Friday, November 27, 2009

La Sandia!

In English -- watermelon!!!

We used to enjoy watermelon in mid-July in Oregon. Here in Sinaloa, watermelon season is mid-November. Gotta love the year-round garden! Our watermelon patch behind the house has been thriving, and we have been waiting (more-or-less patiently) for the first melon to ripen and for the perfect opportunity to enjoy it.

Here's Seth with our prize melon.

Last week we finally had the perfect occasion to cut 'er open. We took a trip to a local park with some friends and made a day of it. The kids were all so adorable, I kind of went crazy with the camera...untill the batteries went dead. Oh well, 250 shots was probably sufficient!

So, we don't have autumn leaves. Oh, well! We get to eat watermelon in November! It's a good trade-off!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Making Progress

Just wanted to share a small victory...

Over the past two years, I've learned quite a bit of basic html and have managed to successfully tweak my blog to make it look like I want it (for the most part). Once in a while I'll see something in the html that bugs me -- a margin that's not quite right, or a column width that isn't balanced -- and I'll spend literally hours trying to fix it.

This morning I was posting and realized that I just wasn't happy with the column width of the main post (my OCD was acting up). So, I got into the html of the blog and started to tweak.

Here's the exciting part: I managed to widen the columns, eliminate the out-of-place borders and re-center the header in less than an hour. Ooo RAH!

There is hope for me yet. We must share those small victories when they come, right??? Happy Friday everyone!

Pizza Time!

So, Elvis the Duck has moved out of my brick oven. Thank you, Elvis! I had replaced her unfertile eggs with some fertilized chicken eggs, thinking that at least she could have some profit from her labor -- even though I couldn't imagine how she would react when some little "non-duckie" things started scurrying around under her. Great idea, but I forgot about our ferocious tom cats. Apparently, they just hovered outside the oven waiting for the slightest peep and then picked the babies off one by one. They thought it was their personal drive-in restaurant! I'll be more prepared next time.

When I realized what was happening, I ditched the last egg (I'm often not the sharpest knife in the drawer) and finally made it over to Maria's to pick up some friends for Elvis. Meet Mozart and Tina:

Now that my oven is empty, we decided that it is time to try it out. Long story short: it works great!!!! It took a couple of fires in it to really get the hang of how hot and how long, but I think we have a system down. We invited Ricardo and Cristina over for pizza the other day and the general opinion is that we need to eat a lot more pizza so that we can really perfect the recipe and the fire! :)

Here are some pics of my brick oven endeavor!

This is Micah. He and his family came down here as missionaries for about 3 weeks. That big paddle-looking thing is the tool he made for putting pizzas in and taking them out of the oven. Very cool.

Doug and Micah had fun playing with fire, er, I mean adjusting the cooking temperature so that we could get just the right amount of crispiness to the crust but still achieve done-ness on top. A couple of the first ones came out a little toasted around the edges, but there weren't any leftovers, so I would say that we achieved success!

The men had gotten the oven so hot that after all the guests had left and lunch was cleaned up and the guys had all headed out to baseball practice, it was still hot enough to cook in. Not one to waste an opportunity, I suggested to Emily, Micah's wife, that we try our hand at empanadas.

Empanadas are the Mexican version of a poptart. Very tasty and not incredibly healthy, but when they're cooked in a brick oven they have a special "smoky" taste that makes them absolutely irresistible.

You can check out my recipe for empanadas here. Emily and I had fun baking together. Turns out she loves to work in the kitchen as much as I do. I'd never met anyone else with my particular ailment -- at least not to the same degree. We had a great afternoon baking merrily and then had to eat the evidence! Well, we didn't eat all of them, just probably more than we should have!

So, the brick oven is a success, the pizza was a hit, the empanadas were fun and tasty and the fellowship was wonderful. I'm always sad when mission teams leave, but I'm really going to miss the fun "kitchen bonding" Emily and I had. Praying that you come back soon, Emily!!!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Two Years Young

Today marks my 2nd Blogoversary. Hurrah! Can you hear the trumpet fanfare? ;^)

I'm really not very good at remembering anniversaries and birthdays and such. In fact, if it wasn't for that little button over on the left side of the screen, I would have completely missed it!

My free time has been seriously limited lately. The kids' school and household chores take up a lot of time by themselves. Plus we have two weekly church services, three weekly Bible studies and now baseball 4 days a week. Oh, almost forgot -- I've been "nominated" the children's director at church, too. Goodness! When I look at it "on paper", I realize why I've been so tired lately!

Anyway, I wanted to post a big "THANK YOU!" to everyone who has stopped in to read my blog and left comments and encouragement over the past years. I had thought to do a 2nd Round-TUIT Round-up, but thinking was as far as I got. I suppose I'll just let this anniversary slide quietly past and we'll do a big shin-dig next year...maybe.

Meanwhile, THANK YOU for dropping by, and I pray you have an absolutely blessed day! Now, I'm going to go work on that update letter that's a month overdue! :^)