Pittsburgh's Washington's Landing is largely a quiet place with the occasional rower skimming the Allegheny River or a runner looping over the landscaped trail. Once an industrial brownfield, it's now a small haven that boasts the brightest autumnal palette (and a connection to George Washington himself). In short, it's an ideal spot for a picnic, and fall picnics call for thermoses of piping hot Curry Pumpkin Soup!
On the day of the Tree of Life Synagogue attack, I was styling a wedding. The severity of the situation began to hit as I tied a blue swag of fabric over a chuppah. A Jewish man and a Dutch woman, and their nearest and dearest, gathered to celebrate love and the hope of a long life together. A full band smiled as they sang and played their instruments. The dance floor emitted a palpable joy. It was the most beautiful contrast to one of the city’s darkest days.
When I was younger, we frequently made the trip to Lancaster, PA to take in the regular gamut of touristy attractions. We were devoted fans of the wax museum, where a sleeping man in the lobby caused my family much debate as to the very modern direction of the new figures. This trip was a chance for me to explore the younger, more modern strides of the downtown.
I was brainstorming ways to describe how much the Rustbelt Farmer and I value coffee. I could talk about our assortment of tools, or the way coffee has inspired our travels, or my metrics for judging a new coffee shop, but then I realized, that was all too flowery and emotional. The best way to demonstrate our love of good coffee was his response to a family member's request to pick up K-cups for our lake house weekend...
When a very sunny and hot Labor Day rolled around, I found myself itching to socialize and soak up the sun. I hadn't been sure what my schedule would be, so I had failed to plan anything, and by that point, it felt too late. I was alone, and don't tell my mom, but I dare say I was bored. Luckily, a friend came to my rescue, and a last minute getaway ensued.
For the past six months or so, I've been working on something big, something scary, something that has broken me, built me and flipped me every which way. I've missed summertime traditions, family gatherings, and missed seeing lots of my friends, but there was one day I couldn't miss: my Rustbelt Farmer's birthday! That's a day that called for cake, specifically a Gluten Free Rhubarb Cake with Whiskey Whipped Cream and farm-fresh strawberries and mint.