Moving and Northwest Fruit Galettes

Moving from Ohio to Washington has been a wild ride.

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Moving is a pretty horrible process. It’s something that people really love to hate. But moving also makes you take stock of your life. You have to choose the things that you move and the things that you leave behind.

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We have two brooms – which one comes with us to Tacoma? The one patched together with duct tape and plastic bristles, or the one with the hay bristles that doesn’t work? Duct tape broom. Do we keep our old VHS videos that we love (e.g., Black Cat, White Cat, True Stories, What About Bob), or do we sell them or do we give them to the Goodwill? Goodwill. Do we keep the bedazzled taxidermy fox?

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Sir Chauncey comes with us. (Can you spot him?!)

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I flew across the country with Ansel on a one-way ticket from Cincinnati to Seattle and Aaron drove with the dog and the car. It seemed strange to just fly across the country in four hours and – plop! – move to Washington. I would have rather gone with Aaron; driving allows you to see the gradual changes in the landscape and the shifts in fast food and grocery store chains (hellllo Safeway!). But, alas, I would rather put hot pokers into my eyes than drive across the country for five days straight with a toddler.

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It’s a strange thing to move back to somewhere where you are “from” but haven’t lived in for a long time. I moved away from the Tacoma-Gig Harbor area in 1998 and then moved away from the Pacific Northwest in 2005.

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In a lot of ways Tacoma feels just like home. I know the streets and where the Piggly Wiggly used to be. The ballet school I went to as a little girl is still there. I love going down to Owen Beach and Point Defiance and passing by my old favorites, like Union Station and Tacoma Boys and the Denny’s on 6th Avenue.

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But being back in the PNW feels almost like moving somewhere totally brand new. I haven’t lived here in a long time and my life has changed a lot since I left. So the person that I associate with this place was the child and adolescent me and I’m figuring out what it is to be an adult me here.

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But don’t get me wrong – I am insufferably happy here. Since I’m rediscovering my love for this place, everything is in hypercolor and I’m over-the-top love-blasting everyone and everything and meeting anyone who will chat with me (including mayoral candidates, local artists, and random people at the farmer’s market and dog parks).

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And I LOVE the humans of Tacoma. A lot of the women look like they are coming from roller derby practice and there are more men here who wear utility kilts than I’ve ever seen. And it’s diverse and unpretentious. And the people who are into Tacoma are way into Tacoma. It’s nice to be part of a proud underdog city that is frequently referred to as “gritty.”

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Because we haven’t really moved in yet (we are living like squatters at the moment because we are re-finishing a bunch of the floors in our house), I haven’t been baking much. But last week I christened our oven by making FIVE galettes with local peaches, blueberries, raspberries, and cherries. They were glorious.

I mean, just imagine stuffing your pie-hole with this beauty. (Or “galette-hole”?)

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I hadn’t made a galette in years and I forgot how incredible they are, both in ease and taste. They are not only better than pie (more buttery crust, less goopy fruit, and can be hand-held), but they are super easy to make. Plus you can make them a bit haphazardly and they are beautiful to look at, in a rustic farmhouse wedding kind of way.

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Of the five galettes I made, two were peach, two were blueberry-raspberry-Rainier cherry, and one was Bing cherry.

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I used this recipe from the New York Times (if you make it, I strongly suggest watching the video first because she gives great information that is not in the recipe). They were all fabulous (and perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream).

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So go buy some summer fruit at your local farmer’s market and get galette-making! You will thank me!

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I made all of these galettes last weekend because we had two social events back-to-back. We have been incredibly social since moving back here. I have so many good friends that live in the area (and acquaintances who I want to promote to good friends), so I have been basking in high levels of socialization. It has been a dream.

Our friends from North Carolina, Marian, Will, and their son Liam, came by for a visit just a week or so after we moved in. Look at Liam and Ansel have side-by-side play!

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And Ansel, Aaron, and I got to spend some time with my brother, Dick, and his son, Matthew, at Ocean Shores.

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Ansel was a little afraid of the ocean…

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But with some help from Dad, he warmed up to it.

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And there were plenty of seaside heart-to-hearts.

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Thank you to all of you who have welcomed us back. For those of you in the area who we have yet to see, let’s please plan a picnic. AND! If you are in the Seattle-Tacoma area and if you ever are in need of a cake – particularly one with some kind of unique imagery (like characters from Twin Peaks, or Jeff Goldblum flying through the cosmos, or a marmot party) – please let me know. I’m always looking for reasons to make and decorate and give away cakes!

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