Friday, July 31, 2009
*Thankful that Seth came home bright and early this morning. Our intention had been to leave on vacation this morning, but that didn't happen... so very much on husband's workplate. So he's at work clearing things off his desk and we're here at home getting ready for our departure... tonight? tomorrow? Who knows... but we know we'll love hitting the road as soon as it happens.
*Grateful for the juxtaposition of work and relaxation. Nothing makes me happier than getting things done, then taking a well-deserved break. Seth was greatly reassured that he and I, at least, are already on vacation and that I don't have a pile of yard work lined up for him. He's been going going going so much this summer we really want/need a good relax together. And I'm all about that right now. (Ask me about my nap yesterday afternoon. So rare. So precious. Quite relaxing.)
*So thankful for a garden that's putting out peppers, basil, tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash and eggplant at a good clip. It's wonderful to see all the plants respond to water and sunshine and all my humming and singing in the garden (it's the humming and singing that makes the difference, I'm convinced of that). And, of course, I had a pesto and roasted veggie wrap for lunch and it was like eating summer.
*Thankful that the apricots have been ripening somewhat gradually. I have been able to marginally stay ahead of them--I can pick for an hour or so every morning and get my 50-75 pounds and come back the next day for the same amount. I have also been fairly successful in finding good homes for the lovely (a friend even called them "gifted" apricots) little fruit, and haven't quite resorted to dropping them on the doorsteps of strangers, ringing the bell and running away... though it has crossed my mind.
*Grateful for hope and peace in a time that still seems largely marked by fear and uncertainty. Which is not to say I don't have my moments... but with a little peace, quiet, prayer and recentering, it's possible (most days) to find the peace again.
*So grateful for the song and dance show we get to watch each week right now. I am just always so amazed at the creativity and athleticism that they all bring each week... two new dance styles and a group routine AND a solo. Holy cow. In one week. I am always so impressed, even if I don't always agree with the voting results! (Though I have to say, all things being equal, now that we're all caught up on our dvr'd episodes, that I'm cool with the final 4. I could live with any of them as the top dancer... 'cept maybe Evan. Love him, love his style, but top dancer?)
*Thankful for a fun week, music-wise. Did a little lookin' around and using itunes Genius is just a really fun way to find other artists and songs you might like... here are a few I found that I love (though I think this first one came my way through Pandora, another wonder of the internet):
I have always wanted to own this song, ever since Toy Story 2. Just discovered Sarah's Rarities, B-Sides and Other Stuff, Vol. 2, which has She Loved Me as well as some other lovely tidbits:
This one really was from Genius!
And I'm a little late to the Ben Folds party, I know, but I'm currently IN LOVE with this song...
*Grateful for encouragement. To each of you who has encouraged me regarding this blog, or just writing in general, thanks. It means a great deal. I got an email from an college classmate this week reminding me of how much I enjoyed poetry writing in college, and how much he appreciated my writing, and also happened upon an old folder of writing from that same era (20+ years ago... that slays me!). So I'm bolstered and encouraged to try my hand at some essays and poetry again, and was even discussing short stories with a friend yesterday... that would really take me out of my comfort zone, to say the least... Found this quote that seemed kind of appropriate:
If you don’t feel that you are possibly on the edge of humiliating yourself, of losing control of the whole thing, then probably what you are doing isn’t very vital. --John Irving
Well, there you have it... On to humiliation!
Happy weekend, everybody. Wherever you are, make it a good one.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
But for me, here are the best things of summer:
1. The never-ending parade of fresh fruits and vegetables. I picked peppers and cucumbers and zucchini from the garden tonight, and popped cherry tomatoes by the handful as I was wandering through. For supper: a roasted vegetable and pesto taco... it was amazing.
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
How do you decide who to marry?
You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.
-Alan, age 10
No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with.
-Kristen, age 10
What is the right age to get married?
Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.
-Camille, age 10
How can a stranger tell if two people are married?
You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.
-Derrick, age 8
What do you think your mom and dad have in common?
Both don't want any more kids.
-Lori, age 8
What do most people do on a date?
Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.
-Lynnette, age 8
On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
-Martin, age 10
What would you do on a first date that was turning sour?
I'd run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns.
-Craig, age 9
When is it OK to kiss someone?
When they're rich.
-Pam, age 7
The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that.
-Curt, age 7
The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do.
