what’s in the mason jar

I’ve finally decided to do a weekly post on “what’s in the mason jar” – which is just another way to talk about the art, food, and adventures I’m loving this week (or month, depending on how often I do them.) These past two weeks has been absolutely marvelous. My cousin got an interview with a couple of Boston medical schools, so he’s been staying with me for a few days. A wonderful excuse to spend all my money on yummy restaurants and fun activities around Boston. I’ve also started experimenting with some recipes – scroll all the way down if you want to check those out.

 waltham-charles-river

boston tea party

I took my cousin here mostly because I’ve been dying to go for so long. I was 13 (or younger) last time I took the tour… so it was time to visit it once more. To my surprise, it was pretty fun. They give you feather props, talk to you as if it were December 16, 1773, and even let you throw a few boxes (or really, floatiest) of tea into the ocean. The hour tour goes by pretty quickly, especially if you have a humorous tour guide like ours. They also give you a new Sons of Liberty identity – mine was Samuel Gore (how did they know that was my name?)

bunker hill monument

I promise the theme of my cousin’s visit wasn’t American history… but it might as well have been. We popped into the bunker hill monument at 4 p.m. that same day. Which is good, considering the actual monument closes at 4:30 p.m. They don’t tell you these things on the site… The museum and exhibit are open until 5 p.m. though. Climbing to the top was exhilarating, frightening (I suffer from claustrophobia), and tiring (it’s 294 steps); but worth it. Not only did we get to see an incredible view of the city for free, we also got a chance to reward ourselves and our hard work with homemade ice cream.

rose art museum at brandeis

Earlier this week, I forced Rob to go with me to the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in search of some cool contemporary art. Trying to go to every art museum around me, duh! (I’m slightly kidding). In reality, it was part of our Waltham Exploration Day, which started at In a Pickle Restaurant and ended at Beaver Brook Reservation. The free museum offers two floors, of which the bottom one was my favorite. It currently houses an exhibit of known artists like Cezanne and not-so-well-known artists like, um… I forget. The point of the exhibit was more about the material used rather than the imagery or the artist. It also has a video on religious persecution and 3D art reflecting on the Syrian revolution.

 

documentaries

I’ve watched three different documentary series these past couple of weeks and I’m not ashamed of it. I’ll talk about my absolute favorite one first, Cooked. It discussed the benefits (health, culture, etc.) of cooking at home. #PREACH. The documentary is split into four episodes: Fire, Water, Air, Earth. I’ve only watched the first two – but I’m already in love. I’ve also been watching Hunt, which covers different hunting methods animals use in the wild. The imagery and videography is spectacular, and it’s also pretty informational. The last one is, What the Health, which discusses the benefits of going vegan. I’m all pro nutritional and food-related studies, but unfortunately, this movie highlights only the studies that agree with their hypothesis. If you do happen to watch, make sure to also read-up on other studies before siding with one party. Here’s an opposing article I really enjoyed. (P.S. all of these are on Netflix, yay!)

breakfast prep

Okay so I only did this one week, but I still think it’s pretty genius. Along with my weekly lunch preps, which I do every three days or so, I’ve began prepping my breakfast as well. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, hello! I’ve done everything from making smoothie packs to baking protein-packed egg muffins. The smoothie packs are easy, just chop up some fruit and place it in a freezer bag. In the morning, dump the things in the bag into the blender, add milk or juice, and blend. Tip: Adding things like chia seeds or clumps peanut butter into the freezer bags is one way to guarantee it will make it into your smoothie. (I don’t know about you, but I always forget those things when I’m running around in the morning.) The egg muffins are also simple. Whisk a few eggs, salt/pepper/turmeric/paprika, and a splash of milk, then pour into a muffin pan. Add pieces of spinach, goat cheese, and turkey to make it extra protein packed!

 sourdough starter

I’ve been reading a ton on how to make my own sourdough starter because you know, why not. Who doesn’t want to have a live thing living in their fridge? I finally got the courage to do it, when I got offered a piece of my co-worker’s. Word to the wise: Always accept someone else’s starter. Not only is it easier to maintain, it’s also an honor. I sadly haven’t had the chance to make anything with it yet – but I will keep you all posted. (It’s currently still living in fridge at my office and hasn’t been fed since last week, so let’s hope it’s still there tomorrow.)

dehydrating fruit

In the process of creating some yummy treats for Rosh Hashanah. And the first one includes dehydrated and powdered apples. I have a whole peck of apples sitting in my fridge from this weekend’s apple picking extravaganza. So, it’s only natural that I experiment a variety of cooking methods. Dehydrating them wasn’t as hard as it seems, it just takes a while.

  • Wash and cut apples into quarters. Tip: Peel the skin beforehand if you don’t plan on making them into powder. The skin can get quite chewy.
  • Place on a baking sheet and bake for six to 10 hours on the lowest temperature. Prop the oven with a wooden spoon if you’re like me and don’t own a convection oven.
  • Let the apples cool before placing them in a food processor with a bit of sugar. The sugar prevents it from becoming big clumps.

And that’s it! Recipe with the apple powder will hopefully be coming soon.

Have you visited any of these places? What did you think about them?

What’s in your art, food, or adventure mason jar this week?

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