Thursday, April 30, 2009


I need to clarify something.

In my previous post, about Grandma Dot, I mentioned that I have richer childhood memories of her than my grandparents. I phrased this very carefully, but on review, I don't think it is clear enough. I have wonderful memories of my grandparents on both sides of my family. I don't have many memories from my childhood though because of the 3000 mile distance between us when I was growing up. BUT, I have really terrific memories of times spent with my paternal grandparents as an adult and we are building those every year, the best we can. I'll write more about my Ming and Pop when I have more time; I just wanted to clarify that statement right away. I have less memories with my maternal grandparents, Gramps and Grammie, but I spent some quality time with my Gramps last weekend and I'll share about that too.


I'm having a tough day in a tough week. But my friends, well, they are the best in the world. I don't know how I got so lucky.

Yesterday, one of my friends took me to dinner and drinks at Pour at Four followed by a fun presentation on food blogs at the local library.

Today, another friend dropped off flowers and cupcakes at my door, with the sweetest little card attached.
It says, "You don't have to share"

Then, a third friend told me to get my butt to The Rosewood (where nobody, including her, really cares if I've showered) for a bite, some company, and to support Dine Out for Life. I'm going to eat some leftover pizza at home because it is so delicious and I'm still feeling anti-social. But I am going to head to Rosewood at 6:00 for dessert and glass of wine.

Yes, that means I'll have had like three desserts today. You got a problem with that?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Simple Sunshine

The skies are splotchy gray now and spitting small drops of water, but there was sunshine this morning and it made me smile. Well, the sunshine and the act of pouring Organic Pulp Free Orange Juice (not from concentrate!) into my new New Belgium glass.

To combat the gray skies, I'm eating a slice of toast smothered in Whitney's homemade peach jam. Maybe smothered isn't a strong enough word. It is so delicious, I just couldn't stop adding more jam!

Sometimes it is the simple things that make life worthwhile.

Grandma Dot - Part 1

On another blog that I'm writing with a friend, I started to write about my grandmother's chickens. Memories of Grandma Dot started flooding my mind and I decided to write about her here.

If I were challenged to list the top 5 people in my life that I feel love(d) me unconditionally, Grandma Dot would definitely make the list. And it is funny, because she was in no way related to me - technically. My real grandmother, Ming, was adopted by Great-Grandpa Adams (Theodore Roosevelt Adams, isn't that a great name?!) and Great-Grandma Dot was his third wife. And yet, my childhood memories of Grandma Dot are richer than those of my grandparents. The main reason is that when I was 7, my parents, my little brother, and I moved from San Diego (home to both of my sets of grandparents) to Polk, PA. Don't know where that is? No worries... just think rural Western Pennsylvania. I think the population of Polk, in 1976, was somewhere around 3000, half of whom were residents at the state mental institution. We lived in the house that my Grandpa Adams built by hand with Grandpa and Grandma for a few months while my parents picked out a single-wide trailer to install on the 3 rods Grandpa gave them in the hay field up on the hill, 1/4 mile up a gravel road. I experienced my first summer of thunderstorms in that house, safe under Grandma's blankets.

Grandma let us help her in the garden and didn't mind when we wandered over to the rope swing hanging from the nearby cherry tree. I don't remember what she grew in that garden, although I have a vague recollection of bushels and bushels of zucchini.

Grandpa and Grandma also had a goat, on a chain. Somehow, this goat would escape regularly. As I remember it, the goat chewed through the chain. Could this be possible? I do know that it ate anything, including tin cans and cigarette butts. But I'm vague about the purpose of the goat. No one milked it, that I know of - I think it was a boy, come to think of it. Or maybe Grandpa just called it "that son of a bitch goat" enough that I got the impression it was a male. Although...Grandpa didn't let the gender of his animals effect his name calling; he named a new bull after me shortly after our arrival.

Since long posts can be tedious, I'm going to continue this train of memories later and maybe I'll find a moral to this story, or at least a theme, by then. And wouldn't it be super cool if I could somehow get some old pictures from my parents and scan them?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Local Dinner (almost)

We have made it to the Proctor Farmers' Market once this year, so far, and picked up some pork from Cheryl The Pig Lady, along with some other yummy items. For dinner tonight, my sweet hubby grilled some of Cheryl's pork steaks and I picked some lettuce from the garden for a simple salad. I bought some lettuce, spinach, and kale starts from L'Arche last fall and the lettuce over-wintered really well. It is perfect for eating now. The kale and spinach is going to seed already though. I'm going to go ahead and let them flower since I've heard that the blossoms attract beneficial bugs. The only other items in the garden box, so far, are 6 pea plants, so there is no harm in leaving them in place until we get some other starts. Or maybe I'll get some seeds germinating soon. But, anyway, back to dinner! It was delicious and local, except for the organic basmati rice, which came all the way from India (gulp). I really crave plain basmati rice sometimes. The pork was lean and had great flavor. The steaks have bones, so I ended up eating mine by hand, just like my grandmother taught me. When you grow up on the farm in Pennsylvania, like she did, you learn to get every last bit of meat off that bone!

We paired our simple dinner with a Winter's Hill Willamette Valley Pinot Noir that Bill at Tacoma Wine Merchants recommended. It was a good price for a weeknight wine and it tastes, well, it is unique. In a good way, I think. It is pale, even for a pinot noir, but sweeter than I expected. Kind of tastes like a SweetTart, now that I think about it. I didn't get anything on the nose, but with all the pollen in the air right now, it isn't any wonder. It may taste better as it opens over the course of the evening; we probably should have opened it sooner and maybe decanted. But, honestly, for the price, it is pretty good.

This afternoon, we cleared a space on the sunny side of our garage and set up a shelf for some tomato plants in pots. Last year our tomatoes just didn't get enough sun, so we are trying a new spot, and using pots so that I can move them around to . I'm already looking forward to some plump, warm off the vine, four months that is.

I heart The Red Hot

I have approximately half of a growler of The Dissident in my fridge. I'm trying to pace myself, but this fabulous sunny weather is making it really difficult!

Chris scored the last keg of last year's The Dissident from Dechutes Brewery and sent out an e-mail early Sunday morning to let his fans know about it. My sweet hubby and I decided to reward ourselves for finishing some chores by having a late Sunday lunch at The Red Hot. Nothing like a hot dog, some filthy nachos, and a cold beer on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to make this girl happy. Since The Dissident is one of my top 3 favorite beers in the world and not often available, I brought home my first growler. I didn't know that it would call my name all day long!

I have to admit that a glass (or more) of The Dissident a day has made this a pretty sweet week so far! I think it will be gone by tomorrow evening, just in time for another trip to TRH to win that bike in the window.
P.S. Is it legal to drink a sour from a Guinness glass?