-Howard, age 8
Is it better to be single or married?
It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.
-Anita, age 9
How would the world be different if people didn't get married?
There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there?
-Kelvin, age 8
And the #1 favorite is...
How do you make a marriage work?
Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck hit her.
-Ricky, age 10
I like that Ricky! He can come hang out with me any time.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Both of these ladies are authors. I've read one of Katherine Center's books (The Bright Side of Disaster, a good read) and have the sample for Kelly Corrigan's (The Middle Place) downloaded to my Kindle... it's down the list a bit, but I am very much looking forward to it.
Friday, July 24, 2009
This week my blessings are many, as always...
*Thankful that Seth called this morning from basketball camp in Spokane. He was in need of a little mom/stepdad encouragement, which we gave him in spades. 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. is a long day for the littler guys, but he's holding his own and learning as he goes. He's rooming with a buddy from his team last winter, so that's really made this camp fun for him. We can't wait to see him next Friday!
*Very grateful that Ruby seems to be responding to my "bitter barrier" spray on the drip irrigation... she's not completely "cured," but it's much, much better. Our local Home Depot isn't going to know what's up in the world, without seeing me two, maybe three times a day. (I know, I could remember all my myriad yard needs at once, but why?!)
*Grateful to have gotten my brick project done in a couple of days. Not knowing what I was getting myself into (as per usual), I had a few moments of "what if this drags on for days?" as I was just starting... Luckily it all fell into place with a little elbow grease and sweat (well, a lot of that), and many many bottles of water. And some good audiobooks. I have mentioned my gratitude for those, right? And how.
*And also grateful that after living in this hot, dry climate for 20 years (more or less), 100 degrees F doesn't feel quite as bad as it used to. And today was only 88. Positively pleasant.
*Grateful for others who see the value in assessing blessings, choosing gratitude... I went on a little blog surf and found a few examples of others with this listing penchant... Here We Are Together from the UK; some great art examples on Getting My Feet Wet, The Haystack Needle's "things that make me happy" list, A Beautiful Truth, and many more. It was really amazing how many blogs I quickly found where the writer was talking about gratitude, whether on a regular weekly basis or just as a topic for the day.
*Grateful for old, new friends and all the inbetween friends. Sent a note to a very old friend from grades 9 and 10 in Canada who went with my on my first adventure to Australia 22 years ago. She was horrified to remember how long ago that was! Had coffee this morning with a neighbor-turning-into-new friend and enjoyed sharing stories, hearing where she's from and about her family. And had lunch with an "inbetween" friend, someone I've known for a few years and enjoy her company very much. Good times, good friends.
*Always grateful for the power of words. Here's a quote I found last weekend and really appreciate--can't remember where; if you shared it with me let me know!
"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares." --Henri Nouwen
I would do well to heed those words! Oh yes.
And here's my Wordle of it, which I can't figure out how to make any bigger (Jen, help!)... so click on the picture and it will pop up bigger. I do love Wordle.
*Grateful for husband and all he shoulders at home and work to keep things going smoothly. As Seth says, "Yeah, but that's just who he is." True story.
*Grateful for giant blueberries now in season... massive, as it were. Size of your thumbnail. Well, my thumbnail, anyway... maybe bigger... I handed a few to husband last night while we were watching TV and he ate them, instantly said "Where did you get these?" Cuz they were just that good. Klicker's good. Worth the drive to the other end of town and back again, oh yeah.
*Grateful that I didn't forget to get tickets for the SYTYCD tour this fall. They went on presale at 10 a.m. this morning. I remembered at 11:45! Ran ran ran to my computer, clicketyclackety, voila, tickets were still available. And some decent ones, too. So come Nov. 21, Seth and I will be happily ensconced in the Comcast Arena watching the Top 10 (and Philip too, they've promised that!) do their thing. Happily.
*Most of all I'm grateful to be on this planet, at this time, knowing what I know (not much some days!), believing what I believe, loving who I love. It's a gift, and I accept it gratefully. And I'm not giving it back!
Happy weekend! Peace and joy.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
1. Greens with figs, chevre, hazelnuts and balsamic. Couldn't see that one coming, could you?
2. From-garden tomatoes with basil, pinenuts and parmesan. Who needs pasta? This is great all on its own.
3. Greens with raspberries, blue cheese and walnuts.
4. Fresh steamed green beans, hard boiled egg, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers and slivered almonds. My tuna-less version of a nicoise...
