12 August 11 • SCB

Hello! Welcome to our new site!

I love being to the right of MAV again. It just feels right.

Summer came late to Oregon. When everyone else was melting in the heat wave, we were still shuffling around in our wool socks. Eventually, the sun came and the berries ripened and we shed our layers and jumped in the river, but there were a few weeks there when it was all in question. We had to just celebrate what we had which was long days, good sleeping weather, and time together. Time together is the best part of summer for me. (Just as time alone is my favorite part of autumn).

The last few weeks represent the longest break we’ve taken from posting in some form since we started A Year of Mornings in January of 2007. The respite was welcome, and it allowed us some time to create this space and work on some other projects, but, boy, it’s great to be back. 3191 has become part of the rhythm of my life, and I missed it.

I hope that you will enjoy the new format, and that you will be able to more easily find your favorite posts in our newly organized archives. Last month our old site was down for a day and three different folks emailed me desperate for access to favorite recipes—they are all there, don’t worry. We will be continuing our diptych tradition as well with A Year of Sundays starting this week. Those quiet side-by-side moments are still important to MAV and me. They often say what I can’t quite put into words here.

In this space, we will continue to do what we have been doing which is to share a little bit of our lives each week. We will bridge those 3191 miles with access to our kitchens, our bookshelves, our communities and our travels. My hope is that 3191 Miles Apart will always stay as intimate and earnest as those very first photos posted back in 2007. Thank you so much for joining us.

Film snapshots are from our camping trip to Orcas Island, Washington last week. Hammock swinging in the trees, exploring Cascade Lake by paddle boat and kayak—we had a great time. I’ll have more to share from beautiful Orcas at a later date.

26 June 11 • MAV

My Summer Essentials: pretty much stays the same every year.

Let’s start with what you would find in my bag …
~ a linen towel (Never know when you might swim or sit on damp grass with a cool drink.)
~ a water bottle (If you think I drink tons of water in other seasons summer has me drinking like a mad woman.)
~ sunscreen (I’m a real stickler for SPF 30.)
~ sunglasses (Always.)
~ a little camera (Always.)
~ a notebook (Summer is when I think of my best ideas so I have to be on the ready at all times.)

Beyond the bag my Summer Essentials include …

~ fruit (I really don’t eat fruit in the winter or even spring but in the summer it’s all I can think about morning, noon and night.)

~ my nephews (Always love them more than anything ever {as of two weeks ago I now have two!} but in the summer we can play outside … life doesn’t get much better.)

~ swimming in ponds (Can’t get enough swimming and I’m a real sucker for ponds … don’t even mind the murk!)

~ stripes and patterns (I’m not usually one for a lot of pattern but in the summer I like to mix it up. This year in particular I have definitely been feeling the mash-up.)

~ sunsets (Come on now. What else can be said?)

I wish you a wonderful mid-Summer, friends. See you back here very soon.

: : :

Please note: We are now on Summer Holiday. We will be back August 12, 2011. When we return look for some exciting news including a new look for 3191 Miles Apart, new collaborations and an update on the return of our beloved publication ’3191 Quarterly’. See you in August!

26 June 11 • SCB

My Summer Essentials: This motley list includes old stand-bys as well as new favorites, but it’s all summer to me.

1. My cameras. Obviously, I am behind the lens all year long, but summer is my favorite time for photography. The days are long, my home is finally well-lit, and I love to document the full days I get to spend with my kids along with our travels.

2. Fresh herbs. The taste of summer. Eggs, sandwiches, salads, pastas, pizzas, cocktails—all get a handful of fresh herbs tossed on at the end.

3. Shallow baskets. Perfect for berry picking or for holding food to take to a picnic or potluck. Look for them at thrift stores and yard sales.

4. Hammam towel. A new discovery this year. I throw it in my bag when we go on our outdoor adventures. Lightweight, but surprisingly absorbent, it makes a great picnic blanket, a shawl for a cool night, or a way to dry off after a dip in the creek or fountain. I found mine secondhand, but you can search for them on Etsy.

5. Bobby pins. In the heat (which hasn’t quite arrived here, but it will!), I like to keep my hair up all day. You’ll always find a handful of hair pins in my pockets in the summer.

6. Popsicle maker. We make popsicles nearly every day in the summer. As simple as lemonade or as rich as yogurt fudgesicles (find the recipe in the Summer Quarterly). This batch was vanilla yogurt and a raspberry puree sweetened with maple syrup.

