Monthly Archives: June 2012

Caching Catch Up – May 8, 2012

I haven’t been caching recently, but I did go out a few times in May and forgot to write about them. So starting with this post, I’m going to start catching up!

On Tuesday, May 8th, I went to Silver Sands State Park in Milford. I planned to walk to Charles Island, which is an island about a mile off the coast that is accessible from a sandbar that stretches across the water when the tide is low enough. There are a couple caches there, and the island itself has a really cool history. The pirate Captain Kidd once buried treasure on Charles Island, there are stories about it being haunted, and it’s also a designated Natural Area Preserve for the local bird population of herons and egrets. Unfortunately, I didn’t do my research and when I got there, the tide wasn’t low enough for me to walk across. Fortunately, I was still in a beautiful place!

I’d never been to Silver Sands, and I quickly fell in love with it. My favorite thing about it is that not only is there beach, but there’s a marshy area and woods with trails. Being from California, I’m used to a beach being just a beach. I was amazed that I could stand by the ocean, look behind me, and see huge green trees.

I parked near the marsh:

There’s a long boardwalk that stretches across the marsh and leads to the beach:

You can easily see Charles Island from Silver Sands:

The tide was low enough that I was able to sit at the very beginning of the sandbar and dangle my feet in the water. Charles Island can be seen in the background:

Sitting on the sandbar made me both happy and sad. I closed my eyes and listened to the little waves crashing against the rocks. I could smell the ocean, and for just a minute, it felt no different from a beach in California. It was like I was home, and I was overcome with homesickness and nostalgia. I had a hard time leaving, but I wanted to explore the wooded area too.

There were a ton of birds along this trail into the woods:

I found a cache hidden in the trees, kept walking, and ended up on an old road that is no longer used:

The road led back to the parking lot, where I decided to leave in search of more caches in the area. I ended up stopping for one at a Dunkin Donuts, as well as a Mystery Cache hidden along a trail in another wooded area:

On the way home, I stopped for Chicago-style pizza at Uno. I’d never been there and would rather have had New Haven-style pizza, but it was Easter and most places were closed. I’m only mentioning Uno in this post because I want to say: um, it’s disgusting. Never go there. :]

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

So I’ve Decided to Take Up Cross Stitching…

I’ve dabbled in cross stitching in the past but have never bothered finishing any projects I start. Today, I am proud to say that I have finally finished one! It’s my very own design that I based on this picture:

It’s Lumpy Space Princess, a character from one of my favorite shows, Adventure Time. Before I add a picture of the finished cross stitch, I have to explain a bit about her.

Lumpy Space Princess, or LSP for short, is the princess of Lumpy Space. She has a masculine voice, but she speaks kind of like a valley girl or a teenager (lots of “whatever!”). She’s often selfish and uncaring, and she tends to replace expletives with the word ‘lump’.

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s the finished project:

There is definitely room for improvement, but I’m pretty happy with it overall. It still needs to be washed and ironed, but I won’t be able to do that for a while because I’m not home right now… I’m apartment/dog sitting until July 1st. So just, you know, imagine it clean, ironed, and in a frame of some sort.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Moon Cookies!

Last week, I was feeling bakey and wanted to try something new so I decided to try making black & white cookies.

A black & white cookie is actually made with a cake-like batter, so the cookie itself is very soft. The batter bakes like a cookie, and the bottom half is frosted with black and white frosting that hardens a bit. They’re much more popular in New England than the west coast, where I’m from originally. I’d never even had one until I moved over here. From what I understand, they’re typically found in New York delis and were originally made out of the leftover cake batter in bakeries. I’ve heard them referred to as black & white cookies, moon cookies, and half-moon cookies.

I followed this recipe, but with the changes that were suggested in the second comment on the recipe page. It was really easy and I have no complaints, though I did end up with a much lighter chocolate than I’m used to, which made the cookie a lot sweeter.

I expected the batter to look like cake, but it kind of looked and smelled like pancake batter. After I baked them but before I frosted them, they even looked like pancakes:

Frosting them turned out to be much more difficult than I expected. I didn’t have as big a brush as I should have had, so it took a really long time. The chocolate frosting was made out of powdered sugar, water, and bittersweet chocolate. The white frosting was just powdered sugar and water. I applied the white frosting first and it dried up quickly, so I had to keep mixing in water to keep it spreadable. The batter made so many cookies, I was running out of places to put them! I ended up stacking them this way:

…which worked out really well. I read a comment on the recipe page that suggested letting the white frosting dry before applying the black, so I let them sit for a while but it was crazy because I had to fight with my roommate’s cats the whole time. They are so crazy, they’ve eaten plastic that was left out on the counter, so I know they’d eat the cookies if I didn’t pay attention.

I had a bit more trouble brushing on the chocolate frosting. It was coming out weird, like it was chunky or something. I started dipping my brush in water after a few strokes and it came out much smoother. You can see the difference the water made in this picture:

Thinking back on it, I still can’t believe the amount of time I spent brushing the frosting on these cookies. I’d like to make them again sometime, but I will definitely need a bigger brush. As for the taste – I’m not a huge fan of extremely sweet things (which may be surprising given my love for cake decorating and all that jazz), but I thought they were good. They’d definitely be better with a darker chocolate. I’d also like to put vanilla in the white frosting to give it more of a flavor so it doesn’t just taste like sugar.

I know I could have done a LOT better, but since this was my first time baking black & white cookies (let alone my first successful item baked from scratch without any help!), I’m not going to be too hard on myself. I’m really happy with this first attempt!

“Oh look… the black and white cookie. I love the black and white. Two races of flavor living side by side in harmony. It’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it?” -Seinfeld

Tagged , , , , , , , ,