Sunday, May 31, 2009

Busy Week Menu

We've got after-school stuff going on this week. Here's the menu.

Monday take-out Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwiches (DELICIOUS and $3.25 apiece!)
fettucine with peas, shallots and herbs, salad from the garden, wacky cake
Wednesday broccoli and rice casserole, scrambled eggs, spinach salad, strawberry shortcake
Thursday dutch babies, sausages, honeydew melon, raspberries with angel food cake
Friday Empanadas, homemade popsicles (yogurt, blueberries)

Unless our neighbor comes over to barter with halibut for more of our eggs. In that case, all menu bets are off!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Copycat Hike, or How Even Tiny Vikings Idolize Their Big Brothers

Last weekend was a blast. We hit Folklife to see some amazing belly dancing, we gardened, we dug clams, we started construction of a giant cardboard castle, and yesterday, to top it off, we went for a hike.

We hit the Coal Creek Canyon, which isn't far from our house. At first, we were worried that we'd hear freeway noise the whole way, but as soon as we rounded the first bend, we were enveloped by the sounds and the quiet of the forest. I love living in the Pacific Northwest; the forests here are my idea of heaven.

We only went for just under two miles, but we think that's not bad with a two year old in tow. He ran most of the way, although he got tired at the midpoint and I carried him in the backpack for a while. Most of the time was spent chasing his brother up and down the trail. Everything Fezzik did, Tiny Viking had to try too. Throwing rocks into the creek? Of course! And of course he can throw the big rocks just like his brother. So what if he's just a quarter of Fezzik's age?

What got us rolling, though, was the mimicry. Fezzik missed a shot with his rock, and said "DARN it!" Then Tiny Viking threw his rock, and said "DURR IT!" Fezzik spotted a snail on the trail, Tiny Viking had to stop and tell us all about it. Fezzik booked it up the trail, Tiny Viking followed, arms pumping, saying "bruh-urrrrr, ait up!" (Brother, wait up!).

On the way back down, that snail had been crushed by another hiker. How I love Fezzik's respect for life. We paused at the scene of the crime, Fezzik mourned the death, and Tiny Viking reminded us about how much they both had liked that snail.

We had clam linguine last night for dinner, and while we usually make Fezzik try a bite of any seafood we eat (which happens infrequently, but is always consumed by Fezzik under protest), last night he argued "Mom, I just do not want to eat any living thing." Remembering the sad look on his face when he discovered the crushed snail on our hike, I couldn't argue a case for meat last night. I didn't have it in me. The kid's got morals.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Long Time Gone

We got back safely from Chicago, and three weeks later, I'm still digesting. Whoa. And, can I just tell you that We Do Not Drink That Much Out Here On The West Coast? Fun, though, even if the weekend is kind of blurry. I vaguely recall naming the trip "Meat-a-palooza." The meat fest started out at Hot Dougs, where I waited in line for 40 minutes to buy a delicious Chicago-style Polish Sausage, all the while refraining from buying a meat-themed t-shirt for my vegetarian husband. Self control! And it ended at Hamburger Mary's, where I had a (what else?) delicious, delicious cheeseburger. MMMMMMMmmm, meat! And I'd like to publicly thank my very generous sister, who was a great hostess. Thanks for letting us invade your space!

I did try rum again, for the first time since that unfortunate incident on my roof when I was 18. I was assured by my sister that this was no ordinary rum we were drinking, but a special, barf-proof, caramel flavored Belizean rum, which she and her boyfriend discovered on their trip to Belize. And you know what? She was right! Delicious!

And the jury is in: I officially like my sister's boyfriend. He's a genuine nice guy! He's funny! He's smart! What more could I ask for? Not much, in my estimation.

My friend Nicole, who now lives in Madison, WI, ventured down to visit us. What fun! We all crammed into my sister's room for a sleepover, and it kind of felt like old times, minus the uncomfortable hide-a-bed bars in our backs.

Sidenote: Nicole and I went to camp together every summer between the ages of 10 and 17. We had a small group of friends who went with us each year, and while Nicole and I caught up in Chicago, we came to the conclusion that the time was ripe for a Camp Cornet reunion. Las Vegas, here we come, this October!

In other, sadder news, my amazing grandma passed away on May 5. While it wasn't expected the way it was when my mom died, it wasn't a complete shocker either. She was tiny and frail and it's ok. I miss her to bits and pieces, but I'm really glad she's not in pain any more. My dad, his sister, Lawnboy and I were all there with her when she died, and it was pretty peaceful. I'm glad we got to be there with her when it happened.

There are more updates but at the moment, Tiny Viking and Fezzik need to get ready for school and daycare. And I should probably think about getting ready for work.

I'll leave you with a yummy spring recipe. We gobbled this up on Sunday night and it's definitely going into heavy rotation for a while. The herbs came from our garden, but our peas aren't quite ready yet. In about a month or so, all the vegetables will come from our garden, including the shallots!

Spring Fettucine with Peas and Fresh Herbs
adapted from Real Simple magazine
1 lb dry fettucine
2 c. fresh shelled peas
2 T. olive oil
6 shallots, about 1/2 cup
1/2 c. fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
2 T. fresh chives, finely chopped
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese (or Grana Padano, or pecorino)
salt & pepper

Cook the fettucine in very salty water until almost al dente. Add the peas and cook for 1 -2 minutes more. Reserve 1/2 c. of the pasta water, then drain and return the fettucine to the pot.

While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, then add the shallots and salt and pepper, and sautee until soft but not browned.

Add the shallots to the pasta, then add the herbs and cheese and stir gently. Serve it all up and chow down!