Monday, October 10, 2011

Dialogue: "The Princess Bride" reunion

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Harry played this video for both of us.  About halfway through, this was our conversation.

Me: Oh man, I love this movie.  I used to watch this on every birthday when I was a kid.
Harry: (shocked expression) I used to watch this movie every birthday when I was a kid.
Me: ...What?  Really?
Harry: Yeah.
Me: Huh.  I thought it was kind of a girl movie.  I mean, I had princess party sleepovers.  This is what we watched.  Every year.
Harry: What?  No way, it's a guy movie.  There's one girl in it.  The rest of it is sword fighting and swash buckling and stuff.
Me: The title is "The Princess....  Bride."
Harry: Yeah, but it's a boy movie.
Me: (expression says, "boy, you trippin'") Ehhh...
Harry: Boy movie.
Me: Agree to disagree.

Either way, watch the clip.  It'll remind you of why you loved being alive in the late 80's/early 90's, and make you wonder why Robin Wright did that to her pretty hair, and make you sad that Andre the Giant is no longer alive.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Apple Bacon Pizza

Check it--a picture of our apple bacon homemade pizza is on Martha Stewart's website today (courtesy of our good friend Jane Maynard).

Too bad we don't have any leftovers.  'Cause now I really want some.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Because it was a rainy day, and I'm becoming my mother

Yesterday morning I went for a run.

It's been rainy the past few days, and on my way out of our apartment complex I spotted the brightest double rainbow I've ever seen (what does it mean?!).

 At one point it looked as though the end of the rainbow was at the Cheese House, down the street.  Which would make perfect sense, seeing as their sandwiches make me drool golden saliva.

I came home and knew today was the day.  As rain started noisily pouring down and creating puddles in the uneven concrete divots on our balcony I says to myself, "Self, it's time to get over your fear of active dry yeast."  And I made my very first loaf of homemade wheat bread.

I don't make bread, ever.  I'm honestly consistently afraid that I'll really mess it up and wind up with a dense brick of a loaf that will turn to glue in my insides, and it will all have been a waste of time.  Yeast seems like such a weird and fickle thing.  I looked through to find a highly rated recipe and found this one. I halved it as follows (I didn't want to commit to 2-3 loaves without making sure 1 loaf came out right):

1-1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (or ⅙ cup) honey
2-1/2 cups bread flour
1.5 tablespoon butter, melted
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (or ⅙ cup) honey
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup whole wheat flour (plus an additional 1-2 cups as needed)
1 tablespoon butter, melted

 1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 2TB and 2tsp honey. Add 2.5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
2. Mix in 1 ½ tablespoons melted butter, 2 TB and 2 tsp honey, and salt. Stir in 1 cup whole wheat flour.
 3. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch (about 5-8 minutes). This may take an additional 1 to 2 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
4. Punch down, and form 1 loaf. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pan by one inch.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not over-bake. Lightly brush the tops of loaf with 1 tablespoon melted butter when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely.

 There's nothing like the smell or taste of freshly baked bread. I'm hooked. Oh, yeah, you can forget about it, Orowheat. We're through.

Doing this made me think of my Mom. I can feel myself becoming more and more like her. Maybe it's more like I'm beginning to think her way is the ONLY way to do something. I'm sure it's her genetics that require me to be watching something British (and having to do with women worrying about which gentleman will accept their meager dowry and provide them with a snazzy lifestyle in their Victorian England context) whenever I sew anything. And I'm pretty sure that she's the reason I went to TOWN on some coupons that got mailed to our apartment for some other previous tenant, and that I now have my very own "coupon wallet" (aka the J. Crew coin purse Becca got me for my birthday in 2007). And it's also because of her that I can't really be comfortable on the couch without a blanket draped over me. But there's really no woman I rather share neuroses with.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My best friend's wedding, and "Oh no, I've become one of those people."

She did it!

Meet Arturo and Rebecca, married couple extraordinaire!

I love this girl.  We are two weeks apart, cousins, former roommates, and partners in crime. Harry and I flew up to Salt Lake for her wedding this past weekend, and it was sublime. Family everywhere, babies everywhere, and the euphoria of a newly minted married couple in all kinds of love. And I realized, as I wiped tears away at the ceremony, after the ceremony, at the beginning of the reception, and at the end of the reception, I have turned into one of those people-- the type of person who, you know, cries uncontrollably at weddings.

Being in Utah reminds me of all of our hijinks, and all the fun we had doing them, and reminded me that we're both now bonafide adults, and now there are officially bigger responsibilities in both of our lives that must come before weekends of silliness with bridge mix and BBC.

Maybe that explains why I felt so compelled to hold her hand.

She married one of the coolest guys I've ever met (seriously), and they make a super snazzy duo.

Throw into the mix a wild dance party in Sundance, including the stylings of Justin Bieber and Bruce Springstein, and cutting a rug with all the McOmber clan, and it made for an unforgettable party. My bro played the bag pipes and my even Dad jumped in when someone awesome randomly started the Electric Slide.

The next morning, bright and early, Harry and I groggily made our way to our gate at the SLC airport.  We were settling in to wait to board our flight, when I heard a loud, "WHAT?"  I look up, and there stood Rebecca!  They were flying out ten minutes after us.

Harry, almost on cue, started snapping pictures of the random reunion with my phone.

Cheesy alert: This was such a nice tender mercy for me.  I really really love this gal.  Getting to see her one last time before we flew home made my day.  For five minutes we got to visit, revel in how wonderful the wedding day was, and just laugh like old times.  Thank goodness families are forever, or I would have a serious bone to pick in the afterlife.

Loved this weekend.  LOVED it.

P.S. And also, cousin Margaret, just knowing that you read this blog, and that you're probably one of the 4 people who actually do, makes me so happy. And also, thank you for all those times you invited me and Merzy over to watch LOST and eat sugar cookies when I was 18. I really loved that.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mountains, ocean, and a serious plethora of pictures

We were lucky enough to steal some time at the end of the summer and go to Duck Creek, UT to the cabin with my cousin Becca and her fiancee (now-husband... more on that coming) for a few days.

We cooked, baked, hiked, ran, read, speed-scrabbled, and watched movies. We also did the Cascade Falls hike together. And we fiddled with the Canon camera that Harry got me for my birthday. I think it's time I learned how to take real photographs, and though this camera has all the knobs and buttons of a spaceship, I'm learning about all of them a little bit at a time.

**I posted so many pictures previously that I have almost used up my allotted free google space.  So a lot of the pictures are now gone, and are available on request, although I would be really surprised  if you did, because this post is now old.**

Then Harry and I got in our little college cars and hauled it back up to Palo Alto. And then 48 hours later, we had our last hurrah of the summer by spending a few days in Monterey Bay and Carmel, a short 2 hour drive from our home, and a dreamy dreamy dreamland of dreams. 

On the way we stopped by Marianne's Ice Cream parlor at the recommendation of some good friends.  We ate Cardamom and Pistachio flavored ice cream, and our taste buds will never be the same.

We stopped in Santa Cruz and wandered down the boardwalk. And saw a bunch of seals who were being rather noisy, and doing what me and my London friends call "The Manheim Steamroller," ie climbing over your fellow beings instead of walking around them.

Planking seals- it's an epidemic

We got to Monterey, explored the town a little bit, found a sushi place, and enjoyed the view from our room.

The next day we drove the 17-mile drive down the coast, and hiked around Point Lobos.

Then we high tailed it home and settled back into our 1960's-era apartment.  Bring it on, autumn.