Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Narragansett Natterings

Our summer rental this year is in Rhode Island, on the Narragansett River. Although the housing is humble, it boasts plenty of decks and proximity to the river, beaches and ferries.

Cici, Jared and Molly opened the house on Saturday, while Jaime, Jim, Bonnie and I came down Sunday. Molly and Bonnie took long swims in the river when we arrived, looking very much like large otters (in Bonnie's case, a VERY large otter!) Shortly thereafter, Cici, Jared and Jaime took off for the beach and to bring back necessary items afterwards (Narragansett ales and fresh seafood.) Jim, Bonnie, Molly and I hung out in the cottage. As I am wont to do on a weekend, I started the process of prepping for various meals. I chopped a multitude of veggies and stored them, cooked two types of pasta for pasta salad, shucked some fresh farmstand corn, and made a lovely peach - creme fraiche pie (courtesy of a http://www.smittenkitchen.com/ recipe!)

Prep work done, it was time to relax. I was vastly entertained to find an episode of TOS (Star Trek, The Original Series) on television, complete with "Shat" as Captain Kirk. Be still my heart! [I had a short-lived crush on "Shat" as a school girl - then turned my attentions to Spock and Scotty over time. . . .]

The beach bums returned with the goods, which included local Narragansett ale, some incredibly fresh scallops and fresh cod. A short while later, our feast was ready for consumption. There's nothing like fresh seafood!

Before Jim, Bonnie and I left for points north, we took a brief walk out to say goodbye to the river and the pretty rock roses on the bank.

The Prodigal Bird

Last Tuesday evening, "Larry Bird" the cat, aged 16, escaped the house and did not return when called. We feared the worst after his venerable black cat forebears (Spike and Mr. Peabody) both wandered away at similar ages, presumably to find a quiet place to hide and pass away. The days wore on and I called animal control and made missing cat posters offering a reward, to no avail. His buddy Bailey Holstein (aka "Cow") mourned the loss of his friend and cuddling companion, and we were sad to think it was the end.

Sunday night we returned from a day in Rhode Island, still with no sign or word of his fate.

When Jim went out to walk Bonnie later that night, Bonnie indicated that there was someone under the truck parked in front - and sure enough, Mr. Bird came back (but not the very next day!)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cornichons, Caper Berries, and Caper Buds, OH MY!

Along with my great desire for all things olive [drool], I am similarly enamored of capers, their big brothers caper berries, and cornichons. (Jaime seems to share my cornichon fetish!) I recently found a recipe (Slaw Tartare) on SmittenKitchen's blog (http://www.smittenkitchen.com/) which uses BOTH capers and cornichons. Be still my heart! Savenor's is now benefitting from the Maille cornichon addiction - yum.

When I recently met my friend Janine, visiting from the west coast, I had to inquire as to the health of her Caper Bush (husband and cat came second and third!) She assured me it is flourishing. I'm green with envy! Caper bushes produce lovely flowers with buds (capers) and the fruit (caper berries.) Alas, they do not like the chilly northeast.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Showering Baby Wendel-Klein

On Sunday afternoon, we feted baby Wendel-Klein with a shower at Cici's friend Daniela's home. A surprising number of people of all ages came out to enjoy incredible barbecue, mocktails, preggatinis and their alcohol-containing friends, savory salads, and a festive cake.

We all wish for a healthy, happy baby and new family soon!

When PDXers Fly

Saturday, we were enchanted to entertain Sylvia and her parents for brunch at Zaftig's in Brookline, with a side trip to a nearby playground. Sylvia expanded her horizons by climbing through tubes, sliding down rollers, and running with Dad.

Sylvia took a little time out to offer gPops some tasty little acorns, and to check out that funny fur on his face!

