Monday, July 31, 2006

Camping in King's Canyon!

On the road up, stopped in Orange Cove (pop. 9) for some 40 cent mystery pastries.

E-marathoner and I stop for a photo-op at higher elevation (enjoying a cool breeze)

A Stellar's Jay investigates our site (I'm sure it met with its approval despite our not sharing our PB)

The river behind seems to not merit such a drastic sign...

First dinner - couscous and veg and some Irish Cider. Followed by s'mores.

Texas Gal joined us the next day (she has one of these "real" jobs that doesn't allow the summer off for jaunting around) and made for a super-fun, dirty, grimy, silly, knitty, smokey, ashey, girly camping weekend.

Beautiful hikes...

Rapids on the way up to Mist Falls...

Jumping around on the way up to Mist Falls...

Sheer rock face, dead tree, live trees, blue sky, what more could you ask for???

Texas Gal and I pause by the greenest of green rivers. Soooo pretty!

A deer. A super cute deer. How cute is this deer? Seriously, this is the cutest deer EVER.

Roaring River Falls.

Trees with two trunks are fun.

Bizarreness at the campsite

There was a whole lot of randomness at the site. I feel as though this picture sums it up. I am holding a parrot at a campground. Yes I am. I ran after parrot lady with my camera mid-beer. E-marathoner thought it was hilarious. I thought it was awesome.

Other good random things include:
  • Guy walking around in his boxers holding his slacks (they really appeared to be dress slacks) folded neatly over his arm.
  • Family stalking campsite across the way with walkie-talkies, driving around in circles exchanging mother and son while communicating on the walkie-talkies, being followed by another group wanting the same site, who followed them driving in circles - eventually neither group took it.
  • Group next site over having major language/communication barrier and parking their van in super soft earth, requiring multiple hands and a real truck to assist in getting it un-stuck.
  • Guy scratching his ass endlessly right in our line of sight.
  • People having brought their pet menagerie with them (including budgie, mini rat-dog things, and a cat - who brings a cat camping? well, for that matter... who brings a budgie? or a parrot, really...)
  • People bringing a U-Haul to cart around their camping gear (we saw SEVERAL U-Haul campers) which appears to include a dining tent, sleeping tent (apparently with multiple chambers), showering tent and food preparation tent...

Say neighbour, can I borrow your axe?

FUTILITY! After we have to strip down due to overheating from excessive hacking, the progress seems somewhat non-existant, thus we continue, blistered, disheartened, disappointed, and even more geared up to beat the log!

Success!!!! The log yields!

Nobody claimed the nub...

photo essay of a phire

Look at that pyramid action!

Lit and roaring.

Fire's just the right temp to make grilled cheese.

Grilled cheese done means time to put a retardedly large log on the fire.

That one didn't burn super well, so how about trying a couple more?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Presenting: FISH EYEBALLS!

Veggies ready to pile on the grill.

Emarathoner peruses the recipe in question.

Hot Hands pours dressing on the summery avocado salad.

BMW and Xtreme Chef relax on the couch.

An xtreme close up shot of my thighs... I find this photo funny!

But - this is the reason we are here! Tonight we BBQ a whole fish! A rock cod at that. Here it is in all its fresh saran-wrapped glory. I was too intriqued to be disgusted.

Xtreme Chef lays the fish out to begin BBQing. As it cooked it quickly developed cataracts...Note cataract development... We debated, and as the eye continued to cloud - we determined it to be glaucoma in actuality.

Look at this spread! Fantastic! After going blind, the rock cod reached out with one last grasp for help by raising his fin into the air. Then once he was plated one of his eyeballs rolled out. No one would eat it.

On the note of eyeballs. A dirty gin and tonic, and delicious at that! Who would've thought to fire a bunch of eyeball-like green olives in a G&T?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Scones... mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Basic ingredients:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsps baking powder
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup milk

Fun add-ins:
~ 1 cup fruit (chopped if it's not berries) - I've had success with raspberries (pink scones), blackberries (blue scones), mango - and of course the standards - raisins, cranberries, choco chips, etc.

goat cheese/cranberry... I think what I did was 1/2 small package of herbed goat cheese (crumbled) and a generous handful of cranberries

  • heat oven to 425 F
  • cut the dry ingredients and butter together until you get a dry oatmeal texture
  • mix in wet stuff and fun add-ins to make a soft dough
  • bloop 4 gobs (technical chef language) onto a greased cookie sheet
  • pastry brush some milk on the tops of the gobs, sprinkle with suagr (white, brown, doesn't matter- and yes, on the goat cheese ones too)
  • bake for 15 to 20 min or so - until browned on the top

Coffee coffee everywhere

And so, by "popular" request (Kilometers, your one request is equal to popular vote in my books!): Where to get fabulous coffee.

