The Apple Orchard Kids

Two crows perching on a scarecrow in a field

Two months ago, seemingly overnight, my Facebook feed turned from the standard cute dog pics/BuzzFeed posts/rants about traffic to picture after picture after picture of flannel wearin’, cider sippin’, pumpkin pickin’ OMGFALLFROLIC. It seemed like everyone I knew had collectively decided to hop in a ZipCar and trek out to the nearest apple orchard for some suddenly very necessary new profile pics. So I wrote something about it and somebody even wanted to post it on their site.

But they told me they couldn’t post it until November 25th so I excitedly put a reminder in my phone and almost immediately forgot about it (this is why we put reminders in our phones).  I can’t tell you how excited I was when that reminder alarm went off this morning:

http://splitsider.com/2013/11/the-apple-orchard-kids-by-caitlin-kean/

This Week?

So far this week, I - 

1. Creepily watched/tried to photograph Michael Phelps picking up Captain Crunch French toast at a Baltimore brunch spot.

2. Awkwardly participated in a phone interview in the backseat of my boyfriend’s parents’ car while stuck in traffic on the NJ Turnpike.

3. Was punched in the back of the head and knocked to the ground by a mentally ill homeless man on 5th Avenue while finishing up a run in Central Park.

…and it’s only Thursday!!! :P

Crockpot Butternut Squash Risotto with Mushrooms and Cranberries

risotto

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 14 oz. can butternut squash
  • 1/2 a medium sized yellow onion
  • 1/2 a package of mushrooms
  • 2-3 three handfuls of dried cranberries
  • Salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg

Directions

  1. Go to Whole Foods with the intention of making a paleo pumpkin “risotto” with cauliflower “rice.”
  2. Ask the gentleman with the dreads where the canned pumpkin is and refrain from asking him if he knows what the hell season it is when he says they’re “out of stock” and gestures to a tiny, empty space on the shelf where the pumpkin cans should be.
  3. Angrily whisper “THIS PLACE IS THE WORST” when he walks away and consider getting Chipotle and just going home instead.
  4. See the canned butternut squash and decide to shift gears.
  5. Get home from a workout class that was so intense it actually made you consider crawling up the subway steps on the way home. Realize that it’s 9:30 pm on a Wednesday and scrap the lofty idea of taking out the food processor to make cauliflower “rice.” Grab the real rice which thankfully you already had in the cupboard. Convince yourself that you DESERVE those carbs anyway considering you almost died from exhaustion during that workout class.
  6. Brown half a diced onion in some EVOO. Swear loudly when the smoke detector in your new apartment goes off the SECOND you turn the burner on for the umpteenth time this week. Wonder how much your new neighbors dislike you already.
  7. Throw the onion in the crock pot with 1 cup of Arborio rice (and no, you’re not sorry) and 3 1/2 cups of chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste and place the crockpot on HIGH for one hour.
  8. Watch the season premier of Law & Order SVU and get so engrossed in worrying about Liv’s safety that you actually jump out of your seat when the crockpot timer goes off an hour later. Do a couple of spastic karate moves before realizing it’s not an intruder.
  9. Open the fridge to grab the dried cranberries and notice half of a leftover package of sliced mushrooms. Decide to use them up and quickly saute them in some olive oil. Salt them generously because salty mushrooms are delicious.
  10. Throw the can of  butternut squash in the crockpot along with 2-3* handfuls of dried cranberries (*3 if you have freaky little baby hands like me) and sauteed mushrooms. Dust the top of the mixture with cinnamon and probably a little too much nutmeg. Add a little more S&P if you spent the last two hours sweating your face off and are craving salt.
  11. Stir thoroughly and leave the crockpot on high for another 20-30 minutes. Sprint back into the living room for the last 10 minutes of SVU.
  12. Really believe that Liv is going to be ok. Take a sad sit-down shower because it’s 11:15 pm and your legs are jello from that class.
  13. Throw the risotto in some tupperware for lunch Thursday and Friday and ignore the giant head of cauliflower judging you from inside the fridge.

How to Accidentally Break Your Mom’s Heart with a Satirical Post About Getting Engaged

1. Spend 27 years developing a personality and interpersonal relationships in which the people closest to you think it’s entirely possible that they would only find out about something as important as an engagement by READING YOUR BLOG.

2. Have a boyfriend whom your mother adores.

3. Write a satirical post about a new trend in engagement announcements on Facebook.

4. Assume that people stopped reading your blog months ago.

5. Go about your life for a week or so completely clueless that your mom has read the post.

6. Still clueless, go to Sweetgreen and text your mom while waiting in a long line for one of their delicious District Cobb salads.

7. Have the following conversation:

photo 1

photo 2

8. Laugh and laugh and laugh instead of questioning what this says about people’s perception of your communication skills.

9. Double check the definition of “satire” to make sure you’re using it correctly (close enough). Write another post about the incident.

10. Call your mom more often.

Love you, momma :)

How to Announce an Engagement on Facebook like a Boss

1. Get engaged. Tell your parents and siblings. Say nothing on Facebook.

2. Wait a day before telling your one friend who can’t help herself from posting something coy on your wall like, “I’m so happy for you two! :)”

3. Wait a day or two before liking your friend’s comment. Do not respond to the comment beyond a knowing ” :) “. This will allow the people you haven’t talked to since high school and other random FB acquaintances to start speculating, “Huh, I wonder if she got engaged…” before they go back to hate-stalking other people from high school.

4. Post pictures of you and your new fiance on the beach/hot air balloon/Eiffel Tower right before the proposal but withhold the money shot of him down on one knee. This will really get tongues wagging – “Huh, I guess she did get engaged… her fiance looks like a doofus.”

5. Allow three more “in-the-know” congratulatory posts from friends before making the official announcement. Make sure to use language that makes you sound like the PR rep for Will & Kate.

“It is with great joy that <<tag your fiance here which is awkwardly formal because it will display his first and last name>> and I announce that we are getting married! Thank you so much for you kind wishes, WE <<you are officially a “we” now>> are so excited to share this special, beautiful, MAGICAL time with all of you! <<only 4% of the people reading this will actually be invited to the wedding>> I can’t wait to become Mrs. <<your fiance’s last name here>>! <3″

6. Sit back and let the likes and comments roll in. Feel free to change your profile picture to the one of him down on one knee now.

7. After the 75th comment from a distant relative on your announcement status, comment, “Oh my gosh! Thank you all so much!! This is still so surreal!! We can’t wait to see all of you on the dancefloor!! :)”

8. Immediately start pinning photos of Amish barns, wacky photobooth ideas, candy tables, too-cute handmade centerpieces (that someone else from Etsy can handmake for you), and to-do lists with names like, “THE ULTIMATE WEDDING SURVIVAL GUIDE EVERY BRIDE NEEDS!” Make sure your Pinterest account is linked to Facebook so these pins show up in your feed.

9. When Instagramming pictures of food, make sure to include the caption, “Wedding diet starts tomorrow ;)”

10. Just when all the hoopla about your engagement starts to die down (i.e., the day after you announce it on Facebook) get those engagement pictures taken! Choose between the one where he’s giving you a piggyback in a pumpkin patch and the “low-key” one of you guys just being “you” in the backyard with your black lab for your new Facebook picture.