Saturday at the Nashville Flea Market

Tim and I are still enough of newlyweds to regularly look at each other and say, Can you believe we're married? Remember what it was like when we weren't? and, on days like this last Saturday, where we went to a flea market we've been hearing about since before I moved to Nashville, Remember back then? Back when we didn't even live in the same state? Sometimes I can't even believe we used to just talk on the phone every night, with Tim in Tennessee and me in Chicago. The days of driving eight hours to spend time with him seem like such a long time ago, back when I'd stay a few days and we'd go to Las Paletas and Sevier Park and bake things like pear custard pie at his house. But I've been living in Nashville for ten and a half months. Ten and a half months! It's not home in the same way the Chicago suburbs are---we still visit my family and everything feels so familiar and normal that it's like where I belong---but yet it is home, too. We have Tennessee license plates … [Read more...]

Brown Butter Cranberry Hazelnut Tart + Chocolate Tart

I never thought much about what our first Christmas would be like---which is funny because, for a classic overthinker like me, it's rare not to think about something. Maybe it was because of how big October seemed and how faraway December felt. The first week, we bought a six-foot Fraser fir, purchased from a giant red-and-white tent outside Home Depot, a tree that smells like the forest and sheds needles every day. We stowed it in the back of Tim's car, alongside a poinsettia and a fresh wreath from Aldi, and put it in our living room, inside a plastic stand Tim hadn't used for four years and topped by white bulb lights I'd hung at that blog birthday party I had in 2009. We hung a homemade advent calendar (inspiration: summer harms) on our dining room window, made of leftover wedding kraft envelopes and filled with holiday activities each of us wrote on slips of paper, mixed together and inserted randomly. The first day was kisses every hour; the second was a … [Read more...]

Satsuma Layer Cake

So listen, should you ever find yourself in possession of 15 pounds of satsumas, say because of a killer sale last Friday at Whole Foods, a sale you'd been anticipating for days, Googling recipes and wondering about things like satsuma ice cream or satsuma salad or satsuma marmalade or jam, and you'd teamed up with your brother-in-law's one box in order to bring your combined total up to three, knowing the store gives a fourth box free, and so you'd wandered out Friday night, box and box and box of tiny oranges in your cart, here is what you should do: To start, give some away. After all, it's Christmastime, the season of celebrating what is the Greatest Gift, so why not extend the December 25 presents all month long? It will make you feel happy and joyful, in the same way that celebrating your first Christmas with your new husband tends to do, and, combined with your every-other-day Advent calendar and newly purchased Fraser fir and bright red pillows on the sofa, this small … [Read more...]