Posted on October 27, 2016
Walk with me through the blue-deep woods — and through the mystery that is our lives.
Posted on October 24, 2016
The only trap I must beware not to fall into, is to think that each day is the same as the next. In fact, each morning brings with it a hidden miracle, and we must pay attention to this miracle.
Posted on October 20, 2016
October is a symphony of permanence and change.
Posted on October 3, 2016
I thought it might be time for a brief break from poetry and photography…
In the fall, I love baking with apples. In Canada, it’s almost Thanksgiving, and with company coming this year I was looking for a new recipe that isn’t too sweet and puts the emphasis on the apples.
I happened on a recipe for French Apple Cake that really appealed to me. I love simple, rustic French food, and not only did this recipe sound great but it looked easy, which is even more important, so I thought I’d give it a try.
This dessert has a custardy, apple-rich base beneath a light, cakelike topping. Cook’s Illustrated recommends microwaving the apples briefly to break the enzyme responsible for firming up pectin. I followed that suggestion and it worked really well.
This cake goes really well with a light dusting of powdered sugar, whipped cream, ice cream but it’s also lovely by itself — and tastes just as good the next day or the day after, in the unlikely event that anything is left.
If you like apples or French food — or both — you might want to give this a try!
French Apple Cake
1 ½pounds apples, peeled, cored, cut into 8 wedges, and sliced ⅛ inch thick crosswise (about 4 to 5)
2-3 tablespoons rum (optional)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup (5 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup (7 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg plus 2 large yolks
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Serves 8 to 10
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 9-inch springform pan with vegetable oil spray. Place prepared pan on rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Place apple slices into microwave-safe pie plate, cover, and microwave until apples are pliable and slightly translucent, about 3 minutes. Toss apple slices with rum and lemon juice and let cool for 15 minutes.
2. Whisk 1 cup flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt together in bowl. Whisk egg, oil, milk, and vanilla together in second bowl until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk until just combined. Transfer 1 cup batter to separate bowl and set aside.
3. Add egg yolks to remaining batter and whisk to combine. Using spatula, gently fold in cooled apples. Transfer batter to prepared pan; using offset spatula, spread batter evenly to pan edges, gently pressing on apples to create even, compact layer, and smooth surface.
4. Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons flour into reserved batter. Pour over batter in pan and spread batter evenly to pan edges and smooth surface. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar evenly over cake.
5. Bake until center of cake is set, toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, and top is golden brown, about 1 to 1¼ hours. Transfer pan to wire rack; let cool for 5 minutes. Run paring knife around sides of pan and let cool completely, 2 to 3 hours. Dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, then cut into wedges, and serve.
Note: The microwaved apples should be pliable but not completely soft when cooked. To test for doneness, take one apple slice and try to bend it. If it snaps in half, it’s too firm; microwave it for an additional 30 seconds and test again.
Adapted from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe.
Posted on October 1, 2016
Leaves are falling, falling as if from afar,
as if, far off in the heavens, gardens were wilting.
And as they fall, their gestures say “it’s over.”
In the night the heavy earth is falling
from out of all the stars into loneliness.
We are all falling. This hand here is falling.
Just look: it is in all of us.
Yet there is one who holds this falling
with infinite tenderness in her hands.
Rainer Maria Rilke
from On Being
Posted on September 28, 2016
The point is to turn your grief into love. The roses are helping you find grace.
Holly Lynn Payne
Posted on September 24, 2016
Watery abstract of the Mississippi River, Almonte, Ontario
People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking.
I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.