Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Frappe' Vino

OMG, I am totally remiss!

MOM, I haven't told you about the fun you have been causing by your birthday gift of Frappe' Vino.

We haven't made the stuff yet but just playing around with what wines we have and how they would taste as a smoothie is tremendous fun.

I'd almost decided on Raspberry Mead but the bottle isn't big enough for the mix. So we're back to the "drawing board", so to speak.

I'll keep you posted as to the decision and the outcome. I just wanted you to know that the anticipation is a pleasure.

Thank you!
Have I told you about my favorite cookbook? Lily Wallace New American Cookbook published in 1945.

I had a piece of halibut fillet to cook on Saturday, and I had a bunch of baby spinach. What to do with them?

Joy of C, and James B. neither had anything very interesting to say.
Lily suggested making a sauce of stewed fresh tomatoes with rosemary to go with the fish. Did I tell you that Dad has been loading me up with tomatoes lately?
She further suggested a cooked creamy mustard sauce for the spinach.

The tomato sauce called for sweetening, don't do it! The fillet was mild and sweet enough not to need it; it actually detracted.

The mustard sauce called for cream for which I substituted 1% milk, which meant that I had to cook it a bit longer to thicken properly. It also called for butter to be added at the end, which I left out entirely. I achieved the same smooth effect by whipping it with my smallest whisk for a minute. I had also left out the optional salt, next time I'll add a few grains to give it a bit more spark. It was just slightly tangy, not a lot of bite, and went very well with the fresh spinach. There is now yet another bookmark in Lily.

Pondered the old potato/rice/couscous/bulgar question and nothing struck my fancy. So I made cornbread. I've learned that I can never go wrong with cornbread in our house.
When I wrote the post about the GBR in Reno I forgot to include another of my favorite people in attendance.

An extremely pleasant young man from the UK named Phil Roberts. He definitely came the farthest but I don't think he would get the travel time prize.

He is starting to work on his doctorate with a thesis on a controversial ancient Roman verb evolution. Guaranteed to get him a good place in the job market? At dinner on Friday he was sitting across from Bea and he actually made it sound interesting and exciting. Who knew?

Anyway, here at work we have a production manager named Bob. He often does productions in conjunction with a gentleman in another company whose name is Phil. Because these collaborations are sometimes complex and often a bit confusing, we call them Phil-Bobs.

I told GBR Phil the story; he got a good chuckle from it.

Phil joined his school rifle team when he was 14 for P.E. credit. Now in college he is still on the shooting team. All rifles are owned by the school. He shoots only on their range or at a competing school's range.

He got to handle a hand gun for the 1st time in Reno. Wish I had a picture of his grin.

Gotta get back to work.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I realized after posting (several) today that it makes for kind of a backwards read. Oops!
Dad and I visited another Wesley Homes Residence Community yesterday. This one out on the east hill above Auburn; it has only been open for 2 years. It seemed to have a lot of open space and long corridors. The lounges were well appointed and looked to be comfortable. The problem with going to an "open house" is that you only see the residents who are "working". Almost everyone else stays out of sight and you do not see any regular use of space. We did meet a few residents who were returning from day trips and had a chance to chat while waiting for elevators. Dad even knew 1 couple who he used to dance with. Dad seemed to find the place a bit overwhelming. We are going to re-visit the Des Moines residence. And compare their floor plans and financial requirements with the other 2 residences we've visited and in which he has shown continued interest.

Dad is getting close to making a move commitment. He recently admitted that he has been finding it harder to get things done. And he does not like asking for help in most things. Once he has signed onto a waiting list, getting the apartment he wants could take anywhere from 2 weeks to a year. Closer to the short end of that range is obviously preferrable.

D.W.'s objection to the Auburn residence is that it being on the Auburn East Hill and us being on the Kent West Hill means that if the Howard Hanson Dam does burst and flood the valley we wouldn't be able to get there if needed. It would mean that the only way in would be way north then east to the plateau and then head south again. Along with everyone else who would be using the only route on that side of the valley.

Small Batch Preserving

Dad has supplied me with an abundance of blueberries and tomatoes recently.

I put up 6 cups of Spiced Blueberry Honey Jam and 5 cups of Maple Blueberry Raisin Conserve.

I made a double batch of Pico de Gallo and 3 containers of Tuscan Pasta Sauce.

This was the last weekend for most of the local farmer's markets so it will be back to grocery store fruits and vegetables again. I will miss the vine ripened grape tomatoes especially.
Wow! Time flies and life happens. A lot of it is repetitive and the usual routine of home and work; not particularly memorable.

The guild trip to the alpaca farm scheduled for August was cancelled as too many members were unable to go due to colds/flu going around businesses and schools.

