Big day. Full day. Tomorrow we head out on the road, so we’ll be out of touch. Mich has already asked about how I’ll do postings. There will be a 2 day silence, and then a longish post on Thursday evening. I hope you can manage. But to today…
Dawn patrol was up and running, so we made a list of all the things we could do, decided whether we really wanted to do them all, and then prioritized them. The pinky got wrapped, just a subdued green mix. Then we headed out to put Juneau through his paces. James and Mich have amazing throwing arms. We’ve gotten some spectacular jumping catches, which make us laugh. It’s a great way to start a day. After our French toast (and mangoes – see yesterday’s post), we scoured cookbooks for blackberry recipes and debated their merits. We had decided that we definitely had to get back to the blackberry patch. That was our top priority. We decided on a Chez Panisse blackberry mousse recipe and a Gourmet blackberry upside down cake. Off we went in the 98 degree heat to the patch. Amazingly, the blackberry patch guy (it’s across the street from his house [shack]) was around. Silly me, I assumed he’d be at a job. He’s a friendly guy, but you know, how much is there to say about blackberries (although I seem to be doing okay here…)? Anywho, we had some more friendly chatting about the patch and what we were going to make before we got down to the serious business. Since we are all experienced pickers, we were going for the prize berries, balancing on the larger limbs and on a plank that someone helpfully left there. You see where this is going, right? James, butt first, into the brambles. We got him out of there and pulled the stickers out of the back of his jeans. Laughing. Could have been bad, but it wasn’t.
Wilted, we headed up to Occidental to get some key ingredients (buttermilk and cream) and liquid refreshment. The kids had never had a fresh coconut, so we bought one and asked if someone could open it for us. The cashier told us that most people have a machete in their car that they use. She was serious. Since we had left ours home, the young hippy market owner was kind enough to get a big knife from the kitchen. We went outside on the sidewalk and he opened it for us. It was all mine. One sip was all the Dale kids were in for. They enjoyed some Nantucket Nectars, chips and Skittles.
Back home, we went into serious production. James was outside, washing the car so we don’t look like bumpkins in San Fran and Monterey. Mich and I were pureeing fruit and setting up the upside down cake. We got those things put together, then we all made the dog biscuits. That’s a big recipe. We got kind of tired of rolling and cutting dog bone shapes, so we free styled. Pretzel shapes turned into turd shapes pretty fast. We’re calling it our Feces Assortment. We have pretty good dog, deer, fox and cow poop. We also have some professional looking bone shapes, thanks to Mich. We will bring doggie bags east for NY and NJ dogs, and may even get some down to Darla.
Hit the pool. James’ arm is still pretty darn dry. Discussed what other kinds of fruit would be good to turn into mousse. Tried to say “fruit puree” three times fast. Laughed some more. Dinner was calzone, under James’ direction. We had broccoli and peppers and onions, in addition to salami, ham and pepperoni, and of course, ricotta, mozzarella and parm. Everyone did their own, and I tried them all! James’ was the best. When I asked him what his filling was he said, “all the meat and all the cheese.” Blackberry creations for dessert. We liked it all.
The campers and I headed out to Woody’s turf to see if she had time for a visit. Woody, as you know, is our cat who has gone somewhat feral and lives in the woods. I go to the end of our lane and call her. Usually she comes, and she did tonight. We had some salami and ham for her, so she was especially nice to us. We headed home, sniffling, slightly allergic, but happy. The sun was setting as we headed out, and we saw the trees silhouetted against an orange sky. On the way home, the full moon was up and we had lots of moonshadows. Cool.
More 30 Rock DVDs. God, is that show funny. Sleep. Hey, the kids met Columbina Albini, a Bodega celebrity, and the woman I make garlic bread, polenta and stew for 500 with, in the Bodega Fire Hall. Quite an honor for them.
Tomorrow is Alcatraz. Then we’ll head down to Monterey and hit the aquarium on Wednesday. Stay there Wednesday night and head home on Thursday, maybe via Watsonville for strawberry picking. These kids love their ag.