling. Pinch edges. Put an egg wash on the outside, then put back into the 400 degree F oven for 30-40 minutes! Then consume the delicious concoction you just made and swell with pride that you did it. YAY!

I made this for myself, and I have plenty leftover for lunch at the office! No more sandwiches!

Again, all recipe content from Happyolk.

From the fone.

I got my thesis approved, an independent study approved, and I’ve signed up for a graduate level class as an undergraduate for the second time in my academic history.

Whew.

I also made a pecan pie for Chris for his birthday. He was actually sick on it, but we made the pie once he was better. I did a damn good job. I don’t think he can disagree.

I’ve been mastering pizza. Pizza pizza pizza. Veggie pizza, meat pizza, any kind of pizza I can whip together with what’s on hand!

Chris got me into Star Trek: The Next Generation, and I have been thoroughly sucked in! NOOOO/YESSSS/WHAT?

I cut myself with a particularly rough piece of cardboard (which yes, can happen).

Chelsea came for the weekend and stayed with me. We slept in my bed and ate bagels and drank things with vodka and gin. I already miss that girl but hopefully might be travelling down to see her in California over Spring Break- fingers crossed!

I have literally been busy almost every moment though. If I’m not at school I’m making food or working on projects or coordinating projects or trying to make sure I graduate or I’m working. C’est la vie!

Life is a beautiful fast paced thing right now. I’ve got Portra film in a camera so I might get that done soon.

 

In which pie and adventures were had.

002_23

009_16


This weekend was a glorious one, and I’m going about it backwards, because I can. WOO.

Saturday night Chris brought over spices and vegetables and all the ingredients to make pizza. I knew I’d be taking a backseat- my culinary skills are nothing at all compared to his- and relegated myself to documenting and ooohing and ahhhing as well as pouring the wine. Which we all know is quite important. It was a delicious pinot noir, and I am proud to say I picked a good one.

Proscuitto, marscapone, mozzarella, mushrooms, red peppers, and green onions completed the kaleidoscopic creation. All of my oohing and ahhhing was legitimate- when it came out of the oven we both swooned.

Cue 4 am. Groaning and moaning and sleeping a bit more. Cue 4:21 am. It’s serious getting up time.

Around 5 am Chris drove us through the sunrise, giving me the luxury of seeing landscapes I hadn’t seen before. Paradise Valley opened before us as the sky blushed pink hues while classic rock played on the radio. I was in luck to have the chauffeur that I did- he pointed out all the peaks and places, knowing the area like the back of his hand. It was odd being the passenger in my own car, but in a good way.

Upon arriving at our destination, we bemoan that we are not the only souls there. Nonetheless, we put on our packs and walk down, excited for the morning to unveil itself. We slip and slide into the river with our water shoes and gasp at the varying temperatures. Steam billows and swirls in a surreal sort of dance. A giant river growler full of water is placed bravely by Chris on some rocks- he has to wade and swim through bone-chilling water to get it there, which he claims is the best thing ever. I am dubious. Later I do it, with shrieks and yelps and lots of splashing.

We spend the morning moving up and down the thermal spots, finding ourselves scalding and freezing simultaneously. We try and find perfect spots. A bald eagle appears from nowhere, incredibly gorgeous and regal. Eventually after spending so much time soaking, we crawl out and dry ourselves off. Out of the sage come elk- 2, then 6 or 7, then 10, and then 20, then more. We make our way down the trail, me feeling like a tourist snapping pictures. We are close, maybe too close, and leave after I snap a few frames.

Upon arriving in Gardiner, we park and I rush inside in my bathing suit and shorts to find a place for pie. The woman inside shows me and we drive literally a block- the map of Gardiner is foolishly out of perspective. The cafe was almost empty, and we order apple pie a la mode, which came with two scoops of ice cream (thank you kind waitress!). We eat the pie and I exclaim over it again and again, so happy to be eating something so good! Chris says we’ll be going somewhere just as good, if not better.

While leaving Gardiner, all of a sudden I hear “Check that out!” and Chris begins talking about some beautiful truck I don’t see. He does a U-turn in the street just so I can see it, and when I don’t see it again he does another one (I am blind, surely) and upon seeing it I understandd- the cherry red paint and perfect white are gorgeous!

We get the most amazing burgers and shake at Marks. By now I am a lobster, pink and burning and freckled. I had not applied sunscreen. Oops. A little girl in line stares at me, probably my incredibly pink cheeks and nose, and I laugh, knowing how ridiculous my pasty skin looks burned. We wolf down our food- it was incredible, really- and drive back to town. By we I mean he. I was a passenger again, lucky creature that I am.

We ride bikes and climb things and I panic and freak out and he nimbly scales a boulder. We point out neighborhood homes and I remember how much I used to bike and I love it again.

I drive away and make it home as the sunsets, full of adventure.

A most excellent weekend

http://www.flickr.com/photos/citricacidlemondrops/sets/72157633479587172/ It was a weekend of me crying more than I thought I would.

My dear, dear friend Hannah and her wonderful boyfriend Max managed to come to little Gallatin County to stay with me for just one brief night. I had been emotionally unstable all day waiting for Hannah- I hadn’t seen her in over 2 years. What would I feel? Was she different? How was Max?

