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Sunday Snaps

February 6, 2022

I feel like most of the day was spent in a spontaneous rush of trip planning. I made reservations for an April trip to Joshua Tree, and finalized plans for my trip to Southern California later this month. Also closed in on two trips to Michigan — one in Spring and one in Fall, the first including a two+ day ride on the California Zephyr from Davis to Chicago, the latter including, likely, another visit to the Big House. Felt fun to make headway on these. And did I mention that we also, this past week, finalized our rebooking for a trip to Maui in October, after cancelling plans for a trip that was to have happened last month. Vacations are us.

But the rest of the day had a few highlights as well! Here they are in photos:

This is Jim’s first attempt at Dutch Babies. What I love about this, besides the Dutch Babies, was that he wanted it to be a surprise, so was careful about keeping the recipe hidden when I ventured into the kitchen, for example. Last night, in an air of mystery, he simply announced he had a plan for this morning’s breakfast. So I knew something was up.

They were great, if slightly overbaked. Don’t let the char bum you out.. they were yummy!

This is Jim: he’s never made these before. They definitely require a recipe b/c the proportions and methods can be critical.. but..Jim’s not a recipe guy. So, he takes that NYT recipe and modifies it… more eggs, more sugar, add vanilla and nutmeg (the recipe calls for neither), change the milk… and they were delicious!

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More Jim-ness. I came home from a walk to find him on the driveway with his welding stuff out, blasting and then bending some rebar for a chainlink fence adventure later this week (it’s a long story). But what caught my eye were these stylin’ safety glasses. I’d never seen them before and think they’re fabulous!

Right?

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Speaking of that walk. I walk to the creek through campus at least two times a week and have for at least a decade and a half. I never tire of it. Today I was moved (yes, moved) by some of the student activities I passed, like: some kind of tournament awards presentation (ultimate frisbee?) and some very impressive sand volleyball, both taking place on the practice field adjacent to the track. I couldn’t help thinking about the kids, their futures and the world they’d be in charge of one day. Really, that’s what I was thinking. And feeling okay about it all. Because every college student I see these days is Peter. Except when they’re obnoxious and boneheaded. But most of the time they’re just UCD’s version of Peter and I have great hope for the future.

Anyway, walking through campus, I came upon this sod bench. I’d just learned about the existence of this bench this very week from Wes’ post on Facebook, so I was delighted to see it in person.

I guess they call it a sod “couch,” but isn’t it cool?

Also, the creek was lovely this late afternoon, and my new iPhone takes impressive photos!

I did absolutely nothing to this picture, except climb through a few bushes to take it. Nice, huh?

Homegrown Super Food

February 3, 2022

We thought we were prowess personified with our summer garden. But I’m not sure anything beats growing our own broccoli this winter. Trying to remember when we planted those broccoli plants …. let’s see, looking back in the photo archive …. it was October 2. That is a full four months from planting to harvest.

We haven’t figured out how many heads of broccoli a single plant will yield, so we’ll just enjoy them as they come and hope they keep coming. Time will tell. (And so will the internet if I do just a little bit of broccoli research.)

Here is first-ever, inaugural broccoli head:

This was picked two nights ago. We probably made a mistake by integrating the broccoli into the pasta dish because we lost the pleasure of actually tasting it. This was angel hair with a sauce I’d made (and frozen six months ago) of roasted tomatoes (from our summer garden), basil (also from the garden), garlic, etc. We had it with some turkish meatballs I’d made last week which were heavily spiced. So… yeah… hard to appreciate the fresh broc!

(That small spot of darkness is a concentrated pile of brown bits from deglazing the pan after frying up the meatballs… oh my… intense flavors.)

Anyway… tonight we decided to harvest another head of broccoli and this time eat it unadulterated:

That is chicken that was simmered in homemade teriyaki sauce, some pine-nut rice, and — star of the show — garden broccoli! So bright green.

Those were two excellent but culturally confused dinners! At least we’re getting in our super foods.