Friends, hi! It’s Sunday and also somehow October 1st. I, for one, am not asking too many questions about this year. I’m certainly not asking things like HOW? Frankly that’s none of my business. That’s G’s J.
Running coaches (I have one because I use the Nike Running app) tell runners to look straight ahead. Looking up, looking down at the literal flight of my feet? A fool’s errand, a waste of energy, a great way to trip.
Motorcycle instructors (I’ve had more than a few who have wagged their finger at me) tell riders to look where they want to go. Look where you don’t want to go (say the cliff off the side of the mountain) and somehow you will go there. That cliff is none of your business. Again, G’s J.
All of this to say – we’re looking straight ahead and exactly where we want to go right now. We want to go deep into October and into the aisle at the grocery store where the canned pumpkin is stocked… mmmkay? Pumpkin is our purview.
It’s another fine Sunday. No need to freak out. As always, take only what you need.
• I ate up every one of these words: An Ode to My Beloved Uncles Who Always Stepped In When I Needed Them. I have two beloved uncles. Uncle Dan would lay on the car horn anytime my sister and I yelled “Horn Check!” from the back seat, and took us sailing. Uncle Larry taught us how to read maps and start IRA accounts. They’re both my favorite. There’s something wild about an uncle. It’s like… they’re more liable to hold you upside down for too long when you’re a toddler or give you the car keys and wave you off when you’re 14 – but all in the most loving, protective way. (Huffington Post)
• My friend Cara and I have a pact that if we’re ever living in the world without the men we currently love and date, we’re moving in together. We’re buying a house, painting it pink, and filling it with plants, expensive olive oil, soft fabrics, and a library room full of cookbooks. And it’s not that we don’t live that gloriously within our respective relationships. It’s just different. Our fantasy Pink House is huge. You’re invited. Of course it was Cara who shared this Pink House come to life, and I couldn’t be happier for these ladies. ‘We have brothers, sons, lovers – but they can’t live here!’ The happy home shared by 26 women. (The Guardian)
• Much like George Costanza, “I’ve gotta focus. I’m shifting into soup mode.” Soup mode also ushers in gumbo season which obviously begets a giant pot of Texas chili. What I’m saying is, we look cute in sweaters holding a steaming bowl of something yummy. I’m starting with this vintage recipe for Spinach Soup with Garlic Thyme Croutons. (YouTube, Joy the Baker, Homesick Texan, Joy the Baker)
• I love Erica’s Instagram Bake Offs in which she tests a handful of internet recipes and shares her favorites. Her latest is a timely bake off of Pumpkin Bread. My favorite for years now: Deb’s Pumpkin Loaf for its height and crumb but now need to try the All Recipes and Epicurious versions. (Instagram, Smitten Kitchen)
• It has recently come to my attention that I have yet to make this Crispy Cheese Pan Pizza from King Arthur Baking and as much as we’re shifting into soup mode, I’d argue we’re also progressing into pizza posture so…
• I love Survivor. I wouldn’t last pass the first vote, but still. (GQ)
• I have the book Do Interesting on pre-order thanks to Rob Walker’s Art of Noticing newsletter. I find myself drawn to little reminders to be present, to notice, to appreciate. I have a feeling this book could be a sweet holiday gift, too. (Amazon)
• My friend Timothy of Mississippi Vegan writes the most thoughtfully curated monthly newsletter. I have a naked rendition of Suzanne by Leonard Cohen on thanks to Timothy which is really no surprise because whenever I visit, he’s chosen the perfect playlist. The man can cook and locate the vibe. Sign up for his newsletter here! If I’m repeating myself by mentioning this newsletter, forgive me and sign up if you haven’t. (Mississippi Vegan, Spotify)
• I’m collecting inspiration for my future and forthcoming Texas Country Bakehouse as a way of closing the chapter on my New Orleans Bakehouse. It’s not grief I feel over leaving New Orleans to grow in Texas. It’s just the sadness of leaving a party even when it’s good and time to go. (Instagram)
• We are cleaning house, babes. Yes, I’m talking about the closets in New Orleans but also this here website. I’ve been posting since the year of our lord 2008 and, rather sentimentally, not deleting even the embarrassing stuff. At this point, to keep Joy the Baker running smoothly, I need to trim some of the older content. Now… I was silly enough to experiment with the delete button a few weeks ago and scrubbed a 2009 recipe for Baked Polenta from the site. I kid you not, four of you have frantically emailed asking where the post was and if I could send the recipe along. Ok so… you’re not printing out these recipes and taping them to the inside of your kitchen cabinets? Got it. I’ll retest and reshoot the Baked Polenta and make a new 2023 post for us. My advice: in the comments below, tell me what old JtB recipes from over a decade ago you rely on and I’ll make sure they’re pretty and printable or reshot and reposted for you! (Joy the Baker)
• Speaking of sorting through sentimental clutter, here’s how. I feel like this post fails to mention the required glass of wine and several extra hours needed to space out down memory lane. (Apartment Therapy)
Thanks so much for being here, friends! An extra special hello, hug, and happy Sunday to Joanie!
My love to you.