Saturday, July 13, 2013

Pies and Pinochle

Twice a month I meet with 7 other ladies (most of whom live in my neighborhood) for pinochle. Yesterday was my turn to host. We typically have 2 tables set up with 2 decks of cards (so as not to waste time shuffling) and snacks. We all chip in $1.50 which is divided up when we finish and given to the high point winner, last pinochle and lowest score.

After we play several hands our 2 1/2 hours of playing time is over and we can then all sit together and have dessert. Since our friend, Marv, rode his bike over here yesterday and brought  some yummy fresh rhubarb for us, I decided to make 2 (from scratch) strawberry rhubarb pies. I made one gluten-free pie and one regular. One of our group cannot eat any gluten and I've been avoiding it myself, so I figured it was a good thing to do. Can you tell which is gluten free?

Let me tell you why one is so much darker than the other. Bad me! I didn't think to put a pan under the first pie until it was too late. The one on the left (yup, that's the gluten free one) needed to be cooked at a lower temperature so I baked them separately. As you can imagine, it oozed all over the bottem of my oven, which I had just cleaned last week. Too late for me to do anything about that, so I assume that when I put the 2nd one in all that smoke ( the windows!!!) made it brown up more than usual.

Actually the gluten free pie was a real hit. It tasted fabulous. Better than regular crust, in my opinion. The only problem was that I couldn't crimp or use a fork on the edges since the crust was a bit crumbly.

This one may have looked over done, but it wasn't. Still very tasty. Strawberry Rhubarb is my very favorite pie! But only homemade. I just don't enjoy store bought pies. Not even Costco pies.

I may have had a hit with the pies, but alas, my $1.50 buy-in went to others in the group.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

It's Summer!!

I love, love, love summer! The warm weather brings with it beautiful flowers, walking Frodo with music on my trusty IPod, floating in the pool (my back surgery prohibits swimming for now), sipping a daiquiri or margarita (thanks Dave!) while sitting at the patio eating chips and reading. Homemade salsa, early or late dinners....who cares!? Oh...and of course, our annual extended family campout which had been temporarily posponed for the past 8 years or so. We aren't much into camping so this year, while everyone else camped, Dave and I stayed for one night in a motel. Smart move on our part!!

First of all, I want to share with you one of my latest purchases.

That's's a wind chime. But not just any wind chime! This is a Shenandoah brand which plays a 5-note pentatonic scale in the key of E (whatever that means.) All I know is that it is LOVELY!! 34" in length and when the breeze comes, it is so melodic and relaxing. 
There is Jason. Shauna found a perfect campground at Bumping Lake, which is just off SR 410 east of Mt. Rainier.

This was our main campsite, where everyone gathered to cook, eat, sit around the fire, eat, wash dishes, eat, play games, eat, talk and snack!

My sweet niece, Jenny, husband Jonathan and son Zanzi
The guys spent a lot of time sitting around the campfire, whittling, playing the guitar and talking. My niece Emily is getting quite proficient at playing the guitar!

There goes Shauna with the girls. Time for a bathroom break. This campground offered a no-flush one room toilet. No showers or running water! The water for cooking and washing dishes had to be trekked a short distance from a water pump.
Hailey and Annika are ready to get the bike cart hooked up for a ride to the swimming dock.

Hi Saben! Our one and only grandson. The kids all had their bikes so they kept pretty busy! They captured loads of tadpoles in the lake.

Charlotte is 2 1/2 and loved riding her strider bike all over the place.She found a HUGE bug of some sort...I MEAN HUGE!!! She got it in a cup and showed it to everyone. Annika, who is deathly afraid of any and all bugs, insects, ants, spiders, flys, etc, absolutely shrieked!! Poor thing! I wasn't too thrilled when I looked in the cup either!

Kari, DIL, and Jill, SIL

No tent for us! We stayed in Room #1, bottom right, with a king size bed, overlooking the river, at Whistlin' Jack Lodge.

Here is a sampling of some of the flowers in our yard that I have been enjoying.

And here is my large tub filled with dirt and planted with red potatoes and yukon golds. Where are those flowers?? Lots of greenery to overflowing, but no flowers yet. I have a zucchini on the left side, but it is completely hidden by the potato plant! The zucchini is rather stunted but has developed some blossoms. Next year I will have a small, very small, garden area back here. There is not much light, but enough!