Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Story About Frosting

[The Frosting's story]
Forget about making lemonade with lemons. What does a girl do when she's out of butter and there's an incredible banana cake that necessitates a slathering of frosting? She makes Clever Coconut Frosting and Icing.

My sister is such a confidence booster. When I bemoaned my limited resources, she cheerfully informed me that I could do almost anything in the kitchen. (How sweet sisters are!)

I already knew that I would NOT use Crisco; it makes me gag. I started looking through my cupboard for a good substitute.

My eyes alighted upon a!

My friends, let me introduce you to virgin coconut oil and the frosting that became of it.

I knew coconut oil, like all saturated fats - including butter! - remained solid at room temperature. That was what I needed. Plus, I was using it on a banana cake. Coconut and banana are good pair, a lovely pair. I did have some dairy to use in the frosting which would echo the same dairy used in the cake (sour cream). 

After whipping it up, I was quite amazed at the final product. The coconut oil adding a smooth texture, while lending a slight but discernable coconut note. The brown sugar and sour cream — ya, you already know how delicious they are!

This frosting is delectable. You'll have to hold yourself back from eating it lick by lick and spoonful by spoonful.

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4-1/3 cup virgin coconut oil at room temp (it should be solid and about the consistency of Crisco or butter)
1/4-1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt

Cream brown sugar and solid oil. Add the sour cream, cinnamon and salt, and continue to beat at medium speed until brown sugar is pretty much dissolved. (And yeah, it's lovely stuff on it's own!) Then begin beating in powdered sugar until you reach a proper spreading consistency.

Once the cake is cool and ready for it's elaborate topping
lay it on thick, baby! We also tried it as an warm icing, by putting it on the cake right after it came out of the oven. Like all frostings and icings will do, it got all liquidy and melty, and soaked into the surface of the cake. Heavenly!

[The Cake, with a story of its own]
The banana cake? A knock-out, stellar creation of Lisa Yockelson. I almost didn't make it because I wasn't sure about it, or about Ms. Yockelson. I purchased "Baking by Flavor" earlier this year, and hadn't baked anything from its pages yet.

Nothing about the book struck me. Plus, I am used to recipe books being arranged by the type of baked good, not the flavor. It was a hassle to bake a cake when I had to thumb through it by flavors. The index is helpful, but it's just not the same.

But all this week I've been going through its pages, staring at its photos; wondering why I am being so neglectful of this sugar-glazed volume, not to mention ignoring the praise all over its back cover from all of my favorite bakers, David Lebovitz and Marcel Desaulniers included.

I recant! If all of the recipes from said baking volume turn out this incredible and surreal in their delectable-ness, I shall probably faint from a sugar overdose. (I'm serious.) I am no longer going to neglect it. Its recipes call to be tasted, crumb by crumb.

Behold the banana cake recipe that convinced me. Most banana cakes are like banana bread in texture. The lack the fine crumb, moistness, and softness of a cake. But not this cake. It is truly like a slice of a cake, not a piece of tea bread.

However, though I can attribute the recipe to Yockelson, I made so many substitutions and changes that I cannot say it's really true to the real recipe. That doesn't mean the finished cake is dissimilar from what she originally intended it to be. I kept most of her proportions. The frozen and defrosted bananas is my trick; it gives more moisture to the cake than regular (?) room temperature bananas. Use room-temp bananas at your own risk.

Banana Layer Cake
adapted greatly from Baking by Flavor by Lisa Yockelson
2 1/3 cups plus 3 tablespoons unsifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
Inside contents of 1/2 vanilla bean.
1 1/2 cups mashed defrosted frozen bananas, and all of their liquid
1/2 cup sour cream

Sift dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

With a mixer, blend oil, shortening and sugar together on medium speed until well blended; beat in eggs, one at a time, until well mixed. Add the vanilla bean scrapings and give a quick blend. Now, add 1/3 of the flour and blend on low speed until just mixed. Add half of the sour cream and blend on low speed. Repeat process, ending with the last third of flour, using caution and low speed to avoid over-mixing. Be tender to your cake in the bowl and your cake will be tender in your mouth. Finish by mixing in the mashed, defrosted bananas and all of their liquid. Give one final tender but complete stir.

