Sunday, October 30, 2011

Summer Review

The summer is over. It was officially over last weekend when I didn't sell at the Market and I found myself saying, "what project am I going to do this weekend?" I even cut all my dailias yesterday because I am ready to be done with those. I am ready to hunker down, read a book, turn on the fireplace (yes it's gas), knit, and cook/eat until I gain 30 pounds.

Unfortunately, I know I won't be doing all those things regularly, besides eating, I still am ready to go into hibernation because the summer was pretty busy. We were working in the yard, working to get ready for the market every weekend, attending family events, and trying to relax when possible.

So, in order to put the 2011 summer to rest and get ready for my knitting needles, I would like to reflect on its events -

1) The deer ate all the f-ing beans. I love eating beans and canning beans. That didn't happen.
2) I wish I would have swam in the pool more often. However, the green water scared me away most of the time. Next summer we will be more on top of that situation.
3) I didn't weed as often as I should have. Although really, I don't care.
4) I ran but not as far as I wanted. I never made it passed 9 miles and that was only once.
5) The number of times I hung the clothes outside to dry: 0. Total failure!
6) The number of times I turned on the video camera: 0. What is wrong with me?!
7) The number of times I made blackberry pie: 1. That should have happened at least 5 times!
8) The number of weekends we missed the Farmer's Market: 3 or 4, I can't remember.
9) Camping. Did we even go? I can't remember. I think maybe once but that is definitely NOT ENOUGH!
10) We didn't loose any weeding tools. Some people might think that is a good thing. It isn't. See number 3.

1) I went waterskiing. Some summers I can't say that and it makes me sad, luckily I can say I did this summer.
2) The Public Market (farmer's market) was amazing. While we didn't make much money it was super fun!
3) I got Mr Pepperworth to run Ragnar and like it!
4) I canned applesauce, sweet pickles, salsa, and green salsa. Great for eating in the winter!
5) We introduced Red to Earth Hour, she calls it Pioneer Hour. She even observed it without whining! Sissy even observed it on the same day. Bi-state Earth Hour. Great!
6) I read many books. I love reading.
7) I joined the Ferndale Public Market board. This should be interesting.
8) Our asain pear tree gave us some pears. Last year it didn't. They are so delicious!
9) The house got cleaned every weekend. I think. I am pretty sure. It may have looked like a shit hole 6 days a week but I think every 7th day it was clean. That's how I remember it.
10) Simon hasn't pissed on the couch for a couple months. Hallelujah.

Although there may have been equal amounts of failures and successes, the summer was still a great one. It was a summer of learning. We are already gearing up for next summer and planning our year. I am already craving cherries and sunscreen but I will embrace the winter months by eating as much squash as possible.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Cowboy Way

This past weekend Mr Pepperworth and I got off work early and drove 2 hours to see Riders in the Sky with my Ma and Pa. After years of hearing me and Sissy singing things like, “I wanna drink my java from an old tin can…” “Mom, where are you? I’m over here, behind the big rock…” and “Oh, I am Queen Elizabeth…”, it was time to introduce Mr Pepperworth to the sweet group that is RIS

Now, my family has listened to RIS since I was about 8 years old. RIS has over 8 albums out but we had one album back in the day. Well, one tape. One tape that they don’t even produce anymore. It is a good one! So needless to say, the group has been around awhile. 34 years to be exact. And, honestly, they look kinda like they have been around that long. (I realized that Mr Pepperworth and I only go to concerts/events where we are the youngest people there but that is another story.)

Anywho, RIS is a cowboy group that sings old country western songs but also has some funny songs to go with them. There used to be three of them, now there are four. They added an accordion. He’s pretty good.

