Thursday, August 28, 2014


Well, tomorrow's the big day -- the day when Lexie and I head off on our Mother-Daughter-Pre-Wedding-Adventure! As you can see, I've been doing my homework.

I've been making my lists, and checking 'em twice!

Also, I've been marking all the best spots on the map, so we don't waste any steps.

 Throughout the process, one thing has become painfully clear. One long weekend just isn't enough!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


This is a work in progress -- one of the final projects in Junelle Jacobsen's Farmers Market class. Which doesn't mean it's too late for you to take it. That's the great thing about these on-line classes. You can sign up for them whenever or wherever. Plus, you usually have access to the tutorials and videos for at least a year, so you can do the projects at your own pace. I will be sad for this class to end.

This project is almost like doing a mosaic, only we're using tiny bits of colored paper and photographs from farmers' markets to fill our canning jars.

I started with a layer of black gesso this time, rather than the usual white, so I could come back later with a white pen and do some "chalkwork" writing and scribbling.

Speaking of farmers' markets and canning jars and chalkboard signs, have you noticed how those three things are everywhere you look these days? Have you seen all the posts on facebook lately about people who are growing their own vegetables, raising goats and chickens, canning and preserving and baking? Do you realize that just ten short years ago, this was almost unheard of? For anyone under 80, that is! Small family farms, and thus farmers' markets, were a dying breed. The only canning equipment to be found was in antique stores, and the only chalkboard easels were outside of French cafes.

What launched such a dramatic change, do you suppose? Well, I suspect a couple of books by Michael Pollan might have had something to do with it. For me, it was reading this book by Barbara Kingsolver, when it came out in 2007.

Yet another "foodie memoir" that helped launch a revolution!

Monday, August 25, 2014


Daughter Lex is past the age where hanging out on 6th Street getting plastered is her idea of a great night with friends. In fact, she may have skipped that stage altogether. (I have no idea where she gets that!) Therefore, she decided not to leave her bachelorette party completely up to chance. Fortunately, her bridesmaids jumped on board with her suggestions and ran with them!

Cupcakes were provided by master-baker Stefanie, who taught them an amazing life lesson that will have you slapping your forehead and saying "DOH!" Turns out, we've been eating cupcakes completely wrong our whole lives.

The trick is to break off the bottom part, then flip it over and squish it down on top of the icing, so you can eat it sandwich style. Kinda like a Whoopie Pie! Bridesmaid Jessie, in the striped shirt, will be right at 9 mos. pregnant when she walks down the aisle with Lex. Fortunately our good buddy Tim, a former paramedic, says he still remembers how to deliver babies just fine!

Future Daughter-in-Law Areeg
Bridesmaid Carrie (the one with sunglasses atop her head) brought along a friend who is a professional henna tattoo artist.

Joelle, who went with us to pick out the wedding dress, was the hostess with the mostest!

And then there were the games, including Cards Against Humanity and Pin The Tail On The... well, whatever.

I'm not sure who to blame for those!

Sunday, August 24, 2014


I got a couple of gorgeous pastured pork chops from local producer Richardson Farms this week -- an occasional splurge that makes my hubby quite giddy.

Before deciding what to do with them, I made a mental list of the fresh ingredients that had come in my Bountiful Sprout basket on Wednesday and needed to be used up.

Then it became perfectly obvious that what I needed to prepare was our all time family favorite from back in our Indo-days...

(serves four)

4 one-inch pork chops
4 cloves garlic, minced
freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 onion, in thick slices
2 carrots, in chunks
2 potatoes, in chunks

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place pork chops in a large baking dish and pierce with fork. Add minced garlic, freshly ground black pepper and soy sauce. Turn chops several times until well coated on both sides. Top with thick onion slices.

Bake pork chops in oven at 350 for 30 - 45 minutes, depending on how thick they are. Meanwhile, cut the carrots and potatoes into largish chunks and boil until almost done (about 10 minutes?).  When meat has cooked for 30 - 45 minutes, add the veggies to the baking dish, turning them to coat in the accumulated sauce on the bottom of the dish. Return dish to oven and cook 15 minutes longer.

Since two pork chops came in the package, and one was more than enough for the two of us, I'm thinking I just might use the other one to make this other seasonal delight later in the week, provided I can still get my hands on some decent blackberries.

Bon Appetit!