Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The road goes ever on and on....


It always amuses me that we are constantly trying to find time for all of the things that we would like to do.  Time never stops and as Tolkien said, "the road goes ever on and on..."  I keep saying that one day I'll do nothing but stay home (which is my favorite place to be!) and never go anywhere.  Don't get me wrong...I really do enjoy traveling, seeing sights, going to Yosemtie, kayaking down the Stanislaus river, etc...  But if you were to ask me where my very favorite place is, I'd be honest and say "home."  I never run out of things to do, and I enjoy what I do.  My craft/project list gets longer rather than shorter, there are so many dishes that I want to cook, and there isn't enough time in the day to spend with my husband or with Lilyana.  Time seems to be slipping through my fingers like water...I try to grasp it, to hold on for dear life, but there is nothing to grab... 

And so, I'm working on making the most out of every moment.  Ben and I have been talking about how we're due for a blog post, but as we're continuing to adjust to Lilyana's ever changing schedule (and our own family craziness!!!), we keep running out of time.  But I am taking a break to give those interested a brief update on the happenings in the Hector home... 

It all began when we had Becky and Laura staying with us for a few days...
 We found out that there was an outdoor play going on near our house, so we packed up the baby, grabbed some picnic goodies, loaded the car and off we went!

 AHHHH!!!!!!!!!!  Becky!  Look over there...it's on of the actors...It's Benedick, and he's sitting RIGHT THERE!!!!

Lilyana with Beatrice and Benedick from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing.  
Ben knew Benedick, too.
Let's see...this was Lilyana's third Shakespeare play to see, but she's also seen an Oscar Wilde play and an opera...  Yes, she's cultured.   

Spring has come and gone, and the lettuce that we SO enjoyed in the Spring has... 

 GONE TO SEED!!!  We're going to plant lettuce for the winter, now!  I love heirloom seeds...

Mommy's little helper quietly sitting in her favorite chair while the girls and I harvested tomatoes. 

 *gasp* The playing cards must have been here painting the roses WHITE!!!  Beware...the Queen of Hearts may come 'round the corner at any moment yelling, "Off with his head!!!!!!!"

Our dear friends were out of town and asked us to tend to their garden and harvest, can and eat whatever we could...  We were more than happy to oblige!

 Twenty-six pounds of tomatoes soon became eleven jars of Marinara sauce, and then came the peach pie filling, and cucumbers.  Salsa is next!

 After all that hard work (and fun in the pool), we were hungry and tired.  Ben treated the ladies out to pizza at our favorite family owned and operated (by REAL Italians!) pizza place.  Well, they do more than pizza, but we've only had their pizza...and it's SOOO good.

 Oh, I'm getting hungry again!  Fresh mozzerella, tomatoes, basil and a homemade crust...

 On our way out to the car, we spotted this scary looking lady in the realty office next door...we thought it was strange that she was in there after hours and wasn't moving...then we realized it wasn't a real person...

 No dip needed.

 Lilyana and Auntie Laura hanging out.

Okay, now we're on to the Foodie part!  All italics are quotes from Julia Child...
Lilyana LOVES to be in the kitchen when I'm working on dinner.  Sometimes she gets hungry, too...
 What?  Don't you eat your feet when you get hungry?  Never mind...don't answer that.

 French food again!  Salmon with a cream sauce, cheesy mashed potatoes and broiled tomatoes.  

You must have discipline to have fun.

 We had a small going away party for a good friend of ours, and so we dined on chicken dredged in flour, cooked in butter served along side peeled and blanched asparagus, a cheese sauce poured over both.  Homemade rice pilaf completed the plate.

Dining with one's friends and beloved family is certainly one of life's primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul-satisfying and eternal.

 Believe it or not, but this is her "I'm so excited that I can't stand it!!!!" face.  She opens her mouth reeeeeeally wide and shakes.  It's absolutely hilarious...maybe I'll figure out how to post a video on here....

Drama is very important in life: You have to come on with a bang. You never want to go out with a whimper.

 I think every woman should have a blowtorch.

In this case, a woman does have a blowtorch (or a kitchen torch), and the gentleman pictured is borrowing it...  Don't worry, he's friendly...

 Joel and Ben working together to ensure that the caramelized topping on the Creme Brulee was perfect!  Great job, guys!

 Be a fearless cook! Try out new ideas and new recipes, but always buy the freshest and finest ingredients, whatever they may be. Furnish your kitchen with the most solid and workmanlike equipment you can find. Keep your knives ever sharp and -- toujours bon appetit!

Okay, so we happened to have leftover chicken and rice pilaf...somebody has to eat the leftovers around here!  We had green beans with it the second time around.

Some people like to paint pictures, or do gardening, or build a boat in the basement. Other people get a tremendous pleasure out of the kitchen, because cooking is just as creative and imaginative an activity as drawing, or wood carving, or music. 

Crêpes are very French...and they are very good.  This was an interested crepe layer casserole thingy...  It had 14 crepes all layered with veggies, a cream sauce and chicken.  We had broiled tomatoes and rice with a sauce over it as well.

Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet.

