this weekend i found myself in one of my favorite places in the world… ann arbor. if you did your undergrad at the university of michigan & don’t feel similarly, chances are, you don’t have a soul. this liberal paradise is a modestly urban island in a vast sea of farmland. it’s a tiny city full of whimsical treasures — eclectic coffee shops & bookstores (my favorites were the now-defunct shaman drum & still-kicking crazy wisdom, where i used to read my poetry from time to time), novelty yoga studios, a righteously world-famous deli whose business model is taught in business schools across the country, a four-story, half-century-old thrift store , the vintage store where i once scored an awesome vintage michigan sweatshirt & many an old man lacoste sweater & my personal favorite, the storied fairy doors nestled inexplicably in the moldings of building exteriors. if you want to be the best nanny ever, take your charges on a fairy hunt. just don’t be more excited about it than they are, or you’ll blow your big-girl cover. not that i’d know anything about embarrassing situations of this sort. these are just tips of a giant iceberg that’s near & dear to my left-leaning heart.
by spring of 2014, at least half of my family will have earned their degrees from the university housed in this marvelous town, so it was only fitting to have a family reunion of sorts there this past weekend. michigan finally beating michigan state (albeit entirely by field goals) was the icing on this perfect october weekend cake. as i thought of my eight-person family, all clamoring from far-flung geographical locations to get to southeastern michigan, i decided it would be best to bring along some seasonal treats to help keep our eyes on the prize, er, the tailgate. i settled on pumpkin cinnamon rolls & my friend nicole’s famous apple pie shots. heaven itself couldn’t have made a more perfect match.
every halloween, nicole makes these apple pie shots, pours them into flasks & sneaks them into our bar of choice. hey, i never said we were classy, i just said we were fun. these shots are sugar, spice & everything nice… a little bit of naughty too. however, the nice far outweighs the naughty & as a result, you’ll barely notice the potent amount of everclear this dangerous mixture contains (okay, okay, so it’s not exactly moonshine… i just wanted an excuse to link to this song). you might as well be drinking apple pie filling. consequently, you may wake up feeling a bit under the weather with only a hazy concept of what transpired the previous evening. hey, i never said it was safe, i just said it was yummy. thank nicole for your headache & take a lot of pictures–that will help with the mystery you’ll be solving the next day.
-1 liter everclear
-1 gallon apple juice
-1 gallon apple cider
-8 cinnamon sticks (i also added a tablespoon ground cinnamon, a teaspoon nutmeg & a teaspoon cloves)
-3-4 cups sugar (3 was enough for me)
1. heat everything except everclear in a large stockpot until it boils.
2. let cool completely.
3. add everclear.
4. drink by the gallon (her words, not mine)
*makes a SHIT TON