Pour batter into a well-greased 9x13-inch pan and bake at 350-degrees F for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is golden brown (don't overbake it).

Allow to cool before frosting.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Repeating Notes

I see music as a metaphor for many different things and certain periods of life. Sometimes I am like "The Bumblebee"  all crazy and anxious when I am trying to think, though I would rather be logical and resolved like Bach's use of counterpoint. Other times I'm skipping through life joyfully, like a certain nun through Austrian hills singing about whiskers on kittens and warm woolen mittens. But sometimes I realize that I box myself in.

I have a brilliant little student. Let's call her So-Amazing-She-Could-Be-A-Jazz-Musician-When-She-Grows-Up. Or let's just call her La, for the 6th interval. (6ths are cool. So is she.) So La (no solfege humor intended) is amazing. She has an incredible ear, and we usually start the lesson with her playing the songs she has made up during the week, or the songs she has heard others playing and wants to replay for me. She takes great joy in sharing these with me. Usually her songs include 7ths and 9ths - did I tell she's amazing?

So where does the box come in?

I box-in myself through my lack of planning La's lessons. We get into her lesson book every week and she plays me her songs. But I sometimes forget to introduce her to new things apart from her book, or connect what we've been learning to a great piece of music. In doing so, I miss opportunities to create moments to be fun and creative with music. I often forget to connect it to what makes the necessaries - like scales, her disdain - meaningful and how that meaning brings joy to playing the song. I get so caught up in the mechanics, in staying on-track in La's lesson book, in having perfect tempo and nice notes. And I forget about shaping the phrases, about the colors and tones. I forget about the joy of playing and making music. My music teacher-friend reminded me of this last week. She was telling about two of her students, one who is so concentrated on each note that he misses the phrase, and the other who, despite being younger in age and skill, sees shapes and phrases when he plays, not only the individual notes. When you get past the anxiety of concentrating on each note and focus on the phrasing, you make music. It's like me focusing on every single word when I speak (think. Star. Wars. my. reader.), instead of speaking in sentences and paragraphs. Which would you rather listen to?

When she told me this, it hit me hard. Can I raise my hand and sound a giant Beethoven chord? Ah, yeah, that's me. I get so concentrated on the providence I am currently experiencing that I forget a very true truth: it won't always be like this. Even if you were to repeat the same note for 20 measures, eventually it will change as the song moves on (unless you're playing some incredibly odd piece of 20th century music that repeats only one note the entire song; that song doesn't count for this metaphor) .

I box myself in because I don't trust God has good things planned for me. I am guilty of being distrustful when my bitter providence seems like one repeating note and is slow to change. Usually during such times, I fail to realize it's a part of a larger phrase (phase) of my life. To overcome that, you have to plan.

I have been challenged again and again by Piper's sermon series and book about Ruth. Strategic planning for strategic righteousness. It is during my planning that I discover the plans He has for me, Proverbs 16:9. I mean, if Ruth hadn't committed herself to God and Naomi  hadn't planned to go to Israel, what would have happened to them? We don't know the answer. I'm grateful she made plans and went forward. We can't always see the next measure of the music. Sometimes all we have is the one note we're staring at. But this is when we have have faith and trust God: to be thinking ahead, anticipating for the next measure. I'm not talking about worry or anxiety. I'm talking about planning. Music is always moving, and so is our lives.

So what about me and planning? Well, I have discovered my lack of planning stems from this thought that too much planning is sin. I realize that is not scriptural. Planning is not a sin. Not consulting the Lord and disobeying Him is the sin. If I make plans apart from Him and do not heed His direction, then I sin.

The other faulty thought I have is, if it's risky, it isn't God. This isn't always true. There are foolish, unwise risks, it's true. But consider Naomi's plan for Ruth to approach Boaz during the night. How daring! How trusting and risky of them both! I'm still trying to sort through Naomi's counsel and Ruth's actions. And yet, it reminds me that God so often leads us through some daring circumstances and risky actions to accomplish his will for us. There is not enough space to recount the numerous events in the Bible where people took great personal risk and how Christ was glorified and they were joy-ified (my new use of the word) by their risk and trust (check out Hebrews 11).   I think about the times in my life when I took risk. I knew God was leading me and I trusted Him. These experiences were such joy for me and glory for Him that I keep them documented in my journal to remind myself of His goodness when I'm going through those repeating note times.

