new things

mom's ceramics
albanian socks!
krantz cake
pip's new hideoutI’ve been keeping busy around here, finishing a few small projects before christmas-present-making goes into full swing. Here’s some of what’s been going on:

In an attempt to declutter, my mom showed up at my house with a couple boxes of old things, including a few of the ceramic pieces she made in college. Most of these vessels were a part of the landscape of my childhood, and I remember regarding them with an awe and reverence that stemmed from more than just their relative fragility. I can’t believe they’re a part of my home now.

The beautiful socks in the second photo were hand-knit by an Albanian woman, and hand-selected for me by one of my worldly friends while traveling abroad. I put them on for the photo, but they’re much too lovely and precious to actually wear. I’m going to keep them someplace I can gaze at them adoringly.

That krantz cake has been on my to-bake-list for well over a year, but the intricate-looking folds, two-day prep time, and final sugar syrup glaze made it look like too much of a feat. Allowing the dough to rest overnight seemed a bit fussy, but it serves to break up the active preparation, making this seemingly complicated confection much more manageable. The sugar syrup takes just a minute to make, and lends a glossy sheen to the finished cake. It bakes up buttery and rich, and the chocolate filling seeps out in ribbons, craggy with pecans. It’s just as delicious as it is pretty.

We discovered recently that when he’s not laying on top of my sleeping head or trying to climb my body in an attempt to perch on my shoulder, Pip is content to spend most of his time tucked away in a paper bag. His preferred mode of entrance is to run and dive inside, sliding across the hardwood floors and creating way more noise than paper should.

I’m enjoying the recent drop in temperature more than I can say. Although it’s not cold enough for boots, scarves, and oversize sweaters (my favorite temperature), it’s cool enough that I can savor a cup of tea on the porch or drive around town with my windows down, blasting this from my car speakers.

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