Monday, October 28, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

One Little Hat

Finally, a finished object! I have six more things on the needles and all of them are so close to being done . . . But not quite! Two shawls are waiting for designers to fix or finish the patterns. One shawl is waiting for the yarn company to send me a bit more yarn. One pair of socks is knit but the embellishments aren't quite done. One pair is well on its way but I think my gauge is way off. The baby blanket is more than a third done, but soooooo boring that it is hard to knit. I have another pair of socks and a shawl I am itching to start but I just can't cast them on until some of these things are done.

So, I finished this hat. It has been on the needles since March 7th . . . Now it is done. Unfortunately, it is too small for an adult head. Anyone know a child who needs a nice, warm, alpaca hat?


Monday, October 21, 2013

Hamamoto World Fruit Ranch

We had an incredible adventure yesterday at the Hamamoto World Fruit Ranch. They have a tour through the ranch which would have been exciting but they only go a few times a day.  We had just missed one so it was going to be several hours before the next one. Since they give tours they don't allow walking through the ranch.  Shame because I really wanted to see how some of the fruit, like annatto grows. Hopefully it will grow in Idaho in a high desert. 

They had soursop jam which I bought because I haven't had soursop since I was a little kid.  Boy did I love it then.  The fruit ranch hosts a fruit buffet with all the varieties that are ripe picked fresh that morning.  Soursop was on the list so I dragged dh along for a fruit tasting. Dh is not so adventurise as I am.  Even tho he lived in guam for three years he hadn't tried most of these fruits.  

We started the buffet by making ourselves a refreshing drink. We had a choice of lemon-lime fruit or kalamasi which is a small tart more tangeriney tasting fruit.  The photo of the bowl of fruit has the lemon-lime cut in quarters looking like an orange lemon and the small round kalamasi with just their tops cut off. Both are incredibly juicey.  Since both of these are very tart you add a sweet water to fill the glass. Yummy.  Note:  when we at out and dh asked for tea and sugar to add, they brought him a syrup container of sugar water.  Apparently that is the sweetener of choice instead of packets of sugar

We moved on to the fruit. What a fantastic spread, some I have had and many that we're new to me. 

After the mountain apple we had guava and sour sop.  Dh recognized guava but doesn't care for it and he tried the sour sop.  Fortunately for me it was all you can eat cause I love sour sop. Guava you have probably tried but sour sop is awesome.  The flesh is the consistency of soft banana, you don't eat the skin and, like watermelon, you eat around the seeds. A little sour but not lime sour, more tangy.  Behind each plate you can see the whole fruit. 

After the mountain apple we had guava and sour sop.  Dh recognized guava but doesn't care for it and he tried the sour sop.  Fortunately for me it was all you can eat cause I love sour sop. Guava you have probably tried but sour sop is awesome.  The flesh is the consistency of soft banana, you don't eat the skin and, like watermelon, you eat around the seeds. A little sour but not lime sour, more tangy.  Behind each plate you can see the whole fruit. 

After we finally left sour sop we came to chikle, which looks and tastes something like kiwi. The cantaloupe dh really enjoyed 

Next was something called orange sapote.  This has the texture of cooked sweet potatoes and has a mild fruity taste. I liked it enough to have several but can't describe the taste other than very pleasant. Then another one that dh loved-fresh pineapple

At the end and no photo was fresh green coconut and lots of fresh avocado with a sashimi of soy sauce and wasabi.  Yummy in my tummy

All in all gnome and I had a great time. The fact that the ranch is owned by a Japanese family and all the staff spoke Japanese didn't bother me. I loved the coconut husking and shaving demonstration and learned a lot.  Might have learned even more if I understood Japanese but never let language stand I the way

Off to more adventures
from Guam

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Gnomes Journey - part 1

 Gnome and company set off on the journey. It is amazing how much all airports look alike.  Gnomes first airport was Boise.  Everyone was bright and cheery despite the hour.  We got to the airport about 6:30 in the morning, had a cup of coffee and waited for the plane to board. 

