Exploring

You are currently browsing the archive for the Exploring category.

Saturday morning, we sipped coffee outside, hats and sunglasses and shorts! I wandered the garden, to watch every little bit of life foisting itself into the world, quiet and furtive, in the case of weeds, loud with a fanfare of trumpets, in the case of flowers. How I love spring!

After our coffee and requisite a.m. pup stroll, we headed south, to Canon City. Which, is pronounced like canyon, not like an explosive cannon. I have heard this incorrect pronunciation a bit lately, and as a proud native citizen of Colorado, feel obliged to rectify it.

Anyhoo, I digress! My favorite Desert Canyon Farm is open for their brief retail window, and Greg and I took advantage of a beautifully warm Saturday to enjoy it. We bought all manner of plants: scarlet runner bean vines, hyssop, mint in two varieties, hot and mild peppers, kohlrabi, foxglove, rose, and more. We are thrilled, as always, to watch them grow.

The view just south of Desert Canyon Farm, with a glimpse of winter holding steady atop the Sangre de Christos.

After our plant buying extravaganza, we headed into town, originally intending just to stroll a bit and get Juniper’s wiggles out. Much to our surprise, it was Blossom Festival, with streets blocked in anticipation of a parade, and booths with people selling their wares.

There was also a Wild Bird booth! We were delighted to meet the Red Tailed hawk and diminutive Screech Owl, who was wet from a refreshing spritz of water. Both kept very watchful eyes on Juniper, who was rather to keen to play. Our girl will make friends with just about anybody!

Greg noshes on a fry pie, which was a bit like the McDonald’s pies of our youth, but much, much better. Larger, and positively bursting with blackberries before being fried to perfection, my word!

And for the best surprise of the day, we had some pretty darn fabulous Indian food in tiny Canon City! Chicken Tikka Masala, butter naan, and Keshari Kofta. The first two were most excellent, but the kofta, rather sadly, while tasty, was not as good as Mandeep’s bit of perfection at Portland’s India Oven. I keep trying!

How wonderful it was to walk about, snap photos, sit on a patio with Greg and Juniper and watch the world stroll by, anticipate the summer garden, buy honey and wonderful tinctures, nibble on pie. Almost Normal. Almost.

Tags:

This morning’s walk – a frigid one of icy sidewalks, red cheeks and noses, and beautiful skies. Winter has yet to loose the weather reins, but in these drought filled times, I’m glad for whatever moisture is delivered.

Red chile with chorizo, delightfully topped and dipped. Oh, and one of my best-ever margaritas. Birds of a feather and all.

I think this is going to be on the frequent dessert rotation list. It’s a very crave worthy gelatin, yogurt or sour cream, and cream cheese no-bake cake that whips up lickety-split quick. Since I am not terribly fond of cheesecake crust, I left it out, and it reads more like a wonderfully silky pudding, with minimal sugar. I love how any topping would make it shine. These are blueberries. Bananas and peaches forthcoming.

The hubster got a new job! As always, I am proud to be his #1 gal and cheerleader through a pretty exhausting process. We’ve decided that many tech companies, when interviewing, are more keen on what a candidate does NOT know than their actual strengths, both in software development and as an individual, relating human to human. Kinda sad. The very cool socks were part of a fun welcome-to-the-company swag box.

Carrot ginger soup with turmeric cream. I find it very curious that super orange carrots turned such a neon shade of yellow.

Double the yolk breakfast sammy. Isn’t nature a wonder?

This isn’t the prettiest in the land (see carrot soup above) but boy was it delicious! It’s a fish chowder (shrimp, clam, sea bass) with the ultimate chicken-style dumpling lily-gilder. More, please.

My beautiful, witty, and hilarious best gal, Andie Card! We’ve been friends since we were sixteen, with a giant book of cherished memories under our belts. We hadn’t seen each other for a well over a year, all this COVID misery destroying the best laid plans. Her pup insisted on being in the photo, and I give you more and more of a glimpse of him edging in, which explains my smirk in the first picture. I am trying not to laugh at him doing his best photo bomb! The pictures aren’t perfect, but our love and friendship surely is.

My parents! We stayed a couple of nights at their house, my growing up place, playing Spades, Sequence, Boggle, and Code Names. Eating and eating, all manner of homemade goodness, plus my best prickly pear margaritas and some Popeye’s fried chicken! Not too shabby.

I made my Mom’s necklace!

The park of my childhood universe, Little Dry Creek, through which I ventured to school for seven years in all manner of weather, and played and played and played. Most striking are the trees, all grown up and wise in sunshine and shady ways.