I think about La and how she is a little risk taker. Does she realize the risk involved in sharing her songs with me or playing the piano in front of me? No, because she trusts me. She knows after this many months that I even if she plays a wrong note, my correction is only to make her a better pianist. And even after the corrections, we are always going forward towards more and better and great.  I am always happy to see her and have her share her life and music with me. I believe that so it is with Christ, although it is His life we share, not ours any longer. He is happy to see us. He told a parable once about the servant who kept back his talent because he knew (or perhaps mistakenly believed?) that his master was a hard, harsh man. His master reprimands for it, because even if he were truly that way, the servant should have still taken action, whether for fear or joy, he should have done something with his talent. Honestly, I think that if his master truly was hard and mean, would he have entrusted his servants with so many talents of silver to invest for him? Perhaps I am not thinking of this parable biblically. But I think that if God was truly harsh, he would not entrust us with talents of silver to invest. We are in trouble if we draw back in fear and don't move forward. We are wrong if we view God as harsh and unmerciful. He is concerned with his glory, but also our joy - and the two depend on each other exclusively.

Perhaps these metaphors don't help. Perhaps this is a terribly weak, terribly lengthy piece of writing. And perhaps it's all just bad theology. Despite that, I am challenged to place my trust in God, prayerfully make plans, and wait in anticipation during the repeating notes and phrases of my life.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Absence makes the heart grow fonder: eat some chocolate cake!

Well, this working girl has been...working. Like a 14th century peasant wrestling to survive starvation during a country-wide famine I...

...Um, broad, ridiculous exaggeration. However, sixty-plus hours a week is not my idea of a Roman Holiday.

In order to meet the demands of the working single woman, I was forced to step away from my usual active social life and interests this summer. Though this was a different direction than I had intended to take, it has been a good experience. For one, such absences made my heart grow fonder. I found out what I was really missing, as well as what I could live with less of. Besides giving up contact with most of the beloved people in my life, I also had to forgo many of the large and little acts I enjoy. One such act was baking.

I hadn't baked anything inspiring in months. No 3- and 4-layer cakes with fancy buttercreams and metallic copper dust, or homey little desserts swathed in a pool of heavy cream. Let's just say, this long summer absence not only made my heart grow fonder but my waistband looser. 

And then I remembered: Fellowship group was Thursday night at my apartment. There was this recipe for chocolate cake that kept surfacing in my mind. It was for Julia Child's Queen of Sheba Cake...

The recipe both intrigued me and scared me. It's not a traditional American cake with frosting and crumbs. What if I hated it? What if it was a waste of perfectly great (read: expensive) chocolate? I decided I wouldn't know until I tried it. If it was disappointing (or absolutely terrible), I could always serve tiny pieces drowned in several vast scoops of vanilla ice cream

Julia Child, you publish no terrible recipes (except for calf's foot aspic. Gross).  I made the cake in under 30 minutes. I had a few bumps. I forgot the flour and had to add it after I had folded in the egg whites. (This is a no-no in the baking world, if you didn't know already; doing this deflates the leavening action of the egg whites) I didn't have unsweetened chocolate so I used all bittersweet and lessened the sugar. And I baked the entire thing in an 8-inch square stoneware pan.

Despite the bumps and the fact I had been out of the kitchen for some months, when I took my first bite of that cake, it was pure bliss. As the recipe note said, the chocolate texture is softly yielding: somewhere in-between a brownie, torte, and macaroon. Such a cake is too sophisticated to be paired with icy cold milk, like my usual chocolate layer cakes. You're better off pairing it with really strong coffee (espresso!) or tea. The icing was lovely. But next time I want to experiment and top the cake with a thin layer of ganache.

I have never tasted anything like this before. I am totally in rapturous love with this cake, and I will definitely be baking Queen Sheba in my oven again. (Yes, I intentionally worded it like that. Tongue-in-cheek!)

Here's the recipe, with my alterations.

