Monday, April 30, 2007

Weekend Dynamics

Well, my weekend went from tranquil to chaos.

My mother had a garage sale this weekend. I went home to help her with it. Home happens to be one of the best places on earth - Saint Simons Island, GA
This picture is of the South end Village. The main part of the island. When I was a kid, there was a Ferris wheel beside the big oak tree in the center. This particular spot is named Neptune Park, named for a slave of one of the plantation families who settled the island while Georgia was still a colony of England. The slave lived during the Civil War, and accompanied his master to fight for the "glorious cause. When his master was killed, he brought the body back home to the island, earning his freedom, and this parcel of land. The descendants of this man gave the land to the island for a park in his name.
The garage sale was successful. It was even visited by the Garage Sale Goddess herself, who blessed the sale! I am trying to get pictures of her. Hopefully, I can post some.

Then, after leaving and driving back down to Tampa, Mark and I went to the Roller Derby!!!!

What fun!

We witnessed a bout between the Switchblade Sisters:

and the Cigar City Mafia:

These girls rocked!!!

P.S. - all of these pics are the property of Derby darlins (except the one of the island, that was by Michael Sullivan). Hopefully, they won't come after me for using them!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Brunch happened!

I have not had any time to post any of the pictures. However, the weather cleared up and the Captain said that they were sailing! So, we went. It was a beautiful day and everyone had a nice time.

Our Intrepid Explorers!

L-R: Able, David, Angel, Terry, me, Mark, Scott, Brad, & Dan.
Downtown Tampa, over the Convention Center

The Jose Gaspar, for use in the yearly Gasparilla festivities.

The deck of the Starlight Princess

Mark and myself

Dan and David

This is near where David and Scott rode their bikes to wave to Angel as he was sailing away on his cruise. Sorry, inside joke there.

Yes, Angel is as mischievous as he looks here!

This is downtown Tampa over Davis Islands. South Tampa, where Mark and I live, is to the left of the picture.

Terry, Mark, me, Angel, & Able.
Apparently, Mr Grumpy and Ms. Condescending (Behind Mark, at the next table) either wanted to be in the picture or were disapproving of our little group.

Brad, Scott, Dan, & David.

We had a great time. The food was good, the service was great, and it was good to be able to hang out with friends. So, tomorrow night, we are going to the orchestra. Hopefully, I will get some pictures.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Brunch ruined! DRAT!

Well, a group of us were going to go on a Brunch Cruise on Starship Dining cruises today. But, this ruined it:

Coastal Flood Warning - ALERT 1
Issue Time: 4:42 AM EDT Sunday Apr 15 2007
Valid Until: 2:00 PM EDT Sunday Apr 15 2007
Non Precipitation Advisory - ALERT 2
Issue Time: 3:44 AM EDT Sunday Apr 15 2007
Valid Until: 9:00 PM EDT Sunday Apr 15 2007

Behind this line, are 30 mile per hour winds aand 12 foot seas until 9:00 PM.
Oh well. We will re-schedule and go at a later date.

Now, I just have to sit here, listen to the rain, and, finally, do my taxes.

Hope y'all have a great day!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Ahhhh, Spring has sprung.

The other day I was bemoaning the fact that bulbs do not do very well in Tampa, as it is too hot (wcs: Interlude). I keep thinking that, every Summer and Winter. Then, the Amaryllis appear, send up their buds, and explode.The Gloriosus suddenly appear and climb up the stalks of the still bare Plumeria.
Well, I guess some bulbs do behave rather well, here.

If I could only get an Asiatic Lilly to grow, I think that my bulb garden would be complete. Those however, are consistently annuals. They just never come back the next year.

I guess, that is what gardening is about though, finding out what works, and does not work.

One final note, as I was taking these pictures this afternoon, after work, Windsor was dropping his ball at my feet.
"Come on! Quit pointing and snapping with that thing and throw that ball! NOW!"
Windsor, April 13th, 2007

Other plants are budding out. I will be posting those later, when they bloom.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

My Cutie Kylie!

Sometimes the simplest things make me the happiest! Last night Kylie was in her usual position, curled up on "her" couch. Inconveniently, the only couch in the family room. However, who could deny such a comfort to such a great dog. So, I sat down in front of her and she put her head on my shoulder. Then, fell asleep there. What a cutie! (Her, not me!)
Have a great day!
Mark decided to get a picture and woke her up in the process. I think the flashes scared her.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Easter Dinner Pics

I got complements from Mark, so dinner was better than I thought. First, the roast. It turned out to be really good looking, and the taste was really good. The meat was moist. I cooked it at 250 for a few hours.
The vegetables turned out well, also. Various root vegetables, drizzled with olive oil, a little salt, and pepper.
They were baked along with the roast. Some, were baked in the same pan around the roast.

The Bread
It started out nice enough. After a few minutes of kneading it looked good to go, and ready for the first rise!
Well, here it is 5 hours later.
Having now run out of time go out to get a loaf, on Easter late afternoon, I decided NO BREAD!
Which is fine, as we are trying to lower the "bad" carbs, anyway.

Well, I also forgot to make the pie crust for the dessert - an egg custard pie. I thought, Why not roll some of the bread dough. It has not risen and may get crusty enough. Well, I learned my lesson. It was not bad, just not pie crust.
One final bit, I threw the dough in the trash, after toying with the idea of freezing it in portions, if the pie turned out good. Today was trash day, and it had rained all morning. Mark called me at work wondering what the pasty goo was that was all over the road as the trash truck had lost one of our bags on the street. So, he had to clean that up. So, never again will I wander from my tried and true brioche recipe.

Hope everyone had a great Easter.

Dinner results

Well, the dinner was not a complete disaster.

I have not had time to post any pictures. I will get them up this evening, when I get home from work.

The roast was GREAT!

The bread, not so great.

Here is what it is supposed to have been similar to, in concept.

I will show the results later.

The vegetables, roasted sweet potato, parsnip, golden beet, carrot, & celery root, turned out better than I thought it would.

Have a great day

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Easter dinner

Happy Easter Eve!
So, this year, since Mark is working and I have no interruptions, I decided to make a big Easter dinner, just for the two of us when he gets home. The dinner is basically a Boliche (except this one is stuffed with Italian Sausage instead of Chorizo) roasted root vegetables, and Greek Easter Bread. this is a two day process, so we will see how it turns out.

Start with an eye round roast. Use this type of roast because it is very lean and the stuffing will add moisture. Other types of roasts have more fat, so you don't need to stuff it.
I seasoned with pepper and hot pepper flakes, for a little heat.

Stuff this with Italian Sausage. I have not found any directions on how to create the hole in the roast, other than cutting half way through, filling, folding back over and typing back together.
I took my steel for honing my knives and punched a hole through the steak. Then, I took a long skinny serrated knife and used that inside to cut an X shape though the center.

Then, I took a french style (tapered) rolling pin, and stuffed the sausage into the cavity.

Then, to add some more moisture and some salty, smoky seasoning, I wrapped the whole roast in slices of bacon. In between the bacon and the roast, I placed a few sprigs of rosemary.

This will be roasted at a long, slow temperature to keep it tender.

The vegetable will be a mixture of Sweet Potato, Beets, carrots, etc. roasted with the Boliche. Added toward the end of the cooking period.

The bread is an interesting recipe I found in epicurious. It has LOTS of yeast to make a big puffy loaf. Hopefully, it will taste OK instead of look OK. I will post that, and the results of two days of work, tomorrow.

Unless, of course, it all ends up in the trash can. Then, I may post about our Easter Night Out!