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Blaugust 25: Yes, It IS Too Hot


Recently, it’s started to cool off a little bit. That would tend to happen in the later part of summer, right? Seems logical? I couldn’t say. It’s so hot that I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT LOGIC IS.

I guess this is how weather in New England has always been, but according to most news outlets each year is setting new records for heat. So when it gets cooler for a few days and I can get through the day without feeling like I’m melting–and then it gets hot again, I really feel offended. The weather has perpetrated a personal slight against me. I get too comfortable when it cools off, thinking that I’ll finally be able to function like a human rather than a pile of goo, and I’m never prepared for the heat wave that ALWAYS comes back again, it seems.

That was very badly written. It’s because I’m so hot. Because my room retains heat like it’s lined in lead or something. (Is that how lead would work? I’m really tired so I’m not sure if that’s correct.)

 

This post is stupid.

Death to summer. Long live fall!

Blaugust 7: Midsummer


Now is the time when people start saying “Oh, summer’s almost over!” and of course, giving the impression (or stating outright) that they’re really bummed about it. If you go by school schedules then it’s true that summer break is over, but summer actually ends on/around September 20, so there is about a month and a half left of summer. Which is, technically, about half of summer remaining!

As a person whose schedule doesn’t actually change depending on the seasons, I think of their divisions in relation to the solstices and equinoxes. (Equinoces? If you know the actual correct plural, feel free to tell me in a comment!) None of that grade-school schedule crap remained ingrained.

And as a person whose schedule doesn’t change depending on the seasons, I don’t get especially excited about summer. I don’t have a pool to dip into whenever I feel like it and I don’t have air conditioning at home (and if I did I’d be cold all the time), and I don’t have the ability to take a nice big section of vacation days for a fun trip (I could take the days off, but since they’d be unpaid I wouldn’t have any money to go anywhere). Summer mostly means being too warm all the time, sweating a lot, and trying to make sure I put sunscreen at least over my tattoos, if not my exposed skin in general, all the time.

As it is now the middle of summer, I can say definitively that this summer is nothing too special. I finally got to wear a bathing suit that I bought last year (a pretty retro-style suit at about half price, thank you very much), and I’ve had some nice cold coffee and tea drinks. Other than that, it’s just one too-hot day after another that I’m trying to survive. I would like to say I’m excited for fall, but I really feel like the foliage has let me down for the past half-decade or so, before plunging into winter that’s either blizzards on top of blizzards or a continuous stream of gross, icy slush.

Maybe I’m just OVER New England. The romantic aspects of the seasons get completely overshadowed by the annoying ones and I’m left much less than happy. While I can look forward to wearing my leather jacket and favorite scarf again, I’m dreading the all-too-quick passage of the fall respite from hot weather into the salt-encrusted frustrations of winter.

(I will admit, though, that I have the MOST fabulous winter coat and it will be nice to take it out again. And I do generally enjoy Christmas.)

 

Local Brew: Downeast Cider (Updated*)


You can’t call yourself a foodie unless you have an opinion on some kind of artisanal local/lesser known microbrew. I don’t call myself a “foodie” in any case, but that is the topic of today’s post. Specifically, I’m going to throw my hat into the ring (I don’t even know if that’s the right use of that phrase…) regarding Downeast, which is a brand I have personally enjoyed.

Since it’s now officially been fall for over a week, the general desire for cider here in New England will do its usual turn up to 11 (yes, I just made the Spinal Tap reference. Side note: Spinal Tap would be a great name for a bar or pub. A skeleton bar?). And while I’ve enjoyed regular old apple cider both cold and hot for as long as I can remember, since I became a legal drinker I have also favored alcoholic ciders. I’ve had many different brews, so I have some experience with them–but this is purely my own opinion of the beverage, so I guess you’ll have to get some to judge for yourself.

I first had Downeast’s traditional style cider at two different restaurants where they offered it on draft. I loved the flavor and the fact that it has that cloudiness that I was used to in regular, family-friendly cider but never saw in the adult version. When, many months later, I saw a display for it in a liquor store, I just had to buy some… it turns out, they make a range of flavors, and I decided to try some that would be new to me. First I went with the honey cider. It sounded delicious to me. It turns out this is a mead, or a mead-cider blend, and I don’t think I’m that much of a mead person. While I did like it, I much prefer the regular flavor and probably wouldn’t buy the honey variety again.

Most recently I tried the cranberry flavor. I really enjoyed this one. It feels very fall-appropriate, and might be a great choice for Thanksgiving. I decided it would be best consumed poured into a glass with a slice of lime. I am far from the first person to make use of the cranberry-lime combination, but I would venture to say that I’m probably among the people who love it the most.

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I think the lime really added something to the flavor that made me, personally, enjoy it more. I also believe pouring it into a glass added to the experience. I’ve never really been into drinking out of a can (aside from soda, which I don’t drink much of anymore).

My decision after having Downeast three ways is that it is a good brand that I’m happy to support. I do think that from now on I’ll most likely try to get it on tap/draft, and buy something else to drink at home–unless I’m really craving the cranberry cider, because I’ve never seen that from any other brand.

Until next time,

Cheers!
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*I know that people have different ideas of what “local” actually means. For some it only applies to products made within the same state or town/city. This is not my view of it, but as the good people of Downeast let me know in a comment, they are currently based in Boston, which is my area. After they commented I actually went to look up their website (downeastcider.com) and found that they’ll be at SOWA Open Market until the end of the season! I definitely want to go if I can, but regardless, you should go check them out if you’re in the area.

Possibly a Bad Idea


I recently got some kitchen items that I believed my kitchen needed, whether or not I get around to using them any time soon – like a nice big pot, large baking pan, and a cupcake tin.

Although muffins would probably be the most practical and healthiest option for breaking in my cupcake tin, I had this thought that I really want to make some mini pies.

I’m really hung up on this idea now. I love pie. Really. SO GOOD. And with the cupcake pan method, I could make several different kinds of pie. But pie is a lot of effort, and almost certainly requires a recipe…

My thought right now is to buy the ready-made kind of pie crust to cut down on time, and maybe select up to three different kinds of fillings, look up a recipe so I know what tempt to set the oven on, and then just go for it. I’m not interested in perfection; I want a fun experiment. The worst thing I can do, I think, is burn them, and if that happens, it’s not the end of the world.

Likely I’ll end up with something somewhat resembling pie, but not officially qualifying as pie. I think I’d be happy with that.

 

Apple is the obvious choice. It is apple pie season. Obviously. I think I’m going to have to buy some nutmeg too…

Maybe I’ll buy some canned “pie filling” and make little cherry pies that taste something like the ones my grandmother used to make.

 

I need some whipped cream. Definitely.

This might be a project for this weekend. I’ll let you know what happens.

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