The Queen of Sheba or  Reine de Saba

adapted from The Way to Cook by Julia Child

My note: there are no other leaveners, such as baking soda, in this cake. It's all in the egg whites. So be patient and whip it good.

Use a round 8" by 1 1/2" deep pan [I cheated and used a square 8" pan; it worked just as well.]

The chocolate
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (at least 60% or darker)
2 tablespoons dark rum or strong coffee

4 ounces (1 stick) softened butter
1/3 cup sugar
3 egg yolks

The egg whites
3 egg whites
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoons sugar

The flours
1/3 cup blanched almonds pulverized with 2 tablespoons sugar in food processor/blender

1/2 cup plain bleached cake flour
    OR  1/3 cup all-purpose flour

The method
Butter and flour your cake pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and set the rack in the lower middle level.

Pulverize your blanched almonds and sugar until they are a nice, fluffy powder. Do not over-pulverize. Set aside.

Chop or break chocolate into small pieces. Place in a tall bowl or saucepan and add the rum or coffee; cover the pan with some foil. Pour 2 to 3 inches of water into a larger pan and bring to the simmer. Remove from heat and set the smaller saucepan/bowl inside the water-filled pan. Let sit for five minutes, stirring chocolate-coffee mixture occasionally. It should soon be warm and completely melted, about 5 minutes. If it's not, return it to the heat for a bit.

Cut the butter into chunks and cream it in a bowl. When soft and fluffy, add the sugar and beat 1 minute, then beat in the egg yolks one at a time.

Using a spotless, clean bowl and beaters -- absolutely no exceptions! -- begin beating the egg whites at moderately slow speed until they are foamy – 2 minutes or so. Add a pinch of salt. Gradually increase the speed to fast (or high) and continue until soft peaks are formed. Gradually beat in the 2 tablespoons of sugar and continue until stiff shining peaks are formed. The peaks should stand straight up when you pull your beaters out of the bowl and hold them upside-down.

At once blend the melted chocolate-coffee mixture into the creamed butter-yolk mixture, then add the almonds and almond extract. With a larger rubber spatula, stir a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate to lighten it. Scoop the rest of the whites over the chocolate and, alternating with sprinkles of flour, rapidly and delicately fold in the egg whites.

Gently spoon batter into prepared pan and carefully smooth the surface flat. (Don't mix it too much or you'll lose the air from the beaten egg whites.) 

Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees F. The cake is done when it has puffed to the top of the
pan and a toothpick inserted into the cake 2 and 3 inches from the edges of the pan comes out clean. The center, however, should move slightly when the pan is gently shaken. (Chocolate cakes of the French typeshould not be cooked dry.)

Remove the pan to the rack and let cool 15 minutes; unmold onto the rack. Let cool completely – 2 hours – before serving or icing. [I didn't unmold it. And I let it cool maybe 30-45 minutes, then I iced away!]

Serving note: French chocolate cakes are at their best when served at near room temperature – chilled, the chocolate is partly congealed rather than being softly yielding.

[Julia's notes:  May be wrapped airtight and refrigerated for 2 to 3 days, or may be frozen for several weeks. That limit is for the safe side. However, during the taping of our videocassettes in California we made quite a number. I took two home to Massachusetts and didn’t serve one of them until a year later – delicious.]

Soft Chocolate Icing
2 ounces sweet chocolate
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
    OR 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate [that's what I used]
1 1/2 tablespoons rum or strong coffee

A pinch of salt

3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted softened butter

Melt the chocolates with the rum or coffee as instructed for cake above. When smooth and glistening, beat in the salt, then the butter
a tablespoon at a time. Beat over cold water until firm enough to spread. Turn the icing on to of the cake; spread it over the top and sides. [I just spread it on the top.]

Garnish with blanched sliced almonds and edible bronze dust, if you're feelin' swanky.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The one bowl, one pan wonder!

[The follow recipe is NOT in her cookbook, but I wanted a graphic of PW–so now you know!]

I admit it, I have fallen in love with The Pioneer Woman. Well, at least with her recipes and blog. Gosh, that woman from Oklahoma posts some tantalizing recipes! I may like the frou-frou food of Europe, but nothing beats homemade meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and chocolate cake for this Midwestern girl. Having used several of her recipes, one of her best is the little gem called Baked Fudge. 

