Dit t’aime moi pour quoi

There’s nothing I love more than baking.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  There’s a few things I love AS MUCH as baking, but it’s a different sort of love.  I love books–namely hard core fiction, and I also love Neil Simon, the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkle, Cher, Fleetwood Mac, Kitty Viv, Moses, roses and I’m sure a few other things I’m not thinking of presently…but if I got on that route this would be a very long post.

 This week I got into baking again, however, despite a few west coast bad eggs.  The older I get the quicker I get at accessing situations.  I suppose this is fortunate and means I’m learning.  Either way, despite my love of baking and how clear-headed and calm I become while doing so, I prefer it as a solo act.  Important thing to know.

My friend Christine and I are talking about a little shop.  I want to do some baked goods and odds and ends, maybe even eventually a little line of housing-ware and a primitive little clothing line  (I say this having made two baby one-sies and as a person who lives with trim pinned to her curtains indefinitely), and Christine (who CAN sew and draw, fortunately) wants to do stationary, cards and some jewelery.  So I was brushing up on my puff pastry skills to make sure they weren’t depressed.  Lucky me, so far so good.

And the secret?  Proofing the dough.  Amazingly, I find “bakers” are generally too insecure to share the odds and ends, so while you can get a recipe or buy a book, you usually don’t get all the little baking secrets.  All typical proportions aside, the biggest “thing” is making sure the dough sits 8 hours and is rolled out at least 4 separate times (the key is making all that butter really GET in there) and then has at least 2 hours to rise and proof.  By “proofing” I mean, roll dough, cut it, roll it and then shape it, put on a baking sheet and cover with a clean, unscented garbage bag (I know, ew) for two hours with 2 glasses (small) to elevate the bag and keep it from sticking to the dough.  Then cook on high for 375 and sprits the hot oven with a water bottle first) and then up to 400, then another 10 minutes at 400.  The devil is in the details…trust me.  Oh, and the other thing is, it’s supposed to be full of love and good feelings, so if something’s a wonky shape, oh well.  I like things to be unique.

After baking (and Moses eating a LOT of croissants and braided breadsticks) we did some save the dates.  Designed by Moses, I think they’re perfect.  We’re working on invites with our amazing pal Anthony.  And now it’s back to addressing our last few while I drink wine and watch Game of Thrones.  That’s right, Mom.  It’s MY wedding and I’m doing it my WAY.

Rest and Repose.

Monday’s under my new schedule are my “school work day,” which means I wake up with Moses and when he leaves for work I start my homework.  Four classes of work in one day takes the entire day, but better that than struggling to try to spend time with Moses and do homework throughout the week.

Although Monday’s are often intense, it still takes the burden of “the weekend is over” off Sunday.  My mother always says Sunday is her favorite day of the week and has been since she officially decided that she should do absolutely nothing on this day: no obligations, no worrying, just relaxing activities of her own choosing.  Now that I have Monday’s to myself it makes that easier to accomplish.

Today we made avocado toast with red pepper and olive oil followed by our autumn favorite, grilled cheese and tomato soup.  Because we’re doggie sitting for our friends we got the added bonus of spending time on their patio while their little darling, Bella, got some doggie circles out of her system running through the last of the flowers.

I’m always a little in love with Hollie’s (Bella’s mom) fabulous sense of personal style and decor.  Everything looks some whimsical and uniquely, effortlessly put together in a delicate, vintage way.  A few of my favorites at chez Velten/Lattrell:

And after the feeding and caring of Miss Bella we headed to SoHo, where Moses bought a new denim jacket and we had Thai food.

What’s the the works for tonight?  Veggie fried rice and addressing our save the date cards, which we just had printed.  How very exciting.

9.11

Naturally once school started up again I got totally behind on just about everything.  Because I didn’t work last year while I was in school, working 30 hours a week at the archive and taking 4 courses is a little more demanding than I’d anticipated.  I’m always more prone to over doing things than under.

Regardless, getting into work at 7.30 and leaving for class at 2.30 three days a week has taken a toll and I’m only just now getting back in to the groove of things.  But I did want to post on our 9.11 experience.

I’ve lived in New York before since everything happened, but for some reason this year it resonated in a way it hasn’t in the past (for me).  Maybe it’s getting older and fully appreciating adult fears–uncertainties and panic in a way totally different from anything experienced as a child.  Either way we spent our morning watching documentaries on the events and looking at various articles as well as making puff pastry and bread pudding.

 We also moved my new desk up from the cellar and cleaned it up so I can do my school work and writing a little more easily (we happened to find this desk on the street and it PERFECTLY matches our dresser!) and had grilled cheese for lunch.

That evening we road our bikes to the Manhattan Bridge and then DUMBO to look at the illuminated skyline.  Of course our pictures don’t do justice–from certain angles you could see the perfect outlines of what was once the twin towers, particularly poignant and illustrating the sheer size and presence the buildings had–I’m always a little reluctant to do anything on Sunday evenings, but I was so glad we went.