Monday, May 31, 2010

my sunday surprise

those are two little tiny baby eggplant blooms.
yes, yes, they are tiny.
about the size of a penny.
but they are there.
and growing.
take THAT flea beetles.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

not everyone loves the beach

I love the beach.
Husband loves the beach.
Daughter loves the beach.

Son thinks the beach is trying to kill him.

We were in Mobile Friday and at about 6:00pm we decided we should go to the beach (We didn't actually leave Mobile until almost 7). (In the likely event that we decided to do this, I packed the kids' suits and towels) It only takes about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on ridiculous traffic) to get from Mobile to Gulf Shores. We were on our way.

As soon as we told Daughter, she starts going on and on about sand castles and building them "up, up, up, up and up." To make this precious child's dream of sand sky scrapers come true, we needed to stop by Wal-Mart. (and we figured at least one of us should have a swimsuit on too. Husband won, and got a swimsuit)

We got on the beach at 8.

She had the time of her life. running, dancing, building sand castles, letting the waves touch her toes and then running away from them. squealing and laughing.

Son, not so much.

sifting sand.

the surf. I only got in to about my knees, but it was fabulous.

Son got in to his knees too and he thought the water was actually fire trying to kill him. Even little Manny couldn't help him. Bless his heart.

Son is not shrieking here, but he's certainly not happy.

Daughter built sand castles.

and built.

Husband enjoyed the water.

These are Son's footprints. He walked around a little on his own, but mostly he just wanted to be held and protected from the beach that was trying to kill him.

Daughter enlisted Husband's help in the sand castle building.

Son finally started believing us when we kept telling him that he was ok and the beach was fun. Or at least he stopped believing that the beach was trying to kill him.

Daughter danced. There was a band playing in the bar next to the public beach and Daughter loved it.

More dancing. This is when we made it back up to the pier.
We lasted a little longer than an hour. (Husband and I wanted to just sleep on the beach). Daughter was horribly upset that she couldn't stay and dance and run in the sand. Luckily, she believed us when we kept reassuring her that we'd come back to the beach 'later.' Son was so happy/relieved to be in a clean diaper and onesie, he was asleep before we passed Lambert's.

In Son's defense: it was dark and his bedtime. (sure, he slept for 6 hours in the car, but his 'normal' bedtime is 8) I think his next beach trip will be better.

church sign: prichard, alabama

Friday, May 28, 2010

reclaiming the garden

The garden has been overrun with flea beetles. o.v.e.r.r.u.n.

The discovered my three eggplant plants and then moved on to the potatoes.

no. no. and no.

for about a week, I was checking the garden every morning and every evening. smashing the monsters by the dozens. checking every leaf. smash. smash. smash.

but every time I checked the garden, it was like I was never there. there they were, just chomping away on my leaves.

the potatoes. not nearly as eaten up.

one of the still growing and still healthy eggplants ... but with damaged leaves.
damaged leaves.

I consulted the interwebz (lots of options).
and then my new gardening guru (she recommended Sevin dust).
I took her recommendation. I found it at our co-op and headed straight for the wounded leaves. following directions, I lightly sprinkled the dust.

UPDATE: over 48 hours later and not a single flea beetle in sight. Praise the Lord. The eggplant plants look better and healthier already.

Food Day Friday: Basil Butter

I've been pretty impressed by our basil output so far this season. besides tomato based sauces and pizza (well, most Italian thing we make) we don't really use basil.

But I got to thinking and we seriously have a lot that needs to be picked to make room for the new little leaves that are popping out. I could freeze it and use it later for pesto, but I decided to make a compound butter like I did with roasted garlic. Plus, I was making The Bread anyway.

The Basil, straight from the garden. washed a little to get the dirt off.

What I used:
2 sticks of room temperature butter (I used salted, so I didn't add any later)
1 cup of fresh diced basil
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
a little pepper

Blend well.

This is the mix after I slathered it on half of The Bread.

baked at 350 for 10 minutes. I would have liked to keep it in another 5 but Husband and I have varying opinions on toasted/roasted/crisped bread.

you could also use this on corn (I'd use the blender for a smoother consistency) or pasta.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday Part 4: Galleria Dinner and Carousal

I can't remember the last time I was at The Galleria. I used to do 75% of my clothes shopping there. That was a lifetime ago. Husband and I couldn't even remember if Daughter has ever been there.


Son was tired of being in the car and we still had an hour to go before we were home. We needed a new situation and some food. Husband suggests the food court at The Galleria and we both immediately think of the carousal. I'd never been on it before. Husband didn't remember ever riding it either.