Baked Fudge is like eating those molten chocolate lava cakes, only you can bake a whole pan of it for friends - or consume it by yourself on a long rainy day.

It is akin to a pudding cake, with a top portion that is both like brownie and meringue, followed by a layer that is like rich chocolate cake batter. And it does this all on its own, with only one dirty bowl to wash.

However, I discovered that if you double the flour originally called for and allow the pan to completely cool, you get a thicker, almost creamy consistency, instead of the softer pudding cake.

Try it both ways. You can't go wrong. Unless you make it too often and find you are unable to button your favorite jeans anymore.

Baked Fudge
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
4 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup flour (1/2 cup flour if you want the creamy version)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 300 to 325 degrees Farenheit.

Melt butter and stir cocoa powder in it. Beat eggs until light in color. Beat in sugars until just combined. Gently stir in cocoa and butter mixture, flour, vanilla, and salt. Stir well.

Pour batter into eight large ramekins or a 9x13 baking dish. Set ramekins or pan into a larger pan halfway full of water. (If you skip this part you'll have brownies instead of baked-lava-fudge goodness. Either is good, but the baked fudge is better.)

Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until upper crust is crispy and the rest of the batter is firm but not set. Toothpick will not come out clean, but mixture should not be overly runny.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream -- or both. 

P.S. You can halve this recipe and bake it in an 8- or 9-inch square pan. Easy-peasy :-)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Night

Here I sit on a Friday night, sick with a sinus infection and writing this little ditty of a post. I'm listening to big band music on my local public radio station. I have never known of any other radio station, not including radio internet (which doesn't count as real radio, though I still do use it occasionally), offering this. It's like those old days of vintage appeal I love so much, with all of those weekly radio programs.

So, Friday night at 8:30 I flip on the radio to listen to Don Gill play an hour of big band music. Don Gill himself is slightly enchanting and peculiar: an elderly man who was a sports radio announcer, he hosts "Big Band Spotlight" every Friday evening, replete with his unique, cheery voice.

My sister and I began this little ritual of sorts several years ago. One of us discovered the delightful program and soon we were spending almost every Friday night in our flat (okay, attic bedroom), knitting and talking while we listened. In the summer, my sister and I got in my car and toured the city, with Don accompanying us all the way.

Now, we don't spend Fridays with Don so much. Our lives have changed. Sometimes my sister is working. Other times we are both with friends or out of town. And of late, I listen alone, wishing I had someone to dance with.

Why am I writing this? I don't know. Perhaps because it brings back memories of a time not so long ago -- like, only three years ago; crazy how long ago that can seem.

Right now "Moonlight Serenade" is playing, and I am remembering all the good times spent with my sister, as we both wondered and dreamed about what God had planned for our futures.

We're still wondering, and Don's still playing.

So, what do you do on Friday nights? Or do you have another lovely little habit you do (nearly) every week?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Almost Summer Attire, OR Linen Trousers: Prologue

I was going to write a little essay that explained and defined what vintageous is. But after a couple of paragraphs I realized it was going to take better writing than my tired little brain could offer. So, it’s on the way.

But for now, how about a post with less of the philosophical and metaphysical…

See those wide-legged trousers on the left? They are my summer sewing project! They are soon to appear in the most wonderful mid-toned shade of grey linen, perfectly breezy and cool for summer heat. (Confession: I should have begun sewing these in the spring so I could sport them all summer long. As it is, by the time I finish sewing the mock-up and actual pants it will probably be closer to autumn, and linen in autumn is a bit too breezy and cool.)

I found this pattern a couple of years ago on It's by Vogue and my guess is that it was sold in the mid '70s, though I can't find a copyright date anywhere on the envelope. 

Given it's gorgeousness, I was very surprised when I found this pattern and snatched it up like a stray $100 bill. I'm especially smitten with the styling presented in the illustrations: the hats, blouses, shoes, handbags -- everything. I think the entire ensemble is pure, marvelous chic!

