Saturday, February 27, 2010

Alive and catching up

Good morning!
I have been dreaming of a lazy Saturday morning all week. I need some time to catch up - on everything. Taxes, bills, books, physical therapy workouts, and WRITING! I have changed positions at work, I now run frantically here and there anwsering questions, asking questions and being increadibly confused about almost everything for the time being. A challenge is always near to my heart and has been what I needed but it has left me physically exhausted at the end of the day. I feel like we have ate out all week, which I really enjoy doing, but is expensive and leaves me craving a home cooked meal. So today I plan to root through the kitchen, make a healthy and hearty dinner, get some bread dough going and cheerish being at home.

 And dream of the summer, good weather, biking, and adventures!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tres Anos

As of today, it has been about three years since we were on the road, living out of a van, traveling through Mexico, meeting crazy wonerful people and following our bliss. Three years ago today, Febuary 13, 2008 J and I got hitched, tied the knot, made the plunge, we got married on a beach surrounded by family and a friend.
I would love to post some of the fantastic pictures that we have from the trip but we are in Bend, OR spending the weekend with friends, skis, climbing and a little R&R.
So here is to the day three years ago that I made one of the best choices of my life.
I have the best husband, like some of the finest foods, he just gets better with age.
Thanks for being so wonderful J, I love you!

Monday, February 08, 2010

For the love of bitters!

Oh my, a life with out Manhattans or pink gin, tell me it is not true.
I am sure glad I have a fresh bottle at home that will last me forever!
For the love of Bitters!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

no need to knead

I have done it.

My house smels exactly as my Grandma's did.

J and I came home from watching the Super Bowl and there was a very particular aroma to the house. He thinks it smells musty, it took me awhile to put my finger to it but I know exactly what it smells like, my Dad's mother, my grandma. Her house smelt of bread rising, that yeasty, fermenting smell, almost too pungent to stand. Now my house smells of the same aroma, it is odd but I just want to take it in, I don't want to go to bed, I don't want this memory to escape me.
The memory of her may com and go from day to day but the lasting impression that she has had on my life will forever be part of me. Like the fact that I can take the time to enjoy baking bread. I remember when she got one of those automatic bread machines, it was probably like when the first vacuum was introduced to the house wife. The women no longer had to drag those heavy wool carpets outside and beat them with a stick, they just ran this machine over the fibers and removed the dirt. The bread machine took the kneading, the raising and the guess work out of bread making but still produced the perfect loaf every time. Grandma always had fresh baked bread. 
We had better get used to it because as soon as I made a "no knead bread" **yes, it is true** I don't think that buying a $4 - $6 loaf is worth it. I am talking about four of the most basic of ingredients that are mixed together and sit in the fridge over night. whal - la! Bread! Baguette to be exact. I didn't even lay a finger, nor once ounce of kneading effort on this loaf. Thank God! Over at Bakers Banter, the brainchild of King Authors Flour, they have a whole slew of no knead recipes, and even more recipes for the astute bread maker, which I aspire to be.Yes I made a perfect baguette for the first time and will never turn back, we all can make bread. Really, if I can do this you can too! With some high quality flour, warm water, salt, and yeast.... some time (little effort) I folded together a bread that will rival any bread that I can find in Bellingham (mind you we live in a small town with one artisan bakery). No chemicals, no additives, four ingredients, some time and some love.
There is always some more room in my life for some carbohydrates. Really!?! Why deprive ourselves of fresh homemade bread. My Grandma was on to something, she was so damn happy for a reason. So here is to making my own bread at the fraction of the cost of what it costs to buy, far less "stuff" in the ingredients and for doing what makes us happy. I will eat fresh baked bread by goll!
SSSSSSoon I will mow down of fresh bread after a long bike ride! Today I lost the ugly brace that has wrapped my leg for seven weeks. I will break bread to that!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Blog Aid 2010: Haiti

I follow A LOT of foodie blogs, hardly a day does not go by that I don't catch up on all my favorites. I will drop what I am doing and be whisked away to a kitchen across the country or across the world and see what they have cooked, baked or mixed. I LOVE it these days. I feel as if I am discovering this underground culture, a group of peers all talented and incredibly passionate about food, writing and which creates this strong community that supports its self. I aspire to reach the level of beauty and creativity that many of these people/sites produce.
This was in network proved to be strong and thoughtful with the amazing feat of creating a beautiful cookbook in three weeks with the proceeds going to Haiti. Julie Van Rosendall from Dinner with Julie is the brain child behind it all. It was released last night and this morning, I had to support such an effort and such a worthy cause. It is the least I can do. ALL of the proceeds from the cookbook will go directly to the Red Cross and Doctor’s Without Borders to assist in their efforts in Haiti. But it gets better: Both West Canadian Printing AND Blurb are matching the dollar amount of the proceeds raised, to TRIPLE those dollars going to Haiti. AND until February 12th, the Canadian government will match that!!!! So, we have the potential to raise quite a bit of money here.
It’s a POD (print-on-demand) system, meaning the books are printed and shipped as they’re ordered and arrive at your doorstep in about 8 days. You can purchase yours in softcover ($25US) HERE or as a hardcover ($50US) HERE.
For more on the book, including a complete list of contributors, click HERE.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Tightwad Tuesday in the ‘Ham

Oh Bellingham how I love you. Last night reaffirmed my affection to the ‘City of Subdued Excitement.’

