My granddaughter and Simon..watching Lady & the Tramp
My son and DIL left their suburban home to head for PDX [Portland airport] and hop a plane for Oakland. They flew into Oakland because they will end up in Petaluma, which is closer to the Oakland Airport. Anyhoo. Due to snow and bumper to bumper traffic, they missed their flight. Four hours later, they do get on a plane and make it to Oakland.
They haul the grand kids to the rental place, put their car seats and bags into rental van...and on their way out of the rental place parking lot...Jenn gets hit. Fender bender. Get out of that rental van and into another. Ethan is developing the croup.
So now it is bumper to bumper traffic from East Bay to Sac. They stop and eat. By the time they get here...it is 9pm. Ethan is worse. They take him to the ER. They get home at midnight.
The upside? Elaina was so happy to see me. I got the biggest hug ever and we enjoyed eating popcorn and watching a movie together. She was perfectly "at home" here. Ethan is contagious so we had to cancel our play date with Sac kids. He's still feeling poorly today.
It was so warm, I had to water our red maple tree.
These orange's are ripe for picking..I'll wait and let my grandkids do it!
More reasons I love living in Sacramento!
[update: I was just sitting outside on my back patio...and a baby skunk came running just right in front of me. He/she looked to be about 4 months old. I held my breath and she scurried on by and into our backyard. This is one of the joys of living close to the river.]
We will be seeing these two fabulous performers in March and April. I can't wait! Please watch and enjoy. My husband and I love kdlang...she is the best female vocalist ever! We look forward to her concert at the Mondavi Center in Davis, CA. The first link is kd singing a Roy Orbison song...which we LOVE.
The first time I heard the Prine song was on my sister's back porch in New Jersey. My brother and sis-in-law sang it the night before my niece's wedding. They did a fantastic job by the way! We ran right out and got that CD! Please, click on the second "youtube" video to get what we all felt in New Jersey....one fine night indeed.
I absolutely love vegetable soup..with or without meat. I want big chunks of veggies in a delicate broth. Well, I had a bunch of chicken stock in the freezer, some chicken meat, lots of fresh veggies, and some fresh-picked lemons (I like to grate a little lemon zest in ALL of my soups) so I got down to business. There was still fresh thyme and rosemary in the backyard..so score!! The best addition? My canned tomatoes from last summer. I opened a jar. Trust me when I say "it wasn't easy to do. I bowed before the jar.. just prior to popping the lid off."
I've been trying to be more sensitive to my in-laws needs when I cook...especially in the past few months. They don't eat much anymore, but when they do I want them to have healthy and nutritious food on hand. This soup was just what the doctor ordered...literally.
It's just a basic veggie soup recipe...and I drizzle a little really good extra virgin olive oil over the top when the soup is finished..along with that lemon zest!
This is my birthday present from my in-laws. What a fabulous gift! Wowza.
I love this stove! It has a small top oven and broiler and a large bottom oven. It's also convection...if you want it to be. It has 5 burners...and a bridge for a griddle. Oh, and one burner can be changed to fit a 12" pan, 9 " pan, or 6" pan. Water comes to a boil very quickly..and when you turn the stove off, the temp goes down immediately. I love my GE. The hood is killer too...
Dave put up shelves where the old stove used to be...low enough for me to prep food on. We aren't completely finished..but I love it anyway. I put the little curtain up to hide the tile work we need to finish..where the old hood was.
Here's the deal. My husband and I compete on Jeopardy each night. I put this map on MY bathroom wall so I can study "the world" as I sit. I was born in Canada...so I KNEW the answer on Millionaire was the same answer the audience gave at 42%....frickin Vancouver!! I also knew it was right... because I study my map while sitting on the throne. Even though I knew the episode was taped in September...I found myself yelling at the tv. No Becky! Don't use your other lifelines...go with the what the audience says. They are right!!!! Vancouver it is!
Damn! Hey...I'd certainly take $16,000 bucks, and I know I'd be more nervous than Becky seemed, but I'd also take a risk and trust the audience at 42%! I must report that my answers (all correct) would have gotten me to $25,000 bucks as well. It just makes me happy to know this....even though the first 5 questions were so easy, a 6th grader could've answered them.
But again, $16,000 dollars in less than 30 minutes is quite a haul! Congrats!
She'll continue on tomorrow at 3pm (time in Sacramento). Hope she makes a bundle...and they have a big dinner and invite us over...and serve filet mignon with lobster..or perhaps hamburgers and fries...or even hot wings and cole slaw. We'll bring the champagne!
