food, farming, friends and family: a meditation on chosen simplicity and (in)voluntary complications – life.

It begins … again.

fall. apple pressing.  big leaf maples.  soup.   trail runs.   head lamps.  baby poage?   steamy kitchen.   applesauce.  cauliflower potatoes nutmeg lentils.  shrimps and blewits (mushrooms).   cloudview.   garlic planting.  baby poage?   roslyn.   va-CAY-tion.   northern exposure.   dips into nachos and jacuzzis.   earthcorps – redux.   SEDONA ROSE POAGE! love.  seattle.  housewarming.   candy corn.   sleepover.   love.   home.   home?   home.

November begins with a lot of questions buzzing in my brain, a perpetual condition.  But October left me with quite a few certainties, the main one being that I have a life rich in love.  From basking in the beautiful simplicity of a day spent foraging with Neil to making time and space to nourish the friendships that began in the Emerald City.   Falling instantly in love with a one week old while my love for her parents deepens.  Trips to Cloudview and phone calls to family and friends.  Putting my love into the new fall players – squash, potatoes, parsnips, kale – and whatever the combination of my whims and other people’s knowhow creates.

I started this blog about a year ago now, admittedly in a bit of a panic as the days got shorter and colder.  This year I’m still trying to answer questions about home and place and purpose.  The big unknown of where I’ll find myself in Spring has a pretty big piece of brainspace reserved for itself, but, for the time being, I’m content to relish in feelings of gratitude and to trust that the answers will come when they’re really needed.

In the spirit of appreciating the richness of Fall, here’s a recipe for a spicy applesauce cake (made with the leftover golden delicious applesauce I canned last night):


(adapted from the smitten kitchen blog)



2 Cups soft white wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 tsp+ cinnamon

1/2 tsp+ ground ginger

1/4 tsp+ ground cloves

1 stick butter, softened

1C light brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 1/2 Cups applesauce

1/2 Cup pecans, toasted


the how to:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and make sure the rack is in the middle.

2. Grease a square or circle cake pan (8 or 9 inches across).

3.  Mix up dry ingredients (except sugar):  flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

4. Beat the butter, vanilla and brown sugar together until good and creamy – with a mixer or by hand.  Add the eggs, one by one, beating them in – then mix in the applesauce too.

5. Now add the dry ingredients and mix in well.

6.  Finally, add the toasted pecans.

7.  Spread the batter into the cake pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

8. Take the cake out when it’s golden-brown and an inserted knife comes out clean.

9. Cool for 15 minutes or so, pop it out onto a plate, and sprinkle some powdered sugar on top.

10. Enjoy with someone you love!



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