J and I know for scoping out happy hours and I can ramble off about a dozen locations around town and what libations they offer as well as the hours. Last night, with reason to toast J and his new challenge, we (he) assembled my new toy and we decided that the best way to spend the evening was over a pint at the Green Frog Acoustic Tavern.

The Green Frog (for those “not from these parts”) is a little hole in that wall touts, “no crap on tap” including my FAVORITE beer on tap (of the maybe six or so that I have ever ordered in my life, but I am learning...) but what I love even more are the posters on the wall and the music that they bring in. The walls are littered with framed memorabilia that makes my heart skip a beat. Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, and about a dozen different stringed instruments line the walls for anyone to play, peanut shells cover the ground making the floor slide under foot and the air smell sweet, need we forget that dogs roam about. It is as close as Bellingham will ever get to southern culture. I will take it and I think it makes J a little soft on the inside (as far as we could tell he was more Texan than anything in the bar last night).

On Tuesdays they offer $3 pints and some live music later on in the evening. The pizza joint that is next door will deliver any pizza to your stoop at the bar (7 bones on Tuesday gets you any 10” pie) making this the best Tuesday night outing in Bellingham.

See you next Tuesday, pint and pizza in hand!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Coming out on top

Life is better when the bright side shows. Really, the light is so much better than the dark.

Instead of sharing my unhampered desire to go for a run, bike ride, yoga, get out of a chair with out looking like I am 87... I want to share with you the light that I have gained through this whole process.
First the lyrics to one of my favorite songs right now by Leonard Cohen titled, "Anthem"

The birds they sang
at the break of day

Start again

I heard them say

Don't dwell on what

has passed away

or what is yet to be.

Ah the wars they will

be fought again

The holy dove

She will be caught again

bought and sold

and bought again

the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That's how the light gets in.

We asked for signs

the signs were sent:

the birth betrayed

the marriage spent

Yeah the widowhood

of every government --

signs for all to see.

I can't run no more

with that lawless crowd

while the killers in high places

say their prayers out loud.

But they've summoned, they've summoned up

a thundercloud

and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring ...

You can add up the parts

but you won't have the sum

You can strike up the march,

there is no drum

Every heart, every heart

to love will come

but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack, a crack in everything

That's how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack, a crack in everything

That's how the light gets in.

That's how the light gets in.

That's how the light gets in.

If I hadn't came through this experiance with my head held high and surround by encouragement, well, I would probably laying in bed asking someone to bring me more pain meds, bread, and chocolate. Here I am, behind a computer, a zest for life that cannot be put out. The spring is slowy coming back into my step, I feel as if I can move again, I can walk with long confident strides, covering ground with purpose and intent. My body has waken up from its slumber and is full of life. I have a fresh twinkle in my eye because I have been patiently waiting, waiting to get back to my life in whatever form that it may take on.
Every day I am discovering the things that came through the cracks, the light that shines in my life. This bump in my life was meant to happen, and I am grateful for what I have learned. Let me share...
The most important thing I have learned so far is my invincability. I was strong and strong willed, but there is a fornce stronger than me out there (gasp) and it is not gravity (which is a very strong force that tossed me from my skis and then sent me tumbling off a ramp on my mountain bike, not at the same time though) it is something else. It is the force that keeps our checks and balances in order.
Health is our greatest wealth. Seriously, I am not trying to be catchy. If the body is not healthy, it is extreamly hard for the rest of the body to be happy and healthy. If the body is weak and injured the day to day activities are comprimised. I have also learned that wealth can buy health (or at least new body parts).
Through this incident I have slowed down and as I haved shared previously I have learned to appreciate other things in life a bit more. I have made dinner almost every night the last couple of weeks, taken on new hobbies and just slowed down in general. I love to be in my house, there possibilities are endless in our little nook and I actuallly feel comfortable. The best part about slowing down has been the time I have been able to spend with my husband. I feel that we have grown closer through the whole ordeal. Our lives have came closer, in a healthy manner and it is not just from him having to wait on me hand a foot for a couple of weeks.
I have had more time to spend with friends and make new ones in the process. Ususpecting people have reached out and helped me through the process and for this my life is richer. My physical therapists are great people, everyone at the gym is encouraging, and my family takes the time to make sure I am still sane. For the most part I am, but there are moments....
I am seeing the light...