Some things never change; more things do.
October brunch was at Sube's last year. We feasted on a silly amount of food, and then we carved pumpkins. There were mounds of orange goop in large bowls on the table as each of us carved our own pumpkins with an unnecessary level of concentration. This year was to be a repeat. Sube was hosting again, and brunch was to be followed by the carving of pumpkins.
While I would call the brunch another wonderful brunch success, there was an epic pumpkin carving fail. I believe Andace brought one small pumpkin. Stanley tried to eat the stem, but gave up probably once he realized it tasted like a tree. Once brunch was cleared from the table, the pumpkin tools were brought out, but no one moved. We continued our amusing conversation about what horror movie character Sue should be for Halloween at the school where she teaches and the fact that she and Natalie's dad bears a strong resemblance (at least in his facebook picture) to US House Minority Leader, John Boehner. To illustrate, two of the three pictures below are the real John Boehner; one is Sue and Natalie's dad:
Anyway, we all were so distracted by good food and conversation that the single small innocent pumpkin was spared.
Besides the absence of pumpkin carving, there are quite a few things that have changed just since the last October Brunch (2009), hosted by Sube:
*Candace and Andy tied the knot in a backyard ceremony at Andy's parents' Canadian home.
*Zach and I adopted our Greyhound, Stanley and moved into a new, much bigger apartment and are each in different jobs.
*Elliott moved to LA and got a cool new job.
*Emily and Rob got engaged!
*Natalie moved into a great Loz Feliz Apartment on her own and seems to have made more friends than people I have even met in LA.
*Brian got a great job, and Sue gave us the "two year warning" that babies would be on the way!
*Even though Three-Hole-Punch (Sube's little dog) gained weight since last year, she looks smaller to me now that I am used to Stanley.
If you ask me, these are all great changes. This stage of life is so fascinating to me. Change is not only rapid, it is significant. People are going from boyfriend/girlfriend to husband/wife, jobs that will direct the course of our careers are won/lost/quit; it is like life on steroids because the decisions we make at this stage of life seem to carry more weight than ever before, laying the groundwork for our adult lives.
Zach and I adopted Stanley the Greyhound, it was strange to think that the decision would have a huge effect on my life for about the next ten years. I think it is important to take big decisions seriously, but it is just as important to be be able to break them down into manageable terms. We cannot always know exactly where the decisions we make will take us or what the consequences might turn out to be. It helps me to think of big choices in terms of "day by day". Each day, I will choose to take on the consequences (good or bad) of the decisions that have led me to that point (big or small). I guess a huge decision is simply made up of a bunch of small ones.
With all the decision-making and changes taking place, the constants become increasingly important. I am really grateful for the consistency of something like monthly brunch club but more so for the relationships that led to it in the first place.
Maybe you are not in this very scarily exciting time of your life, and you could use some change! If that is the case (and even if not because who really cares if their food changes as long as it is delicious), you may consider trying the following recipe from the hugely popular baking blog, Bakerella. Here, she comes up with the most creative little treasures, pancakes in the form of mini-muffins...Puffins. Brilliant! They are dip-able/dunk-able (however you prefer to put it) little pancakes: dip in syrup and eat with your hands. You can make them in any variety of pancake; I went with blueberry puffins and chocolate chip puffins.
Chocolate Chip Puffins
(Recipe from Bakerella, makes 24)
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (I did half blueberry/half chocolate chip so I used 1/4 C chocolate chips and 1/4 C fresh blueberries)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a medium bowl. Sift together with a wire whisk.
In another bowl, stir buttermilk, egg, maple syrup and melted butter until just combined.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until combined.
Stir in chocolate chips. Reserve a few chips to sprinkle on the tops.
Bake for 8-9 minutes.
Makes 24 mini pancake muffins.
Let cool slightly and remove from the pan. You may need to use a toothpick around the edges to separate the pancake muffins from the pan.
Serve immediately with warmed butter if you like or even just with maple syrup.
COMING SOON: I made another dish for brunch that was potentially my favorite dish I have ever contributed to the feast. For a sneak peak, check out the yellow thing with bits of green in it on the bottom of my plate (I apologize for the horrible picture)...