My Mom and I made Vivian Howard’s banana pudding (from Deep Run Roots), which tasted most spectacularly of said fruit, a whopping nine of them in the mix. A true labor of love. WOW!

Shooting for that corner pocket. My Dad won more games than Greg, but it didn’t really matter, all the fun they had playing.

S W I N G ! !

post script

Due to multiple problems with the J & J vaccine, I got my first Pfizer shot yesterday. Much gratitude to ALL the wonderful people who made the process both kindly and dream-like in speed and efficiency at the Broadmoor World Arena. WOOT!

In the same vein, COVID falsehoods and conspiracy theories debunked.

Our cute little woodsman incense burner, which we bought at a magical holiday market in Pittsburgh, continues to delight!

Not nearly often enough, we empty, scour, and refill the refrigerator. I, in my maniacal delight at soldierly, short to tall rows of jars finds it oddly comforting, opening the doors, even when I need not a thing, just to gaze upon it and marvel.

We had a few meals out in the world before COVID numbers began to creep up, and up, and up, but have since relegated ourselves to 100% home cooking. Ribs with salad and sweet potatoes; Asian glazed drumsticks, fluffy rice, and a mess o’ spinach and roasted pepper; herb drumsticks and roasted broccoli some of the prettiest lately.

A walk or two a day keeps our spirits soaring. So, too, does playlist making, reading – books and magazines alike, Star Trek Discovery gotten from the library, The 2017 iteration of Twin Peaks (so YOU, David Lynch, and I must add how beautiful his silvery locks are!), sipping the hottest of coffee with creamy homemade almond milk come the weekend, bedtime cuddles, and chats with those I love.

Such lovely soup weather we are having. This is lemon chicken & rice.

Hearty beef chili with pinto beans and plenty of New Mexico and pasilla chiles.

Topped with an egg for breakfast the following day. Um, yeah…

I am still making soap, and I daresay these are my prettiest bars! After initially going gonzo with various butters and oils, scents and add-ins, I have whittled down my favorites. The top is a rather luscious goat milk, of which I made two varieties this time: plain and lemon-bay leaf, which smells like summer all year long. The speckled variety in the center photo is orange-rosemary-mint, our dreamy shampoo and body bar. Truly. The white bar is unscented 100% coconut oil and slated to be our new laundry soap. I’ll tell you how it goes. In the mean time, it’s so pretty to look at. They all are, really.

Hi there! Revisiting the recipes from this Super Supper post, nearly twelve years later. Greg is beardless but no less silly. In this go round, I added mushrooms, substituted sliced linguica for the Italian sausage, and though this slice would have you believe otherwise, doubled the raisins and pine nuts (I toasted them, too). Wonderfully delicious! If you’d like to double down on the healthy bits, make a kale chiffonade and toss those ribbons in, too.

And because it is the holiday season, I could not go without making peppermint ice cream! If you recall, I discovered an old-timey recipe last year for a no-churn variety, and boy have I made the best of it! If you missed it, here goes:

16 oz heavy cream, whipped to perfect billowy peaks

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk (I’m going to try the coconut next!)

Pour the entire contents of the can of condensed milk over the billowy peaks and blend together. Add whatever dream of ice cream you fancy (well, almost) and put in a freezer safe container. It’s best to make it the day before you plan to eat it, as it takes a long while to solidify.

Speaking to the well, almost, bit. Fresh fruit will freeze solid and be quite difficult to scoop and even more unpleasant to eat (voice of rock-hard cherry experience talking!) – best to add your favorite chunky jams or preserves.

The other flavor I made this go round was coffee (both had mini chocolate chips). I used two tablespoons beans on the finest setting on my grinder, added that to 1/4 cup of boiling water, let it cool, and strained the remaining very strong brew into one half of my ice cream base. With the additional liquid, it’s a bit more solid, but goll-ee, does it taste great!

orange roughy + braised cabbage + beurre blanc

Poutine! Greg dashed to Wendy’s for fries. The cheese curds are from our neighborhood Ranch Foods Direct, and the gravy is home made. The awesomeness scale went to ELEVEN.

Our favorite library. Since we are forbidden entry for the time being, we brought Juniper to our hold pick-up and walked the perimeter instead. Gosh do I miss a good library browse!

And in the people sometimes do stupid things without even realizing category: I was at Costco, fully masked and perusing the frozen section, when my mom called. For about two minutes of our conversation, I continued to browse with my MASK OFF, and only undertstood what was happening when I realized the mask was tangling on something. I got it back on right quick.

I now have the tiniest bit of sympathy for those I see blithely strolling sans masks in just about every store. Brain farts are clearly quite powerful.

« Older entries