5. Roasted asparagus with goat cheese and hazelnuts. This one's a little more spring than summer, but I had to throw it in. (Picture has a variation with pecans instead of hazelnuts, and the addition of cherry tomatoes.)
6. Panzanella--bread salad with tomatoes and for a little extra *wow*, peaches. I just had this combination for the first time last year and am hooked.
7. Tomato, onion and cucumber salad with a light Italian dressing. This is one I make for husband a lot over the summer months, and it's become a fave of mine as well. Walla Walla Sweets for the onions, please!
8. Avocado, tomato, black bean, corn and peppers with a little lime juice and cumin. Maybe a few tortillas on the side...
9. Tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, kalamata olives and feta, with a drizzle of balsamic/olive oil.
10. Grilled zucchini, summer squash, peppers, mushrooms and onions, tossed with olive oil and salt and pepper.
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
I needed to take a dessert for a potluck volunteer board meeting last week, and knew that it would have to be fruity, of course, but which one, what kind? So many options this time of year... I had some of the last of Klicker's strawberries sitting around, and haven't made panna cotta for a while, and I do so love me anything custard! There's something about its non-egginess that is refreshing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not turning on the old creme brulee standby, but if you're looking for less oven time (try NO oven time) and a little lighter (ie, eat more!) the variations on this Italian custard are endless.
(Caveat: I would advise against just assuming you can stir in ANY old flavoring... I thought I'd toss a little nutella into a portion of my panna cotta and it simply did NOT turn out... separated and made a bit of a mess. So, no pictures of that!)
I have always fiddled around a bit with my panna cotta recipes (see note re: nutella above), but the one I followed most closely for this recipe was this one from epicurious:
Strawberry Panna Cotta
3 cups sliced strawberries (1 pound)
1 3/4 cups well-shaken low-fat buttermilk
6 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin, from less than 2 (1/4-oz) envelopes
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
Blend strawberries, buttermilk, and sugar in a blender until very smooth, then pour through a very fine sieve into a medium bowl, pressing hard on solids. Discard solids.
Sprinkle gelatin over milk in a small bowl and let stand 1 minute to soften.
Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add gelatin mixture, stirring until dissolved.
Whisk cream mixture into strawberry purée and pour into molds. Chill molds, covered, until firm, at least 8 hours.
My variation on this was to not completely blend the strawberries and seive them--I mashed them with a potato masher and just stirred in the buttermilk and sugar. I liked having pieces of strawberries in the custard, though it is definitely a more rustic approach. And rather than make a strawberry compote for the top as the recipe calls for, I just sprinkled some fresh blueberries for a little color/texture contrast.
One last note: Panna cotta is traditionally turned out of a mold/form/cup (like a flan), but if that intimidates you, don't let it. I have made countless panna cottas that have been eaten straight out of whatever custard cup I put them to chill. Tastes the same: Yummy.
Friday, July 17, 2009
This week was a good one. Full of all things summer... and so much to be grateful for.
*So grateful for a husband who is patient and kind (I lost a thing of some monetary value this week. Right now we're calling it misplaced, but I really can't think where it's gone. I think it's really gone.) and will only remind me of this a few (dozen) times. Aside from that bugaboo, I am truly a lucky woman, and Seth is a fortunate boy to have him as a stepdad. The bonus is that we know it!
*Thankful for a good week with Seth. He did another basketball camp for a few days--and he's up for more of that next week too--and did well, got some good recognition from his coach and won a few pizzas. (I just love how all these fitness camps feed the kids pizza and McD's. Classic. Next they'll be bringing in the coffee...) Thankful to have such a wonderful son with a real maturity and thoughtfulness, really growing into a young man.
*Grateful for friends and bike rides. Seth and I went out for breakfast with friends this morning and took a lovely bike ride around our lovely town--I especially enjoyed biking through Pioneer Park and those giant sprinklers with their overspray... heavenly. It was only in the 90s, so we weren't boiling yet... when it got to the 100s, we went to the pool and dipped our hotness into the coolness and order was restored.
Seth and his spoons at breakfast... his version of "hear no evil."
