This is going to be far too long.
Obviously, I still don't have internet at home. Horrible. Otherwise, I'd be blogging constantly. So maybe it's a good thing. I don't know.
This week has been that of the apple. Le Foliage and I met up with my old roommate this past Saturday at Milburn Orchards last Saturday for some fruit-picking. We got a TON of blackberries and an assortment of apples. I specifically made them go all the way to the other end of the orchard with me to get some Golden Delicious for apple tarts.
Maybe I should back up.
Last weekend was:
-A good friend's birthday party
-Another half marathon
-Clothing swap with some of my best girl friends
-House inspection (Monday)
The schedule was
Friday: go to Liss' to discuss our top secret awesome idea, then Oktoberfest to meet up with my family, the Foliage, and A-train.
Saturday: Philadelphia by 9 to get him registered for the half marathon, then Milburn Orchards by 10, then the birthday party by 12, then church and a movie (I wanted him to be able to relax before his run), then baking.
Sunday: Philadelphia by 7:30, I study in the car/he runs, then Rosh Hashanah at his aunt and uncle's house, then to the clothes swap.
Parking for Oktoberfest was RIDICULOUS, and I neglected to consider that when I'd gone in the past, I'd usually pregamed extensively. Drinking is the only thing I've found that makes being in crowds OK. Otherwise, I get all claustrophobic. So Friday night was a little anxiety-riddled for me. And the Foliage was stuck in traffic for a while, which sucks in general. But the beer was de-ricious and I didn't spend too much because Liss and her boyfriend fed me beforehand, so I wasn't hungry. Huzzah!
Then we went home and I made lemonade, as requested by the birthday boy's wife. Not really important, but I wanted to mention it in a "poor me!" kind of way because it's my blog and that's what kind of entry this is. It was way tart but the sugar wasn't as overwhelming as last time, so I'm counting it as a win. People seemed to really like it. Nice.
Registering for the half-marathon took longer than we thought, and so did the drive from the Philly Convention Center to the orchards. Poor Mrs. R waited for QUITE a while for us. So we bought her berries. Holy eff, these were some crazydelicious berries.
The plan was to get berries and apples and to make 4 tarts, 2 with each kind of fruit, and then to take 2 to Rosh Hashanah and 2 to the clothes swap. So, as previously mentioned, I dragged them to the other end of the orchard for these things. Then Mrs. R had to go home and get her kid ready for the party (read: wrestle her currently live-in mother into the car while also dressing/feeding/wrangling her baby). So the boyfriend and I went to the shop and got Blue Crab Salsa (haven't tried it yet, stand by for reviews), raspberry cider (tastes like raspberry apple juice), some fresh ginger, locally-produced cheese, and maybe some other stuff but I can't remember.
We went to the party, and had a great time. So much so that we were a little bit late for church. But afterwards we went to the Newark Co-op for healthy snacks and then snuck them in to see "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs." Oh my GAWD it was hilarious. I was literally slapping my knee and had tears rolling down my face. I'm pretty sure the little kids in the theatre hated me. Good thing I don't care about the happiness of children. Kidding! Kind of. Maybe.
THEN at home I made the berry tarts which...didn't gel properly. My oven took forEVER to get hot, so the crust got all soppy before I could even bake the thing. It was basically mushy shortbread crust with soupy berry filling. Delicious, but messy.
I couldn't find my apple corer/peeler/slicer anywhere (overly odd because I used to have TWO of them), so I cored, peeled and sliced 4 gigantic apples by hand. In my big mixing bowl, I was adding cinnamon and allspice and brown sugar and vani-wait. That last one made the kitchen smell a lot like mint. Oh, hey. That was actually peppermint extract. Several teaspoons of it. Right in with the painstakingly-prepared apple mixture. Oh, the rage. Oh, the lament!
At this point it was about midnight, and I just wanted to cry. There is NO WAY to get mint out of things! It's irrepressible! That's why it's in cleaners! Ugh. I was pretty much in drop-kicking-puppies mode. So I went to bed. Well, first I went through ALL of my clothes and accessories to separate out the items for the clothing swap. Then I went to bed.
We just BARELY made it to Philadelphia in time for the race Sunday, but he improved on his previous time by 7 minutes and I got a chapter's worth of studying done. Triomphe!
My view of the race from the car:
We made it to his aunt and uncle's house in time for the last hour of services. The horns are cool. They'd slow-cooked corned beef and vegetables for lunch, which was very appreciated, and MAN I always love me some challah. We only took the berry tart because I was too embarrassed to present his family members with minty apple. It was just as well because they already had a couple of desserts (including an awesome pb&j concoction by his younger cousin).
We always get into conversations and end up staying too long with them, so of course we left late. Then the Foliage helped me carry out the THREE HUGE BOXES of clothes, etc. to my car, and I sped off to Bear.
We ate TONS of food, watched the Emmys (disappointing, I thought...I don't miss TV), and we all got some fashion wins. AND clean closets. Amazing.
After this flurry of a weekend, the cold that had been nagging since last week took its toll and I was out of commission on Monday. We went to BrewHaHa so the Foliage could work remotely and I could study. We dropped off my sewing machine to be fixed (finally!) and my car to have the check engine light...checked. Apparently my catalytic converter needs to be replaced. For $880. I asked what damage not replacing it could cause and the guy on the phone said, "well, it could cause your car to run poorly in the long-term." To which I responded, "yeahhhh...gimme back my car."
Then the inspection. Which was great! Only a few minor things came back (like the sash on one of the windows is detached at one end). The sellers have until Monday to get back to us about the report. I'm feeling good about it, and I'm mentally landscaping for gardening and entertaining.
The view of the living room/front of the house from the dining room:
And he left without taking any apples or cheese or anything, so I've been trying to eat the apples all week. I think I only have two left now. OMG. I am so tired of apples. Although I reeeeeally liked the Johnathan variety. NOT Jonagold...though I think they'd be good for baking. I wasn't wowed by the Red Delicious, and I guess Fuji will be in season this weekend, which I'll be missing. Whatever. Point is, I've eaten a lot of freakin' apples this week. And they're all HUGE. It's so hard to get the first bite when you're confronted with a wall of apple. Sheesh.
This picture was taken at Milburn Orchards, but I found it online somewhere. Not mine. Just FYI.