I’ve Moved

So, things have been happening that may explain my absence. A list for you:

1. Another TEDxAtlanta has come and gone.

I can’t remember what I’ve discussed on this blog, really, but my boss is the organizer for TEDxAtlanta, and I am responsible for various and sundry little details of the event that are behind the scenes, but add up to be a pretty important component to the event happening the way it should. Due to some adjustments, this particular event called for even more focus than usual and it’s taken about a week for my eyes to recede back to their normal position in my head. My hair, also, is starting to lay back down in a slightly less frazzled fashion (although that’s a battle I’m always losing).

2. I moved in with my boyfriend.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned my boyfriend outright on this blog. I’m a pretty private person when it comes to discussing my relationships, but when you start living with the guy I guess the jig is up. We’ve been dating a year, and we just settled into a cute little place two weeks ago that we’re excited to make our home. I’ve had to handle my family with kid gloves, but they’re resignedly supportive. Since my father didn’t drop dead of a heart attack over the news, I’m calling that encounter a success.

3. I’m saying goodbye to Josie & George.

Josie & George started when I was right out of college, and it was an outlet for some good old-fashioned post-college panic. Lately, though, the writing has felt forced. Mostly because it is forced–I’ve been determined to keep blogging so that I keep writing, but the result is mostly half-hearted content. I’ve finally accepted Josie & George doesn’t reflect my life anymore. I’m starting a new blog, Hello, Josephine, and you’re welcome to join me there if you want. It’s a blank slate and fresh start for me, blog-wise, and maybe representative of this new phase of my life, too. However, you’ll notice there are no posts there, yet. I’m still sorting out what I want the new blog to be, but I’m hoping I’ll be on a roll in a few weeks.

A big thank you to my small circle of friends who humored me by reading this blog, posting comments, and generally being wonderful.

A Sunday Walk

When I moved to Atlanta, whether by coincidence or providence, I landed just a mile down the road from my good friend Katie. As a result, we get to see each other pretty regularly and it’s quite nice. We walk, we watch movies no one else will watch with us (looking at you, BBC Pride & Prejudice), and we dine. It’s lovely.

Last Sunday we agreed to take a walk and enjoy the first weekend of spring weather. I, personally, felt very productive by working in girl-time and exercise together like that. We agreed she would meet me at my apartment, and we would walk to the nearby path from there. While I laced up my shoes, my phone dinged. Would you want to walk somewhere to eat?

I was thrilled she suggested it because I’d been internally mulling that option for the past ten minutes. It was lunchtime. It only made sense.

When Katie pulled up in her car, I walked up to her window before she had the chance to park.

“Maybe we should just drive to lunch, and then walk to the path from there.”
“That’s perfect! The path is right behind the restaurant. Let’s do that.”

So we wheeled into the parking lot of the restaurant, ordered our pizza, and spent the next hour and a half methodically eating slice after slice while catching each other up on the latest details of our lives. Whether or not we polished off an entire pizza between the two of us is of no great importance.

As we sat there, full and content, the topic of pedicures arose. Namely, that we should treat ourselves to some. We discussed and mapped out the distance from the pizzeria to the nail salon, and we seriously considered walking there until I helpfully pointed out that the walk back would be treacherous with our newly painted toes. It was decided: we would drive.

As we sat in our massage chairs, the topic of frozen yogurt came up. It really was a lovely day and perfect for froyo. We talked about the distance from the nail salon to Yoforia. As it was a bit of a trek, we considered driving down the road a bit before walking the rest of the way. I once again helpfully pointed out the state of our freshly painted toes, though, and we concluded it was only wise to drive.

As we drove back home, tasty frozen treats consumed, I asked Katie what she would like to do next. Lunch was consumed, our painted toes had dried, and Yoforia was in our rearview mirror.

“Actually, I could really go for a nap,” she said, and I internally celebrated that I had a friend who suited my temperament so well.
“Good, I’m exhausted,” I agreed. So Katie dropped me off at my apartment before heading to hers, and we each waved goodbye as we wished each other good naps.

As I snuggled into my couch under a blanket, I thought about our afternoon.
As Sunday walks go, it was one of my favorites.

Happy Pie Day!

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I was quite pleased with myself when I realized today (3.14) would be Pi Day, and therefore the perfect day to post my pie recipe. I was so pleased with myself that I slept in every morning this week in celebration and felt no further need to write until today arrived.

I can’t remember exactly how or why I chose to make apple pie, except that it ended up being my contribution to a spontaneous little dinner party. I found this recipe by doing an internet search for “best apple pie”, which of course threw roughly a thousand widely varying recipes my way. While this one had a large number of positive reviews (always a good sign), I quickly found by scrolling through the comments that people were rating the pie based on their alterations to the recipe, not the basic recipe itself. I then found myself scrolling through the comments and selecting out the most popular amendments to the recipe and voila, my apple pie recipe.

I won’t say this is the “best” apple pie because frankly I haven’t had enough variety of pies to support such a claim. I can say, though, that it is a good apple pie, and after having made it once, was approached with several requests to make “that pie” until I was finally simply told one day that there was–surprise!–another dinner party. And maybe I could make “that pie.”

While it looks like a lot of steps at first glance, it’s really all pretty easy. The quality of my photography isn’t awesome, but listen: it’s more about the pie.

“That Pie” Apple Pie

1 recipe pastry for 9″ double crust pie (store-bought crusts are fine)
6-8 Granny Smith Apples
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water, minus 1 tablespoon
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Preparation

Pretty apples all in a rowPreheat oven to 425° (you will later lower this temp to 350° and I have no idea why, other than it’s in the original instructions.)

While the oven is heating, core and peel your apples. Roll out your bottom crust in the pie pan and brush with egg whites. Add the apples. (Taking the time to arrange your apple slices neatly will make for a prettier pie.) Now it’s time to make the sauce! Syrup? It’s a thick, gooey, sugary, caramel-like mixture. I don’t know what it is, really. We will call it sauce.

Sauce

Drizzle
Sauce will bubble and thicken quickly, so it’s helpful to have all of the ingredients laid out within reach before beginning.
Melt butter in saucepan; stir in flour.
Add water, white sugar, brown sugar, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, add vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cornstarch and simmer. (To avoid cornstarch clumps–although they mix in eventually–you can stir in a dash of water with the cornstarch separately to make a creamy paste before adding to sauce)

yum
Mixture should be thick and syrupy and smell divine. Pour most of the syrup over the apples, saving about 1/4 cup to brush onto the top crust. This is the moment where everyone walking by thinks you’re amazing and a domestic goddess. I won’t tell if you won’t, and you’re welcome.

Pie

Sugar and spice and everything niceCover with lattice crust and brush on remaining sauce. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top to finish.

Reduce temperature to 350° and bake for one hour or until apples are soft. If edges begin to burn, you can rim them with aluminum foil. Let cool for 20-30 minutes to allow all that gooeyness inside to set up a bit and then serve with ice cream. Accept the adoration from your friends graciously. Enjoy!

That pie!

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