I am not usually a spontaneous person. I live by my planner. I love to make lists. Baking is a very orderly habit. But this weekend, on a bit of a whim, I am on a trip to Maine with a group of friends from my law school class. We have this unbelievable house on a lake. I spent today canoeing, playing games, and generally enjoying my life. It’s really exactly what I needed.
Thursday marked the end of my two year commitment to Teach for America. These two years have been far more challenging, meaningful, and transformative than I possibly could have imagined at the front end. There were days that I just wanted to go home and forget by watching hours of Netflix. There were other days that I couldn’t contain my excitement to the point that I had to call three separate people to tell the story before I could finally calm down. But most of all, TFA was amazing because of the people I met.
Before getting into this week’s post, I of course have to say Happy Father’s Day to the best Daddy-O a girl could ask for! Love you! I’m sad I don’t get to spend the day with him, but in five days I’ll finally be moving back to Massachusetts and will be able to see him all the time! Also, in light of that, my dad recommended a theme for this week: my Parting Post from Passaic.
Tuesday is my mom’s birthday, and despite the fact that her daughter would like nothing more than to make her a coconut cake, she will only accept Sara Lee Coconut Cake from the grocery store. And by Sara Lee, she actually means Pepperidge Farm, but you only would know that if you’ve spent 15 minutes frantically combing through the freezer section stressing out that you couldn’t find it. Sometimes, there really is no replacement for your childhood favorite. Love you, Mom! Enjoy!
I’m running out of weekends baking at the first location of SMiLes by Meg. There are six more weeks of school, and of those, there are only three weekends where I’ll actually be at my apartment. In fact, there are all sorts of “lasts” going on over the course of the next couple of weeks, which is both exciting and a little sad (but mostly exciting).
“Pride keeps you warm on Easter.” That’s what my mom said to me as we speed-walked to church this morning in the bitterly cold wind wearing pretty dresses meant for much warmer weather. Being back in Massachusetts for the holiday, it really does seem like winter will never end. There actually is still snow on the ground. And I’m not just talking the snow piles in parking lots at the mall. In my parents’ backyard, there is snow.
I think I figured out how trifle was invented. We’ve all been there. You promise to make a cake for some event. You decide to wait until the day of said event because you obviously don’t want to bring stale cake somewhere. You follow the directions for making the batter to a T. And then you get cocky.
“You haven’t made anything pretty in awhile. You should make something pretty.” That was my mom’s input this weekend when we were discussing what I should bake. So while she was puzzling over kitchen appliances with different salesmen, I spent some time on Pinterest looking for a pretty fall dessert. There were all sorts of cool shaped cookies, but I’ve done sugar cookies before, and snickerdoodles don’t lend themselves to much more than a circle. Then I found a pumpkin roll, and I was intrigued.
This weekend, I had the pleasure of hosting the lovely Molly Hayes for plenty of beach time and country music. And since we went to college together, we decided to recreate a treat from a favorite bakery in New Haven: Claire’s. Thanks to Marj, I have the Claire’s cookbook, and the cookbook has my absolute favorite cake from the store: Lithuanian Coffee Cake.
Yesterday I had the most perfect first day of summer you can dream up. I started the day with a nice long run, did some chores around my apartment, and then biked to a farmer’s market where I met a friend (Hi, Ashley!) to shop for some local produce and eat food truck tacos. After that, we wandered around my town’s stores before heading over to our school to watch one of her students compete in a skateboarding competition. When I got home, I roasted up my vegetables for a delicious dinner. All in all, exactly what I wanted to …