I've been working really hard…in part to keep adding to a new website www.pennyanteproductions.com
It has interviews from folks who work on the backside of the local racetrack… If you like very long, hardly edited interviews from people who work with Thoroughbreds, take a look, please.
Occasionally I find a recipe in the New York Times that I think I can manage. And I can't. They are expensive, extremely expensive and time consuming. I spent a fortune making two dishes for a Thanksgiving with Orson and Jim that no one ate since Orson is the most fabulous cook….and my onions, even though I'd bought a clever new dish to serve them in, were hardly necessary on that laden table.
This time I decide to make a tarte tatain (that's not the right spelling, probably…) just because it looked beautiful. And it is.
And it also served the purpose of distracting me, preoccupying me with shopping. I've been quite nervous and fretful with a stomach that's out of sorts, so this was a tricky, but ultimately safe activity since I could toss it out if I failed.
The recipe called for eight apples of a particular type that don't have a lot of excess liquid. Wholepaycheck didn't have the specified type, but it had the two allowable alternatives….
And it had frozen puff pastry. EIGHTEEN DOLLARS for a package. I didn't blink as I paid for the nifty box. Nor did I read the direction which said it had to defrost in the refrigerator for two days before I started peeling and cutting the apples in quarters in order to refrigerate them for a day (it wouldn't hurt them, the recipe said, to stay in that lightly covered bowl for two to three days) so that they would dry out sufficiently.
You get the drift. It was never going to be ready for the occasion I planned to take it to.
But two days later I baked it and took it over to share with friends. We ate it warm. Excellent.
And then I used the leftover puff pastry to make the ugly little things shown in the photo above. The first time I laid it out, sprinkled sugar on top, put another layer on with more sugar and stuck it in a very, very hot oven, the fire extinguishers in three areas went off which meant I had to take it out, refrigerate the unshapely dough until the next day and clean the stove of all the apple-sugar juice that had spilled from the tart and charred.
Nothing is simple.
As I was leaving, she gave me flowers from her garden. I photographed them along with another bouquet of marigolds from the Chelsea Community Garden along with these particular flowers, daisy and borage which grew wild in the path between my plot and the next.
After having cut no bouquets all summer, I have four in the house as fall starts…. The cat is pleased.
For the last couple of years, I have been collecting photographs of mushrooms, an enjoyable activity.
And I was tempted to start another collection called red. And another called yellow.
Luckily I decided this is more folly so I am only collecting photographs of dogs I meet (I do ask the owner usually, and he or she is usually pleased by my nuttiness and never asks what I'm going to do with the images), mushrooms and images from museums.
There is a very good article by Donald Hall in Poets and Writers this month…about aging. A book of essays he's written will be published in December. Evidently one you get to the mid-eighties, you stop worrying and take every day as it comes and enjoy it.
I've got ten years to go. Right now I have to say that the changes aging are bringing are worrisome… and I find myself running as fast as I can to escape them. When I'm not running, I watch Netflix.
Take care of yourselves…and enjoy!