Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ways I Like to Spend the Summer

Even though it seems like this summer was comprised of a series of just small things, and common activities, in retrospect I've realized that I ended up getting to spend the summer doing quite a few of my favorite things.  This week we are back to the grindstone, because Josh's classes and internship begin, but with the high temps and sunny skies, I'm still clinging to the last bit of summer!  Here are a few things we were able to do (and a bit more of what I hope to keep doing).

1. Cooking new things/Farmer's Market -- this hobby sort of grew out of last summer when I was on maternity leave and for the first time had unlimited access to Food Network.  Suddenly I not only had all kinds of new things I wanted to make, I also pretty much had the opportunity to make them!  Last summer I tried out recipes from Giada and the Neeleys and Paula Deen and Melissa D'Arabian.  This summer I've been inspired mainly by what Sus and I have been getting weekly at the big Farmer's market in town.  We go every Saturday that we can, walk around listening to the folk music and sampling the wares, and usually go home with a heavy tote bag of produce.  I've been able to try out a few things from my new favorite blog, 101 Cookbooks (which I follow -- see my sidebar).  EVERYTHING Heidi recommends has been just fantastic.  I've made this pesto, this chickpea salad, and this sauteed zucchini each a couple of times. I'm also excited to try a few more things, like her pizza dough -- which supposedly will make the much sought after thin crust pizza that I want!  I'll have to report back on the pizza dough, since this recipe makes enough for 6 pizzas, and you can freeze the dough balls!  Sounds like a great plan to keep great dough on hand for homemade pizza during the busy semester.  In addition to 101 Cookbooks, I've done tried a few new things from Ree at the ULTRA-popular blog Pioneer Woman.  Needless to say, they were pretty darn good.  But maybe not (gasp!) as healthy as 101 Cookbooks!! :)

2. Reading the classics -- it's a combination of serious and fun reading for me.  I like to pick a decent sized work and chomp my way through it.  I've read a Dicken's book every year for the past several summers, and this year I read The Old Curiosity Shop, which was very good (the ending felt a bit tacked on. . . I think maybe he ran out of time and tossed together the ending).  After I was done with that, I really wanted to read a Jane Austen book because I went to the Louisville Jane Austen festival with my friends Katie and Kendra.  So I read Pride and Prejudice.  And now I'm really in the mood to watch the movie Bride and Prejudice. 

3. Playing outside -- I LOVE warm weather.  Even when it gets super hot, I don't usually lament how ready I am for fall.  Nope, I just want to go swimming or something!  This summer I got to enjoy several swimming trips with Susie (so glad she likes the water!) and nice walks together.  I'm not quite ready for that to be over!  As long as it's nice out, I think Susie and I will find our way outside and to a park or pool!

4. Trips to see family -- we got to take 3 trips to Ohio, and 2 trips to Illinois this summer, and in addition to that, we had a short road trip to South Carolina to my cousin Caitlyn's wedding.  I love road trips!  Susie and I get to have one more in a few more weeks when we go along with my dad, Abby and Emily to take Abby to college!  It will be Susie's first trip to the beach, so that is really exciting!!

What did you get to do this summer?


sara's art house said...

Oh I am totally with you about the farmer's market and trying new recipes. I just got an old Rachael Ray cookbook that I LOVE. We need to get to the farmer's market again soon.

Hey- you asked about the roses in Skye's hair- the small orange one came from gymboree and the other was a crochet flower bought on the street in san fran- I love flowers in her hair! Glad you liked them- maybe you can crochet some?

Gretchen said...

I only wish I knew how to do such creative things. :) Maybe I will look on Etsy. Surely someone out there is selling them! :)

Might be a few years until Sus has enough hair for such things. I know you know where I'm coming from -- wasn't S sort of a baldy for a while?

sara's art house said...

Yes! She was bald for about a year and a half....

There is hope!

And I know I have seen some flowers on etsy and on headbands too.

Jamie said...

You are the Very 1st person I've heard say they love Jane Austen! Except for ME!! Huge, huge fan of that era. Love George Elliot, the Bronte sisters. Not so much into the American classics, but I'll take an Elizabethan or Victorian novel anytime. Do I sound like a nerd, yeah well, I pretty much am =)

By the way, my word thingy that I have to type in below is patic and I really thought it said pathetic for a minute!