*Thankful for health. I've been feeling illness and death quite close and real and not limited to that shiny land of Hollywood of late. Attended a funeral on Monday for the dad of a friend and it really was a thoughtful and lovely celebration of a life, but the loss for the family was so palpable, especially the grandkids. Grateful for them for the years they had to know their granddad, and that they heard from others how much he'd accomplished, what he'd meant to people, in his lifetime.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Take a look at these sweet cakes... don't they look like the real deal, sorta crusted in sugar? Yum.
I will be making these lovely wonders... one of these days!
So let's see... so far the future files contain chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes (not yet made), lemon meringue cupcakes (check, pretty good), sweetened condensed milk as coffee sweetener (check, no need to pursue further), and that scrum-deli-icious rainbow cake (not yet made). Is there anything I want to make that's NOT sweet? Ponder.
Actually, tomorrow I'm off to experiment with two things: that zucchini "pasta" concept with peanut sauce and a homemade V8 (husband's request). I'll let you know how it goes.
But it's a toss up between the rainbow cake and the peach cupcakes, which one gets made first... until I see some new, drool-worthy sweet thang tomorrow....
Monday, July 13, 2009
I have a soft spot for handwritten recipes, which may seem odd, as most of my recipe hunting now takes place online... but there are a few oldies but goodies that still have a place in my recipe box. Yep, still have one of those too!
But the thing about handwritten recipes are the memories they represent, either a specific food memory, or, equally likely, the remembrance of the person who wrote it. Or both...
Here are a few of my favorites.
This one is written by a good friend of our family's and must have been handed down to my mom, and then to me. Can you see how much it's been used? It is a real vegetarian comfort food casserole for the holidays. A big favorite.
Bon bons were an annual holiday favorite around our house--again, you can see how well-loved this recipe card is. It's my handwriting, probably from around high school era.
I wish I had more recipes from my grandma, written down when she cooked and baked. Because, boy, did she cook and bake! Strudle, kuchen, cinnamon rolls, perogies... an Eastern European smorgasbord of goodness. Makes me want to lay down in a carb coma just thinking about it. I can usually find recipes online if I have the urge to make one of her specialties, but it usually isn't quite the same. There was something special about her feel for the ingredients and how the recipe should work--tweak a bit there, add a little here--that made it work. A great way to cook!
* Turn on your music player or computer.
* Go to SHUFFLE songs mode.
* Write down the first 30 songs that come up–song title and artist–NO editing/cheating.
Jen also made a crack about my new-ish (actually a hand-me-down, but why split hairs?) iphone being the 26th ipod to join my collection... a well-deserved crack, and one that made me snort my coffee, but I must protest just slightly, ever so slightly...
This list is from my iphone, which has a great deal of music, but not my entire collection. So it should bring up stuff I really like, as opposed to strange one-off downloads from itunes Free Music Tuesday! We'll see. I can't say I'll stand by every song, but very close...
1. Tracy Chapman, Fast Car
2. Ingrid Michaelson, Little Romance
3. Fleetwood Mac, Big Love
4. Everything but the Girl, 25th December
5. Joni Mitchell, You Turn Me On I'm a Radio
6. Amy Grant, Abide With Me
7. U2, All That You Can't Leave Behind
8. The Rongetz Foundation, Almost
9. Chris Rice, The Old Rugged Cross
10. The Shins, Mine's Not a High Horse
11. Stevie Wonder, You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
12. JMDee Beat, A Fool Like Me
13. S-Tone Inc., Dreamer
14. OMD, If You Leave
15. Michael Buble, Home
16. Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack, Ringa Ringa
17. The Bird & The Bee, How Deep Is Your Love (I love this cover!)
18. Goldfrapp, Beautiful
19. The Pfeifer Broz. Orchestra, Sex and the City Movie Theme
20. Fleetwood Mac, Everywhere
21. Sarah McLachlan, Fallen
22. John Denver, Poems, Prayers and Promises
23. Norah Jones, Come Away With Me
24. Elton John, I Want Love
25. Rachel Lampa, Blessed
26. Carole King, The Reason
27. Fernando Ortega, Be Thou My Vision
28. Big Bang, Yo Yo Jazz
29. Ingrid Michaelson, The Way I Am
30. Paolo Nutini, New Shoes
Yep, that's pretty much it. No real surprises. A little weighted toward a jazz collection that I ripped from Corinne when I was in California this spring, but pretty much everyone else is on there very intentionally... I'm sure it would be quite a different story if I did it off my entire itunes library, which right now has enough music that I could listen for 312 days straight and not repeat. Yikes. That includes books and videos too, but still, that might just qualify as a sickness... I have my excuses, but they are pale.
