we love fall festivals. always have, always will. it's such a beautiful time of year to be outside (although we think every day is perfect here in paradise).
this weekend we took Tilly and a friend to Grand Junction for an apple festival at a historic farm there. they had a wonderful day – riding the kiddie train, petting the pigs and cows, chasing the chickens, helping make apple cider, and playing tons of kids games.
the best had to be the 'apple bobbing'. they have a version there with apples hanging on strings. the kids try to grab the apple in their mouth without using their hands. it's so funny and charming and perfectly fall.
we did end up eating chuck e cheese pizza for lunch which was a little sad for us adults but the girls had the best time!
this month went so fast that i was sure i posted this on friday and i see that i last posted 5 days ago. did i really lose almost a whole week?
this week i was so excited to find a friend's yarn in a brand new, small, all local food store. i was beyond excited really and couldn't help but buy some. she makes the rest of us look bad when it comes to local.
she raises the sheep, shears the sheep, spins the wool. grows the garden, harvests and makes all natural dye. dyes the wool. besides that she's a really nice human and beautiful.
i noticed that when i got the yarn home – while excited to knit – i was really most excited to wind the yarn. it's so exciting to see the yarn spin up into this ready to use little ball – so much potential.
here's to an amazing fall!
tilly and i and a few neighbor kids walked up to the store for hot cocoa tonight. it was beautiful out – although the air was really chill – we could have had some more clothes on.
today was picture day at school. jeremy took the shots this year. i helped. you know – shooting little kids is hard! he did a great job though. tilly is still wearing her photo day sweater (although a different dress). of course, her hair looked cuter all day than it did in the pic. the plight of a mom!
on my usual food note: jeremy made some excellent wax beans and a corn pudding tonight that was outstanding!
the first snow feels a little late…funny thing about a blog is that i can see that we had a couple inches here on our porch last year on september 22. this morning revealed the second snow up high. the first one was last week. jeremy hiked up the mountain this morning and took a bunch of pictures.
Mt. Daly really had a lot of snow.
Winter's coming – and around here everyone is pretty excited.
jeremy made the best all local chile rellnos last night and butternut squash soup. we're on the last week of the 'eat local' challenge. i'm still loving my coffee and wine. (although i noticed i've had a few more lunches out lately…)
I finally stitched the "U" onto Tilly's Underdog sweater. She is most likely going to be Underdog for Halloween – although she still has plenty of time to change her mind. I think she likes to idea of being a super hero.
I like the sweater in general.
On another note – I'm really sad about the loss of our bunny. We only had her for a couple weeks but we had the responsibility of a baby creature and I feel like we didn't live up to our end of the bargain. No doubt – we did everything we could once she was sick, but it was really almost too late at that point. She was so happy hopping around our house, standing up to be picked up when we walked over to her cage – such personality so quickly for such a little creature…I'm sad she won't have a chance to grow.
ShineLineProductions is the company of Frank Shine – a local filmmaker who travels the world making ski movies, etc..
so the site's really maybe at 90% – we have a few tweaks to go, but it's really exciting. i've been working on this site since before i officially started at freelance (but we've had video compression, loading problems) but the site is in pretty good shape now.
i'm sorry to say that our bunny didn't make it. she was really sick and never started eating again or gained interest in anything. we are so sad to see her go.
not me…the bunny. she's so tiny and she's lost weight so we are doing everything we can to get her healty…
so the local dinner was eaten – and we forgot to take any pictures – oy! so i took a few after's with my phone – so pathetic, but there it is. (the kitchen was a site to be seen afterwards so i'll share that – although it was probably a lot worse around 4pm).
the couples who came each brought local wine – the consideration was beyond sweet! this local eating is our crazy deal for the month and the
thoughtfulness of our friends was very endearing. it's not easy to get local wine (and we had our
dinner on sunday when you can't even buy wine in our goofy state). and one friend even brought fresh italian parsley from her own garden. so generous!
the evening was filled with good wine, excellent food, great conversation and some really well behaved kids. it's pretty amazing when they all play together (for a while at least).
we drank four bottles of local wine. and people had refills. i took that as a good sign for the local wine. it was pretty amazing to eat so much food, be so full, enjoy each glass of wine and know that it was all from the state of colorado. good job state!
i picked up some amazing dahlias at farmer's market on saturday too – grown in the grand valley of colorado. this little picture does not do them justice. i'll try to get a real one.
