27 November 11 • MAV

Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

Many things have changed since the last time we hosted Thanksgiving in 2009 (my musings from the year are here: part one / part two) and many things have stayed the same.

Let’s start with some differences: we’re in a new flat (this one is truly ours) + we had 20 adults and 5 kids (the largest Thanksgiving to date for all of us) + I rented tables, chairs and wine glasses (I was insistent that everyone sit “together” and that the table be set and ready when the day began so renting left me with the least amount of bother) + we had a “kids table” (loved sitting at the kids table when I was little and I hope the little ones enjoyed having their own space this year) + there were no sweet potatoes to be found (I missed the pie for sure) + I got out for a long walk before it got dark (this must be a new tradition; it felt so good to get some fresh air).

Let’s move on to some traditions that stayed the same: I thrifted for plates and gave one, full of leftovers, to each guest (it was a little more competitive this year so I put out pen/paper so people could mark their chosen plate) + there were songs, readings and dances (we are a performing sort of group) + I got a whole slew of new white candles for the table (which I will use right on through the new year) + there was an outdoor fire (I was too busy doing dishes to make it outside but I heard it was nice) + the last guest left close to 1 a.m. (we were in bed by 2:30 a.m. after the final clean up) + we went through a lot of whiskey (um, no comment).

And most importantly, something that will never ever change, we spent the day, and well into the night, enjoying the company of dear family and friends. Does it get any better than Thanksgiving?

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Today marks the opening of our holiday shop; it will remain open only through December 11, 2011 (which is also the very last day to subscribe to our Quarterly). In the shop you will find our new 3191 Miles Apart Grocery Tote along with options to purchase either a single issue of 3191 Quarterly or a Four-Book Subscription as a gift. If you do order a gift we will wrap it up and include a hand-written note for you. Our lovely creative assistant, Evan, is available for any special requests you might have. Just email her (orders{at}3191milesapart.com) once you’ve placed your order and she will get right back to you. You could even send her your gift list and she’ll make sure everyone gets their subscriptions or Issue 5′s in good order!

Thanks for taking a look at our offerings and cheers to this wonderful holiday season!

27 November 11 • SCB

Happy belated Thanksgiving!

I traveled to coastal northern California to meet up with the rest of my family to celebrate the holiday, and it’s so beautiful here. (Photo of me by my daughter).

We have been feasting (many cooks in one small kitchen).

Soaking up the late autumn sunshine.

Foraging and exploring with my brother (some of our adventures will be included in the next issue of 3191 Quarterly).

And just feeling grateful for family, friends and the amazing view.

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We’re kicking off the season with our holiday shop. You’ll find special gift wrapping on subscriptions and single issues of 3191Q along with something new in which to tote it all around. Do check it out. Our subscriptions will only be offered until December 11th. If you think you’ll be wanting more than one issue (we have some great things planned for the year!), take advantage of the subscription before it’s gone.

Thank you so very much to everyone who visits here and shares in the 3191 Miles Apart experience. Cheers!

18 November 11 • MAV

It’s here!

Our new year of 3191 Quarterly has officially began. It’s a pretty great feeling knowing how far we’ve come (our 3191 Miles Apart partnership will be 5 years old on January 1, 2012!) and not to mention holding this new issue in my hands. I’ve been smitten for the last few weeks.

Let me show you a few of my favorite spreads …

This is from my piece entitled, “I Dream Of Roses”. I’m so in love with roses. Are you?

My favorite new addition to Q is the commemorative seasonal photo gallery that will be tucked into the middle of every issue. With Issue No. 5 we’re remembering “Deep Summer, 2011″ and it couldn’t feel better to look back at these photographs and feel once again the warmth and freedom of summertime. In the spread shown just up top here Stephanie really captures a fleeting light and a sense of the relaxed moment so well. I love these two images of her kids next to each other. In the bottom spread you can see a photograph I took this summer up in Southwest Harbor, Maine. The sun was setting and you can just catch a glimmer of that light on the water in the upper left-hand corner of the frame. It was a beautiful night.

Admittedly I’m a little jealous that Stephanie gets to go blackberry picking every year. Why have I not started such a tradition? Her blackberry-picking spot looks amazing too and it’s right on the water. In fact it was so amazing that we chose one of her blackberry-picking images for the cover. Gorgeous! Meantime I have not made her blackberry crisp yet but it’s on my list!

Lastly some of my own favorite photographs from Issue No. 5. These foggy images are from a piece about Cushing, Maine. We have fog in every season here in Maine but there is something about the summer fogs. They just have a certain smell and a gentle quietness. I love that I can turn to this spread and feel that once again.

