Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Breakfast of Champions. And Foodies. And the Rest of us Average People as Well.

This post is really nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to get YOU to plant a bunch of tomatoes in your backyard as well! Consider yourselves warned!

I have eleven tomato plants in my postage-stamp size garden this year.

Am I crazy?

The official reason is because the one time I went plant shopping I found a six pack each of Sungold and Sweet 100 tomatoes for around $2.50, and I wanted at least one or two of each kind, but then I also wanted at least two plants of regular full-size tomatoes, and so I came home with fourteen tomato plants, and couldn't bear to throw more than three of them out.

(I should have offered them to my neighbors (sorry neighbors!), but by the time I had planted them all and put cages around them all and answered one-thousand-and-one gardening questions from the little miss, I wasn't thinking clearly and it didn't occur to me. Silly Charlotte.)

However, the deeper, probably subconscious reason that I ended up with all those tomato plants in the first place is because I love roasted tomatoes and roasted tomato paste. I love them plain, I love them mixed into spaghetti sauce, I love them in my lasagna, I love them thawed (I freeze a mountain of them every fall, and eat them all winter) and spread on toasted baguettes with a smidgen of parmesan cheese, I love them on a cat, I love them with a bat, I love them here and there, I love them everywhere.

(I've actually never tried them on a cat--scared you there for a minute, didn't I?)

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These tomatoes aren't roasted, but the pictures I take of this sandwich aren't very appetizing. So, use your imagination and pretend that they are roasted, okay?

But my very most favorite way of all to have roasted tomatoes is for breakfast, on a toasted piece of buttered bread or English Muffin, topped with a thin slice of cheese, and an over-easy egg. Avocados, Spinach or other greens are delicious and healthy optional bonuses.

As far as I'm concerned, it's the best breakfast in the whole wide world.

(Even better than spheres of breakfastical deliciousness! Can you believe it?)

Image courtesy of food thinkers

Friday, May 17, 2013

Those are the most restrictive banking hours I think I've ever seen.

When I wrote that post a bit ago about the big anniversary get-away, I left something very important out.  That's because I often like to give certain things their own post, you know?

Anyway, here's a hint about what it was . . .

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And if you need another hint . . .

And if you still can't get it?

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A few (albeit graffiti-marred) lions in downtown Salt Lake City!  Wa-hoo!!
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Here's another sampling that we found as well.  
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

stuff that other random people have done recently that warms (warm?) my heart

A bit ago, I ended up in different grocery stores two times within the same week.  Both times, I saw a little kid (different kids, mind you) sitting in the grocery cart seat dressed up like Batman, complete with pointy-eared mask. Both times. As a woman who from time to time lets her daughter do the weekly shopping as Aurora, Cinderella, or Belle, seeing a fellow "choosing my battles" mom tickled me to my toes.

Then there was the time when I was out for my morning walk in a bit of a downpour, sporting my oversize yellow raincoat.  (I love doing that.  I have a feeling it makes me look like a giant banana or (worse) banana squash, but I love the sound and feel of rain coming down around me and on me, and really, what's not to like about seeing a giant wet fruit or vegetable walking down the street anyway?) The neighborhoods were deserted, but I walked by one house and this older man, complete with old-man coveralls was out puttering around a bit.  He saw me and said, "Young lady, you are really dedicated!  Good job!"  I laughed and told him he was too.

(Did you notice that? He called me a young lady! Of course, he was wearing old man coveralls, so in comparison, I suppose I am a young lady. All the same, between my crows feet and the gray hairs I pull out of my scalp every night, it's nice to be thought of as young by someone, I'm not gonna lie.)

And, since this post isn't quite random enough yet, here's a nice sky photo to finish things off.
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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Heather doesn't have a mom quite like these---but I think she'll survive.

So, Thursday night, Eric comes downstairs to find me sitting at the laptop, crying.

"Are you watching something touching?" he asks, (kind of nervously)

"Yes." I squeak out.

"What is it?" he says.

"(sob.) A commercial."

And then we both burst into laughter at the cliche-ness of it all. 

To quote Dolly Parton in Steel Magnolias, "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion."