pieces of the menu: cinderella pumpkin soup, corn fritters, rosemary trout, anasazi beans, eggplant au gratin, turban squash stuffing, roasted blue potatoes, tomato and roasted pepper salad and for dessert i made honey ice cream with fresh pears
this morning was farmer's market – we bought everything of course. we are having some friends over for an all 'local' dinner tomorrow night. jeremy has been cooking on and off today and there's still food in the oven (it's 11:30pm). i'm excited! he even made a tomato dish I like – that's a miracle.
after the market we took tilly and a friend out for a walk. tilly wanted to go on a 'nature hike' with these small journals we made so she could glue stuff in. it's funny to watch the things she looks for vs. the things i look for. i spend time looking for perfect yellow aspen leaves. she finds a half eaten green leaf and can't wait to glue it into her book. they both glued in snail shells too – using a glue stick. we''ll see how well that holds up.
their favorite part of the hike was the caterpillar. we found a black fuzzy caterpillar that ali named gabriella. they carried it all the way out of the woods and to a playground we went to visit. they took continuous turns handing it back and forth. i was really just thrilled that they were excited to play with it (and not grossed out at all by the 'bug').
so one of the hard parts of eating local has been no snacks – no potato chips, pretzels, etc… i like to snack. i've eaten a lot of apples with our peanut-honey smush and thank goodness for tortillas and goat cheese ( i am the only human who won't happen to lose weight during this month). but today i remembered that jeremy had bought a bag of local popcorn a few weeks ago. so i followed the directions at instructables today and made homemade microwave popcorn with southern colorado blue corn, sedalia ghee and utah salt. so good! and in a lot of ways better than actual microwave popcorn – no weird after taste or strange filmy feeling in your mouth. an actual snack – so exciting!
so i almost cooked tonight – which is remarkable with our 'eating local'.
i kind of figured with all of the actual cooking it was taking to pull off eating local that i wouldn't cook this month (which wouldn't be that different than a normal month).
but jeremy was out shooting late so i baked acorn squash and made a corn bread/pudding thing. it was pretty good.
what i loved was that i found it the recipe at allrecipes.com. they have a great search feature where you can put in some ingredients you would like to find in a recipe and ingredients you wouldn't. so i could put in cornmeal and eggs, but no flour. with our limited choices this month this search feature is perfect!
so the pie…tilly had three pieces, i had two, jeremy's been eating out of the tine – we gave a piece to our friend kara – it's a really good pie! jeremy thinks it may be the best apple pie he's ever had (no offense taken of course).
so the other nice thing we picked up in Grand Junction was wine. Colorado, like most states it seems now, has a growing wine industry, with local grapes and local wineries. it was fine to stop at the different wineries – taste and buy.
it was interesting too, that some are really making wine and some are making novelty fruity stuff.
tonight we had spaghetti squash gratin, anasazi beans, and blue cornmeal pancakes. dinner was excellent!
so in my food update (as if the details of what I eat are important) – on friday jeremy found local smoked trout – so exciting! so we had goat cheese and trout quesadillas – they were fabulous! tilly loved them too.
on saturday afternoon we drove to Grand Junction (GJ). Palisade, GJ, Fruita – the area is piled high
with homegrown fruits, vegetables and wine. we spent most of sunday driving from farmstand to orchard to vineyard – tasting and talking and buying things. it was so fun! we bought tons of fruits and veggies (so cheap compared to here of course).
we picked out this homemade apple pie – i assume the flour isn't local, but the pie looked too good to ask.
i bought a whole box of pears – hoping that i'll can them.
and today we found salt from utah – also very exciting!
we ate non-local food while away…fudge never tasted so good…
so my dad turned 60 yesterday – happy birthday dad!!!
we were lucky enough to have him visit last weekend to celebrate his birthday. i was pretty unsure what to get him for such a big day, since i suspect he has most things he wants or needs. so i came up with the idea of creating a scrapbook where each family member who was interested made a page. i think the idea worked really well.
i have a standard size i make for large photo albums – about 15" wide x 11" tall. so i used one of those book board covers. i ordered large pieces of cardstock from paper source and cut them down to be the inside pages. i used two shades of green and two shades of blue. then i packed each one into a big envelope (with a piece of cardboard to keep it flat), really
open directions for things you could do to your page, and a return label to me. i sent one out to each family member who 'e'd me back that they wanted to participate.
everyone was really good about getting their pages back in time – which helped. i also designed the book to be held together with screw posts so that i could open and close the binding at any time to add pages. i took a shot of each page as it came back – that way
everyone who participated got a sense of what the whole book looked like. i posted all the images on my flickr account.
my dad had a great time looking through the book. some people wrote out stories, a bunch of us decorated with photos, one of my cousins wrote a story and made him a CD with music – the pages were really personal and i think it was a pretty gift.