There are times when I feel that my brain is connected to the world in a way that isn’t quite – normal. I am well aware that thoughts of this nature always provoke jabs and raised eyebrows from the left-brained, analytical bunch. I don’t actually think that my brain has these connections; but I cannot help but feel that it does at certain points in time. Let it be known that I’m not, and never have been, a religious person. Nor am I one who considers themselves to be spiritual in nature, or one who is a large believer in fate or predetermined paths, etc etc etc. I will admit that I am in fact quite fascinated by the psychic realm, ghosts/hauntings, the lives/knowledge of ancient civilizations (for example, the Maya and their advanced understanding of Mathematics and Stars/Planets – how did they gain this knowledge?!) and well…anything that falls on that line that isn’t easy to prove; but is also hard to disprove. I guess you could say I’m fascinated by anything mysterious. I like the not-knowing and the questions that that lack of knowledge begins to stir and create in ones mind. I like thinking. I sometimes think far too much, and get sucked into a downward spiral of continuous thoughts that sometimes become quite dark and depressing, or just silly and out right hilarious. It’s amazing what your mind can do, when left on it’s own to run with ideas and questions about anything and everything in life.
But, back to my first point. I sometimes feel like my brain connects to weird wave-lengths, for lack of a better word, to things happening around me – as odd and silly as it may sound. Some call these moments coincidences. Others claim that they’re signs from the universe. I’m not going to try and put a tag on what they are; but man, they happen a lot in my world and I just find them really odd and bizarre and yes, they interest me to no end. I seem to suddenly think about something I hadn’t seen/listened to/ate/done/etc in a long while, and it will just appear in some way, shape or form around me. For example, I’ll be thinking about a person I hadn’t seen or talked to in ages, and I’ll suddenly run into them, or they’ll call or message me out of the blue. I have this happen with time, music, things people say, tv shows, numbers, words – and it never fails to cause me to freeze in time with a “Whoa, what the hell” kind of moment. I appreciate them, and probably think too much about them. Though, it’s the thinking and the thoughts provoked by this fascination that makes it great, right? I think so, anyway. Today, my What The Hell moment involved music.
This post was originally meant to be about music. I greatly enjoy music. A weird secret that’s not really a secret? I have been known (well, am still known) to cry at concerts. Yes, that’s right. Cry. Music is a powerful thing, and sometimes it hits me hard, okay? Shut up! Anyway, I was doing my usual internet news readings, when I came across an article regarding upcoming concerts and album releases. I discovered Fiona Apple will be in town this coming summer, and also has a new album out in June. One of my most favourite things about music is rediscovering someone you love, after having forgotten about them over a long period of time. I immediately dived back into her music, most notably Extraordinary Machine, becoming excited for her upcoming album and tour and thought “Man, I need to write about music today”. Though, since I am a fantastic procrastinator, I spent more time wandering aimlessly on the internet and when I checked in with Joy The Baker – my brain immediately exploded. Why did my brain explode, you ask? Well, while I sat listening to Fiona Apple, all jazzed about my rediscovery and an upcoming tour, I opened her most recent blog post to see it’s about who? None other than Fiona Apple. Brain = Blown. A weird coincidence? Very much so. A sign from the universe? Possibly, but most likely not. Though maybe the universe is also jazzed about new Fiona Apple, and is throwing out signs left, right and centre to us hoping we get excited about it, too. I accept your signs, Universe, as you have great taste in music and I will therefore call this day, Fiona Apple Day!
In celebration, I will fill my day with some fun videos and add some apples to a delicious baked good. Say, some Apple Sweet Potato Bread? Sure thing! Let’s dance to the kitchen, shall we?
Everyone getting friendly in the Kitchen Aid:
Raisins! Only if you like them, though:
Apple Sweet Potato Bread
adapted from Epicurious
makes approximately 2 small loafs, or 1 large loaf and a few muffins
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 large flake, rolled oats
3 cups sugar
2 sticks of butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 medium sweet potato, pureed
1 1/2 medium apples, pureed
1/2 medium apple, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stab a bunch of holes into your sweet potato (free anger management) and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or so, until soft and tender. Let potato cool long enough to handle, remove skin and then mash that puppy with a fork or a hand held mixer. Peel and chop apples, and set aside 1/2 of a chopped apple (equals approximately 3/4 cup). Put remaining chopped apples into a bowl and use a hand held mixer/blender to puree.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter. Mix in pureed sweet potato, pureed apple and eggs.
In a separate large bowl, sift in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Pour half into pumpkin mixture, and stir until combined. Add remaining flour mixture, and stir just until combined. Fold in remaining chopped apples and raisins (can be omitted, if a dislike of raisins is had).
Grease and flour two small bread pans (9x5x3), and equally pour batter between both pans. Bake for approximately 1 hour, 15 minutes or until a tester inserted into the bread belly comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes. Remove loafs from pans onto rack, and continue cooling. The loaves may need a little help from a sharp knife to be coaxed from their warm pan. If so, run the knife around the edge of the pan, and will that bread from his home. Serve immediately, or wrap in foil after completely cool and freeze for up to 1 month.