Cocktailing: Apple Peel Bourbon


Apple Peel Bourbon

Recipe: Apple Peel Bourbon by Food52

Let’s do this winter better. Let’s curl up with a few fingers of smooth and spicy bourbon to unwind from a rainy commute or catch up with friends. Let’s give better gifts. Let’s step up our home bar game. Let’s infuse some bourbon with scraps that normally end up in the compost.


Peeled and prepped

This is easily the easiest infusion project I’ve attempted yet. The peels of 1.5 pounds of apples + a cinnamon stick + 5 cloves + a bottle of bourbon. Let the peels and bourbon set for a week but fish the cinnamon and cloves out after two days so they don’t overwhelm the flavor. I used an inexpensive bottle of bourbon (the Trader Joe’s private label Kentucky bourbon) because you’re going to modify the flavor of the bourbon anyway so no need to use something fancy. Everything got mixed together in an 5 qt container I already had on hand. Glasses swing top jars, like this one from IKEA, also work great for these types of projects. After a week of infusing in my coat closet I strained the bourbon into a pitcher through a fine mesh strainer and then used a funnel to rebottle the booze. Try a taste, it’s delicious.


Ready to hang out


Labeled to keep track

And what to do with those leftover apples? I made some applesauce. A pie would also be great. Or how about a pitcher cocktail to drink while you wait or bring to Thanksgiving?

This week

lorelai and rory

Weeknights at home: symbolically and actually

Most often, when writing this blurb, I consider what the defining feature of my week has been or a particular topic I’ve been mulling over privately (typically whilst commuting). This week has had no such story arch. It consisted of hitting work deadlines and hanging out at home with Kat. I had no weeknight plans which is both a weird humblebrag and also a welcome respite. I bullied Kat into watching extra episodes of Gilmore Girls when we should have been doing more productive things. But hey, we cooked dinner from scratch every night and it’s cold.

This morning I got an email from BevMo wishing me a happy half birthday. That’s a highlight, I guess. A targeted advertisement for a liquor was the highlight. So much to be grateful for as we approach Thanksgiving.


The hidden (to Americans) history of Saartjie Baartman. A unified theory of Kim Kardashian. Seattle has the largest density of micro housing units in the country; what that means for our future. The politics of names (the gender breakdown of this is also fascinating <— probably my most common addendum). Solange. In a cape. Killing Everything. Remember last week when Evie wrote about finishing grad school? She’s my goddamn hero. For Mister Jensen. Serial’s shoddy reporting. Alix’s trip to the Hoh Rainforest. Knot tying is my universal contribution to friends who are moving.

Ta-Nehisi Coates on Bill Cosby must be read:

Rape constitutes the loss of your body, which is all you are, to someone else. I have never been raped. But I have, several times as a child, been punched/stomped/kicked/bumrushed while walking home from school, and thus lost my body. The worst part for me was not the experience, but the humiliation of being unable to protect my body, which is all I am, from predators. Even now as I sketch this out for you publicly, I am humiliated all again. And this happened when I was a child. If recounting a physical assault causes me humiliation, how might recounting a sexual assault feel? And what would cause me to willingly stand up and relive that humiliation before a national audience? And why would I fake my way through such a thing? Cosby’s accusers—who have no hope of criminal charges, nor civil damages—are courting the scrutiny of Cosby-lovers and rape-deniers. To what end?


A hero to ladies everywhere. Anna Kendrick: most adorable. 36 hours in Seattle, a NYT love letter to my home town (featuring my fave, Damn the Weather).


The Dip – Ready to Go

Mr Little JeanPocketknife (I listened to this while commuting Thursday morning and was feeling it)

This week


Old Piecora’s / New Capitol Hill

I’ve been thinking a lot about my old neighborhood recently. It has become very fashionable to hand wring about gentrification and the changing face of cities, especially tech hubs like Seattle. My childhood neighborhood is ground zero for an influx of hoodie-clad brogrammers that price out the very people that create the dynamism that attracted them to the neighborhood in the first place. What we actually do about it? I take as a starting point that housing is and should be viewed as a human right. We have more empty homes in America than houseless people (by fivefold, in fact). The state has a role to play in brokering the relationship between renters and landlords. I support rent control. I support movements that put evicted people back in their homes. I support a living wage that increases workers’ ability to afford increased rent. And I support radically increased federal funding of the arts so we can pay talented people to create beautiful things for us to all enjoy.


