The weather has definitely turned here and with highs in the 40s and 50s, a chill in the air, and beautiful fall color everywhere, it is undeniably fall in A2…and I LOVE it! I gladly pulled on a sweater, scarf, jacket, and boots before I left the house this morning and plan on planting myself directly in front of my fireplace for as long as I can this weekend; if you know me, then you know that’s where I’ll happily spend much of my free time until spring pretty much. The beauty of fall in Michigan never ceases to take my breath away!
In our house there is definitely a strong love of ice cream/sorbet. One of our favorite local places to go is Blank Slate and they recently had apple cider sorbet on their menu which inspired us to make our own, homemade apple cider sorbet. We looked up recipes online before putting anything together and ended up combining several different recipes we found. Here’s what we ended up with and I think it’s pretty delicious!
- Step 1: combine 2 peeled apples (we used Honeycrisp), sugar, and ground cinnamon – cook to soften
- Step 2: place cooked apples in a bowl, add a pinch of salt, and mash into apple sauce consistency – taste and add more cinnamon and/or sugar if needed
- Step 3: make and chill simple syrup – 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar
- Step 4: combine chilled simple syrup with 1.5 cups apple cider and apple sauce you made earlier
- Step 5: put into chilled ice cream maker and let it do it’s thing
- Step 6: once it’s reached the desired, frozen consistency, move it to a freezer-safe container for storage and/or serve and enjoy
I can hardly believe it’s already October, but here we are on October 1st… The weather has turned cooler here and it’s a grey, rainy day in Ann Arbor; leaves are starting to change and of course we’re enjoying college football, Oktoberfest beer, beautiful mums, and snuggles with Maddy as often as we can. Here’s a beautiful excerpt from Robert Frost to capture the mood of this day –
by Robert Frost
O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow…
While it feels nothing like fall in SE Michigan today (high of 89 and 94% humidity), with Labor Day behind us and September officially here…the summer is sadly over. We filled our last few weeks of summer with attending the Ann Arbor Wayzgoose and Printing Festival, a trip to Cranbrook Art Museum where we saw the Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die: Punk Graphics, 1976-1986 and Shepard Fairey: Salad Days, 1989-1999 exhibitions, visiting two new-to-us breweries (Atwater and Batch Brewing Co), and the start to college football season. Also, Maddy successfully completed the snoot challenge…have you seen all this cuteness?!? Pictured above is an arrangement I made with flowers and herbs from our garden – roses, lavender, mint, lemon balm, basil, and sage.
We spent about a week and half in beautiful Lake Ann, MI; one of us was there to work, and the other was just along for the ride (and the gorgeous scenery!), and Maddy…well, Maddy was there to be Maddy! We enjoyed a few day trips to Traverse City, including catching a Traverse City Film Festival midnight showing of Anna and the Apocalypse at the State Theater, and spent a few hours at Sleeping Bear Dunes. It was wonderful to get away for a bit, listen to the sound of the loons calling out, sit around a campfire (s’mores!),…and with views like this, what’s not to love?
You can view photos from our trip here.
“Relax. Don’t worry. And have a homebrew.” – Charlie Papazian
We have successfully brewed our first homebrew beer; it’s an Amber that we’ve decided to call “Pimero Uno”! Is it the best Amber I’ve tasted? Of course not. But, it’s definitely drinkable and we learned a lot from brewing it ourselves so the next batch of beer, whatever style we decide to make, should be even better and I count that as a win. I must also acknowledge all the resources out there that helped us to get as far as we have; there are many great resources online (like the American Homebrewers Association), locally (like Adventures in Homebrewing, where we took an “Intro to Homebrewing Class” yesterday), and of course books you can purchase (like Brew Better Beer by Emma Christensen). Here are some photos/videos I took of our homebrew process along the way…
- Steeping the Grains
- Adding the Hops
- Chilling the Wort
- Measuring the Original Gravity
- Pitching the Yeast
- First Fermentation (…wait two weeks)
- Racking to a Secondary Fermenter (…wait two weeks)
- Bottling (…wait one more week)
- Open and Enjoy!
