The Grand Theatre in Alton, Ill., opened in December 1920, just a month after my grandmother, Blanche, was born. I can just picture ladies of her time spending an evening at the movies with their bobbed hair, mink stoles and elegant demeanors. The opening film was “The Sin that was His.” (Ooo, scandalous!) Sadly, the theater closed in 1977.*
All posts in Writing
Recipe: Breakfast bars
Music: Sigur Ros, The Antlers
Candle Scent: Sage and white tea
Baking company: Gypsy fuzzy wuzzy kitty
Outfit: Lounge pants, sweater, poofy slippers
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups dried fruit (cherries, cranberries, apricots, plums… go crazy.)
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a square pan (8 or 9 inch) with non-stick spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the nuts, dried fruit and chocolate chips. Mix in the vanilla and milk.
Spread the mixture into the pan and press to even it out. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
*Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking. And by “adapted” I pretty much mean chocolate was added. As it should be. TO EVERYTHING.
This past weekend, I visited my boyfriend, Chris, in Washington D.C. to celebrate his birthday. Naturally, I decided I should fly 1,000-ish miles from St. Louis with a homemade birthday cake for him. (Obviously.) This may seem like a bit of a hassle, but it surprisingly was not. Was it hilariously awesome? Affirmative. People ate it up. Not literally… but some wanted to.
Let me break my cake traveling process down for you: First, I had a man help me with my luggage for the “safety” of the cake. Then, when I was checking my bags, a group of Southwest employees ganged up on me saying they’d have to confiscate it. (And might I add that they kept disturbingly straight faces at first. Definitely threw my NOYOULIESTOPTRICKIN radar off.)
While waiting in the security check line, a man inquired about the future owner of the cake and demanded repeatedly that he [Chris] better downright appreciate it. (It’s cool, stranger man. You couldn’t have known that I have the sweetest guy alive.) Then the security guard announced to all with a chuckle that both laptops and special cakes should be placed in their own trays. And while the cake was moving through the X-ray machine, I heard her say, “I’m going to need to taste test this one.”
As I was boarding the plane, a fellow traveler stopped abruptly, cackled and proceeded to ask me 7.524 million questions about the cake. Once I made it on the plane, the flight attendant clapped and announced I’d brought cake for everyone while I walked down the aisle. And throughout all this, countless small children eyed the flying cake up and down with lust.
And all this took place before 7 a.m. Whew! Now I know how to make friends at the airport.
I’m feeling a buzz of joyfulness.
This feeling comes despite the fact that I’m not particularly organized right now and things aren’t “perfect” — I was extremely tired this morning. I haven’t been to a yoga class in 50 years (translated: two weeks blergh). I’m downright annoyed at my commute to work.
But I’m noticeably happy in this moment, which calls for jotting down and sharing the reasons why:
- Being assigned a gala invitation design project with room for creative freedom/elegant design and budget for gorgeous paper
- Sipping a hot cappuccino
- Becoming friends with wonderful people in St. Louis
- Working on a new design for The Gathering’s site
- Making a serendipitous sale on Amazon, enabling me to put a huge chunk into savings
- Having an amazingly insightful boyfriend
- Knowing the baristas at Kayaks on a name, continual conversation basis
- Feeling the chilly air of the holiday season
- Preparing for a client meeting this afternoon to present a redesign
For all this and more, I am grateful.