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Cheers to everyone who has already ordered their copy of Issue No. 5 or subscribed to the four-issue offering for 2011/2012. You may find us harping on about this a bit over the next few weeks but we want to be sure you know: subscriptions are closing on December 11, 2011 for good. They will not be available again. If you are interested in getting all four issues (Issues No. 5–8) now is really the time to commit. You get one free! We’re so happy to be able to extend this limited offer to you.

I want to heartily thank you for sharing in 3191 Miles Apart and 3191 Quarterly with us. We really do love what we do.

18 November 11 • SCB

It’s official!

3191 Quarterly issue No. 5 releases today (that’s the back cover shown above). We’re very proud of this issue and very excited for the 3191Q year ahead. This week I wanted to sit down with my cup of coffee (go grab yourself something hot too) and share a few peeks at the issue.

I really love this spread that features sparkles from me (left) and MAV (right). Despite the distance and the differences in our day-to-day lives, there is always a touch of that synchronicity. MAV’s photo is also the entry into our new commemorative photo gallery section. Printed on a glossy paper insert, “Deep Summer 2011″ features favorite photos from our summer at a scale and quality that we’ve not really been able to share before now. We’ll be sharing seasonal retrospectives in all of this year’s future issues as well.

I could stare at this photo of MAV’s all day. It’s a little respite from our current dark and dreary days.

Something special I created for this issue was a collection of textile sculptures made from natural indigo-dyed fabrics and leather. I photographed these imposters on the real forest floor.

I had great fun learning about making pickles with my friend Melissa, and you can too.

Perhaps my favorite section chronicles our adventures when we were 0 Miles Apart. Maine, I miss you!! It was fantastic to be able to work side-by-side, not just to put the issue together, but to create much of the content that you’ll find in this issue. I hope you will see another 0 Miles section in a future issue of 3191Q. It’s time for MAV to travel the 3191 miles, so I can show her around my Portland.

I want to offer a tremendous thank you to all our subscribers. We are so grateful for your support and interest (especially you re-subscribers!). I hope you are enjoying your Issue No. 5. Subscriptions are a great deal (you receive one issue free along with discounted shipping), and they are only going to be available for a few more weeks (ending December 11). We have some exciting things planned for this year of 3191 Quarterly, so I want to encourage folks to take advantage of this deal as it won’t be offered again (all future issues will be sold individually only).


12 November 11 • MAV

It’s here! The new issue of Baker’s Notes came out yesterday and I’m pretty excited about it. My creative outfit directs and designs this publication in collaboration with and for the good folks at Scratch Baking Co.

It’s a dream project for us, let me tell you. You may remember that from Issue No. 1 I made my own bagels. That was one of my biggest triumphs of 2011. I still think about those bagels. Might be time to make them again! And of course who can forget the Peanut Butter Cookie recipe that Scratch was so kind to give us? Have you made these cookies yet? You should. Make sure to put the redskin peanuts and chocolate chunks in them. They’re dreamy!

The new issue of Baker’s Notes is called SWEET. It’s full of sweet bakery goodness. I mean, there is a whole section on cakes! Check out the opening spread …

… and the story goes on for 10 more pages after that including the recipe for the cover cake which is Deep South Coconut Cream Cake. Come on now!

My relationship with “sweet” has always been a rocky one. I can’t have too much sugar or I go insane. Bring on crazy MAV! Moody, grumpy, impatient, on edge. Um … it’s just not good. So I have my sugar in small doses and I usually doctor recipes that have a lot of sugar to include less. I love that it has become special to me to have sugar. It feels right for me. And it’s actually why I love this issue of Baker’s Notes so much. These are recipes that I will use when I do have that special occasion calling. Hot Fudge and Butterscotch Sauce anyone? Those recipes are in this issue as well (along with the piece on Sundaes which was photographed at my flat); so fun! Bring on the sweet parties. I’m ready.

When I asked Sonja, one of the owners/bakers at Scratch (and the very talented photographer behind Baker’s Notes), to share a recipe on 3191 we talked right away about the Honey Cake. I had had a few pieces some weeks ago and have been thinking about them ever since. This is such a nice cake. Perfect with coffee and a little lightly whipped cream. I love the toasted almonds that end up being on top of the cake. Sonja was kind enough to cut the sugar in half for me for the recipe you see here. The cake is not quite as moist but it’s still just as wonderful. Just be sure not to over-bake it. If you want the full sugar version leave out the 3/4 C. natural cane sugar and the 1 T molasses and add instead 1 C white sugar and 1/2 C brown sugar instead. Go for it!

Sonja’s Honey Cake For MAV
makes one bundt cake

3-1/2 C flour
1 T baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
4 t cinnamon
1/2 t allspice
1 C warm coffee
3/4 C orange juice
1 C oil
1 C honey
3/4 C natural cane sugar
1 T molasses
3 eggs
2 C sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Sift dry ingredients together; set aside. In a separate bowl mix wet ingredients (including sugar) together. Add dry to wet and combine until smooth. Sprinkle sliced almonds in the bottom of your greased bundt pan. Add the cake batter on top of the almonds and bake in the oven for 30–40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if you like or you can leave it plain. It’s gorgeous either way.