Here's the video that had me so emotional:

(The hug at 1.28 basically does me in, and I'm done for for the rest of the spot.)

Happy Mother's Day.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Random Photo Friday-the necessities of food storage edition

Since we're a small family, I don't have to make jam every year.  
So, I make it every other year.
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There's just something about knowing that there's no homemade strawberry jam in the house that makes me a little panicky, you know? Fortunately, we're all good for a bit now. 

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Now, we even have enough to share.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

unexpected fun and games

I love where we live. I just love it.

A few weeks ago, I learned that there would be not one but two community celebrations in our area on a certain Saturday (the Saturday before earth day--actually). Being in the mood for a little community, Heather and I hopped in the car, planning to go to downtown Logan for an earth-day extravaganza. Before we ended up there though, we dropped by the Old Rock Church in Providence, just to check out the founders day celebration there.

Much to our surprise, we never made it to Logan. Founders day was just too too too much fun, and we spent all our play-time there.

For one thing--there was the pie-making contest.  For a cool George Washington each (that's $1 for those of you who aren't hip enough to know), we sampled bites of sixteen different pies, carefully weighing the pros and cons of each.

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Heather was particularly serious about her voting responsibilities.
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our picks

There was awesome entertainment as well. (We even heard piano solos performed by students of the infamous Liz Sampson*. Unfortunately I didn't have the camera out at that point, so you'll just have to take my word for it.)

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There were quilts to peruse,
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and pioneer games to play.
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Heather smoked me in a sack race (not shown).
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We also walked on stilts, witnessed arm wrestling and pull-up contests, and just generally enjoyed being with down home people doing down home things.  A delightful morning spent doing absolutely delightful activities.  What's not to like about that?

*Liz Sampson is my aunt, and one of my Cache Valley moms

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

It just gets crafty-er and crafty-er around here

We paint a lot, Heather and I (and whatever portion of the shorter set happens to be visiting at any given time). I'm not talking about walls, Hoh no! I'm talking about watercolors, poster paint, acrylic paint on rocks outside, sidewalk chalk paint, etc.

So, a bit ago, when our watercolor sets started running low, I searched my memory banks, and then my pinterest boards because I was sure that I had seen directions somewhere on how to make your own watercolors, using regular kitchen items, thus having a bit of fun and saving a couple of bucks as well.

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Turns out, I had seen just such a thing.

We experimented a bit, and came up with the recipe below, which ended up being a little different from what we had found online, but seems to offer the best texture and amount for our needs.

4 Tbs Baking Powder
3 Tbs white vinegar
1/2 tsp light corn syrup
2 Tbs corn starch
Food coloring (I like the wilton gels best, but basic liquid food coloring is okay too)
Container to keep your paints in--we used the nearly empty containers from our old paints, but then we wanted to try another batch, so I went to the dollar store in search of mini-muffin tins, and came home with extra-large pill containers instead. They worked amazingly well.

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In a liquid measuring cup of at least 2 cups, mix soda and vinegar together and wait for the fizzing to stop. Then add the corn syrup and corn starch and mix well until the corn starch has dissolved. Pour this white mixture into your containers, and then add the colors. First we tried mixing with toothpicks, but later we found that craft sticks did a better job for us.

Let the paints dry and set up. It takes about a day or so, depending on how deep your container is. We ended up letting them dry for nearly a week-but that's because we went on vacation the next day.

Once they're dry, pull them out and paint, paint, paint!

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We found these paints to be much more "thirsty" than the old Crayolas that we'd been using, so that's something to keep in mind. Also, the paintings themselves seem to dry a little lighter than what we're used too-they end up looking more like pastels, and less like elementary school watercolor paintings.

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Turns out, we're okay with that. Actually, we think it's kind of fun.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Random Photo Friday-family history flowerbed edition

As Heather were on our winter walk a bit ago, we chanced upon a patch of this interesting plant, and I was immediately transported back to 531 C Street, Salt Lake City, Utah, otherwise known as my grandparent's home.

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Mom--do you know what this plant is actually called? If not--what about you--Aunts Florence, Lou Jean, Mary Beth, and Rebecca?

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