Saturday, August 23, 2014

KY, VA, NC, among others (1)

~ in the insect rooms at the Creation Museum

~ Rosemary in Virginia

~ setting up camp at Shenandoah National Park

~ Dark Hollow Falls hike

~ Rosemary helps mail postcards at Byrd Visitor Center

~ our friendly neighborhood black bear, 
who frequented our edge-of-the-campground site
(we avoided him, he avoided us!)

~ view from our hotel, Asheville, NC

Too busy soaking up the end of summer, too busy starting more homeschool, too busy working on the upstairs porch (to finish before the chaos of post-Labor Day begins), I wasn't going to sit down with pictures from our trip East. But we had a few minutes today, since I'm waiting to paint until after Jeff finishes trim, (I'm listening to the air compressor and nail gun right now), and decided this was do-able.  And that I wanted to do it.

We haven't been East in a long while, the girls never.  They added six new states and three new Junior Ranger badges, we visited three National Parks and whatever "National" the Blue Ridge Parkway is.  ("National Parkway" the internet tells me.)  I'm a list-maker, can you tell?  We found places we loved and will visit again and places we mark of the list as been-there-done-that.  So many beautiful views, short hikes, chilly nights, (impromptu stop at REI for a better sleeping bag for the girls, this has been the second major trip Greta's frozen at night), grouchy kids, good food, (not so good food), fairy house building, and lots of hilly winding roads where the speed limit is a joke ("Um, yeah, ain't no one going 45mph on this road!" we said more than once).  New-to-us Big Red Van now has 3,500 more miles, and we have a different car picture with "123,456" on the odometer.

Hopefully I'll get to the second half of the trip soon, because I'm planning on some quiet around these parts and the summer winds down and the school season picks up.

Thank you for your visit to our family vacation slide show!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

galette, summer.

Summer wouldn't be summer with out all the activity;  thankfully workmen are finished tramping through our house, the experiment (for our family) of summer day camps is over, and we can get to mid-summer lazy-busy.  (After we cleaned up from all the workmen, we put the porch work on hiatus whilst we work on our next adventure.  I'm happy to take this break from it, and we will hopefully come back to it excited to keep working.)

The fresh pea soup (made from every pea harvested in the garden) was wonderful, Greta enjoyed the process from plant to supper all in one afternoon.  We used this recipe, but used onion instead of shallots.  We should have strained it, like the recipe said, but didn't and didn't too much mind the pea "shells."  We barely had the three cups of peas, so I guess I didn't want to lose any to straining!

I've had galettes on the mind recently, with their promise of summer easy.  After picking from this recipe and that, we've had raspberry galette twice now, with my cups of slightly over-ripe berries every couple days from the bushes.  It seems, even with picking often, the berries are always overripe!  Perfect for galette.  So easy!  Try for yourself.

Raspberry Galette
~ 4 very generous servings

Make dough first, must rest an hour:
Put ice in a cup of water, put in fridge.
Cut 6 Tbs cold butter into small cubes, set in fridge.

1 C (5 oz) all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt

Mix these briefly in food processor.  Add cold butter, pulse just until grainy (don't overmix).

With processor running, drizzle in ice water 1 Tbs at a time, until dough forms a ball, and no more.  (Will use maybe 2-4 Tbs.)  Place ball in a plastic bag, gently form a 1" thick disk, set in refrigerator at least one hour.

Meanwhile (about 1/2 hour later):

Preheat oven to 400 F.

2 C fresh raspberries
2 T sugar (can use more, quite tart)
2 tsp cornstarch

Sprinkle sugar and cornstarch over berries, mix gently.

On parchment paper, lay dough, then cover loosely with plastic wrap.  Roll out until approx 1/8" thick in a rough round or oval shape.  Pile berries in center and gently spread, leaving 1" edge of crust.  Fold this edge over the berries, around the sides.  Brush crust with milk, sprinkle turbinado sugar over everything.  Transfer parchment with galette onto cookie sheet, bake 35-40 minutes.

Excellent with ice cream (especially chocolate)!

(Now it's packing time again...  hooray!!)