We all arrived at San Francisco airport hours later   Doesn't the air port look extremely similar?  

Since we had to find the international terminal we had a couple hour layover.  All of the shops seemed to be duty free in that part of the airport so nothing gnome found interesting. Soon it was time to board again

Eleven long long hours later were in Tokyo airport.  Apparently they had a storm earlier in the day - the fringes of a typhoon - that had delayed departures   This meant that planes were still at gates needed for incoming flights. Which resulted in our flight being changed over and over and over. Once again all the shopping was duty free shops and gnome and company weren't interested.  In japan they drive on the other side of the road and the walkways in e airport our all going the wrong way.  You could easily tell the Americans because they walked on the right instead of the left. But they had a lot of plants for gnome to hide in

Our plane to guam was delayed getting in and thus getting out of Tokyo because of the storm but we did finally leave. Arrived guam, went through customs, got a rental car, found our way, after a few wrong turns, at our hotel   It was must after midnight local time and 27 hours since leaving the house. Gnome went to bed


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Rod Stewart!

DH took me to see Rod Stewart at Philips Arena tonight. I love Rod Stewart. Apparently, he kicks thirty soccer balls (autographed) into the audience each night, but the odds of catching one aren't good when there are twenty thousand people. . . But I did. Very Cool!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Typhoon Francisco

From Dena, who is right smack in the middle of a real live Typhoon!

Maybe the travel gnome should get under cover.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bon Voyage Party with Friends

Gargoyle stopped by along with his pet Jonathon to wish us Bon Voyage.

Kissy kissy

The love children are doing their love thing. I only wish my sons got along as well as these brothers do.

Travel gnome - Ready to depart

Travel gnome is getting ready to journey to sunny climes and he is taking me along. You are invited to come with us. We leave the house at 5am tomorrow morning. Hurry and get packed instead of playing on the computer. 


Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Last of Summer . . .

There are a few benefits to living in the deep south.  It's mid-October and we haven't had our first frost yet.  Tomato vines will keep producing until frost . . . 
I made the most delicious soup with some tomatoes, some basil from the garden a dash of olive oil and the Vitamix.  It was so good that I wished I had started making it earlier in the summer.  It was so good that I figured it would be worth trying to freeze a few tomatoes so I could have it in the colds of winter.

The farm stand we use was still open the other day so I went for tomatoes.  You might as well eat them as long as you can right?  Tommy, the man who runs our stand, gave me this whole box of bruised tomatoes.  They are too bruised for him to sell, but for the most part the bruises were so small that I would have expected to buy these tomatoes with the rest anywhere else.  He suggested a preserving method for keeping them through the winter so I figured I would try it.

Of course, I did buy a set of the perfect tomatoes too.  Two of these went straight into tomato-basil soup in the vitamin and the other six went into the freezer, sealed tightly in individual zip lock bags.  When they come out, the texture won't be the same but if I'm just going to grind them up for soup, who cares?

 Back to the box of tomatoes - first I gave them a good bath.

 Then I laid them out to dry - ended up drying them because I am not a patient person.

 Tommy said not to bother to core them but I did take off the outside edge of the belly button.  

Then I just cut them in half . . . 

 and laid them out on baking sheets.

 We sprinkled them with dried basil (my favorite herb), a little oregano, and some of them got some italian spice mix.

 Then we drizzled them with a little olive oil.

 And they went into the oven with the temperature at about 225 - there to stay the entire day.

 This is what they looked like after a few hours.  You can see in the bottom corner and in between a couple of tomatoes that the olive oil is making it's way to the bottom of the pan.  By the time they were done, they were small and flat and the pan was filled with olive oil.  I didn't think I had used that much but maybe it was just mixed with the tomato juice.

 Finished they didn't look much like tomatoes anymore.  

I packed most of them up to freeze but I did leave one container out so I could try them in some soup - maybe today.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Another Shawl