As soon as she pulled up with Max all of those things left so quickly I couldn’t imagine them being there in the first place. Hannah’s smile was exactly as it had always been. Her pitch of voice, the way we hugged- it was the same. She seemed happier, and more centered, both of which I was very glad of. Max was quiet, composed, and unbelievably tall. They came in, took showers, and we went downtown and ate food, very good food.

We collapsed at my house, despite the fact that Hannah had gotten into graduate school and we were supposed to celebrate. We did by watching The Office, which was perfect.

In the morning we went to the Stockyard Cafe and then garage sale-ing, which was awesome. I found a lovely Argus C3 from 1952, and even loaded it up with film while I was waiting for Hannah to keep buying books (this is why we are friends- she left with 10 books!). Then we made a final stop at La Tinga for some lunch before my dear friends had to hop on the road. I was not ready for them to leave, but they were on a tight schedule.

Hannah and Max got into the car, and packed up their things. I realized that Hannah and I will always be friends, even if now she and Max have a life together, even if she is moving back to Switzerland, even if she never comes back to America, but it still was very hard to watch them back out of my parking lot and go. I had to run inside and cry.

Later Chris came over so we could grab dinner. We walked to the Bacchus in the summer evening. I wore a dress that was the colors of a watermelon and we drank outside and ate, people watching and laughing and making conversation. To me, it seems as though I could talk and talk to Chris until my tongue falls out- there’s always going to be a tangent, an angle, a conversational path to go down. It’s rather marvelous.

The next morning Chris came over to make breakfast. I am a useless cook, sadly. We ran to the grocery store for extra ingredients, then to his haus to grab cheese and something else. We listened to Chicago on the record machine, and I marveled at a painting of roses in his room. We looked at 4×5 prints he’d made, all gorgeously shadowed and nuanced. I love looking at people’s pictures- they are a small, biased gateway into their mind- and Chris’s photographs are perfectionist-like but playful, full of a zest I was drawn to.

Eventually we were able to get everything together and make breakfast more towards dinner time. Chris chopped up vegetables and melted butter while I grated cheese and put biscuits in the oven. I photographed his preparation and his dextrous hands chopping everything. Then, we ate a magnificent meal before I had to go home.

Another weekend that was so beautiful, done.

Seattle food- we ate and ate, and it was marvelous

006_19 008_17 012_13 013_12 011_14A 012_13A 013_12A 013_10A 018_5AOver our 36 hours in Seattle, my family and friends and I ate SO much food- I couldn’t quite believe the quantities of food we consumed.

When we arrived in West Seattle, we went to Salty’s near the ferry pier. The food was pretty good! The service was alright, not awesome, but I had a marvelous Moscow Mule (not in a copper mug, sadly) and some oysters and sushi. The sushi could have been fresher, but the oysters were fantastic! The truffle fries were overrated but good nonetheless.

The next day we ventured across the bay into the main part of the city. We had crepes for lunch, which were awesome- a place tucked into the back of Pike’s Place.  Later, we shopped and meandered around some of the downtown area, before I met up with my friend Ariel, who led me to the Clever Bottle- a wittyily named bar that she had been to before.

We had the lavender coconut cocktail and split a board of cheese and bread. It was happy hour, the drinks were excellent, and the cheese board was awesome!

The next morning I had a cheese danish from the Metropolitan Market in West Seattle- which was AMAZING! They also have a seriously awesome cheese selection. Just in case you’re there and you didn’t know. Because cheese is…well, I don’t know what words describe the awesomeness of cheese.

Pre-departure

001_31A 004_28A 006_26A 007_25A 008_24A 009_23A 010_22A 011_21A 012_20A 013_19A 014_18AJulia and I wore our typical dresses to the typically un-feminine Stockyard.

I attended a magazine launch party in heels armed with a notebook trying to take down quotes from attendees. Found an abandoned beer in the elevator to the party. Admired the string lights, live art, and the typewriter that people were free to use.

I also drove around Bozeman itching for spring to finally stop tempting me and flood everything with live, greenery and sunshine.

 

Food stuffs.

If you’re important in my life we’re going to go get food together. I’m going to drag you to my favorite diners, we’re going to eat delicious creations, and there will always be something sweet in there. And, inevitably, at some point I will pull out either my bulky SLR or my bulky Minolta (efficiency isn’t my thing, clearly) and begin photographing the food if I have deemed it worthy of being so captured. Most of the people I eat with get conditioned to this behavior, and eventually don’t bat an eye.

Anyway, here are the things that have been consumed in the last few weeks!

Fleeting adventures, among other things

Perhaps my favorite thing about this weekend was the trip to Costco…AK had never been to one, and although towards the end we were both exasperated by the sheer number of people and their lack of skill at wielding carts, there was a certain frivolity in buying food in bulk for just two people and sampling everything from hot chocolate to corn dogs.