 To break up all of the foodie pictures, here is a picture of Ben reading to Lilyana.  We bought her this new book, and it is sooo funny.  It's about a *whispers* spiiiiiiiider. *stops whispering* His name is "Barry B. Wary" and since Ben likes the previously mentioned insect, we had to get this book.  We always have an excuse to buy books. :)

You find yourself refreshed by the presence of cheerful people. Why not make an honest effort to confer that pleasure on others? Half the battle is gained if you never allow yourself to say anything gloomy.

 As I said before, Crêpes are very French.  Grandma Rose took us out to lunch on this day, and it was a bit late in the afternoon before we actually got out there, so neither of us were hungry when dinner time rolled around.  so, we opted for just eating dessert.  Homemade crepes with homeade ice cream with homemade chocolate syrup...YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Sorry...are you drooling?

I wouldn't keep him around long if I didn't feed him well.

And since I'm a bit behind (and have other things coming up on the blog list), I'll throw in last week, too.  We were only home for two days, so there isn't much to cover there, anyway...GREEK!!!  Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE Greek food?!?!?

 Judging by Lilyana's expression, one would think that she loves it, too!  It was sooooo nice to eat salads again.  The Greeks have salad with every meal...they're smart.  So, we've got Grilled Lamb, beets with a bread sauce, homemade pita bread, a grilled pepper and feta dip, and Greek salad!

 Oooo, cabbage leaves...can you guess what was on the menu for the next day?!?!

 Ahhh, Dolmades...or stuffed cabbage leaves!  They had lamb, rice, egg, spices, onion, garlic and homemade bread crumbs inside.  I am getting hungry, now...  Off to the side you see another salad, hummus and homemade flat bread.  Ben is really good at getting that stuff nice and think and cooks it to perfection!  It fluffs up so nicely!

                                     
*sigh* All of this cooking makes my little one sleepy.  We were up visiting Pops, Mumsie and the aunts and Uncles for the weekend, well, Wednesday-Saturday.  Pictures from that coming later.  We're eating Greek food again this week, so I'll have more pictures of that later!  

Now, how many of you would like a recipe?!?!  Today I'll add:

Julia Child’s Master Crêpe Recipe

1 cup flour
2/3 cup cold milk
2/3 cup cold water
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for brushing on pan

Directions:

Mix all ingredients until smooth in a blender or with a whisk. Refrigerate.  Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Brush with melted butter.
Pour in 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter into the center of the pan and then tilt the pan in all directions to cover the bottom evenly. Cook about 1 minute, or until browned on the bottom. Turn and cook briefly on the other side.
Cool on a rack or plate as you finish making the rest. Serve as desired.


And now it is time to say, "Au Revoir!"  or "Antío"

The Road goes ever on and on
    Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
    And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
    Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
    And whither then? I cannot say...
~ J. R. R. Tolkien

8 comments:

Spicemuffin and Company said...

Awww, Lilyana is so cute!
I saw her at church last week. She's growing up fast!

~Angela V.

Melyssa L. NicDhòmhnaill said...

That food looks delicious and that baby SCRUMPTIOUS!!!! Those tomatoes look ever so good too! Looks like y'all have been busy!

I wish I could figure out how to find outdoor plays and such, but with winter coming in again, I highly doubt that they will have much going on. Next year!

Thanks for the *whispers* much needed *stops whispering* update! ;-) It's always great to see what going on over that side of the world! =)

love you bunches! <3

Mrs.Rabe said...

Wow!

This post made me hungry!

That Lilyana is growing and is a doll!

Deanna

Erin Rothie said...

I'm going to have to use your crepe recipe for sure!!! Also, would you mind sharing your marinara sauce recipe? I've never canned before but am now a stay at home mommy (baby arrives in just a month!) and have time for this delight! I would so love to store up all our garden tomatoes that we have coming out of our ears! Have a blessed day! :-)

Yvonne said...

I love that last picture of Lilyana with the whisk and chef hat. How sweet!

Simply Tiffany said...

Angela,

I know! It seems like she was just born yesterday! :( Time goes by WAY too fast!!!

Melissa,

The baby IS scrumptious!! *grin* She's so sweet...

Yup, busy is what we've been up to...lots and lots of busyness! But it's been fun. The tomatoes are very good and I'm still canning some! I've got the canner going right now.

Yeah, I don't think you'll find many outdoor events to attend in the winter out there... *shivers* "The Merchant of Venice" will be going on in January.

Hehe...we were a bit behind, weren't we? :)

Love you, too!!! <3

Deanna,

Me too! *grin* She is growing up so fast...every days seems so precious.

Erin,

I use that recipe for luncheons and dinners...and it's good!

Oooo, I didn't use a recipe for my sauce...I just threw in spices, fresh herbs, onions, vinegar and cooked it like crazy... I'm sure you can find a recipe at Epicurious.com Mmmm, homegrown tomatoes are THE BEST! Congratulations, too! Babies are soooo much fun!

Yvonne,

Me too! I just got it printed and now I'm trying to find a nice black wrought iron frame so that it'll match my kitchen decor. :)

Lindsey said...

Joel and Lilyana make the same "excited" face :)

Food and baby...can it get any better?
Linds

Hec @ 19 said...

This is going to take a whole new direction when Lilyana starts eating solid food. THAT will be fun to watch!!

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