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archive for July 2011

cool it with a lava flow

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Recipe: lava flow

Everything seems to be converging on August: visitors, good-byes, workshops (!!), travel, work. Instead of freaking out, I’m in that state of quiet panic while I watch everything fly past me in this surreal slow motion. Maybe it’s my allergy meds? But my allergy medications are good to me because I could stand in a field of hip-deep weeds without sneezing my brains out to get a shot of this the other day:

double rainbow in stormy weather, baby

the primary was super bright

After a spate of several hot and cloudless days, that storm and the cool air it brought was more than welcome. It’s my favorite way to escape the heat in mountain summer since we don’t have air conditioning and we can’t really work in the basement. I find it helps tremendously to drink a glass of ice water. It is my favorite beverage in summer and keeps me on an even keel. But once or twice each summer I will make lava flows to cool down.

i’m really all about the ice

…and fruit

What is a lava flow? It’s just piña colada and strawberry dacquiri, but I love it because it’s fruity and cold. I also dig anything that refers to a geologic phenomenon that is totally amazing to witness. Here’s some lava from 2005 (the Big Island of Hawai’i)…

ocean entry

cream of coconut and pineapple for the piña colada part

the ice is critical

**Jump for more butter**

flash of brilliance

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Recipe: stromboli

You know how I have that terrible habit of sitting on the NOAA forecast website in winter in the hopes that my reloading of the page will somehow change “sunny” to “blizzard”? I do the same in summer except I am hoping to change “sunny” to “severe thunderstorm warning”. You might say I have a mild obsession with lightning. I love watching a thunderstorm, but I love photographing lightning even more. We had a pretty spectacular light show plow through the other night (I heard Breckenridge got hammered) and we’ve had a good strong run of monsoonal thunderstorms nearly every afternoon until a few days ago.

the crazy squigglies are so cool

double strike

right through the cloud

ribbon lightning (right is near 100% zoom)

I don’t actually know what our thunderstorm cycle was doing since Wednesday because I’ve been helping Jeremy host an astrophysics retreat in Boulder and at our home in the mountains. There was a good deal of wining, dining, a little hiking, and lots of science with some of the brightest (and nicest) young superstar ninjas in the field from around the country. I played hostess, caterer, event coordinator, photographer, and dog wrangler. It was exhausting, but it was great (and it’s why you didn’t hear from me all week).

a toast at the kitchen to kick things off the first night

fruit and pastries for a marathon day of science

a room with a view

marla addresses the group

jeremy wraps up the afternoon

winding down with happy hour at the kitchen upstairs

but they still have science on the brains

lisa brought her 2 month old daughter from hawai’i, by herself… lisa kicks ass

morning hike and discussion at 11,000 feet

final toast to a whirlwind of science and fun

dinner at our house

ending the retreat with dessert and laughter on the deck

From my perspective it seemed like it was a successful retreat. Jeremy agrees. It involved an enormous amount of effort and planning, but I think Jeremy and I make an effective and efficient team. We like working together. Now we get to trade places as I’ll be hosting and teaching the Food and Light workshop next week. After that, I think I’ll be happy to not host an event for a while (but just a little while).

There is something to be said for simplifying your menu in summer. I tend to gravitate toward the recipes that require little effort and time because we seem to have so much going on in the warm months. I blame the gobs of daylight hours. We like the recipes that produce plenty of leftovers too because there are days when you get back from a bike ride or a hike and want to eat right away. Stromboli has always been on my list of bread-based foods to make. I tried it out early this summer and we were hooked.

make some pizza dough

let it rise

flatten half of the dough on a floured surface

roll it into a rectangle

**Jump for more butter**

i could get used to this

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Recipe: mee krob

It’s taken me a few years to figure this out, but I think I have finally turned a photo roadtrip into a nice mini vacation for Jeremy as well. This basically means I’m learning to chill out a little. Just a little. And that’s hard to do in a place like Crested Butte when hillsides are bursting with colorful wildflowers while snow still lingers on the high peaks. I’m getting a lot better at knowing when to call it good, put the camera gear away and grab the bike to go exploring with Jeremy. We helped a fellow who broke his shoulder (he went over the handlebars on the trail) down the trail to get help. We even hit the bike park!

not a bad place to live – at the base of mount crested butte

and the town serves up some creative martinis (red raspberry)

cruising the lupines

it’s mind-blowingly beautiful

All of the snaps from the trip are on the photo blog.

Everywhere we went, there was a constant buzzing – that high-pitched whistle of hummingbirds zipping from flower to tree to chasing off another hummingbird and back to the flowers. They are territorial little guys. I spied two kinds.

the broad-tailed hummingbird

and the rufous

More hummingbirds here.

There aren’t a lot of places that make me question how much I love living where I live, but Crested Butte is certainly one of them. I’m not the wistful type and yet that place makes me point to random plots of land and ask Jeremy, “Is there any way you could be a freelance astrophysicist?”

wild iris and yellow paintbrush

delphinium, golden eye, and mule’s ears

lupine, scarlet gilia, and golden eye

sticky geranium

See the whole set on the photo blog.

Realistically, I’m doubting I could make the move to Crested Butte because I need to get my Asian on. We’re not just talking about Asian restaurants, I’m referring to Asian groceries. I need to feed my addiction for all things Chinese, Thai, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Malaysian so I can make favorite dishes like mee krob. I had no idea what preserved garlic was (it’s really pickled garlic), but found it at my local Asian grocer, much to my delight!

rice vermicelli, fish sauce, vinegar, pickled garlic, tamarind, shrimp, sprouts, paprika, sugar

pickled/preserved garlic

**Jump for more butter**