Friday, August 19, 2011

Honest Abe

Earlier in the summer I read the book With Malice Toward None which is a biography of Abraham Lincoln. It was written by Stephen B. Oates in the 1970s and is often cited as the best one-volume biography of our 16th president. I found it to be very interested and haven't stopped thinking about the book and poor Mr. Lincoln since I finished it. I say "poor" because, to be blunt, his life stunk. Hardship after hardship. He endured it all for the love of his country. Very, very admirable but, seriously, he must have felt miserable most of the time. I wonder what he would think about this book? Or (more importantly - ha!) what he'd think about this (note: not suitable for children):

Good grief. Okay, ignoring that - I'm excited about the upcoming Steven Spielberg movie that stars Daniel Day Lewis as Mr. Lincoln. That should be good. Just call me a history nerd.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday Threes.

There's a theme to today's installment of Thursday Threes.

We have become addicted to the Food Network show "Chopped" this summer. If you haven't watched it, let me explain the premise: 4 chefs compete to create a dish using mystery ingredients 3 times (appetizer, entree, dessert) in 20-30 minutes. At the end of the dessert round, there's only 1 chef remaining and she/he wins 10 grand. The show moves at a fast pace (typical game/reality show) but our favorite aspect is the mystery ingredients because most of the time Lee and I say out loud "what the heck is that?!" And then they throw in weird stuff, like the time cherry-flavored cough drops were in the "mystery basket" (you know, the candy-like ones that aren't really medicinal).

Aaron Sanchez - my favorite Chopped judge
Gee, I wonder why my pants have become tight? Could it be because I watch one episode of "Chopped" every night? Watching cooking shows around 9pm makes me hungry and I inevitably end up grabbing a snack during the commercial break. Soooo, in summary : our summer of "Chopped" + slower metabolism of a 40-year old = weight gain.

These are sunchokes. I'd never heard of them before Chopped. See, tv is educational!
It's also a tiny bit gratifying to see trained chefs make simple mistakes that I make all the time such as overcooking pasta and not thoroughly cleaning artichokes. Apparently, even CIA graduates can still have sloppy cooking techniques....that makes me feel better. I'm mean, I know.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Sun Sets on My Sunflowers. Sniff, Sniff.

Well, my sunflower garden has been a lovely addition to our backyard the last 3-4 months but things are starting to wind down. Most of the flowers have withered and the leaves are starting to brown due to the current heatwave. I've really enjoyed my sunflowers and am sad to see them go. Here are photos I've taken of them over the can enjoy them while I shed a tear and play sad music in my head:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Our {Summer} World

What we're up to these days:

Sheet rides on the grass.
Cleaning the house exterior.

Drinking root beer floats.
More swimming.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Is There a Support Group for California Residents?

We have a love-hate relationship, California and I. 
On the day it took me 45 minutes to drive to and from my local post office (2.9 miles each way), I was ready to call the moving van company.
But then I see a video like the one below and I remember how beautiful, how enchanting this state is. Ugh! Oh California -- why do you treat me so poorly one day and then act all sweet and innocent the next? You're like a bad teenage boyfriend.