Too soon it was time for the PDXers to fly back to Oregon - a good time had by visitors and visitees alike!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Double Team

Today, Bonnie figured out Jim's somewhat lame attempt to disguise the Cipro-giving in some leftover Redbones brisket. (It should be noted that it took her 2 days!) Back to the double team strategy, where I pry open the jaws and Jim deposits the horse pill. Today it occurred to me that very few people would dare pry open the jaws of a 100 lb pit bull x! Poor Bonnie. She is very, very good about the pill-taking, the allergy shots, and the administration of "soothing salve" to ease her itching paws. I can't wait until her UTI is done with, and allergy season is over (so I can go back to injections every 3 weeks instead of every 10 days, and the glopping of paws can end. . . .)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Murderbones III

Tuesday was a busy day. I picked up my lovely dose of organic produce from the CSA cooler at Iggy's, which included warm raspberries fresh from the bush, during a short intermission from work - then we scampered to the vet before closing to pick up another prescription for antibiotics for Bonnie (her file just gets bigger and bigger. Her allergies are in full swing, and her crystal buildup has led to yet another UTI.)

Then, while Jim held down the fort (and dosed Bonnie) I rushed off to Redbones and the mystery writers night (http://www.redbonesbbq.com/). This is such a great deal - free appetizers, talk to mystery writers, get autographed copies, etc. This session featured Hank Phillippi Ryan, a local television reporter turned author, and Allison Brennan, from California (turns out she has relatives that live in Saratoga, CA!) They were both great, and spoke as a team. It was incredibly informative and entertaining. I'm the happy owner of 3 autographed mysteries yet to be delved into. (I promise I'll pass them along!)

Then I delivered one grilled salmon dinner to Jaime and picked up the table (she's slowly moving out of her apartment, ready for grad school at Columbia in the fall), and then delivered the table and more dinners to the inmates at 6 and 8 Lamont. We're very full of brisket and grilled salmon (we just finished off the leftovers tonight!)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Dog Days of Summer

The constant rain (plague of dementors breeding) has finally ended and temperatures are normalizing. The flowers of mid-summer are covering the landscape.

Here's a picture of Bonnie showing why they call it the "dog days!" (AKA a four incher)

The Big Two Four

My "baby", Jaime, recently turned 24 on the Fourth of July. To celebrate, we first held a family barbecue in the backyard July 3rd which featured Jaime's favorite potato salad (roasted red, white and blue baby potatoes, roasted red pepper, and kalamata olives) and my attempt at a flag cake (well, it tasted good!)

Next, on July 4th, six of us went to jail. Well, really we went to Clink, which is a restaurant in the new Liberty Hotel built in the old Charles Street jail. Jared and Louise indulged in some oysters while Jim hammed it up for the camera in his nifty #!/usr/bin/perl shirt!

The venue was conveniently placed for watching fireworks later that night (the gs went home to hang with Bonnie!)

Happy birthday to my little firecracker! (even if she did make me miss the fireworks the day she was born)

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Adventures of Wagababy

Miguel, Aurelia and Sylvia have been exploring the east coast, visiting friends and family from Asheville to Northampton to Cape Cod and everywhere in between! We were lucky enough to be able to spend a day with the "Oregonians", and even luckier that that particular day was the beginning of some beautiful weather (after weeks of rain and misery!)

The first stop was the New England Aquarium, where Sylvia was entranced by a shiny police motorcycle and indulged her passion for swinging in the ocean breeze.

Inside, the penguins cavorted, and Sylvia got up close and personal with some aquatic critters. She was particularly interested in a strange fish with a beard - must have reminded her of gPops!

After a brief nap, during which parental and grandparental units transported Sylvia to Fanieul Hall and began a meal at Wagamama, Sylvia indulged in some chicken and noodles. Well, Dad helped, too!

Funny how these two have the exact same position!

After lunch, a quest to find swings began. We found a playground along the waterfront, but alas, no swings. Sylvia found a new addiction, though, the slide! We see full service playgrounds in Sylvia's future.

On our way back to the car to wend our way westward, we encountered a gentleman playing jazz saxophone. Sylvia was delighted and danced on dad's shoulders, signing more, more!

Although the moon was nowhere to be seen, we basked in the light at Full Moon Restaurant (a child-friendly restaurant in West Cambridge) for dinner. Sylvia enjoyed the menu, the play area, and giving herself a pasta shampoo! Louise and Aurelia enjoyed crab tacos.