Cinnamon buns with apple cider glaze

img_3016

I like a day that starts out cool and ends up cool but warms in the middle. I like a day when the light changes so fast you feel dizzy, and I don’t mind that evening comes before you expect it, and that the surprisingly deep cool shadows bewilder you with their soft blue sledgehammer. I like that the changes in the light and the warmth gently bruise you with anticipation and regret. I like a late-summer day.

On several of these warm-middle-of-the-day days lately we’ve gone to see Malcolm’s cross country meets. In the ever-increasing list of things that make me weepy, this would be right near the top. The event begins with groups of teenagers from different high schools milling about, warming up and chattering and organizing themselves. What’s the collective noun for a group of teenagers? A contrariness of teenagers? An insecurity of teenagers? Except that they don’t seem insecure, these teenagers, these stars of track and field. They seem sunny and happy and enviably comfortable in themselves. And though they’re chatty and cheerful before the race, when they’re running they’re so serious and focused, in a world by themselves. The face of each one of them, the ones I know and the ones I don’t, just knock me out with the glowing beauty of their intensity. They’re all so vulnerable and so strong, whether they sprint across the finish line or walk across it long after everyone else has finished. They’re all doing something I have never done and could never do.

The first race was on a hot hot day, and Malcolm passed us, sweating and clutching his side, before puking his way across the finish line, never breaking his stride. Well! I wanted go to him, of course I did, but he’s fourteen and was surrounded by his friends. The next race was far from home, much farther than we expected, in a land of dairy farms, small strip malls, vacant buildings. By the time we arrived the day had cooled. Bright clouds and black vultures circled overhead and the darkly purple clouds on the edges of the fields piled high and deep. Behind us the yellow fluorescent glow of empty high school hallways was strange and familiar. It felt like rain but it didn’t rain. David and Isaac and I were tired and hungry and thinking about the long ride home. After the race they ran some more, a cool-down run. And after all of this running, when we got to the car Malcolm took off again, by himself, to find a feather he’d seen in the woods during the race. It felt like a long while later that he came back over the hill, running, clutching a huge beautiful tattered brown and black feather, as if he could take off flying.

I got us lost on the way home in the maze of small houses with Trump signs on small lawns, making the long ride even longer. By the time we got back it was dark. The boys and David set the table outside and lit the lamp, and I walked to get the pizza. The moment I got home the rain came, but we sat outside anyway, under our umbrella in the glow of our lamp, with our two bright boys, collecting any little bits of information about the first weeks of school they would let slip.

img_2683Yesterday Malcolm informed me that we were going to make these, and I was more than happy to oblige! I made a soft, sweetish dough and let it rise while David and Malcolm were off spray painting furniture. While these were cooking Malcolm helped me make dinner. I haven’t cooked with him in a while, and I forgot how fun it is. Anyway! It was Malcolm’s idea to put apple cider in the glaze, and he made it himself, and they turned out delicious! If I made them again, I’d probably add some cider to the dough itself, as well.

Here’s Stars of Track and Field, by Belle and Sebastian

 

Continue reading

Advertisements

Cinnamon buns with chocolate covered ginger

Cinnamon buns with chocolate covered ginger

For valentine’s day dinner, we had cauliflower steaks roasted with thyme, layered with portobello steaks roasted with rosemary and balsamic, layered, as well, with chard, smoked gouda and mozzarella, and topped with porcini-sage gravy. It was a delicious and special meal, and there was none left to take a picture of. We ate it all! One of the things that made it so special, besides its ridiculous tastiness, was that it was my husband’s innovation. He thought of it!! I feel a little crazy, because I spend a lot of time thinking about new ways to cook food, and it just kills me that he sometimes does, too! We’re in it together!

Back in the days of my chocolate covered ginger craze, he suggested this combination – cinnamon buns with chocolate covered ginger baked right in. It seemed almost too good to make! Almost but not quite! It’s a really really good combination. A comforting cheerer upper, for sure.

Here’s Cinnamon Girl by Neil Young.
Continue reading

Supreme cinnamon buns with bittersweet chocolate

Best cinnamon buns EVER

I LOVE cinnamon buns. Love and love and love them. Is there anything more fun to eat than a pastry that you can unfold to find more and more cinnamon-y goodness the farther you go?

But I have to tell you, I frequently find myself disappointed by the bun part of the cinnamon bun. Often it’s just white bread dough. It’s the thing you set aside to get to the tasty insides.

So I decided to make a cinnamon bun with a pastry element you’d like to eat by itself. And I decided to add bittersweet chocolate chips, because everything is better with chocolate chips. Especially on a cold and rainy day, such as we’ve had lately.

The sugar and cinnamon and chocolate got all melty together in the best possible way.

The reviews are in…little Isaac said he felt like it was so good that he would ask for another as soon as he had finished the first one. And my husband said that we could be nailed into our house the whole winter as long as we had supplies of these cinnamon buns. Malcolm liked them so much he helped me name them.

For the record, I think these would be good with some orange zest in the crust, but I haven’t tried that…yet.

Here’s the Stone Roses with Sally Cinnamon
Continue reading