Sunday, May 31, 2009

Timpanogos Cave

Yesterday the fam and I ventured up to Timpanogos Cave. I haven't been since I was a kid and Jessica didn't think she had ever been so we decided to go and take the girls. We didn't have high expectations going into it with the girls with us but we thought we'd give it a try.

First obstacle, receiving misinformation over the phone, showing up to buy tickets and being told the first tour they could fit us on was in 3 hours. Thankfully a nice young couple approached with some extra tickets they had for their group in and hour and half.

Early tickets in hand we set off. They say it's about a mile-and-a-half hike up with 1600 vertical feet gain. With Jessica just coming off the pregnancy and me carrying Penelope we figured it'd take about an hour. The hike was fantastic. For one, Penelope loves riding in the backpack and Maya loves the front carrier.

We made it to the top in 52 minutes, not bad I'd say. The next challenge was upon us. We thought for sure once inside the cave both girls would start crying and we wouldn't be able to do anything about it.

Right before we went in Maya fell asleep in the front carrier and stayed asleep for about 3/4 of the tour. Penelope was a little scared and had Jess carry her for awhile, but then was willing to get down and walk around. Penelope was enamored by many of the formations and the different colors that we saw.

Waiting to go in

Two of my girls

Me trying to not close my eyes during the flash

Love the colors in the background

The hike down went smoothly as well. We made it in about 30 minutes. Penelope was entertained by watching the people hiking up past us and asking me "where are there houses?". She also kept looking for the little brown signs with the number 5 on them. By the time we got down she was zonked sleeping with her head against my back in classic style.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Garden

I've wanted a garden for awhile now. I should have started last year, the desire was there, I just never followed through. The combination of not being entirely sure what to do/how I wanted to do it, what to grow, and timing all helped me procrastinate long enough that I missed the season.

Radishes in back, peas on the right, zucchini up front, before the green onions went in.

This year I vowed it'd be different! This year started with some seeds we picked up from a Provident Living class early in the spring. They had packets of zucchini, peas, and radish seeds. We picked up one of each. When it finally stopped snowing I went out to the bare patch of dirt outside our kitchen window and sowed some of each to see if they'd grow. Within a couple of weeks small plants started sprouting.

After the green onions went in.

Next I found out about an heirloom plant sale being put on by the Wasatch Community Gardens so I picked up some tomato and pepper plants. Then while at the neighborhood nursery I got some strawberry starts and a packet of lettuce seed.

Pole beans with ski poles for the upward growth and cucumbers on the right.

Saturday I ran over to the small nursery across the street to get a couple some pole beans and I ended up coming home with poles beans, basil, another tomato plant, pickling cucumbers, swiss chard, and green onions.

Swiss chard in red.

I'm growing the 'big' foods in pots and self-watering containers (homemade, I have step-by-step instructions I'll post in a few days) and then the other foods is spread out in a couple of small patches in the backyard.

Strawberries, Brandywine tomato (looking sad), Basil

Lettuce planter box

Amish Paste and Purple Russian Heirloom Tomatoes in self-watering containers

King of the North Red Pepper, Jalepeno, Isis Candy Cherry Tomato (heirloom)

Hopefully it all grows!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Bread or Turkey?

Which is it?

If you said turkey, you are wrong, but it does look like a turkey, not bread. Funny stuff...

So I've been trying to make my own sourdough starter and it was finally time to make some bread. The place where I got the instructions for the starter had a recipe for some bread that is supposed to be very similar to the old style French sourdough. Not having all the stuff they said to have I improvised.

Instead of a proofing basket I used a fruit bowl. Instead of a proofing cloth (linen or canvas) I used a kitchen towel that had a waffle pattern. Things went awry when trying to remove the cloth from the dough and it ended up in the shape in the photo.

It's currently cooling so I can't say how it turned out. I'll let you know.