halloween weddings and pumpkin pies (vegan & gluten-free)

“Ah, but remember that the city is a funny place
Something like a circus or a sewer
And just remember, different people have peculiar tastes
And the glory of love might see you through”

Coney Island Baby, Lou Reed

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I hate taking hiatuses from baking and blogging, because they tend to stretch on for eons. Time escapes me and days get lost among the neat boxes of calendar pages. What I’m left with is a slew of photos and nothing to say. Nothing that I could fathom into any sense of coherence, anyway.

(That’s the problem with time. Each moment holds a horizon of infinity that no words can adequately paint.)

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cinnamon raisin pumpkin bread with honeyed walnut cream cheese (GF)

As if I thought the year could not get any weirder, the month of March has proven me wrong.

I’m currently sitting on my couch with a glass of kombucha I’ve been working my way through for the past 3 hours, glancing out the window every few minutes at the steady fall of snow gently coating car roofs and asphalt. I have about twenty minutes before I leave to go teach, twenty minutes in which I hope to finish this tea and find a clean sweatshirt dug out of the bottom of my closet.

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brownie bottom pumpkin cheesecake squares

I sometimes can’t help but laugh at myself. Well, “sometimes” is a bit of an understatement. Usually, though, it’s due largely to some sort of public embarrassment or Noosh publicizing my frequent foot-in-mouth slip-ups in the form of Facebook statuses for all of our mutual friends to shake their heads in dismay over.

(I’m sure many of my readers can attest.)

But other times, I put my hands on my hips, take a glance around the absurdity of the knick-knacks lining the walls and littering the floor of our apartment, and I can’t help but grin. It’s a caricature, really, of all the things Noosh and I have been obsessed with over the course of our time living together. (We’ve known each other for 12 years, and we still find ways to surprise ourselves with incredulity. The testament of a true friend.) Scrolls of Hogwarts houses sitting above the sofa; a gloriously life-sized, 6’2 cardboard cut-out of Tenth Doctor; TV shelf piled high with video game cases and movies from the ‘guy section’ of our cabinet, topped with the occasional chick-flick for good measure.

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pumpkin bars with maple cream cheese frosting

It’s a nice time of year. And not even because of the wool coats and bright scarves, coffee mugs and Louis Armstrong blaring merrily in every cafe, and time off from classes for a few days’ respite with family fast-approaching.

Those are all nice too, of course. Sensory manifestations of why I adore autumn and the holiday season. But even more than all that, it’s a nice time of year.

I was at Barnes and Noble yesterday, working on a paper after my excursion downtown, a cup of pomegranate tea in hand as uni-student-occupied-tables covered in Macs and textbooks littered the Starbucks cafe (a common sight).

And behind me I heard a mum and child walk by – a son around 5 years old, 6 at most – talking about Christmas presents for dad and going to the grocery store to buy ingredients for gingerbread cookies and “how about this nice new book for your sister?”

I hadn’t even realized that I had stopped typing, trying my damnedest not to look too overt in my eavesdropping. I caught the eye of the woman sitting next to me – alone, save for the latest copy of the Times and a plate of biscotti – and she gave me a knowing smile. I returned it, heart unexpectedly lightened.

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