As everyone knows, last night was the much anticipated election for the United States. I had to work till 9pm and when I came home, The General was already installed in front of the TV with Doritos and there was a bit of a party atmosphere in the air, as I tore off my coat and settled in to watch the results turn over in companionable silence. To me, it felt historically important, exciting; in all likelihood, we would be witnessing the first woman to be elected President.
We kept watching till 3:30am – incredulous – and even though I knew that I would have to get up in four short hours, like much of the world I could not stop watching.
We couldn’t believe it.
We stayed up even later talking about it, texting back and forth with children and friends.
We couldn’t believe it.
Today at work through a haze of too much caffeine and anxiety, the vibe was a bit like war had been declared or Armageddon was actually pending. Really. Perhaps the Blue Planet was inching closer after all? (See Melancholia for this obvious reference, but maybe don’t watch this movie right now. Suggestion to: Lars Von Trier! Get more sunshine if you can – this is an extremely depressing film!)
People hugged me randomly at work after trying to find words for the despair of Trump getting in, the election result was on everyone’s lips and many presented with eyes that were bright with tears of anger, disbelief and worry. I found this very moving and deeply encouraging. More than ever, I believe that we can do nothing and yet we can do everything in our own bits of the world.
It seems to me that being kind, being decent and paying attention to one another is literally, all we have.
I am so shaky and strung out on no sleep and exhausted from all the What-Ifs and endless gorging on news coverage.
On the weekend, (seems like years ago now), The General and I walked dreamily through an orchard hand in hand and marveled at the special gold that the leaves have turned this year. We both took too many photographs trying to decant it best. It seems a singular year to us, full of pale, buttery, creamy yellows and golds (perhaps from the delayed cold snap?) and darker, garnet reds closer to what used to be called “ox-blood.” The apples were plentiful and fragrant and even on the ground, that sweet, vinegary scent was not unappealing.
Let’s make the most of every day. And this is delicious.
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups plain flour
2 tsp best vanilla
- Combine butter, sugar and flour and knead into a firm ball that comes together easily.
- Pat or roll dough into a 10-12″ circle, about 1/4″ in thickness.
- Press into a 9″ pie dish or spring form pan (size of pan is approximate and flexible) to form a rim.
- Prepare topping.
3 cups finely diced, peeled apples of your choice
1/2 cup (scant) brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbs. flour
- Combine apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and 1 Tbs. flour in bowl.
- Spoon on top of the uncooked shortbread being sure to leave a 1″ border around the edges.
- Bake at 375 F for 25 minutes, making sure that the centre is thoroughly cooked. (Sometimes, depending on apple choice, there can be a bit of excess moisture but I have never found this to be an issue in the final result). Cut into wedges whilst still warm and serve with whipped cream or ice cream, and a very slight gust of cinnamon on top.