Eyre Affairs

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Location: New York, United States

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"Having finished my task of picking..." ~ Jane Eyre

This Halloween has been all about pumpkins. Some literal, such as my new affinity of the cheese pumpkin, and some figurative, such as the photo of the pumpkin(s) above. While pumpkin picking this year, I purchased The Pumpkin Lover's Cookbook. There are over 120 pages of amazing recipes. Here is a recipe from that cookbook to make the innards of your carved Jack O'Lanterns a yummy treat! Happy Halloween!

Harvest Pumpkin Cookies

1 cup flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 tbsp wheat germ
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup raisins

Combine flour, oats, coconut, wheat germ, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Cream butter and sugars with an electric mixer. Add egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the pumpkin to the egg/butter/sugar mixture, beating well after each addition. Stir in raisins and nuts. Drop rounded tablespoons onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Spread with metal spatula to 3/8 inch thickness. Bake in 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on racks. Makes two dozen.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

"Came along the corridor, her cap flying wide..." ~ Jane Eyre

A few months ago, I was sitting at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City surrounded by my sisters, my mother, and my grandmother. We went to see Mary Poppins, which turned out to be as magical as the movie. And I should know; I think I saw that movie at least 200 times as a child, along with my sisters. Oh, and my mother and grandmother, for they were always forced to watch it with us.

I became emotional during a scene I didn't expect, which was for the song "Lets Go Fly a Kite." I think it is because the song was repeated at the end of the film, when the Banks family was finally united after a period of strain and turmoil. No family is perfect, and mine has certainly seen itself through strain and turmoil, and thankfully we are all still a close, tight-knit unit.

In my heart, I longed for Jack during the show. He is still to young, but a part of me wished he was there. There is never a way to know if a child will appreciate the aspects of your childhood. The best you can do is expose them and hope. And that afternoon, I hoped that Jack would love Mary Poppins as much as his mother and aunts did.

I just didn't realize how soon that would be! And to what degree!

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon...

After hearing "Lets go Fly a Kite" from the soundtrack last month, my nephew has become enthralled with Miss Mary. Of course, he refers to her "Pop Pop." He also loves Bert and can say his name crystal clear, and he loves the Admiral in the film, who he calls "Ameral." His favorite scene from the movie is "Step In Time." I would say on the average day he watches that scene at least twenty times.

When he isn't watching the scene, enthralled, he is imitating Bert. Of late he has grabbed my sister's blush brush (clearly a smaller version of a chimney sweeper) and demands that we clap and sing the song so he can tap around the room like Bert.

So we were in the master bedroom yesterday and I was thinking of various slogans to say to the main chorus of the song as to keep things interesting. I watched him concentrate on his dancing like Bert and smiling as he imitated his idol. I cannot remember a time when I had more fun with him. It felt like nothing skipped a generation, and all that we loved as children came rushing back, renewed. It is like re-exploring old territories, but happier being there the second time around because you already know the bounty that is there.

At one point during our clapping and dancing, my eye caught a book sticking out of my sister's side table in the bedroom. It had a bookmark in it. The title? Mary Poppins Returns by P.L. Travers. I smiled inside and out.

Indeed, Miss Mary has returned to our lives. And as she would say, she is perfect in every single way...

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

"I will fetch you a candle..." ~ Jane Eyre

As Cassie and I gathered our purses and keys to head to the car this past Thursday afternoon, her fiancee called after us and asked me, "Amy, are you a Christmas Tree Shop virgin?"

Indeed, in that moment I was. Thankfully, two hours later I was fully indoctrinated to the wonder that is the Christmas Tree Shop. I am not one of the fortunate Northereasterners to live close to one; the majority are in Massachusetts. The one I went to is the one pictured in Danbury, Connecticut.

After moving to Carmel, New York, Cassie had mentioned the shop a few times to me. Like she, I assumed it was all Christmas items. Alas, we were both wrong. It is the Disneyworld of Domestic Deals.

Owned by Bed, Bath, and Beyond (I am so obsessed that I had to Wikipedia the history), it carries amazing home and decor goods at prices that just seem too good to be true for the quality that is there. I sound like an advertisement, but I just could not believe this place.

I stayed with Cassie and her fiancee this week after visiting schools in Westchester, and on Thursday afternoon she suggested we go. All I had to do was look at the store from the outside to know that this was going to be one amazing shopping experience. Although Cassie and I walked down aisles together, we were in a zone of our own. I had not seen her put half the items in her basket because I was so focused on my own, so I didn't get to ooo and aaah until we reached the register...which was almost two hours after entering the store.

For twenty five dollars, I purchased a red suede chair cushion for my desk chair, two small crockery bowls so I can make me and my prince onion soup on cold winter day, a snowman making kit for Jack, a desk calendar for 2008 that features wine, a cute metal hanging illustrating a hot dog and cola for my kitchen, a decorative apple for my kitchen counter, tea lights for my potpourri pot, and various flavored coffees like Frangelico and Southern Comfort. Cassie and I also saw party goods on sale for ten cents a piece and stocked up.

As much as I loved the store and wish one were closer to me, I think it is perhaps a good idea that this domestic diva is not in range of targeting one at least twice a week if she could.