If one of the most fundamental things about blogging is consistency, clearly I am not exactly delivering. Life has been so crazy since we went to Madrid, and during the little downtime I've had I've found myself just wanting to spend time with The Irishman and relax. But I recognize I've been neglecting you guys here on Bloody Brill, so here's a glimpse of my life currently and some of the little joys I've been able to fit in over the last few weeks:
I told you all I'm now working on an exciting new project that involves shopping (woot!) - but what I didn't tell you, and didn't really understand myself until recently, is that I'm working on it in addition to all of my other projects. So it's been a gruelling schedule of getting to work for 8am and going-going-going-nonstop until 8pm when I leave for home absolutely shattered and flop on the couch for Masterchef Professional. Last week the poor Irishman said to me that he felt like he hadn't seen me all week and was really looking forward to spending a nice relaxing weekend together... and I had to work all day Saturday. Sigh. There is hopefully an end in sight, and that is when I get back from...
The Irishman and I are flying off to America on Thursday for my annual pilgrimage. We're going for 2.5 weeks and visiting my brother in Baltimore, my bestie in Washington DC, my other bestie in Cincinnati, The Irishman's Irish bestie in Columbus, mah peeps in NYC, and finally my family in NJ for Thanksgiving. I'm frantically trying to run around London to acquire the necessary imports and gifts, including but not limited to Cadbury advent calendars, mulled wine spice mix, and artisanal ales. I personally cannot wait to go - I feel like I haven't seen my friends and family for so long and I just need a break and the kind of pampering and feeding that only a mother can provide.
Speaking of food, The Irishman and I held our first dinner party last Saturday evening. Well, I say WE but all of the credit goes to The Irishman as he slaved over the stove and oven while I was chained to my laptop in the office. His menu of pheasant, pumpkin mash, curly kale, with a starter of prawns in Pernod and dessert of homemade chilli chocolate ice cream and chocolate fondant was a huge success, and we're very pleased that we were able to entertain in our, ah, shall we say, COZY (read: small) flat. My punishment for working all day and leaving him to do the prep was I had to wash all of the dishes - and that pretty much meant all of the dishes and cooking utensils we own. It was an effort with an hangover on Sunday morning. I did get to do my own cheffing though; we had half of a pumpkin left from the mash, which The Irishman cooked for me according to this helpful recipe so I could bake Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies. YUM. They are the essence of fall, and so easy and delicious, and it was really comfort food for me. I love them so much that I'm going to share the recipe for them:
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (courtesy of Mom)
Preheat the oven to 375°F / 200°C
1 c pumpkin puree (Libbys, or make your own!)
1 c sugar
1/2 c butter
1 tbsp grated orange peel
2 c flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c chocolate chips
Place on baking sheets in quarter-size balls and bake 8-10 minutes until lightly brown on the edges. They should be dense, chewy, and delicious!
All this time that my life has been on overdrive, the autumn season has been in full swing. My cycle ride to work is down streets of vibrantly colored trees, and the window in my bathroom looks out on a flaming orange tree across the street. With the time change last week, it's properly dark now by 5:30pm and though the weather has been unseasonably warm, there is still a nip in the air laden with the scent of decomposing leaves and vegetation. My uniform is my tweedy jacket and wine colored silk scarf, adorned with a poppy and sometimes my new brown cloche, so I look quite cozy cycling around town. Last night was Bonfire Night and I was surrounded by the sound of fireworks into the wee hours. It's like the official kick-off of the winter season, and The Irishman and I are off to Battersea Park for the fireworks display this evening. Despite all of my stress and exhaustion, it's these little events marking the passage of time and season that reassure me that I'm still alive even if there are days when I feel like falling over dead. Even if the weather is chilly, these things give me a warm glow.