Saturday, February 5, 2011

To Crochet or Not Crochet

Okay, I'm into crocheting these days in a big way. I like it because crocheting doesn't take a huge amount of skill (at least not the patterns I take on), mistakes are easily fixable as opposed to knitting, and the projects tend go pretty quickly - when I understand the pattern.

In looking for free on-line patterns, I found this - great, modern patterns!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How We Spent Our Christmas Break

Thanks to our kids, we always seem to have really wonderful house guest over Christmas. This year Dane brought home his friend, Sergey, from The Ukraine. English is not Sergey's first language, but his last evening with us, he joined us for a really fun game of Balderdash. He may have been tired of my 999+ questions about The Ukraine as I've never met an actual Ukrainian.

Shopping, shopping, shopping in San Francisco. This is Neiman Marcus in SF, a little out of our price range; we just wanted to see how the other half lives. Loved their five-story Christmas tree.

After shopping, the beach. Look very carefully at the dot in the center of the blue.
It is a kite with a crazy guy in a wet suit on a boogie board attached to it. What nut case thought of that - I've got to try it!
Having spent ALL our cash, Lindsey and I went in search of a cash machine for the toll bridge. My mind set: let's look for a Whole Foods Market. They'll have a machine and good food for the ride home. Yeah...The Mission District. For some reason, Lindsey refused jump out and get money while I circle the block in the car. Might have been the 39 hobos (gross exaggeration, Candy) we saw out front. I was forced to parallel park - first time, I got it, so I had to take a picture. That's Lindsey swearing she'll never go to the Big City with me again as I make her pose for the shot.

My two sweeties, Lindsey and Julianne.

After New Years, we got the sad news that John's mom's health is failing, so we took Lindsey back to college and spent a few extra days visiting Dorothy. Even though she is now in bed with oxygen most of the day, she still insisted that she be allowed to put on lip stick and fix her hair for the camera. It's great to see her looking good the way she always has despite being so ill.
Ugh! The trip back to California - 700 miles of snowy mountains and frozen desert.

All the following shots were made from a car traveling 85 mile an hour. John refused to stop for me to take pictures:-)
Famous Pilot Peak in Nevada
Aftermath of a bad storm in the Sierras
Finally, The Valley - covered with fog!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Beth's Blintzes

My sister, Beth, mother of 1 girl and 7 boys, loves to cook. Her kids are grown and gone now, but she still loves cooking for all who visit.

Funny Story: All of Beth's boys are athletic and big - well over six feet - with corresponding appetites. One summer we bravely took all the kids up to my parent's cabin in the Sierras. Yep, 16 kids with a couple of friends. My parents wisely chose to stay home. One night we grilled hot dogs on the stove (what else are you gonna cook for that many people). John sat in awe as the starved locus descended on the weenies. One nephew - we'll call him No Neck because we've always called him No Neck since he has no discernible neck just muscle where his neck should be; yeah, he's a wrestler- made five trips to the kitchen for food without making it back to the dining table once, having eaten his hot dog on the way. He also had a funny habit of addressing his food first with comments like "Um, you lucky thing. I'm gonna eat you. You're goin' down!" For him, eating was clearly his passion.

You blintz purists will not recognize these as actual blintzes, since a proper blintz is supposed to be a thin crepe filled with mild cheeses, fruits, etc. Being more interested in ease and speed - you have to be when feeding the masses -, this is Beth's version, modified by her boys.

4 eggs, beaten
1 cup flour
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbs sugar
pinch of salt
Optional: blueberries
Combine ingredients while heating a skillet (I prefer to use an electric) to medium high heat. Spread the rather thick batter on the butter-coated skillet; about 1/4 cup for each. Push the fresh blueberries into the blintzes as they cook. Turn when edges are a bit dry looking. Cook on the other side until the blintz is no longer jiggly - trial and error. Serve with syrup or powdered sugar. Great topped with strawberries and whipped cream, too.
Serves 2 big boys or 4 normal-sized people.

Here is a similar blintz recipe .