Coffee Tasting #1 (at my house, not documented, because I'm a bad, bad blogger) featured organic shade-grown goodness from BAREFOOT COFFEE ROASTERS (my absolulte favourite is the Sweetness espresso) as well as a few bizarre selections (such as Chili coffee) from Z-Coffee. Be sure to check out Barefoot's travel French-press mug. So awesome.

Coffee Tasting #2 (poorly documented below) featured coffees from the Utah-based (who knew???) SALT LAKE ROASTING COMPANY, favourites including Ethiopian Longberry and Bolivian.

Coffee in Costa Rica - Cafe Britt (home of the volcano grown coffee "Poas" and another organic shade-grown variety) and divine peaberry from Doka Estate.

I get my normal everyday fabulous coffee from ILLY. Oh Italian coffee, you are so good. But I intend to mix it up a little now that I've expanded my coffee snobbery to include the above.

Scone recipes coming soon. Those of you who know me know that "recipe" isn't necessarily something that one follows directions of... So I'll need to rummage around the kitchen a bit to figure out how I made blue scones again.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Coffee Tasting II

Our coffee selection this month came from the Salt Lake Roasting Company. Last month it was a variety of shade-grown organics that I ordered from various places on the internet. Being the good blogger that I am, it didn't even remotely occur to me to document Coffee Tasting I. Even though it was at my house. Anyway, our three coffees were Ethiopian Longberry, Gayo Mountain, and Bolivian.

Note the cute Mona Lisa cups that people got to drink out of. Hooray for Emarathoner for supplying the extra fun!

Hot Hands and I dive into some quiche and some baklava (he calls it balaclava). I think they make an excellent breakfast combination.

Emarathoner begins a well-deserved breakfast, starting with scones (she ran 10 miles before arriving!)

BMW brought the mimosas. Note the size. He called them 7-11 big gulp mimosas. Go big or go home, right?

I was able to sneak a photo of near comatose brunchees (not all pictured here, many refused to have their photo taken "so early in the morning" - meanwhile, Hot Hands, Emarathoner, and I all complained that we HAVE to do this earlier than 10am 'cause it's IMPOSSIBLE to hold out for coffee and food that long!!!)

The feast

Stupid blogger keeps rotating this image for no apparent reason. I DON'T UNDERSTAND!!!! Oh well, look at how yummy these are (yes, I made them)! Wait, you don't quite know how yummy they are yet - their full potential has not been revealed! They are cranberry and goat cheese scones!

Quiches are one of the best ways to have eggs in the morning says I. Omelettes are good too, and we had some of that also, but as it turns out, my photo documenting skills are sadly lacking (especially when I'm preoccupied with eating and drinking coffee).

Lots of fruit and mimosas, and in the corner, just sneaking into the picture, the most delicious of baklavas. Yes, it's a breakfast food now.

I made blue scones! Even with the golden top, they are definitely blue. The dough was smurf blue. I was wearing smurf mittens after manipulating it. Despite their blueness, the blackberry scones were quite yummy.

Unwanted visitor

There are a lot of black widows around here, in fact this morning I got a close up look at another one while unlocking my office door. That one was normal spider sized though. THIS one, however, was pinky fingernail sized in the body...

Knitting update

Summer sweater - knit of this awesome consistency cotton-microfiber mix. Light, quick to knit up, super soft... So fun I'm using it again immediately in a much slower going project.

Here's a close up of that sweater. It was perfect for Costa Rica evenings, which really pushed me to knit it up in time to bring with!

Two purses knit out of (left) recycled sari woven into yarn and (right) sari ribbon. The ribbon certainly has a lot more structure to it.

As I expand my knitting stash, I am also working on an entourage of new knitters - which is most fun. At first my knitting night was just me... but now we are four! Hooray!
Here are a couple of projects that I finished some time ago, but neglected to post.