While I'm sewing the pants this time, I would like also make the the gauchos and skirt in the future. Other future sewing plans include a duct tape dress form, 1950s culottes/split-skirt (I'm using a vintage pattern by McCall's, but they look exactly like this pair, made using vintage Simplicity 9798) and a couple of blouses. Pictures and posts will accompany all these adventures.

Ciao, darlings --

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Paint! I need paint!

I need some graphics or design ideas for this blog.

I should have had it planned out before I began posting.  Not only am I an impatient writer but an impatient blog designer. I couldn't wait to get up and rolling.

So if you know of a blog design/designer, free or not (Yes, I'll pay if it's smashing good!), let me know. Something vintage-looking would be nice ;-) Post ideas, comments, and helpful suggestions in the comments box.

 A new blog design is on the way, courtesy of my friend Laura of Quietude Blog. For now, I'm using the template Travel. It's not permanent but it's certainly better than flat white walls. And hey, it even looks a bit vintage, in a very contemporary, J.Crew sort of way.

Ciao, darlings --

Risk takers, or Flora Begins Blogging

There are many stories and thoughts behind this blog - my blog (!).

Originally, I wanted this to be a food and lifestyle blog, one of those kitschy spots where I could discuss everything related to the small passions I enjoy on a daily basis.

Then I rethought that: I’m not disciplined enough in home arts to tend such a blog. I knit, sew, and cook but I don’t know if I’m discplined enough to document it, let alone photograph it on a daily basis.

Second thought: theology and worldview blog. Nope. You should have heard me try to verbalize my thoughts during a discussion about Schaeffer’s Escape From Reason. My friend Mike, who I studied and discussed EFR with, is a theologian and was able to lucidly and easily express himself. I was left fumbling for words besides, ah, uh, and the… you know what I mean. It was like attempting to lift my brother’s 30-lb. kettle bell overhead. So absolutely difficult, it leaves me breathing hard and thinking how I can lift it, let alone perform exercises with it.

Another intention was to create a blog in response to my friend Tiffany’s blog, Expecting Good. But I quickly realized that would be rather passive of me to respond with a blog post to each of her blog posts. It lacks originality, though, often the comments I leave on her posts are long enough to be their own blog post.

And who would want to listen to my panderings about creating a more European lifestyle in rural, Midwest America. Nuh-uh. I’m not a brilliant essayist poised to on some journey of self-discovery documented with blinking cursor. Besides, it’s been done by other women.

So that left me blogless...

...Until today.

So here I am. Blogging. I’m blogging about everything I just said I wouldn’t blog about, all in one blog.

You see, I’m being a risk-taker, in that I always think my plans will fail me if I try, so why even try. I am a very happy person, but weirdly enough, I tend to look at things very grimly - a cynic if I ever met one. Happiness is a dream world that will one day be shattered by something painful, horrible, or tragic. Live in the dream as long and hard as you can until it ends. Well, not true. I’m here to see the good with the bad. I need to be more of a realist about both pain and happiness– and less of a romantic pessamist and dreamer. (that’s why the blog title ”the dreaming, happy pessimist” was crossed off the list.)

I have been challenged so much of late by meditations on Naomi and Ruth. Risk-takers. They lived not in a dream, but in reality, a reality shaped and molded by finding refuge the Lord and believing that he was plotting and planning every light and dark moment for their ultimate joy. Unlike some stories that leave us wondering if there was a happy ending, Ruth does end happily, immensely, richly, and completely so! Allow me to wax Piper-esque: Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz took risky, God-exalting actions which resulted in God being gloried and them being satisfied. And so I ask myself, why not me?

My purpose is to take some risk and let Christ shape this blog as he shapes my life and to document, rejoice, ponder, cry, and resolve all of my interests and passions -- gleaning the fields, so to speak.

So…here I am. Am I ready? I hope so.

P.S. So you may be wondering why this post fails to explain what living vintageously means. Ah, I'm a terrible and often impatient, lazy writer who couldn't cram it into this post without it looking like I crammed it in. I need an editor. Or writing classes. Plus, would you have read the post if it were any longer? (I wouldn't.) Suffice to say that an explanation and definition, as well as more self-reflections, will follow shortly. Maybe even this week. WEE!