7. My Aurora sandals. I first discovered these when I worked at a boutique that sold them 18 years ago, and they have been a summer staple ever since. With their Vibram soles, they are great for everything from canoeing to hiking to crossing rocky creeks to biking. A great alternative to ugly sport sandals. (In the photo above, I am wearing them at our favorite riverside camp spot last summer).

Have an amazing July, everyone!

: : :

Please note: We are now on Summer Holiday. We will be back August 12, 2011. When we return look for some exciting news including a new look for 3191 Miles Apart, new collaborations and an update on the return of our beloved publication ’3191 Quarterly’. See you in August!

19 June 11 • MAV

I think this is the first completely ‘random’ dispatch I’ve posted on 3191 Miles Apart. This week I have been quite scattered and I feel as if I have so many things to tell you! And most especially so since we are about to sign off for a little summer holiday (but we’ll tell you more about that next week).

Anyway … let’s jump into the randomness, shall we?

First, you must know that I’m in love with my new Jen Judd-McGee Tea Towels. I’m a little obsessed actually. When they are dirty I find any excuse to do a load of laundry and get them back out into rotation. They’re so special, aren’t they?

Second, you must know that I have figured out a solution to my herb problem. What herb problem? Well, the basic gist is that I always end up with too many herbs. There are just two of us in my household afterall and I just don’t need a big bunch (if I’m buying them loose) or a huge plant (if I grow them myself). This year I got little pots of herbs and I’m already feeling so much better about it. A little of something is usually a good fit for me … it just feels right.

Third, you must know that this is my fifth birthday Card Society clic pen and it’s red with magenta writing on it and red ink (sorry for the spoiler Card Society members)! I’m just about as excited about this pen as someone can be about a pen. These are the last 10 days to sign up for The Card Society before I close membership forever (my card-of-the-month club ends in December after over five years and 134 cards). Change is good … it really is.

Fourth, you must know that I’m tickled pink about my new (antique) yellow and white striped porch furniture. Bring on the porch-sitting and BBQ-ing, please!

And last (you’ve been very patient with this ‘random’ post), you must know that I made my first cobbler of the season this weekend. I’m a cobbler fanatic! My very favorite recipe comes from Nigel Slater’s book The Kitchen Diaries. Here’s my take on that recipe which you see all made up at the top of this post:

Peach & Blueberry Sour Cream Cobbler

peaches and blueberries (as much as you like to fill your pie dish up)
the juice of one lemon
1 T caster sugar
1 T all purpose flour

1/2 C all purpose flour
3/4 C spelt flour
2 T cornmeal
pinch of salt
2-1/2 t baking powder
1 T caster sugar
6 T butter
5 oz sour cream

Set oven to 400ºF/200ºC. Cut peaches into chunks or wedges and put in a bowl with blueberries. Sprinkle the fruit with your lemon juice, 1 T caster sugar and 1 T flour. Mix together and place that fruit mixture into your pie dish. Take flours, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, 1 T caster sugar and whisk together in a bowl. Cut butter in and use fingers or knives to bring together until it looks like soft breadcrumbs. Add sour cream and use your hands to bring dough together. Take small pieces of the dough (golf ball sized) and flatten them out a bit in your hands and place them over the fruit. Do this over and over until your dough is gone and the fruit is somewhat covered. Sprinkle the top with a little caster sugar (if you like sweet use quite a bit!) and put in the oven for 25–30 minutes or until top is golden brown and fruit is bubbling. Serve warm or room temperature with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

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Here’s to randomness.
Hope you enjoyed mine. I know I feel better getting it all out!

19 June 11 • SCB

Because we cannot depend on the weather to signal the arrival of summer in the northwest (I have just slipped on my wool socks, actually), we depend on the berries.

Strawberries = summer is here. They are a few weeks late this year, but we’ll take ‘em when we can get ‘em.

For Father’s Day, I usually make my dad strawberry shortcake. Smitten Kitchen’s shortcakes are perfect (and a great use for the yolks of the hard-boiled eggs of which my son only eats the white). Fresh, local berries only need a squeeze of lemon, a sprinkling of sugar and some time to macerate.

My dad, who grew up in the midwest, eats his short cake buttered with a heap of berries and then smothered in just straight cream. I always set aside some cream for my dad and then whip the rest for everyone else. I think it’s a plate-full of nostalgia for him, and I’m glad I can serve it up.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads!