Thursday, October 30, 2008

You do the hoky poky

I have a new favorite cleaning tool. OK, well, seeing how much I dislike cleaning, you can take that for what it is.


Our new home has solid dark color carpets. Everywhere. (Don't get me wrong, we LOVE the Purple Palace (so named by my friend Memet). I found in the first week or so that I was pulling out the vacuum every 2 days. And that's just...wrong, IMHO.


I spent a few weeks looking at "discount" stores (i.e. Target, Fred Meyer) for a non-battery operated vac. Apparently, people feel intimidated at pushing something weighing less than 3 lbs. without some power. Whatever. I wanted nothing to do with something that needed to be "recharged" or constantly filled with batteries. I also didn't want to have to purchase bags for the thing.

Therefore, when driving down the road the other day and saw Stark's Vacuum outside my driver side window, I stopped.

They had three "stick" style vacuums. I had to pass on the less expensive one that kept falling apart every time I picked it up (it even fell apart on the salesman...he laughed).

I went with the smaller model Hoky (it's made by Oreck), and couldn't be happier. Unless I had a cleaning person come to my house on a weekly basis...but that's probably a long ways off...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Giant Pumpkin Regatta

What's that, you ask? Well here it is:

Yet another reason to love Oregon. We went with friend Dave to this annual event in Tualatin (a few miles west of Portland). It was pretty darn funny, seeing these folks paddle 500+ lb. (if I remember correctly) pumpkins. Bret also got to see the biggest pumpkin grown in the US this year (2nd biggest in the world). How big is it, you ask? REALLY BIG! Over 1200 lbs. Now that's some pumpkin.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Holy Crepes!

I hadn't eaten a crepe since my first winter in Jackson Hole (1992, if you must ask), when the unfortunate folks who, in marketing their "Tram Car Crepery" forgot to put an expiration date on their "Free Crepe with Coupon" that was printed in the paper. I rode the bus to work every morning that winter, and newspapers typically had holes in them where the crepe coupon was printed. I must admit, I made many of those holes, hoarded more than my fair share of coupons, and ate many-a-crepe on my way to work at the Kinderschule (the Swiss-Mountain-Chalet-Inspired name for ski-daycare. Now, Jackson Hole markets itself as a Western Mountain the crepery is a thing of the past...sigh). I thought crepes were exotic, a food I never experienced growing up in the mid-west...and didn't realize how easy they are to make...

Ok, so it was Sunday morning (I had woken up at 5 am, and after tossing and turning for almost an hour, decided to go downstairs and just be awake...the crepes recipe said to let it rest an hour before cooking, so this was perfect)...the pictures aren't great, but take my word for it...crepes are both easy and yummy. For Alton Brown's recipe, see the "What we've been eating" section below right on this blog. (BTW, I still recommend the Turkey Meatball Escarole (I use chard) soup...we've had it multiple times since moving.)

I must admit, I was inspired by Amy over at Angry Chicken for the crepes...(as with many other things, but only just recently unpacked the sewing machine.)

I was feeling exceptionally lazy, so I threw some frozen blueberries, maple syrup and butter in the pan I had cooked the crepes in...and made some kind of filling...served them with full fat (why would I use any other kind?) yummy yogurt. I cooked them in a stainless steel pan, just put butter in before each crepe. They slid out beautifully. Next time, however, I would make the filling in a small sauce pan.
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Sunday, October 5, 2008

This one's for you, Mary!

Made bacon this morning -- the one on the right has brown sugar sprinkled on it (yummmmm). Cooked both of them at 350 for about 30 minutes (some of the thicker pieces needed a bit longer). Friends Julie and Shawn said they went to a wedding this summer where one of the appetizers was a similar type of "sweetened" bacon -- the cooked slices were served upright in a glass at the bar. Might just be my next dinner party appetizer, when are you coming up, Ms. Gold?
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Viv turns three

Happy Birthday, little one!

The wooden blocks and animals from mommy, daddy, Sabine, Granny Jean and Boopy (Sabine helped me pick them all out)

Block madness!

And Barbie. She sings. Sabine got one too. This is what I got for her with her birthday check from her Great Aunt Jean and Great Uncle Dick. Sabine got one too. They sing together, actually...the girls LOVE them! So, therefore, do we. Wow. Barbie strikes again.

We had the good fortune to be invited to friend Astrid's belated 4th birthday party on Viv's actual birthday, and Astrid was so kind as to let Vivian have a few candles on her cake, and share in the birthday glory. Grandmother Joan is visiting from LA, fun to have family around for the celebration!
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