Daughter enjoys her lemonade and chicken nugget from chik-fil-a. She was definitely on information overload at the mall. She must have pointed out two dozen things that she thought deserved our full attention.

Son was more interested in pounding on the table and looking around than he was in his chicken nuggets. He had fun.

the carousal was $2 a ride, but parents rode free with their kids. We decided because Son was too young to enjoy it, I'd ride with Daughter and Husband would take pictures.

She LOVED it!

She waved to her Daddly and anyone else that would look at her. She also loved her giraffe. We ended up picked the only animal that didn't go up and down while going around, but I think that was for the best. one step at a time.

Daughter loves escalators. So of course we had to take a ride up and back down before the headed back to the car.

Wednesday Part 3: What happens when we try to take a family photo

After Pie Lab we decided to stretch our legs a little and walked a few blocks in downtown Greensboro. Husband mentioned trying a family photo.


We tried. These are the results. The first one is the best in regards to everyone at least looking at the camera.

great memories.

Wednesday Part 2: Pie Lab

I've been wanting to visit Pie Lab in Greensboro for months.

I follow them on twitter.

I like them on facebook.

I visit their website.

I've even read about them in Southern Living. twice. (June is linked, but I can't find the May mention online)

but until yesterday, I have not been there.

Daughter patiently waited for her pie.

pie is $2 a slice (and extra $1 is you want vanilla ice cream) and coffee (or lemonade or tea) is $1.

After careful deliberating, Husband and I decided on one slice of spicy sausage and sweet pepper quiche for our savory (I really wanted to try the spinach and feta quiche too but they JUST put it in the oven when we walked in) For the sweet, we got a strawberry rubarb slice and a chocolate pecan bourbon slice. And washed it down with sweet tea in Mason jars.

Daughter liked the quiche. heck, we all liked the quiche. It would have only been better with more sausage and more red peppers. I almost got another slice.

Husband wolfed down the strawberry rubarb almost entirely on his own. He loved it. (It was pretty fantastic) Son ate pecans.
I ate most of the pecan slice. The filling was great. rich but not too rich. I compare the crust to Husband's pie crust, and pie lab fell a little short. But really, Husband uses butter and lots of it for his crusts. I know they are superior. It didn't taste like whole wheat flour, but maybe wheat germ. The pecan pie crust was more flat and not flaky at all. But the strawberry rubarb was lighter and more flaky -- clearly not the same crusts.

I definitely enjoyed it and want to go back. (without my kids) they didn't have any children's seats which makes it harder to hold on to your kids. I imagine Husband and I could've sat there for two hours talking if not for constantly trying to keep the kids entertained and out of trouble.

And the women working there had on the cutest flower print aprons. I was slightly jealous. I want an apron. I wish I would've asked them where they came from.

Wedesday Part 1: driving in the Black Belt

Wednesday was spent driving. and driving and then there was more driving. The whole family, snacks, drinks and a full diaper bag headed out. This is some of the fun pictures I took while driving.

Nice view from the passenger's seat

wild black eyed Susans (I'm pretty sure that's what they are, anyway)

A bale of hay that has been transformed into my favorite college football team's mascot (He's roaring WAR EAGLE!)

That's a tin man. A HUGE tin man. You can use the bales of hay as a reference point on height.

Memorial honoring the Confederate Dead in Demopolis, Alabama. You see these in old Southern towns. I highly doubt you see them in "Yankee States" We saw 3 other ones in other towns, they all look the same except for the city name. (the frame of the picture cut out the two canons on either side of Johnny Reb. Plus the canon balls stacked up in a pyramid.

Bill Mackey. Brooke and I love him. In fact, most of the pictures I took made me think, "I can't wait until Brooke sees this."

Greensboro encourages Pepsi drinking. Or at least Lyle does.

Greensboro, they are known for catfish.

Daughter nosing around in Greensboro.

Daughter and Blue Bear taking a rest at the Greensboro Court House.

A house in Greensboro that I'd love to renovate and live in until I die. (If they build a Target or Publix next door)

The Judson. unfortunately there was no time to visit. But I did get to see a big old truck parked behind the library.

The Edmund Pettus Bridge. A Pretty big deal in Civil Rights History. Husband and I decided to do a little googling to find out who Mr. Edmund Pettus was. He also has a street in Demopolis named after him.
UPDATE: according to the ever correct (haha) wikipedia, Edmund Winston Pettus was a Confederate brigadier general and later and U.S. Senator. He was born in Limestone County, went to Tuskegee to study law, became a lawyer and judge. He practiced in Selma.