October Bucket List

We’re baaaaack! <insert maniacal laugh> And right now it is all about fall baking, halloween decor, and other fun stuff from our October bucket list.

I know it’s been a minute, but Mr. Foodie and I needed a serious break after the mad dissertation/graduation/job hunt ended. To be truthful, I wasn’t sure how I wanted to spend all the time I now have that used to be filled with frantic writing, grading marathons, and six hour job applications. You know what they say about an object in motion? Well I came to a screeching halt this past summer – the first summer since college that I’ve had completely off of any kind of work whatsoever. I was tempted to try and fill that time with as much as possible because that is my modus operandi, but I followed the wise advice of my good friends and resisted that temptation.

Instead I deep-cleaned the house, worked out everyday, went to the Florida Keys (twice!). We got some floors replaced, and I even finished some major painting projects (pictures coming). I tried new recipes, but didn’t share them (except occasionally on Instagram). Mostly because I didn’t know if I wanted to re-start the old blog again. This thing is a lot of work, and I tend to put unnecessary pressure on myself, as many of you know. I also explored other kinds of creative writing, even joining the #5amwritersclub for a while. I dabbled in some academic research.

To be honest, I’m still not sure what kinds of projects I want to do yet. This is the first time in my adult life that I don’t know exactly what is “next.” Needless to say this is scary for a person who loves to plan. So I’m trying to lean into it, relax, and enjoy the time. Let’s see what happens when I don’t preemptively pack it full of stuff I think I should be doing.

One of the upsides has been that I’ve actually had the time to do seasonal activities that I love before the season passes me by. For years I’ve wanted to visit a u-pick farm during the summer. We picked the hottest day of the year, of course, but I’ll never forget the piles of blackberries and peaches we brought home. Every year and every season I have a wish list of things that I hope to do or experience (or a bucket list as they are known on Pinterest), but very often I was so busy working that the opportunity would pass me by. No more! Mr. Foodie and I even have a list of things we want to do this month hanging on the fridge.

To begin the list, we decorated our little home for Halloween.

Then I tackled the October baking challenge on Sally’s Baking Addiction. I’ve wanted to try her challenges for years! This month’s challenge was to make caramel apples with homemade caramel. As I told Sally on Instagram, I could have cooked the caramel longer (which would have helped it stay on the apples better), but Mr. Foodie practically proposed to me again after he tasted it. For added flair and because I discovered I was out of skewers in the middle of making the caramel, I used real twigs from the yard for the apples. I think they give them a nice, spooky effect. I kept it simple with no toppings, but we might try again next weekend and get a little more creative.

Finally we snuggled up with a big platter of seafood to watch Hocus Pocus as a start to our Halloween movie watching spree. The snow crab leg cluster, seasoned shrimp, and oysters were all bought at our local Wegman’s seafood counter. My thinking is, why wait for a brunch buffet or fancy dinner to eat shellfish? Before he met me, Mr. Foodie didn’t even eat shellfish (except shrimp), but now he’s a convert. These oysters (from Wegmans, only $1 each!) were amazingly salty. You can see a video of my semi-expert oyster shucking skills on Instagram 😛 I tasked Mr. Foodie with crushing the ice for our platter and he did okay lol

homemade seafood platter with snow crab legs, oysters, and shrimp

All in all, a great weekend and good start to our October bucket list. Next up, I’m going to share some of the Palestinian recipes I’ve been practicing this past year! I get a lot of help from Mr. Foodie’s parents and the internet (#blessthenet). My goal is to show how middle eastern food is more than just kabobs and falafel. Interestingly, I think middle eastern food is having a “moment” right now in the foodie world – everywhere I look I see halloumi cheese and za’atar right now which is awesome! So far, all I’ve posted about is our dawali (hot, tomatoey stuffed grape leaves), fried akawi cheese, and m’sakhan (sumac chicken). Stay tuned for more!

Want more Fairfax Foodie fun? Follow us on Instagram @fairfaxfoodie, Scroll through our Pinterest board, or find me on Twitter @TawnyaAzar

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