Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The beginning of the end

I enjoy the fall weather but I'm going to miss summer at my house. Since I work in the foothills I got a little taste of the snow during the storm today and it seems like winter is coming on a little too soon. I was looking through some pictures today and these made me sad to see the weather get so cold. This is just in my own backyard, don't get me started on all the stuff I won't be able to do anymore away from my trips to the cabin, climbing outside, farmers markets, outdoor concerts...oops, looks like I got started... It was just such a fun summer I hate to see it ending.
Breakfast in the summer is served on the veranda
Local wildlife on the hunt
(also known as Francis Buttermilk)
Steinway and Linus looking for apple handouts
Reading on the lawn till the sun goes down

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Three Tomatoes - One Way

My favorite thing to do with tomatoes is make "Tomatoes and Cheese - 3 Ways" This is actually the only reason I plant tomatoes in my garden. (Maybe someday I'll share my 3 ways but not now.) This summer I got distracted from gardening by more exciting activities and almost never watered my raised beds. I only got around to putting miracle grow on them once all summer so they were almost totally organic. My 5 plants still made tomatoes but just not that many and all at the same time. I went from no tomatoes to 3 big bowls full and they were going bad faster than I could go through the cheese. There aren't any more coming so I couldn't bring myself to share them. I decided to make soup. Tomato soup is perfect with grilled cheese...hey I guess I could change this to tomatoes and cheese 4 ways...but I won't. I settled on a simple recipe for tomato sage soup I found on foodgawker since despite not watering it, my sage is steadily taking over the herb garden and I can never get my basil to grow. I then made the same recipe 3 times using different kinds of tomatoes. Sadly I can't remember the names of the varieties of tomatoes any better than I can remember to water them so I can only refer to them by their colors. Orange, red, and the big creepy dark ones. I actually planned on just making soup twice but when I saw the creepy dark ones at the farmer's market Saturday I wanted to make them into soup. Plus they were so big I only needed to buy 2 and I had over 2 pounds. I tried to take a picture of the same step each time but I'm not a food blogger so I missed some but managed to get three steps with pictures of each kind. I ate a bowl of each and froze the rest for later. The winner for best taste was the creepy dark soup from the farmer's market tomatoes but the orange ones were a very close second. I think next time I'll save the plain red tomatoes for eating fresh.
fresh tomatoes ready to roast
out of the oven and into the pot
Finally, ready for a side of grilled cheese!
(This last step can wait till tomorrow...or the next day...or next week till the night before my parents get to town and I have to finally clean my house and pretend I didn't have week old dishes in my sink.)

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Zoo is for babies

If you haven't been to the zoo to see all the babies you should go because they are so cute and tiny right now. All of them were up walking around and playing when we were there except for the snow leopard who looks so cute and soft sleeping I wanted to go take a nap with it as my pillow.
The elephant is surprisingly tiny. The tiger cubs are so playful pulling each other's tails and biting their mom's ears. It's fun to watch her be so patient then finally open her mouth and show her huge teeth to them or flatten one with her enormous paws. The giraffe I naturally wanted to take home with me. Unless you see the giraffe and elephant next to their parents you don't realize how tiny they are because they're just perfect miniatures of the adult animals.
...Then we went and played on the playground like a bunch of babies ourselves. Simon only acted like a baby when we put him on the giant tarantula but you can't really blame him. (I only wish I had a picture of Jailynn on the rocking thing. I think she was possessed. We were lucky to escape with our lives.)

Did I mention I also ate some Dippin Dots? Jailynn and I snuck away and each enjoyed our own cup without any sharing. Then we were discovered and plagued by a fit of crying. How could we commit such a crime of injustice?!?! Life is so incredibly unfair!!! Finally she got her own...and we made her share with us. This was all after the ice cream cone and snow cone earlier...what a day. After a train ride and a rogue bird show where the eagle flew into a tree instead of to it's perch, it was time to go home. We were one of the last to finally leave as it closed.

(Simon licking the right thing...Josh licking the wrong thing...gross.)

(Katrina and I were both so happy to see babies of our favorites)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Apples, Plums, and Trampolines

Lucky little Simon has moved just 5 minutes away from his aunt, me, and I can't help just showing up sometimes to play with him. Sunday I stopped by and spent the evening eating apples, plums, and jumping on the trampoline. I took a picture of him for my other blog but quickly got carried away. He's just so cute! It was so hard to pick just one picture so I had to post some more here.
I think he could have just run circles around me on the trampoline forever.
I see some serious mischief in his future from the looks of things already...
Finally I climbed the plum tree over the trampoline and got us a couple good ones. Plums are by far my least favorite of any fruit but these looked so good I had to double check. Still not my favorite but they were the best plums I've ever had. Simon liked them too and ate more than one himself.
He was so sticky!
All in all a fun time in Simon's backyard and only one minor tantrum... if you can even call it that. I don't remember tantrums ever being so cute.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A fair is a veritable smorgasbord-orgasbord-orgasbord

Rob and I went to the fair to cheer up our lonely hearts with fried food, freak shows, and carnival rides. The only thing as good as expected was the funnel cakes but there were some other unexpected surprises that made the evening worthwhile. Like all the old ladies in very short tu-tu like square dancing costumes, the friendly sheep and little baby pigs. I wanted to eat a deep fried brownie and ride the drop ride but the line was way to long for both. I did get some dippen' dots so no matter what happened after that I was happy. Here's some of the fun livestock we saw. Rob even learned where milk comes from.
Here are some of the more disappointing things we saw. I have no picture of the "tinniest woman in the world" exhibit which I'm ashamed to admit we went in and saw. We both came out and stood in silence for a minute before commenting that we felt dirty and creepy and that we just exploited some poor short woman. You could tell everyone else coming out had the same feeling. If you go to the fair don't go see her, she's not even that short.
I like how at the bottom of the snake girl sign it says "An outstanding illusion" and that on the rat sign it says "He be cool" I think it'd have been cooler if they named him Templeton and he sang the fair song from Charlotte's Web. I'd have paid to see that.
This was not part of the fair but was in the tire yard next to where we ended up parking the car. I just thought it was funny. I wonder if it works.