Friday, September 21, 2012

Party Invitation

I’m throwing a party. It’s a pity party. Anyone is willing to join. I know you all have thrown one or joined one before.

But, this is possibly the worst week I have had in a long time. I mean, I love my life, I have it real good but sometimes things happen that make me so happy it is Friday and happy that I don’t have shit to do on the weekend. Let me explain a little but I promise not to bore you with all the juicy details.

The week started off badly with my Gramma dying. She had Alzheimer’s and it was definitely her time to go. But, it made me feel guilty for not seeing her in a long time. I mean, even if she was still alive, I probably wouldn’t have gone to see her but I never did have a final time visiting her thinking I won’t see her again. So, that is what I was feeling. Again, not super sad just the realization that people die and that sucks.

Then I had some meetings that I would rather not have had to deal with EVER in my life and the fallout from those meeting conversations is still on going so didn’t go away.

Plus, I felt like I was bitching about things all week - I mean, hello, what is going on now? - but I just really wanted to bitch. I don’t do it too often, or at least I try not to (husbands don’t count), so when I feel like I am doing it constantly, it makes me feel tired and like a badish person.

And, there were some other tid bits here and there.

And, I feel fat. Everyone does sometimes. I know.

BUT….I have to say that my family and friends have been so supportive and awesome. If it weren’t for my family, co-workers, job, and friends, I probably wouldn’t have made it through the week. (And, let’s be honest, my old Nsync cd helped too.)

I spent last weekend with family and old friends and it was so superb. Plus, my co-workers are so great. I am not just saying this because my boss, whom I love dearly, reads my blog. I honest to goodness love my job. Even if I feel stressed there (which I didn’t this week) it is a fun stress and one I like sometimes because I am accomplishing something important. Usually. I just really love my place of work. Which is good, I spend most of my time there.

And, I didn’t struggle with what to wear to work any day this week which is a feat in and of itself!

So, there was some good with the bad but really the bad won this week and this glass of wine I am downing is pretty fucking good.

And, I just made ratatouille for the first time this year. It’s probably one of my favorite dishes.

In closing, fuck you week. I am bouts to eat ratatouille made from scratch out of all the veggies in my garden.

I feel better already. I don’t think it is just the wine talking. Thanks for coming to my par-tay.

Grampa, Sissy, Me, and Gramma. May they rest in peace and sing with the angels.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Stuffeda Peppa

This summer has been pretty crappy for farmers here is good ole NW WA. Our tomatoes are far behind last year which means I will be trying out many green tomato recipes! Our melons are pretty far behind too which means I won't be stuffing my face with fresh cantaloupe 24/7. But, for some reason, the bell peppers are growing super duper well. That is a good thing for me because I effing love stuffed peppers! We have been eating them pretty regularly here. They are easy to make, can be made ahead of time, and are so good! If you would like to enjoy some, go ahead and make them for dinner this week. If you can't get them from a local farmer (or your very own garden), go ahead and buy them from the store. You can use any color you want, we just only happen to have green....because it isn't hot enough to turn them red. 

Stuffed Peppers
created by FVW
feeds 2 (for main dish) or 4 (as a side dish)

4 bell peppers
3/4c brown rice, cooked
1T olive oil/butter
1/2 onion, diced
1 small tomato, diced
1/2c cheese, grate
1/2t salt

1. Remember your rice must be cooked, so you may want to do that first. Preheat the oven to 350 while you are at it too.

2. Roast the peppers. If you have a gas stove, this works super well, just place the peppers on the open flames and turn as each side blackens. If you have an electric stove, I think you will need to use the broiler in your oven (just make sure you use the shelf closest to the broiler). Remember to turn the peppers when they blacken. The entire pepper won't turn black but big spots will.

3. Put the blackened pepper in the plastic bag and let sit for 10 minutes.

4. While the peppers are sitting, go ahead and put your oil in a sauté pan. Sauté your onions for about 5 minutes or until soft.

5. Put the rice, cooked onion, tomato, cheese, and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix them all up.

6. Take your bell peppers out of the bag. Use the edge of a knife to scrap off the blackened areas of the peppers. If you don't get it all off, that isn't a big deal. Just do the best you can.

