12 Bakes of ’18: July

July baking is always ruled by the Ohio State Fair! This year I entered three classes and won 1st in the Gingerbread! I am so excited and I’ve already spent my $50 King Arthur Flour gift card fifteen ways to Sunday (not that it won’t be here until September…ha!). I’ll share the recipe once I can link to it in the Dispatch (!).


That Ohio Feeling

One of my happiness and productivity gurus, Gretchen Rubin, talks about what she calls her America Feeling. I have to admit, I haven’t had my own America Feeling since voting for Hillary and it feels like my country is one I no longer recognize (or, I’m now seeing what was always there in a terrifying new light).

I do, however, still get my Ohio Feeling. I get it watching the sun set over the trees while driving alone down SR 16 and the sky is that perfect shade of pink and filled with cotton candy clouds. I get it trying new beer brewed here and it’s easy to find when checking out a new state or Metro park. It’s in a perfect summer day, in cornfields taller than I am.
And I definitely get it at the Ohio State Fair. Its in the Ag & Hort building. It’s deep and rich when I get my Ohio lamb gyro, when I ride on the SkyGlider, when I eat my one annual deep fried buckeye.img_0549IMG_6115


Sorry, I can’t think of just that word and not think of this.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how we build family traditions and which ones we hold onto and which ones we claim for ourselves and baby families. Here are some of my favorite traditions from our baby family.

National Parks – we always purchase a coffee up at each National Park we visit. We don’t try to get them to match but reflect each trip. M also purchases a cloth patch for his day pack (sadly, he doesn’t go backpacking enough to put them on his 60L).

State Fair – this one is more from me than us but I have only missed one Ohio State Fair in my whole life. It was the summer we got married and I picked a date that put us on our honeymoon smack in the middle of the fair and we had to rush back to Chicago to get back to work. We’ve even pushed my love of the fair on one of our best friends. While I love everything about the fair, the only things I cannot live without are the lemon shake ups and the sky glider. I can’t wait to start bringing our little one to the fair too! (Although I doubt we’ll hit up the sky glider with a newborn).

celebrating my ribbon winning entry at the Ohio State Fair 2015!

Birthdays – we got married young and really didn’t have any money for fancy presents for a while (and now, we just choose to do other things with that money) so this one grew out of necessity. We bake each other homemade cakes – and not from a box – for our birthdays! It takes some time and usually makes a big old mess but we usually try a new recipe. It’s such a meaningful gift.

Christmas – M’s family does a pickle present and we do have a pickle ornament, although with only two of us, there hasn’t been much point in hiding one on our real tree, which makes the whole apartment smell amazing. We also only get each other stockings, it forces us to be more creative and it feels very abundant to get so many gifts! Even if some of them are just boxes of Star Wars bandaids. Another thing I love is that we also go do one touristy, crazy festive thing each December. It might be ice skating at night, or going to see the play version of It’s Wonderful Life, or going to ZooLights. Since we aren’t wedded to the doing the same thing each year, we aren’t bogged down in traditions that aren’t meaningful [and just because you did something once, doesn’t mean you have to do it forever] and we still get into the festive spirit.

at a dickens of a christmas at Ohio Village, playing with dress up clothes, as one does
same event, M making traditional Victorian Christmas Tree ornaments