15 September 2008

Go take a hike!

YAY! I finally got out there and boy did it start with a bang. I went hiking tonight for the first time since having foot surgery in March, and my friend Kim and I decided to tackle Crestline Ridge in Camel's Back, a 5+ mile loop. I feel great. My foot hurts a little, but nothing some ibuprofen and relaxation tomorrow won't fix. Coming out of the park and headed up the ridge, we passed a mixed group of adults and kids doing some mountain biking. A few of the kids looked like they were about 5, so this was definitely a training session. We kept passing each other on the trail as they stopped to take breaks and then caught up with us again. At one point the littlest guy told the adult behind him, "I can't pass those girls, they're going too fast." ha ha :-)

In other celebratory news, in spite of me losing the company-wide bakeoff last week at our annual picnic, apparently my coworkers feel the judges were incorrect:
Aren't they "sweet"?

05 September 2008

Chocolate emergency!

These are treats I got from my mom in the mail a few weeks back... yes, there's a story. My friend K had invited me to a "fete du chocolat", an annual chocolate party at her Italian friend's house. Everybody brings a savory dish containing chocolate, plus a bar or two of solid chocolate. The bars get chopped and plated, the wrappers are hidden, and after lunch we pass the plates and write down our impressions of each. This year there were 22 samples! I brought 3 of those, which I had never tried before, but they looked interesting: Hot Indian Chai Masala, Japanese Green Tea with Jasmine, and Moroccan Green Tea with Curry. Anyway, back to the picture above. I went back and forth for two weeks over which dish to bring.
Chocolate pasta? But what would I serve with it? And it would get cold on the way there. And I wanted to make it myself, but I don't think I could get it done Saturday morning in time to be at the party by 12.
Mole? No... there will probably be several moles there. (There was one.) And that takes a long time to make too, although there are some jarred versions at Mexican stores.
Hmmm... what about hagelslag? It's not really a lunch dish, but I could sort of morph it into an appetizer, maybe. In Holland people eat it for an afternoon snack, and when we were growing up it was breakfast food. But this is a possibility.

Suddenly it's the week of the party and I'm still up in the air (are you surprised?)! "Mom... help!" :-) So she ran down to Mar-Val, Ripon's unofficial Dutch store (it's a regular grocery store... with half an aisle dedicated to Dutch food. Unusual, no?) and put some hagelslag in the mail for me. What I didn't know was that she had also included one of my favorite magazines!

I love getting mail...

P.S. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you about the chocolate tasting. Well... as the plates were being passed, there was clearly an un-favorite. It was quickly named the "fish chocolate". In the end, I was awarded "Most liked chocolate" and "Most disliked chocolate"... the fish chocolate! Can you guess which one that was?

Summer Rain

(several weeks ago...)

Happy Day

I received an email this morning from Sallie Mae, my student loan lender...

"Dear Margaret M Haveman:
Congratulations! This is your official notification that you have completely paid off the student loan [#1]. We are pleased to have had you as a customer and wish you the best of luck in the future. Thank you!"
Customer Service


I do have one other loan with them, but this is major progress, my friends.
So I celebrated by making a couple purchases tonight at Boise's annual Art in the Park. :-) Among other things, I got this:
my new maple syrup jug
My family always makes our own syrup at home, #1 because it's cheaper and #2 because we all like it better. We use maple extract in a simple syrup, and it turns out with a stronger maple flavor and thinner consistency than storebought. Once you make a batch, you need a place to put it, right? That's where this loverly jug gets to participate.
I go to Art in the Park every year, and I love the pottery. Vendors come from all over the northwest for this event, towing their handmade goods with them. Last year I got a hat from Hatterdashery. Previous years' treasures:
Real leaves embedded

I use these every day

03 September 2008

Today's "Deep Thoughts with Ri"

I'm the only person I know who has to wash both ice cream scoops every time she does the dishes.

It's wonderful to be loved, but sometimes it's even better to be liked.

Never promise your friends they won't get attacked by furniture at your house. Stuff happens.

My-Fridge-Is-Empty Dinner

Take some good, substantial noodles (Marco Polo in my case) and boil them.
Add basil that languished in the fridge for a few days before you took pity on it and chopped it up to freeze into basil ice cubes for future use. 1 cube should do it here.
Add a can of tuna.
Add big crumbly flakes of pecorino-reggiano.

Bachelorette food?
Check check.

02 September 2008

Going Home


past hugs from little arms and baby kisses
past silver filled hills with rusty faces
past twilight lit sand patches glowing like glaciers
past coffee from a rock

to my town.