Cheers and more to come on our adventures in homebrewing soon!
Being the native Texan that I am, I am all-too-familiar with hot summer weather (or “super summer” as my Mom likes to call it)…where they have days on end of 100+ temps and little to no rain. While we haven’t officially hit 100 degrees here in SE Michigan (and typically don’t, thank goodness!), it has been in the upper 90s lately with a heat index of 100+ and combined with the high humidity it’s felt sweltering to me.
There are many things to love about the summer (for Ryan, the hot weather is one of them)… all that sunshine and so many hours of daylight, lightning bugs/fireflies, the food (fresh watermelon, popsicles, ice cream, everything on the grill, etc.), patio dining, cold drinks, and I convinced Ryan that we needed a kiddie pool to dip our toes into on especially hot days while enjoying our backyard! Hope you’re enjoying your summer and all the season has to offer.
We enjoyed a visit to Cleveland last week, including some time spent at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Cleveland Botanical Gardens; it was pretty amazing to see Kurt Cobain’s guitar, Prince’s gloves, handwritten lyrics, personal items, etc. from too many impressive musicians to count, and so much more at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Cleveland Botanical Gardens were a beautiful, incredibly peaceful way to wrap up our trip to the city. You can view more photos from our Cleveland trip here.
And last Friday, we had a great time in Detroit with drinks at Punch Bowl Social followed by Detroit Demo Day where 15 companies from across the region pitched in front of a live audience for a share of over $1 million as a part of the second annual Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day; we were thrilled to see EMU alumnus Matt Tait and Tait Design Co. win $200K to grow their business – a surprise performance by Common at the end was the cherry on top!
I noticed, on a recent walk in my neighborhood, some very nice words written in chalk on the sidewalk – “you”…”are”…”amazing” and “you are super”. While these words weren’t meant for me specifically, they were there nonetheless and reading them brought a smile to my face. This was a reminder to me that words really do matter and kindness does make a difference.
“Don’t ever mistake my silence for ignorance, my calmness for acceptance or my kindness for weakness. Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.” – Dalai Lama
The Pearl Beer bottle opener pictured above belonged to my Mema and Granddaddy. In March of 1942, my Granddaddy enlisted in the U.S. Army; on June 6, 1944, he – along with the brave soldiers of the 4th and 90th Division – stormed Utah Beach in Normandy, France. He was the recipient of the Purple Heart, Bronze Arrowhead, Five Bronze Stars for five major battles, three Overseas Bars and the French Legion of Honor Medal in addition to several other commendations. He lived to be 94 years old and I am so honored to have known him and to call him family. Thank you to all who have served.
Long, holiday weekends are heavenly…yet somehow, they never seem to be quite long enough; we thoroughly enjoyed ours and squeezed in a movie, lots of r&r, grilling, some more planting in our garden and yard (Bartzella Itoh Peony, Cascade Azalea, a few more herbs, and a mosquito plant), and – even with temps in the 90s here in May (that’s hot for MI in May!) – we spent a good amount of time outside enjoying our backyard patio space.
Speaking of things we enjoy…Ryan and I enjoy beer, I’ve been curious to try our hand at homebrewing, and we also enjoy a good DIY project on occasion – so we took the first step towards this and bought this book about it. We plan on reading up on it first and then we’ll see where that takes us; I’m excited at the possibility of creating our own homebrew, with a healthy dose of reality that this won’t be easy to do and will take a good deal of patience and practice to hopefully, eventually be successful at (fingers crossed!). My Dad shared with me that my Granddaddy once tried homebrewing and that it didn’t turn out that well for him – lol! I’m hopeful there will be more to come on this for us, stay tuned…
You can view more photos from our Memorial Day weekend here.