Spiced Guinness Brownies
With Father's Day almost upon us, I thought it only appropriate to share a jaunty, masculine, recipe. Of course it's perfectly okay for ladies to enjoy their stout too - I do, despite my mom's clucking whenever I reach for a Guinness at summer get-togethers.
Usually for Father's Day I pay tribute to my dad's memory by making something laced with his beloved peanut butter. This year however, with the wonderful crop of summer ales and stouts from the local microbrewery, I decided to go a different route. My dad loved wine, but even he enjoyed the occasional dark, flavourful, elixir. Unfortunately my stout stash had been depleted before I could use it for baking. (I blame me.) So instead of using a local brew, I went with classic Guinness. Thank goodness for backup.
If, according to Camelot, the month of May is lusty, it's definitely now the lazy month of June. Finally. The atmosphere is dewy, and humid, and languid - the various spaces around me are dripping with aromas of fresh-cut grass, fuchsia hydrangea, and, thanks to a delicate, green rainfall, wet earth (one of my favourite scents in the entire universe). After a never ending winter and chilly spring, it's nice to finally feel a temperature that's aligned with the calender.
Strawberry Hand Pies
I wanted to share these hand pies with you last week, but life got in the way and I never got around to writing out the recipe. Then I was going to write this post yesterday, but Game of Thrones got in the way. Seriously. Sunday night's episode...what...how...Why?? I'm still reeling - my stomach is still in a sickening knot.
Don't worry, I won't give anything away (in case you haven't watched it yet), and I won't linger on it too long in case you're not even interested in Game of Thrones. But for those of you who were just as shocked as I was - where do we go from here? I mean, I kind of felt something coming, but that's only because I have the tendency to think that if things are going too well, it's only a matter of time...(plus someone kind of gave me a vague heads-up). Still, I was floored by what happened. *shiver* I'm okay. It took a few episodes of Arrested Development to snap me back to my happy, snarky, version of reality, but I'm ok.
Strawberries nestled inside flaky pâte brisée, lets talk about that instead.
I'm not exactly an outdoorsy person, just ask the ginormous monster spider who's been under a pile of ironic nature books on my living room floor for the past three weeks. (I'm convinced he's still alive, or, even worse, not there at all!) I was never a girl scout, but I did go to the summer camp that was run by our local bird sanctuary. Even though it solidified my fear of anything that could creep onto me unnoticed, I loved it! I churned homemade vanilla ice cream, fed the geese and ducks their morning corn, learned how to identify a few star constellations, and I picked strawberries alongside my first official "crush."
His name was Sean - we only saw each other for a few weeks each summer. Very tragic. We would sneak out of our pseudo cabins at night to watch the stars and eat strawberries - which we dubbed "starberries." On the last day of our last summer together, before Sean moved back to Maine, I gave him my fav. yellow stripped knee sock (just one, to be dramatic), and he gave me his fav. Atari tee-shirt. (It smelled like campfire ashes and bubble gum, and it was smeared with starberry juice.)
Strawberries will always make me think of young love and sticky, awkward, hand-holding.
Raspberry Oatmeal-Cinnamon Bars
Sometimes I crave several hefty spoonfuls of oats and brown sugar - with a smooch of something fruity. In my world, oatmeal isn't necessarily "healthy." It's wicked, and rebellious, and loves skipping gym class to hang out with sugar and butter.
Currently: A slice of this darling cake (the very last!), lush trees, lilac bushes blowing in a looming spring storm, and a thick-rimmed glass of iced coffee. I absolutely relish the month of May!
Rain makes its own night, long mornings with the lamp left
Lean bean grass sticks to the floor near your shoes,
last summer’s pollen rises from damp metal screens.
This is order, this clutter that fills clearings between us,
clothes clinging to chairs, your shoes in a muddy grip.
The hard rain smells like it comes from the earth.
the human light in our windows, the orange stillness
of rooms seen from outside. The place we fall to alone,
falling to sleep. Surrounded by a forest’s green assurance,
the iron gauze of sky and sea,
while night, the rain, pulls itself down through the trees.
~ Anne Michaels, in The Weight of Oranges