I'd love to hear what your music shuffle brings up too!
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
This week I thought I'd show a few recently discovered gems from a variety of of blog/website genres... crafts, gardening, food, and just plain old sharing what's up in their world. Take a browse around and see if any hook you.
In no particular order...
1. LaDue&Crew. A fun recent discovery, I think she's on both the blogroll at both noodleroux and The Gift--lots of good food ideas!
2. Mighty Girl. Lots of fun things to look at here! Kind of a funky online magazine.
3. Simply Breakfast. How cool is this--to record your breakfast every day. And make it different. My breakfast blog would be really really boring... same shake, day in, day out.
4. Craftynest. Fabulous craft ideas. It's the how-to pictures that set this blog apart. Makes you think YOU could actually do some of the projects!
5. Milk, Eggs, Chocolate. More food. Done well.
6. Poppytalk. Canadian. Handmade. Design. Need I say more?
7. Sugarloop. A New Zealander with a passion for print. Completely inspiring to me.
8. Life as I see it. I discovered this one through Thursday 13. I want to look around more, but I like what I've read so far!
9. Don't Look Now. So colorful and crafty. I want to sew like that! (In my dreams...)
10. My Tiny Plot. A gardener in the UK. Good photography, great to see her garden grow!
11. Wide Open Spaces. The tagline is: finding beauty in the basics. I like her style!
12. Craftgawker. An aggregate, like foodgawker or tastespotting, but for the crafty types. As if I don't have more ideas than ambition in a day already? Yikes. But so fun to browse.
13. Tartelette. This one is listed in the Top 50 food blogs by the Times UK, and I was immediately taken with the amazing food photography on this site. Just breathtaking... I think I first discovered Tartelette on foodgawker.
And I have to throw in one I found just today when I was looking for a good link to directions for the balsamic reduction: Good Things Catered. Her tagline is: Recipes from a casual cook turned professional caterer and back again. Hello? I think I will love her. I haven't looked around a lot but plan on doing so soon!
If you've got a favorite, I'd love to hear about it! Sharing is good.
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Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Of course he remembered that when, last week, grinning, I practically floated out of the produce cooler at the Kelowna Costco. Both he and husband instantly knew that I had indeed found fresh figs! This is one fruit I wait for all year and cannot get enough of when it's around (it joins a long list of such fruits, but is well and truly queen of said list).
We got enough to share, and MJ nabbed Bobbi's little balsamic reduction bottle, and away we went for supper. And breakfast, and snacks between. Heaven!
If you don't happen to have a little balsamic reduction lying about, you can easily make it yourself. Be forewarned: smells up the house somethin' fierce. But it's not a bad smell and it won't last for long. It's just powerful in the moment.
Expect many fig posts in the coming weeks... though I was horrified to see that CANADA had Californian figs before Washington state. What's up with that? Somebody needs to talk to somebody else about that... pronto.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Pasta was on the menu for lunch, and I knew that mine would have basil and tomatoes featured prominently, while the boys would have more of a bolognese (a la Morning Star beefy crumbles). I am alone in my true devotion to basil, but it's one thing I don't mind not having to share! I did a brief sojourn through the garden looking for tomatoes--still green--and saw that the basil needed a hefty snip to keep from bolting, so came back with my scissors and did a trim.
Back in the kitchen I noticed another zucchini I'd picked but hadn't cooked up yesterday and decided rather spontaneously that today would be the day I would experiment with zucchini "pasta." I have read about this dish for a couple of seasons now, where you make zucchini ribbons and they supposedly mimic the pasta in a dish. I do love me my carbs, but if there's something that can mimic it well and not leave me with the carb coma, I'm all for at least taking it out for a test drive.
I did my google search thing and found a number of options. I settled on the NYT article from last summer and ran with it. Got out my trusty mandoline and had a good time making the ribbons--I went for a smaller cut than they did, but it turned out yummy and very very easy.
Sher's zucchini pasta with cherry toms and basil
1 8-inch zucchini, mandolined to your liking
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tsp. olive oil
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cups basil leaves, chopped coarsely
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup parmesan
In a medium frypan, sauted the garlic in the olive oil for a couple of minutes over medium heat. When it is fragrant, add the zucchini ribbons and toss lightly. Let them saute for a couple of minutes and toss again; do this repeatedly for about 4-5 minutes, until the ribbons are soft.
