Sunday, December 28, 2008

A fall of apples

Victoria had a white Christmas, a rare occurrence. The first snowfall came while I was over in Bremerton, making for a scenic-as-all-heck drive back, especially the part where one crests a hill and sees the evergreen-set mountains all powdered with snow, a chevron pattern so clean it looked stitched in.
I thought there'd be at most a dusting in Victoria, but when I trundled off the Coho ferry, it was inches deep and gusting into drifts. Pity the poor Customs people, bundled up in dayglo jackets.
More snow, and at one point Victoria claimed a 41 cm snowpack, putting it just above the North Pole, a somewhat eye-rolling distinction, but when the usual news stories are about locals playing golf and gardening while the rest of Canada freezes and shovels, I suppose the contrast was noteworthy.

In the week before Christmas, the weather began to warm, and rain fell once or twice, but the snow held out for Christmas Day. The blocked-off little hill at the end of our street attracted happily-shrieking children with toboggans and plastic sheets. There aren't that many places to sled in Victoria, and we're lucky to have one so close, although Chris is probably too mature for it now.

On the arthritis front, I had my rheumatologist app't, and was told to up my dosage of methotrexate, in hopes of getting rid of the swelling over the left-hand knuckles (and two of the left toes, which I hadn't really noticed). She suggested going back to hydroxyquin as well, but decided it was better to stick with one med unless it really wasn't working. So we'll see how that goes.
I'm still a bit narked about the alcohol limitation, especially since there's port and b&b (brandy & benedictine - mmm!) and sake in the pantry, not to mention a bottle of nice cider.

There's a half-bag of apples in the pantry. It would be a fine thing if I could DEAL WITH THEM before the actual end of the year. My Lord, the apple harvest this year has been something the Sorcerer's Apprentice might have called up. Next spring I swear I will cull half the blossoms--though since the harvests seem to go in cycles, next summer/fall may be as sparse as last year was.
I made an apple pie yesterday, and the menfolk only groaned and suggested that I freeze it for some future time when they could contemplate eating apple pie again.
So unfair, when I think I'm finally getting the knack of this pastry business. I gave in and tried the roll-between-sheets-of-plastic-wrap trick, even though I loathe using plastic wrap (unlike tinfoil it can't be washed & reused, unlike wax paper it can't be used as firestarter afterwards). And damn, but it worked. Instead of the map of Labrador I usually produce, the pastry was rollable into a rough circle, with no giant splits and a fairly even edge. Also, the plastic wrap makes the pastry easy to pick up and plop into the pie-plate, much better than the two-handed sliding-under style, or the wrap-around-the-rolling-pin method.
I'll see if I can get one of the pics that I made Chris and Mark take, and post it on here. I even got that crimping/fluting bit in.

If a short story is a key lime pie, is the shell the characterisation, or the plot? I think the filling must be the style. And must it be a key lime pie? Would an apple pie be a novella?

The apples are to blame (not me, wasn't my fault!) for my silence over the last while. Every time I'd think of blogging, I'd think of other things that needed to be done, and imagine undealt-with apples, darkening and softening in the cool of the pantry, spreading the contagion of mushiness one to the other, blossoming with white mould, dribbling fermenting juice to soak through the bag and stick to the floor, like a fructuous Tell-tale Heart, or M Valdemar of the Apple Orchard. Which spoilt my concentration. (yes! two puns in four words!)
Sorry, I guess I'm a little punch-drunk still.

Okay, really stopping now.