Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Some Thoughts About Food Items

1. Tillamook Brand Marionberry Pie ice cream is sheer ambrosia. Julie served me some when I visited her recently. I had a big dish, and then another biggish dish a while later, and before bedtime the next evening I finished off the carton ("You don't mind, do you?" I said between slobbery spoonfuls). It's vanilla ice cream rippled with marionberry, which is nice and tart, PLUS chunks of pie crust, which add a salty, cookie-dough-like effect. Oh my, but it's tasty. I mourned when I left Julie's home. I was going to miss her, and I was going to miss Tillamook Brand Marionberry Pie ice cream, for I understood it was sold only in the Pacific Northwest. But WinCo Foods has recently debuted in these parts (WinCo as in Washington-Idaho-Nevada-California-Oregon) and darned if there isn't a panorama of Tillamook ice creams in the frozen food section. Marionberry Pie ice cream has been in our freezer ever since. I highly, highly, recommend it. This is also my niece Julia's favorite ice cream.

2. Today Emma and I had a discussion about repentance. I told her that all of us make mistakes, even grown-ups make mistakes, etc. Mommy makes mistakes all the time, for example. "Like the time you put ketchup on your hot dog instead of mustard?" she said solemnly. You see, Joe has carefully trained this child. She knows that nobody, I mean nobody, puts ketchup on a hot dog.

And if you don't believe me, take it from Clint Eastwood.

3. Speaking of ketchup, I admit to using it inappropriately in the past. When Joe and I were dating he was aghast to learn that I often ate frozen burritos with ketchup for dinner. But I grew up putting ketchup on Mexican food. There was no such thing as salsa in La Grande, Oregon, in the 60s. Mom fried up the tortilla shells in oil, we crammed them with hamburger, lettuce, and cheddar cheese and doused them with Heinz ketchup. And they were good, especially with cold milk. It wasn't until 1982 that I first encountered salsa. There's an entry in my journal that year after I had dinner at someone's house where they served chips with a "good, tomatoey kind of sauce."

4. I also remember my friend Genia telling me (circa 1974) about a really good new kind of chip-- "Nocko" Cheese Doritos.

5. And my first memory of ranch dressing is vivid. Frances Cooper brought us a quart jar of homemade ranch dressing (1970?) and we were...smitten. There really was a Hidden Valley Ranch, by the way. The internet says: "In 1954, Steve and Gayle Henson opened a dude ranch near Santa Barbara, California, and named it "Hidden Valley Ranch". As a side business, they sold to guests a special dressing that Steve had developed in Alaska. The dressing was popular, and they began selling bottles that guests could take home, and later opened a factory to sell packets of ranch seasoning that had to be mixed with mayonnaise and buttermilk (packets that are still available to this day). In 1972 the brand was bought by Clorox for $8 million."

So maybe it was 1972 when Frances Cooper brought over the quart jar. And having "Clorox" included in a description of ranch dressing is unsavory.

So enough food talk; on to the Emma pictures. But please do share your own random food-related bits of trivia. I think they're innaresting.

Emma pictures: We went for a walk along the Jordan River Parkway last night. Emma scampered. There she is in mid-scamper below.

And is it just me....or is she not just about the loveliest little girl in the entire known universe?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Some Time Off

While Denny was in Vancouver for a couple of days, I took some time off to be with Em. As long as I was off for that, I decided to take the rest of the week off to boot. Emma was with me for a good part of it, sharing trips to the Home Depot (4), Costco (2), and the dump. Three trips to the dump were made, with stuff that had accumulated this past year. Is it just me, or is there nothing to compare with the feeling of driving away from the dump? It is like you are getting away with something. Of course, a trip to the dump isn't complete without a stop at the closest Maverik convenience store.

Overall, the weather was great, and offered a chance to make some changes in the back yard, and prepare for the growing season. We went last year without home-grown tomatoes, the first year in many. Anyway, we shoveled and raked to clear a spot for a couple of grow boxes, and put a gate in the fence where none had previously existed. We even whacked a couple of trees that served no purpose other than to irritate us.

Here are a few photos of some other stuff we did:

If you ever need help relaxing, take lessons from a five-year old.

We went on a little hike on a trail a few minutes from our house, and rested to take in the view.

The view of the Salt Lake Valley looking to the north.

The Draper Temple nestled in the southeast corner of the valley.
(click to enlarge -- it looks cool)

It was a great week, and much was accomplished. I will give tomato updates as the Summer progresses. Ok then.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Missy Em Has a Birthday, And I Visit My Sister

Emma turned 5 on Monday, and she was happy about it.

She enjoyed lunch with Grandma and Grandpa H after school

and dinner with the other Grandma and Grandpa H, Aunt Boo Boo, and cousins Alex, Jason and Madsen later in the evening.

Last weekend, I flew to Portland to visit my sister Julie and her husband, Tom, who live across the river in Vancouver, Washington. Oh my, was it fun. We packed many activities into two days. We visited the venerable Lloyd Center (I believe it's America's oldest shopping mall...and there's an ice skating rink in the middle.)

We lunched at Saint Honore's Bakery in quaint Northwest Portland.

Take a gander at the pastries. We split a raspberry delice (2nd row from the top, far left). It was delice-ious.

Then we drove around neighborhoods where I used to live years ago in my single days. Spring is in its full glory in the Pacific Northwest.

We meandered up to Washington Park, then up to the Japanese Gardens.

On Friday evening we attended a concert by the Portland Mormon Choir and Orchestra. They performed John Rutter's Requiem, which is one of my favorite pieces of music and has been going through my head incessantly for about 10 days now. Oh, it was beautiful.

It was so much fun to spend time with Julie and Tom. And their iguana, Max.

(Feet included for scale)

The next morning we visited Saturday Market in downtown Portland, featuring an abundance of arts, crafts, hippies, and ethnic food. And a really good marimba band.

Speaking of arts and crafts, Julie is an excellent jewelry maker. Below are some of the bracelets she's made.


Such a fun, fun trip. Thanks, Julie and Tom. And happy, happy birthday, Emma Dear.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Happy Easter!

Here is proof that four-year-olds can fly.

Em is playing in Aunt Barbie's backyard during the annual "eggs" stravaganza.

Here we have Madsen and Emma chillaxin' on the fish steps.

We had a great Easter full of food, family, Peeps, chocolate bunny ears, and conference. By the time Sunday night rolled around, Em was bouncing around like the Tazmanian Devil on a sugar high. It was all we could do to get some real food in her. Grandma and Grampa H. (the other Grandma and Grampa H.) came over for dinner, and a fine time was had by all.

Emma finally wound down enough to climb into bed around 8:00 PM. The last thing she said three minutes before falling to sleep was "I can't sleep!" A fine Easter indeed. Ok then.