7. Cut the top off your peppers and take out the seeds.

8. Stuff each pepper with the rice mixture. Place them each in an oven pan, I use a small one.

9. If there is leftover rice-mix, go ahead and put it on the top of all the peppers in the pan.

10. Cover with tin foil. If you are making this in advance of your meal, go ahead and cover with the foil and stick in the fridge. When you are ready to eat them, pop them in the oven for the amount of time below.

11. Bake for 20 minutes.

12. After 15 minutes, take off the foil and bake uncovered for 10 more minutes. After that, they're ready!


Monday, September 3, 2012

The OP (Olympic Peninsula)

Gosh darnit! It is September and I just noticed that I only made one post, ONE POST, in August. Last year, I made five. I am sorry to have kept you from my good-for-nothing  witty, insightful, informative words.
What was I doing you wonder? Well, honestly, it was a lot of vacation. You may know that every summer I complain about not going camping but this year we finally made the time. First, we took a family vacay to Sun Lakes, like usual, and then we took a week long camping road trip along the Olympic Peninsula.

Mr Pepperworth and I have been talking about taking a Washington Olympic Peninsula trip for years. (That and a bike trip of the San Juans, the latter of which we still have not done.) Well, we finally did it and we took the Vanagon! It was actually very handy to have so much room and to sleep in the van on the queen size "bed". We had a great time, saw some amazing things, and we will definitely be going back, hopefully multiple times in our lifetime.

Here are some things that we did:

Day 1: We took the Port Townsend ferry and drove to Dungeness Spit in Sequim. It was a county park and costs $20/night which is a bit much, if you ask me but the view was beautiful. We did the Spit hike walk for about 2 miles. The 5 mile hike (one way) to the end of the spit didn't sound that fun really. When you have seen one mile of the spit/beach, you've seen it all.

The bluff at the end of a short trail from our site
Day 2: Drove to get our bear canister at the Port Angeles Ranger Station and then got our Recreation Pass from the Makah Tribe so we could do an overnight hike to Shi Shi Beach. The hike was only 4 miles and was perfect! Shi Shi Beach was very nice and had some pretty cool camping pits. There was a lot of garbage on the beach though. Some of it was even from Japan and Russia. So, that was slightly depressing. The sunset was beautiful though, unless you think about it as population. I didn't at the time.

The said plastic garbage pile.
Looking at the Point of Arcs from the north end of Shi Shi
Day 3: We hiked out and went to Cape Flattery on the Northwestern tip of WA. It was super cool. The water was a great color and there were puffins. Puffins are funny. Then, we changed our plans and instead of going to La Push and then to the Hoh Rain Forest, we went to Lake Ozette. I am so glad we did, it was so wonderful. It is a huge lake about 3 miles from the ocean. It seems like it is an alpine lake though because of the trees and the quite setting. There are no boats on the lake and a campground that has 15 spots. The lake was even warm enough to swim in 70ish weather.

Cape Flattery. (Somehow we didn't get a picture of the lake)
Day 4: We stayed at Lake Ozette another night. We went for a 3.3 mile hike to Cape Alava that was very nice. It had a boardwalk and the beach was rocky, a type we hadn't seen yet. We decided to run all the way back though and my van keys fell out of my bag. After about an hour we got into the van with some Ranger help. Ranger Dragon (seriously) got some blueberries and beans for his kindness.

That hill in the background is the western-most point in the lower 48.
Day 5: Drove to La Push and had lunch at Beach 1. Then we got a campsite at Mora campground. It was shaded and cold in the campsite. Honestly, we weren't really that impressed. (When we weren't at the beach, we mostly spied on the other campers who provided enough entertainment.) In the afternoon, we went to Rialto Beach for some sun where I was the only person laying on a towel in my bathing suit. I was slightly embarrassed but at least I wasn't wearing long sleeves, long pants and a back pack. I was relaxing!

Beach 1
Washington sun bathing
The van and I at Mora
Day 6: We were headed back towards Port Townsend to camp around the Elwah River but as we were about half way there, I proposed the idea of just driving all the way home. We had a good trip, a lot of fun and it would be nice to get home and tend to the house/garden. Mr Peps was all up for the idea so we headed home. Stanley and Simon were very glad we decided to come home early!

Heading home. Lake Crescent in the background.
The boys in the van as soon as we got home.
So, if you ever want to take a Olympic Peninsula trip, I recommend it. Dare I say the WA coast is just as good, if not better, than the Oregon coast?! I do dare say it, and I just did.