Congratulations to Evie on her truly noteworthy achievement with deep and humble appreciation for the art of pushing through. #FeministPrincessBride Chloe Sevigny is my soul sister. How net neutrality actually works. The singing comet. Van Gogh bike path? Time to go back to the Netherlands. The movement for justice following the murder of 42 students in Mexico is growing. What I like to call “bustin’ perps”.


Strings cover of TSwifty.


Jungle – Time (Beat Connection Remix)

The Twilight SadNobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave



Advocate’s Close, Edinburgh

Remember when I came back from this trip….six weeks ago? Sorry about that. After a week in London with my family (and doing some diligent drinking with my brother) I hopped on the train north to Edinburgh. What a perfectly magical city. Edinburgh is intensely walkable; just over 100 square miles. I spent three days exploring the castle, drinking tea in every tiny shop, walking through the city, checking out the National Gallery, and enjoying a beer at the pub. Kirsty, of A Safe Mooring, and Lauren, wedding photographer extraordinaire, met me for lunch at Summerhall and they even brought me their beautiful babies to admire. Transitioning internet friends into IRL friends is one of the best parts of traveling.

I arrived in Edinburgh just a few days after their historic vote for independence. Scotland will remain part of the UK for now but the political climate remained charged with people discussing the vote everywhere I went and plenty of leftover campaign signs.


Summerhall, Edinburgh




Harry Potter graffiti at the Elephant Cafe, Edinburgh


Fortitude Coffee, Edinburgh


Breakfast in bed, Edinburgh


Lucky Liquor Co, Edinburgh






Queen Street Gardens, Edinburgh

The bestest of weekends


Portland, OR

Today Kat is starting a new job. I’m particularly pleased about this news as it is a position with the university I work for so I could conceivably send her work related emails that conclude with Amy Poehler gifs. The world is truly a great place.

To mark this transition and to embrace a tiny sliver of relaxation in our own lives, we took a four day weekend. The first half was a trip to the always charming Portland, OR to attend a political conference. Saturday morning I poked Kat until she concluded her scroll through instragram so we could walk to Bijou for brunch. We talked nationalism, reformism, feminism, and imperialism all day. We got drunk in a living room in SE Portland and split a cab home. Sunday was stunning and the drive north was crisp and colorful in the way November aught to be and often isn’t in the Northwest. A giant rainstorm over Tacoma marked our return to the Puget Sound we know in our hearts. Monday and Tuesday were a blur of cooking, shopping, and cleaning all topped off with banya!

Congratulations, babe! I know you’re going to kill it!


Bijou Cafe, Portland


Portland Outdoor Store, Portland


Portland, OR


Oregon State


V.I. Lenin, SE Portland


Saturday Farmers’ Market, Portland State University


Making politics happen


Sunday morning coffee and Lena


Trove Vintage, Seattle


Lucca, Seattle


Banya 5, Seattle


Cassoulet + Jess and Rory (!!!)

This week


Monday night pizza dinner.


The dark underbelly of your newsfeed. Mallory Ortberg is the latest in my series of internet crushes. Overshare your voter status away! Tomboy style perfected. Not afraid, but threatened. The Navy SEALS of stains. I’ve had this ramen recipe in an open tab for three weeks now, the approximate amount of time it would take to make. The Democrats have no one to blame but themselves. A cure for your Serial obsession: a podcast about Serial. Cat calling in NYC: a WOC experience. Banksy is probably a woman. On kinda hedging.



Saint PepsiFiona Coyne (“I think I was embarrassing with them, wasn’t I?”)

Jen Roesch – From criminalization to “rape culture”: Rethinking the politics of sexual violence (I was thinking more about the NYC cat calling video that went viral and relistened to this talk in that context. Definitely recommended.)