This weekend included a lot of sleeping, which is something I need to do more. A hay bale maze near a graveyard was explored and quickly conquered, although we had to battle the ridiculous number of youngins that clogged the narrow aisles (is that what they would be called in a maze?). We made it out alive- my fashion boots covered in hay dust and the night’s darkness really settling in. The rest of the weekend was a mix of cloudy days, some rain, and a ridiculous number of movies, some quite fantastic.

I hope your weekend was as oddly satisfactory as mine.

Food and thoughts. Or, if we want to go cliche, food for thought. You choose.

 

 

What does it say that I’m super sensitive to spicy food but always find myself being with the people who love the hottest food possible? (I’m trying to eat more spice to get myself used to it!)

Seriously, though.

This weekend was mediocre pie with somebody not mediocre in any way, La Tinga and sharing our space with a bitter Michigander whose presence I found quite humorous, and Sunday morning donuts worth drooling over for a pittance.

Just so you know, writing a check for $4.50 for six donuts doesn’t make people, specifically older already feisty men, very happy. In case you were wondering.

Massive photo post of what’s been going on.

Alright, so my life has been semi-hectic. I apologize for a lack of real posts. Using Frans Hals is not a legitimate excuse, I know! Forgive me!

I moved into my apartment, as you saw in a previous post. I have a window that won’t shut, and chickens that wake me up at 4 am living behind the apartment. I have to buy groceries like a real adult- and damn, it’s tough! My classes have started- I love my Italian Baroque class, even though I thought I was Baroque-d out! (You know what they say: If it’s not Baroque, don’t fix it!). I got in a debate over medieval art before class with a sassy grad student today. My Oceanography course seems interesting, and my course on the History of Museums is going to be AMAZING because I find museums to be the most glorious of things. If I could take up permanent residence in one…well, I can dream.

I’ve been bowling and breakfasting and not turning in my film, so some of these are a few weeks old! Remember that hike I hated? Yeah, some more pictures from that trail from hell.

This last weekend a good friend was in town and stopped by- an adventure in the Lewis and Clark Caverns ensued, and a tour of my campus was included- a brush with Walt Whitman was required, as I walked past this sculpture everyday. Discussions of music, stalagmites and stalactites were had, and Bozeman actually wasn’t an oven, which made walking and hiking bearable. Breakfast was had with other friends at a kitschy establishment that proved to be delicious. I got ready for class, and unpacked more things.

Goodbyes have been happening lately. I hate goodbyes. I’m so bad at them, I’m more of a pretend we’ll see each other and never make the formal thing happen kind of girl.  I do genuinely believe, though, in the whole “small world” concept. Living abroad for two years has taught me that you can and will see people again, no matter what, if everything lines up. The world is incredibly interconnected, and people find each other and luck has a way of making it possible to make your goodbye not so much of a permanent thing. I have not seen my best friends in Switzerland in almost two years (a lifetime for somebody 21) and although it hurts, I have no doubt that I’ll see them soon. So, when I say goodbye to people in my life, I never really put faith in that goodbye, because I don’t believe it will really be so final.

Other than making grand ideas of mine known to the Internet, I’ve been biking sans helmet (a certain somebody is judging me), going to the gym every morning before class, and the library has already been offering solitude from the oppressive, smoky heat. I’m on the student newspaper this year, and everybody on staff seems to be rather glorious. Fall has yet to arrive- right now it’s just hot hot heat and a lot of sunscreen.

I hope your summers are winding down beautifully!

May be we will, May be we won’t.

MAY IS HERE! Te gustan los puns, verdad?

These photographs are from late April, but whatever. Deal with it. All of my photographs from May (err…today) are on some film in my camera right now.

I drove back to Helena today to drop off some massive suitcases and trunks, then had lunch mit meiner Mutter.

Last week was a combination of papers, exams, presentations, and celebrations. A party Friday night with some people quite wunderbar, and Saturday and Sunday were a blur of paper writing, socializing, and photographing said socializations. Things around Bozeman are blooming, and I couldn’t be happier.

Also, side note: The cloud formations recently have been amazing. I can’t stop looking up. Not a good thing whilst driving.

Another side note: I love driving in Montana. Fast roads, few police officers, and a light car make for lovely morning and evening drives.

Food lately

Target was closed on Easter, or you would have seen these much earlier! (That means about 30 something hours sooner). I’m still so pleased with how the f/1.4 lens is making everything seem! I guess I’m in the honeymoon stage with a camera lens- oops.

Emily and I went to Cafe Zydeco, a Cajun food place off Main Street, and it was delicious! Nova Cafe with Kristin was perfect, per usual, except this time I didn’t gorge myself! I got a nice, normal sizes meal (le sigh)- normally I leave feeling like I could sleep for hours with a full stomach.

There was snow this weekend, but it quickly melted. I’ll post photographs sometime later. It’s Montana, it’s April, but snow keep showing up, unwanted. Like that party guest who comes and drinks all your liquor and then disappears and shows up sporadically.

Anyway, back to the point of this post: FOOD!

Alright, so I’m in love with food in a way that I haven’t encountered in a whole lot of other people. To me, it’s a gorgeous creation that I couldn’t imagine not having in my life. I love photographing it and eating it, savoring the image later to rekindle how good the meal tasted. Good food is something to be savored.