The camera panned over to Sac-eats..he looked very relaxed and confident...right? Becky looked great and was super poised. I hope she gets to the $500,000 racoon category!! Tomorrow she'll start out in the Mag Rack category. She'll do fine.
For my birthday, we had dinner at Scott's Seafood on Riverside Blvd..close to our house. I chose it specifically because Thursday night was fresh oysters for a buck each! That, and it was my birthday. Jenny and Phil were able to join us. They are always great company! I picked up this honest-to-goodness champagne (from France) at the Nugget and it was fabulous. It paired well with the 3- tiered shellfish sampler. I REALLY wanted the oysters...which is why we went in the first place. It was advertised as "shuck em and shake em"...oysters for a buck a piece.
Dave and I got there before Jenny and Phil. We wanted to sit in the bar but it was packed already, at 6:00 pm. We were escorted to a booth. We asked for a table by the window and were obliged. The dining room was almost empty. The waiter came by and and placed our bubbly in a wine-bucket with ice. We informed the waiter that we wanted to start with two dozen freshly shucked oysters...the one's for a buck each. He said, "no..if you want those, you have to sit in the bar". He was very curt. I am thinking.. this guy has no idea that we are willing to plunk down a sizable amount of money for a nice dinner, beverages, etc. I am thinking he thought we brought a cheap bottle of wine in. We were not dressed up. We had nice shirts on, clean jeans, and decent shoes...and I even had make-up on! Dave goes over to the bar...which wasn't a far distance...and asked the bartender if we could order dinner in there, with our oysters? He said, "of course, if you can find a place to sit".
So...I didn't want to get all huffy and ruin my fun or anyone else's. Jenny and Phil came in and we enjoyed a cocktail. The waiter began to open the bubbly before I asked him to. I told him to wait until we ordered our appetizers. Hello??
We were thinking of driving to Masullo's for pizza, as I've been wanting to try it. But, we decided that the atmosphere was pleasant and we were enjoying ourselves so we stayed. The shellfish was okay. The small assortment of crab legs were mushy and difficult to get the crab from. The shrimp with two dipping sauces was good. The smoked oysters and their version of oysters Rockefeller were good. The six raw oysters that we got were good. I could tell they were not just freshly shucked...as there was no "sea juice" in the shells, or maybe some idiot dumped it out!
Well, we ordered dinner. The guys both got the dry-aged rib steak with garlic mashed potatoes and baby carrots, Jenn got the Pacific Rim Salad with Ahi Tuna, and I ordered the Sea Bass with orzo, tomato, and feta.
Dave said his steak just had too much seasoning and it was thin. The potatoes were killer though...and I loved the carrots. I think that Phil enjoyed his dinner..but I don't think it was anything stellar. Jenn seemed to enjoy her salad but she wasn't oooing and ahhing about it.
The sea bass was cooked very nicely..flaky and moist. I thought they put too much feta on the plate and it overwhelmed the fish. I ate the fish first, then ate the side.
Dave ordered a bottle of Syrah for the beef-eaters and Jenn and I each had a glass of SauvBlanc with our entrees.
When the waiter realized that we weren't there to eat a couple of plates of oysters and then stiff him on the tip, he became oh so helpful. He waved the $15.00 corkage fee and sent us off with a free bottle of "Scott's Sparkling Wine"...made by Woodbridge. We tipped him 20%...but I would have tipped him lots more if he would have come thru on the two dozen oysters in the very beginning and had not been so pretentious. We tipped the valet's well...as they were the only people who smiled and welcomed us when we drove up, and they got our vehicle to us quickly..and they ran!
Am I dying to go back? No. If you want oysters on Thursday evening, get there early and sit in the bar! I might go back in the spring..just to sit on the patio and look over the river.
I am certainly headed to Hog Island ASAP!
(p.s. I once saw Robert Mondavi at a nice restaurant in Sonoma County...it was lunch. He had on muddy boots, levi's, and a denim shirt. I am thinking...if he were still alive, and showed up at Scott's wanting oysters but had to sit in the dining room, he STILL wouldn't get oysters either!)
(p.s.s. I am also thinking...if I had been 25 years younger with fake tits and cleavage, a short skirt and 5 inch heels...I WOULD have gotten the oysters in the damned dining room)
(p.s.s.s. If I had known about the oyster-eating rules beforehand, I would have dined at Mulvaney's or The Waterboy..or any number of other really great restaurants in Sacramento)