Widowing my way through autumn

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Scott died over six months ago now. How have I survived this long? I’m OK most of the time, except when I’m not. The permanency of his death has started to settle in, making me feel as if I’m trapped in a fish tank, unable to breathe. Except I am able to breathe, somehow. It’s a secret talent I didn’t know I had.

Autumn is the season of nostalgia for me, every year. The smells of the desiccating leaves and the first wood fires of the season, the crispness in the air. Even the dusty smell of the heat kicking on in our 200-year-old flat. I love venturing out into the newly-chilled air, and also being all cozy inside at home. It should be the season for cuddling on the couch and reading, but Purrcules is stubbornly illiterate. She prefers watching the washing machine in action.

I also love the foods of fall. Scott and I loved them together. I’d make him pumpkin soup, roasted brussels sprouts, squash casserole, roasted chestnuts, pumpkin pie. When the cold really settled in, it was time for homemade glühwein, raclette, and fondue. Melted cheese could make any day into a special occasion. I haven’t yet learned how to get excited for these things alone.

On rainy days, I’ve been wearing Scott’s raincoat. It’s much more waterproof than mine. He didn’t own it for very long before he got sick, so it doesn’t smell like him the way his old winter coat does. I’ve gotten rid of most of his clothes by now, but I’m keeping that winter coat until I have inhaled every last drop of his scent.

Snow, food, wine, Italy

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The morning after the snow

We absolutely love living in Edinburgh, but this city seems to have two major flaws: 1) it doesn’t get enough snow and 2) Italy is no longer within a reasonable driving distance. We were starting to feel it was time to address the deficits of snow and Italy in our lives. Continue reading

Expat Thanksgiving: how to make pie from pumpkins

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There are certain laments you hear amongst American expat communities the world over. “I miss peanut butter!” “Why is there no good Mexican food here?” “Where can I find canned pumpkin?” After several years out of the country, most of us learn to adapt to these grueling hardships one way or another. There are expats who lug giant suitcases full of ranch dressing and jello back from every visit to the US. There are those who just fill the peanut-butter-cup-shaped hole in their lives with exotic local sweets (Cadbury Egg, anyone?). And then there are those of us who use such deprivation as an excuse to expand our skill sets. Which is why I know how to make pumpkin pies without using canned pumpkin. Continue reading

Cakes! Scones! Sponge! Learning to bake like a Brit

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If there is one thing we have learned about the residents of this island we live on, it’s that they love baked goods. Cake comes up in conversation even more frequently than the weather. One of the most popular things on TV is the Great British Bake Off, a show which I suspect we’re going to have to start watching if we ever want to truly assimilate. Continue reading

Eating Tokyo: Kushiage Hantei

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Kushiage was one of the many types of Japanese dining we experienced in Tokyo. It basically consists of deep-fried food on bamboo sticks, but that description doesn’t really do it justice.  Continue reading

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