Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tobico Marsh

We're in Michigan. Yesterday's 13-hour drive was worth today's picture perfect weather. Here's where we went walking this morning.

Got a piccy of this cute little chipmunk, too.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Being Green

I have this crazy idea that if I ride my bicycle to work as much as possible, I will:
Lose weight
save money
conserve gas
help make the air cleaner
So I took my bike to Pibby's Bicycle Repair and got the 25-year-old tires replaced. Rode the bus to work this morning and rode the bicycle home.
The bus is always interesting. Like I said to Andy today, I feel much more a citizen of the world when I ride the bus to work. The bus was very crowded today, and full of sights and sounds to keep me amused. A Spanish speaking lady feeding a bottle to a darling little baby girl, with big brother (who looked about 4) gazing at little sister with the sweetest unabashed affection. And little baby girl grabbing at everything she can reach, including the ass of a young man in baggy jeans.

Man standing about 3 people down from me, singing the entire way downtown. He had a smooth and silky voice and sang perfectly in tune. First it was "Strangers in the Night" and then it segued into "Just the Way You Are."

I saw two young men get up and give their seats to older ladies.

Sitting right across from me was a surly looking young woman who had her knees up on the seat, thus taking up two places. As numerous people got on the bus, she never moved to make more room. Finally an older man walked up to her, pointed at her sprawled out legs and asked to sit there. She grudgingly shifted enough to let him sit. Meanwhile, she held a wadded up kleenex in one hand while she wiped her nose with her (bare) other hand.

And the guys across from and right next to me were chatting animatedly in what sounded like Arabic.

My ride home was also very nice. We're not in the dog days of summer yet, so it's still pleasant and breezy riding the bike. I just hope I can keep the bike riding up at least a few days a week when it gets hotter. It's an amazing calorie burner, and it kind of reminds me of being a kid, except for the huffing and puffing!

One last strange note on all this--My mom has decided to give up driving because she's too blind to drive safely. So here I am making a conscious decision to drive less, and here's my mom , kind of having no choice in the matter. And to boot, she is giving me her car. So in the midst of trying to be more green, I find myself to be one person owning two cars.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I'm Baaaaaaack!

I feel as if I've been on a treadmill for the last month. I don't look like it, but I feel it!

The past couple of months have been a blur with overlapping singing projects, the final one being last night! And though last night went extremely well, I am so happy to have it behind me and looking forward to returning to my kitchen!

And because my boyfriend has been an exceptionally good boyfriend lately, what with stepping in to play fiddle on short notice at our concert last night, mowing my front lawn and the neighbor lady's, fixing up our bicycles and a whole host of other sweet things, I am making a treat for him tonight.

This is an English dessert, a recipe I got out of delicious magazine that I bought in England. It's called syrupy marmalade steamed pudding and you cook it on the stovetop. I found it on delicious' website, thankfully. Their picture's a lot prettier than mine!

The secret ingredient in it is this stuff called Golden Syrup. I don't think it's made anywhere in the US, but you can probably buy it from a specialty food store. It looks and acts like honey, all sticky and thick and gooey. But it doesn't taste like honey. It is sweet, but with a buttery note to it. It comes in a can that is like a little paint can.

The other special ingredient is the homemade Moxie Marmalade, made by Judy Boothby, Andy Boothby's mom.

It's quite a lot of trouble, but the end result is SUBLIME!

It's soft, spongy, moist, sweet and orangey and it melts in your mouth. This was my very first steamed pudding. Andy's mum made this recipe and recommended it to me, so I have her to thank for the idea. I didn't have a "pudding basin" like the recipe called for, so I just used a 1 quart pyrex bowl. The magazine picture showed it cooked in an individual portion, but I made it into one pudding and served it in wedges. Andy, his son Tom and I each had two wedges, and then I took the rest across the street to Joe and Debra while it was still warm. Too dangerous to keep it at the table!