In a land of corn, apples are a novelty?

This morning I went with a friend of mine to Curtis Orchard to get some cider and doughnuts, and maybe to pick apples and take pictures of interesting autumnal things.

When we arrived at the orchard, we found that it didn't quite meet our expectations - both of us being from states farther north and east, we're used to serious apple orchards where the trees are big enough to climb and they don't have awkward Wizard of Oz themes. We were also disappointed to find that it cost more to go pick your own apples than to buy pre-picked ones.

Since we're cheap, we just wandered around, taking pictures of things.

First we wandered out to the pumpkin patch. It was sad, although we figured the deadness and lack of pumpkins was because it's the weekend before Halloween. I did find a few that I thought were pretty to see.. I like the ones that aren't completely orange because the contrast makes everything seem brighter.

One of the interesting things about having moved a few hundred miles south is that fall really happens a few weeks later than it does up north. I expected to see vibrant leaf colors as early as two weeks ago, and it's only now that they're starting to really show up. If I'm not too distracted by less whimsical things, I might take some pictures and post them, at least for the benefit of my friends who have moved to even warmer climes.

I think that's it for now... Soon I'll be getting to the point when I'm counting days to Thanksgiving, but at the moment I'm more concerned with the number of days until Friday comes again.

Cookie backlog

So basically I'm a pretty busy person these days. This doesn't mean I haven't been making my cookies, though! I don't have a whole lot to say about the cookies, but I'll put something in, I suppose.

I'll just do this in chronological order, I suppose.

Week 1: Peanut Butter cookies (12)
I think there was something wrong in this recipe - the dough was far too sticky and the cooking time was so long that I burnt the first batch. The sticky dough was particularly unfortunate, because it meant that I was completely unable to include the cross-hatch pattern that everyone expects out of peanut butter cookies. Clearly, in the future I will be using my own recipe.

Week 2: Brandy Snaps (13)
The cookie title is deceptive - there is no brandy in these. However, I did have to go to the international food store to pick up a jar of Lyle's Golden Syrup, which is a British corn syrup concoction. These were actually a lot easier to make than they look... there's no baking soda or eggs or anything silly like that, so they just baked out flat, then I had to roll them around the handle of a whisk as they cooled.

Week 3: Coconut Macaroons (14)
I always thought macaroons were difficult to make. I was wrong. The recipe called for something like five ingredients, and then you make lumps, put them in the oven, and, voila! macaroons.
The picture on the right was taken in my office... you can see my Statistical Mechanics book chilling out in the corner, and the hat I was knitting just chilling out. The guys like to make fun of the three girls who knit, but I think that's because there's not much else to make fun of us for (well, except for being women studying physics, but that's a line that doesn't get crossed).

Week 4: Snickerdoodles (15)
These were a much bigger hit than I anticipated. I made these cookies on the suggestion of a friend, and then it turned out that everyone ever (except me) ate these as a kid when their grandmother/mom/babysitter/dog made them. I never had snickerdoodles until I was in college, and I never was particularly excited about them, although they taste pretty good. My friends who ate them enjoyed them thoroughly, which leads me to wonder about the power of nostalgia as a spice.

Week 5 (today!): Oatmeal Apple cookies (16)
After a very long week, I decided that it would make me happy to spend some extra time cooking. That decision made, these cookies seemed like a good decision. I made applesauce Thursday night while my cousin was visiting, and put half a cup of it in my cookies today. The cookies themselves have oatmeal, applesauce, and golden raisins in them. I find that the applesauce doesn't have a very strong flavor, but the raisins are nice. The frosting is your typical stuff: confectioner's sugar and water, with a few tablespoons of maple syrup added in to complement the taste of the cookies.

Hopefully next week I'll actually be motivated to post on time, and maybe even talk about something interesting. For now, however, physics has taken my soul hostage, and I don't expect to get it back until Friday.


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