There is this one song on the tape we had called, The Queen Elizabeth Trio. It is really the Happy Wanderer but the guys sing it like they are old British women. Since it was a trio, and we tend to like things that are Monty Pythonish, my Pa, Sissy, and I sang the song. We sang it hiking, we sang it as a phone message, we sang it for shits and giggle. Good family times. So…because I thought it was funny, I emailed RIS’s manager. It went something exactly like this:

I am not quite sure if this will find the right person, or if this is even possible, but my name is Emily and I will be attending the Friday 10/14 show in Covington, WA with my husband and parents.
I am super excited to see the group as I grew up listening to Riders in the Sky on family vacations. My sister, dad, and I would sing at the top of our lungs to Saturday Morning with Riders.

Anyway, long story short (that includes many singalongs), I would like to make a song request for Friday night. I am sure this doesn't usually happen but my request would be "Queen Elizabeth Trio", although I know there are 4 guys in the group now. I know it isn't really a hit song or even very sophisticated, but it would make my dad so surprised and happy if the guys would sing it seeing as my sister, dad, and I sang it constantly growing up. I am assuming it isn't already on the play list. :)

Hah, thanks for reading this odd request. Again, I have no clue if a)this is possible or b) this will reach anyone but hell, it was worth a shot for my Pa.
Thanks again,
Ferndale, WA

The response was something exactly like this:

Hi Emily,
Great letter! I've passed on your request. No telling what those cowboy characters will do.
You'd be surprised how many letters I get asking where to find those old shows. CBS put them in the archives and we have never been able to release them on dvd. So sad - they where really wonderful and the guests, Rikki Lake, Florence Henderson, Julia Sweenie...people would love it.
Thanks for writing,
Riders In The Sky

And, guess what....they played it. And, they introduced it by asking if I was in the audience. And, then they said they hadn't sang it in 20 years. And, then, they bombed the song. Oh well, it was still funny in my opinion and then they referred to me later in the show and other people after the show asked me if I was Emily and my dad was Pa (because obviously that is what they referred to him as). I got a kick out of it anyway and I think Pa did too. Another great Riders in the Sky moment to add to the family fun list.

I gotta say though, Too Slim, definitely the funniest Rider.

I think Mr Pepperworth is a fan now too.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

This Really is Embarrassing

I need a sherpa to guide me up this mountain. Laundry Mountain.

Ugh, I hate weekends (not really).

This doesn't even include the 2 more loads of clothes.

Please pray for my safe return.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Best Fries Ever

My friend just posted these fries on her blog and in a fit of hunger overindulgence, I decided to make them that night for dinner. With fried rice. I know, best combo, huh?  Well, I already had everything on hand because we have some beautiful purple, red, and yellow potatoes from the garden so I couldn't pass up the opportunity for fries, but then again, when can I pass it up? (never!) Anywho, I made this because it is super easy and I have never really been able to master homemade fries.  I made these fries back in 2009 but these 2011 fries just are a ish-ton better. Sorry for previously posting an inferior product.

However, because I like to tweek things and try to make things better than the last, I decided to add a few special ingredients to my fries. It certainly was a good thing.

Homemade Oven Fries
serves 2-3
adapted from these guys

4 medium to large potatoes (I used our homegrown yukon gold and purple), rinsed, peeled roughly, and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
4T olive oil
ground black pepper
small pinch cayenne pepper

1. Put oven rack to lowest position, put a baking sheet on the rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Place cut potatoes and 1T salt in large pot; add water to cover.

3. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and gently boil until exteriors of potatoes have softened but centers still are semi-hard, you can use a fork to make sure it can't pierce through the middle, about 5 minutes.
4. Drain potatoes well and transfer to large bowl. Drizzle with 2T oil and sprinkle with 1t salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper; using rubber spatula toss to combine.
5. Drizzle another 1T oil and continue to toss until exteriors of potato slices are coated with starchy paste, 1-2 minutes.

6. Working quickly, remove baking sheet from oven and drizzle 1T oil over surface.
7. Carefully transfer potatoes to sheet and spread into even layer. Bake until bottoms of potatoes are golden brown and crisp, 15-20 minutes.
8. Take sheet out of oven and flip potatoes and rotating sheet. Bake 10-15 more minutes until fries are completely golden.
9. When finished sprinkle with pepper and maybe some more salt and enjoy!