In a bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, basil, parmesan and pinenuts. Add the cooked zucchini and toss well to coat the rest of the ingredients with the wetness of the zucchini. Flavor with salt and pepper and enjoy!
Is this pasta? No. Was it yummy? Absolutely. I will make this again, many times. Will the boys eat it? Probably not. But I will try...
In true Sher fashion, I will undoubtedly have to figure out how to make this with Alfredo sauce or something so that it's not too healthy!!
Hmmm. I've pondered this for a bit and while I have a picture in my head of a food snob, I have a hard time with the actual description.
But I'll give it a stab: A food snob is someone for whom food is very important. They have all the qualities of a happy foodie: they love good food, good quality, great ingredients and fine dining scenarios. They savor their food, and they will go out of their way to find just the right meal/dish/ingredient. Sounds pretty good, right?
The thing that differentiates a food snob from what I call a "happy foodie" is attitude. With a food snob, there isn't a relaxed flexibility in regards to food--food snobs look down their noses at people who eat things they don't approve of, whether that's processed or "junk" foods, or people who eat at chain/franchise restaurants, particular ingredients, etc. They take it all just way too seriously, and they are happy for you to know it. Not the right cheese? Tsk tsk. Oh, you'll eat there? Really? Hmmm. Creamer in your coffee? How gauche. (It's all in the tone.)
So that's my definition. Am I a food snob? I certainly hope not. I see myself much more as a happy foodie (totally my term, don't blame the poor table topics folks for that one!). I like good food, very much. I like it fresh and local and homemade as much as possible. I've made dinner more times than I can count when I've been dead-dog-tired just because I know it will be yummier than most places I would eat out and I am in the mood for a certain something.
But, just as many times I've ordered in pizza, take out Mexican, Chinese or who knows what, just because. I think spray-cheese from a can has it's place in snacking (not often, but for kicks!), I believe Smarties (the Canadian version, of course) actually do raise your IQ, and I think grocery store potato salad beats mine plenty often.
We're off to weed the garden, pick lavendar and cherries, and fix more drip irrigation. Life on the farm is never dull. And maybe for lunch we'll order in pizza!
Monday, July 6, 2009
Seth is pretty nutty for this online game/program called Line Rider. He's been fiddling around with it in his spare time for a year or so, watches YouTube videos to see how the "masters" do it, and pretty much thinks it's taught him more about art and physics than school... not sure about that, but he has gotten better and better at composing lines and scening them (where you draw in art around the basic lines that the little sledder dude navigates). He spent some time last week at Grandma and Grandpa's working on a special one for me. I love it! I think you'll see why... (Sorry it's so small. My first video upload; we'll see if future ones can be bigger!)
I was quite surprised to see two good-size zucchini in the garden patch, and a few summer squash following close on their heels. A little sun, a little water--you'd think those things were weeds the way they grew!
Luckily, I knew just what to do with one of the larger zucchini. We went to a B.C. favorite last week while in Kelowna, White Spot. Seth has fond memories of the place (I think it's the giant milkshakes? Or is it the "endless" fries? Who can say...), and begged to go back, so we had a quiet little lunch, just the three of us. One of the favorites on the appetizer menu are deep-fried zucchini sticks. As I'm sure you've heard me say before, if something is fried, it's just that much better. Even zucchini.
Well, we decided that in the spirit of being home and back to being "good," we would try our hand at baking some zucchini sticks up for lunch. Turned out pretty spiff, and I dare say I didn't really notice that they weren't deep-fried. I know, there will be some skeptics to the comment, but it's true!
Seth did the honors:
I beat up 4 eggs and about 1/4 cup milk in a bowl and we tossed the zucchini sticks in there. This zucchini was about 10 inches long already, and so I cut it in eighths, then each eighth into thirds (following me on those fractions? This is where we're trying to have the young man's brain not turn to mush over summer break!). Then we just dumped (technical term) some bread crumbs in a bowl and dipped the zucchini sticks in the bread crumbs before placing them on a well-sprayed cookie sheet. We baked them for 15 minutes at 425, and I turned the sticks once to get some browning all around, and they were good to go! At White Spot they serve it with "zoo dip" (I think that's a rip-off of ranch? Since that's what it tasted like...).