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If you’re in the Portland, Maine area you can visit Scratch Bakery at 416 Preble Street just over the bridge in South Portland. My advice … head into Scratch early (things sell out like mad), grab a bag full of goodies and head over to Willard Beach on foot for a nice stroll. You won’t regret it, I’m telling you.

12 November 11 • SCB

I have a real weakness for the salty/sweet/crunchy combo, and if you look through our archives, you’ll find all manner of sweet and savory nuts, seeds, granola and bars that I’ve shared. Let me add caramel corn to the list, because it makes a pretty awesome autumn treat.

I have been making different versions of caramel corn since college with all manner of sweeteners, including maple and rice syrups. The recipe I am sharing here is not free of refined sugar, but it is my favorite. Honey and brown sugar create a really rich caramel flavor without being too sweet. Do make sure you use real honey.

I pop my corn in an air-popper, because it is so easy, but oil-popped popcorn is probably even better. The addition of peanuts makes for a real Crackerjack-like experience, but the corn is great with all kinds of nuts. Happy snacking.

Honey Caramel Corn

10-12 cups popped popcorn (about 1/2 cup kernels)
1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts (or nuts of your choice)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla (I use vanilla paste, extract is fine)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
sea salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Melt butter, sugar and honey over medium heat in a saucepan large enough to avoid boil-over (a mistake I made with this batch). When mixture reaches a boil, reduce heat and simmer for three minutes. Take off heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda (the mixture will foam up a bit with the addition of the baking soda, so be prepared). In a large bowl, toss popcorn, nuts and caramel mixture to thoroughly coat. Spread popcorn on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in oven for 45 minutes, stirring at halfway point. Allow to cool, break apart and store in an air-tight container.

4 November 11 • MAV

In the dead heat of the summer I visited the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens with three of my girlfriends from Maine. We flew down to NY for 2 nights, thanks to the lovely and generous Lena for letting us crash at her home, and had an awesome time. It was hot! I mean damn hot! It’s very nice to think of that kind of heat now (Is this why I’m writing about a summer trip in near-winter? Maybe.) as I huddle near the heat coming off this computer in in my wool sweater. I thought it would be nice for you too to remember summer and its heat.

Among my very favorite things were the sculptural installations by Patrick Dougherty. I absolutely loved them. At first, without rational thought, I sort of don’t know if they are man/woman-made or if nature created them. Then, as I approached, I walked inside and felt as if it doesn’t matter. They belong there. It was extraordinary.

This tree made me smile. Remember The Giving Tree? I sure do. My parents used to read that to me and my brother all the time. Look at those carvings and imagine how old this tree must be? Imagine all the people it has seen come and gaze upon it. What a wonderful tree.

While we were there the workers were cleaning the Japanese Pond. What an enchanting area and certainly fun to see a man with full body waders trimming and caring for the little plants.

We wandered and wandered for a few hours. Did I mention it was hot?? I loved how the paths led you around and around. I drank two coconut waters with ice while wandering near and far and then had to run back to the main entrance to pee. This is something I do all the time. Why don’t I learn? When we were done we were smiling but ready to get out of the heat.

So it was time for lunch in the freezing cold AC at Prime Meats. We had burgers and salads and wine. What a lovely adventure. Thanks for helping me remember. Hopefully I can hang onto the inspiration … and the heat … for some time to come.

Note: On this trip I also visited the Noguchi Museum (see a few pics here). It’s not to be missed.

4 November 11 • SCB

Above: An outtake from my piece on Orcas Island in 3191 Quarterly Issue No. 5.

Like MAV did last week, I thought I would share some of the photos that did not make it into the latest issue of 3191Q. Both of us shot most of the images with film, and there was quite a bit of serendipity involved—the serendipity of which shots turned out and those that did not, the serendipity of how our work relates to each other’s, as well as the serendipity of how it all fit together into the issue. While Issue No. 5 is much more photo-heavy than any of last year’s issues, there were still many favorites that did not quite find a place. I am happy to share them with you here.

Blackberry Picking.

Making pickles with my friend Melissa. Wish I could go back and tell myself to make twice as many jars our family is making quick work of our pickle supply. (This one is actually in the issue, but in cropped form).

Perhaps my favorite part of this issue is the 0 Miles Apart section which chronicles our time together in Maine. This is from an autumn evening picnic in Maine.

Studio lunch expertly prepared by MAV (what I wouldn’t give to sit down at her table today).

And a stunning, blustery walk together on the beach.


You can still subscribe to 3191 Quarterly, but only for a limited time. Issue No. 5 is already shipping to subscribers! We will officially launch the issue on November 18th.