Dad had a couple home projects that he didn't feel able to do himself, D.W. was able to help him with them. That's just one more reason that I think he's wonderful!

D.W. won me a custom kydex holster for my Firestar.
A local guy on one of D.W.'s blogs (who had been making a few for himself and friends) wanted to customize one for someone to see how it went and how they would like it. And hopefully to have it talked up so that he would get enquiries. He had a contest to see you would respond and the reasons why they thought they should win. Ta Da! Woman, birthday, hard to fit firearm.
It took several hours, longer than anyone anticipated. I had chosen to stay and watch the "manufacture" out of curiousity, rather than go to a neighboring mall and window shop. Good thing I/we did. Everyone knows that women are built differently than men. It took quite a number of "fittings" to get the fit and cant to sit comfortably on a curved hip. [BTW now we can get the open carry discount at Dino's.]

My birthday weekend was spent in Reno at the Gun Bloggers Rendezvous. We drove down on Thursday, got in around dinner time so missed the shopping trip to Scheels. (If you want a full description of the trip down see D.W.'s blog The Clue Meter.)

We went there (Scheel's) on our own on Sunday just to say we'd been there. If you are unfamiliar with the name but know Cabela's - think a store big enough to hold 2-3 Cabellas. If you can name the sport they have a department for it. Also clothing, home decor and a deli.

We went over to the hotel to check in. Met a number of people who D.W. knew by blog name and who I had never heard of. While he "caught up", I chatted with a couple other spouses in attendance. Kiwi and her husband had organized the event and live here in WA on Whidbey. Desi is a caterer from Fort Worth, her husband works for Cheaper Than Dirt.

Friday, my day, was spent out at the county range so everyone could play with their own and other attendee's toys. Lot of sun and lots of noise.

I took a wheel along for the ride. I had an idea that I could spin if I didn't want to shoot. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way the sliding feed winder clamp had come off the arm of the maiden. This effectively made the wheel unusable.

Anyone know where parts for a Pipy (New Zealand) Poly wheel are available? They are no longer being manufactured.

Show and Tell back at the Silver Legacy (home of the GBR) was interesting as there were a number of vintage weapons as well as some custom modifications that brought oohs and aahs.

Dinner was at Gekko's Smokin' BBQ. Pretty darn good food. D.W. was at the end of the table while I was several chairs away so we had a divergence of conversation. I was seated opposite Major Chuck Ziegenfuss of Valour I.T. He has quite a sense of humor and LOTS of stories about his travels. He is not really a fan of TSA screeners. I was also seated by Bea, a grandmother from Iowa, more about her later.

Back to the hospitality suite to party. We contributed a board of smoked salmon,a variety of crackers, and a can of Cougar White with Basil(cheese). Molly arrived with her father and visited for a bit. More about her later also.

Oh, and if you are wondering :) Yes, D.W. did give me a "pretty" for my birthday. A pendant of a square Chinese turquoise in a frame of ruby chips. It is a thing of beauty. I love it!

Saturday D.W. and I skipped the morning event of the Steel Challenge. We decided that it was time for some "just us and no plans" time.

Saturday afternoon 4-ish we returned to the venue for the evening speakers and dinner. Surprisingly, to me, the scores for the challenge were not announced, with the exception of 1st - Bea. [I heard a rumor that Molly was 3rd.] There were a couple dozen men and women in the competition.

Now about Bea and Molly:

Bea is 79 years young, and has been shooting for 2 years. You read that correctly.
Two years ago her oldest son informed her that if she was to continue living in her home on her own that she needed to be able to defend herself. He made that happen.
For Chrismas last year he gave her a reloading kit.

Molly is a 13 year old Californian. When she is old enough to compete she is expected to become a new world champion shooter. She already has a professional sponsor. She is very engaging and quite articulate. It seemed that she received by the assembly as a sort of "adopted daughter/younger sister". Neither of her parents shoot but they and her older brother were there/interested/supportive. They seemed to be mildly bemused that Molly was treated protectively by so many.

Saturday evening there was a speaker from the NRA-ILA, as well as a representative of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The NSSF picked up the tab for the "pizza feast" dinner.

Door prizes and raffle items were distributed. D.W. and I came home with an assortment of t-shirts, patches and a cap. D.W. picked up a framed Heller Kitty t-shirt for us. [Hello Kitty dressed in red/white/blue carrying a pistol and a copy of the constitution] It is signed by the attorney instrumental in winning the Heller case in the other Washington.

Sunday we journeyed to Virginia City for the Cowboy Fast Draw competition and for some the camel races. Again refer to D.W.'s account for detail.

Monday we drove home along a different route. Lots of similar scenery, quite warm, long drive. I had renewed my license on-line but the new driver's license had not arrived before we left so I had no license most of the trip.