huckleberry kouign amann cold seafood platter peach fritters matsutake tempura


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archive for June 2009

petition to extend the day by 8 more hours

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Recipe: chile rellenos

This isn’t really a petition because I know if we added 8 hours to the day, I would try to cram even more into a single day than I try to already. These long daylight hours lull us into a sense of “there’s plenty of time for x, y, and oh yeah – z!” It becomes the frenzy of summer. So I am in (more of) a frenzy now. But that’s good because it means I’m living my life.

Our best girl, Kaweah has slowed down in the past six months. I mentioned before that she is on a “diet” which means she gets fewer snacks and what snacks she gets are usually carrot bits instead of dog treats. In the spring, Kaweah weighed in at 64.5 pounds at the vet, which is the most she has ever weighed. She is 60 pounds on a fat day and 55 pounds in her svelte summer days. I chalked it up to my medical problems last year which distracted us from maintaining her typically active mountain dog lifestyle. Her weight is down to 60 and we’ve been taking her on walks and runs. She just can’t keep up on the runs anymore and Jeremy suspects she is becoming arthritic. Old dog is finally catching up with Crazy dog.

We recently hiked to the Continental Divide and decided to bring the pup, as hiking is her all time #1 favorite activity in the world (okay, #3 after eating, and rolling in dead things). We agreed that we would turn around at the first sign of trouble. Jeremy has carried Kaweah off of mountains in extreme conditions before.


columbines blooming streamside



She never let up. I think the backcountry is as invigorating for Kaweah as it is for me. She was like her old self but better behaved! We took her up to the lake and she had her inaugural frozen swim and loved it.

slowly thawing at 12,000 feet

treat? treat? treat? treat?

ooooh, cold!!



On the way back, she was slow and when we stopped to chat with a ranger, Kaweah decided to lie down in frog position on the trail instead of licking the pants of the ranger and acting crazy per her usual MO. She made it out just fine and slept the rest of the day. It’s hard to gauge how much is just being out of shape and needing to develop her calluses versus old age. When we got home we ordered a high-angle rescue dog harness so we can carry her out with ease if ever the time should come. I hope not, but I think gone are the days when I could take her for an 18-mile hike. The goal is to make sure she’s healthy and happy.

And while we’re on the topic of healthy and happy, I had another one of my crazy plants bloom! Last year I was elated when my night-blooming cereus delivered three blossoms. This is a “family” plant. My grandmother hand-carried (illegally?) a leaf cutting from Taiwan over to the US decades ago and started a plant. Each of her daughters has at least one plant from that original, and I got one when we moved into our first house. Two years ago, my aunt delivered another leaf cutting to me per Grandma’s request. “But I already have one,” I informed Elena. “This one is different,” she smiled. It bloomed yesterday and it is stunning. You can see a series of shots from last night here.


epiphyllum



**Jump for more butter**

daring bakers: bakewell tart

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Recipe: bakewell tart

Just under the wire! I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it this month, but luckily it turned out to be a relatively straightforward challenge. Whew!


the daring bakers knead to bake, damnit!



Here’s the official line: The June Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart… er… pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800’s in England. And of course, the unofficial line is that our founders, Lis of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice, are goddesses. I marvel at how those two women do it, but they do it – and they do it well. Thanks for the pastry love, ladies!

This dessert was not only straightforward (thank goodness, or someone would have been pitching a fit at 8500 feet) it was delightfully almondy and moist with bright hints of fruit. I’ll have to be quick here before I nod off and wake up with little keyboard marks on the side of my face…


grating cold butter into the flour for the crust

whisking egg yolks and almond extract together



**Jump for more butter**

who messed with the thermostat?

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Recipe: sautéed snow pea shoots

Gah! Summer is HOT. Colorado has enjoyed – or at least *I* have enjoyed – a very cool and wet spring this year. It is one of the wettest springs in 20+ years according to meteorological records (which I love to dork out on). And then summer rolled around and wham! It’s been hot. The dog’s residence time per visit to the deck is on a steep decline because she can only take but so much HOT before she staggers back into the house, panting and drunk on sunshine.

One of the benefits of the heat in the mountains is the instability in the atmosphere due to that delicious mixing of cold and hot air masses. This translates into some of my favorite things to observe and capture in summer: stormy weather.


driving down on the flats you see tons of mammata in the afternoons

lightning show at our house!



It also means more dinners on the deck after the sun goes down so we can enjoy the cooler evenings, listen to hummingbirds zipping past, and watch the foxes stealthily make their way through our yard.

summer deck dining



**Jump for more butter**