Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Tide is High

Apparently the tide has come in as far as my posting on this blog is concerned. It was out.... waaaay out for quite awhile there but now it seems to have come in. I have been seized by a need to share with you every meal we make and eat. I guess it inspires us to cook our asses off and achieve fabulous results because if you are going to take a picture of it to show to everyone it had best look edible.

I am off work again today and since it is raining we are just laying low at home for the whole day. When I say it is "raining" I should elaborate and say that it is drizzling an annoying, weak piddly rain. I wish it would RAIN. I have yet to see it happen here in California. If I am going to be trapped indoors for the day I should at least benefit from the sound of rain falling heavily on the roof of the trailer. I will say that with every tiny dose of rainfall we get things are greening up out here. Here is the view out my back bedroom window. The first thing your eyes will meet with is a huge hideous telephone pole and wires but if you look beyond that you will see our little section of the valley. Earthbound Farms is down there as is a ranch with a huge horse corral. It's a really pretty view if you can get around the pole.

Let's get to the food. This morning Billy made a fritata in his new cast iron skillet with artichoke hearts, caper berries, red pepper, spinach and ricotta cheese. We ate it with some really crusty sourdough bread and it was delicious.

There is something so wonderful about any food that you have browned under the broiler. I think burnt edges are one of the joys of eating. My Dad is crazy for stuff that is burned up. Maybe I got it from him. When I was a kid and my Mom was cooking something like a lasagna it would always stay in the oven until the edges were good and burned up. Once you have gnawed on chewy, cheesy lasagna edges you can never go back. Or maybe you can... all I know is that I cannot. The only problem with this is the additional waiting time for stuff to come out of the oven. It's the 5 more minutes factor. It's torture.

Billy is working on a new painting and I thought I would give you a peek at the beginning phase of his work. This is a view of the tonal under painting. After this dries he will go back to it and start applying the color. Using this style of under painting helps achieve proper color value and gives nice contrast and light in the finished piece.

I will try to remember to post a photo of the finished painting. I am off to crawl into bed with a book. I think I am going to reread 100 Years of Solitude. It is one of my favorite books I have ever read but it has been a good 8 or 9 years since I read it. It deserves another go because I know that I will discover things reading it again that I missed the first time around. I just finished up with Jim Harrison's latest titled The English Major. It was great. I love his writing. I can enthusiastically recommend picking up pretty much anything he has written. You will not be disappointed especially if you love the outdoors, food, sex and simple living without a lot of bullshit trimmings. He presents a lot of woodsy, old school characters who are faced with dilemmas based on the insanity of modern life. It seems to me that he lives for fishing, big home cooked meals, good wine, good books and women. He also loves dogs, bear and birds. Nothin' wrong with any of that.

My next post will be a listing of my favorite charities and alternative Christmas gift ideas. With Black Friday looming right around the corner maybe I will inspire you to stay home this Friday and send a little of your money off to Oxfam or the IRC instead of to Best Buy or Macy's!


Tom and Annie said...

It is so beautiful there, wow and your cooking looks great. Do you mind sharing which camp spots you would recommend in the area??

Bethany said...

Hi Annie! How are you doing with the AS? Do you love it? And how is your painting coming along?

As far as camping goes around here Carmel itself is tough.... there are only two campgrounds in the valley and neither of them is really worth the high price in my opinion. They are in a great central location which is nice but for $50 or more a night you don't get much.

We stayed at The Big Sur Campground and Cabins for two weeks and that was a nice spot. Beware the fact that it is the hardest campground road we have EVER had to navigate though. You have to manuever around giant redwoods on a tiny one lane twisty road to get to your campsite. We saw more than one camper gouge a tree or two while there. Pretty much everything (camping and trails) in Big Sur is shut down right now... I would not recommend a trip to the area until at least May. Carmel is a great place to see and there is hiking at Garland Ranch out in the valley. I would also highly recommend going up and staying in Felton just inland from Santa Cruz. It is a gorgeous spot and a really cute little California town. There are tons of nice campgrounds there.

If you make the trip up from NM give us a shout! Happy Trails!