Thursday, May 27, 2010

Terra Bistro

I found an advertisement in the local newspaper for 50% off entrees at Terra Bistro. This would be the locals appreciation dinner. Thank you locals who are the only people around this time of year. We decided to come after the winter season and before the real summer season started. Why I don't know, but good for us we get to take part in the locals only discounts. Thank you for the $120 meal for only $60. Yes, this is still expensive, but it was pretty fancy to look at and eat.
Coconut Green Curry Pad Thai

My mother dined on Stiped Bass on top of some roasted veggies.

And Father had the Pork Tenderloin, spring roll, and roasted carrots and snow peas.

They were all quite delightful, but I would probably never go there if I had to actually pay the full price. Not worth that much. The restaurant did practice sustainable fish purchasing and purchase 85-100% of organic and sustainable products. Going green gourmet. They had quite the impresive wine book which we declined since we have a case of wine in our room presently.

Discovering CO adventure

Colorado has without a doubt the healthiest residents in the country. When I was teaching nutrition we would always look at the map of the US with the obesity rates and CO had the lowest rate among the 50 states. We always discussed why this is the truth and being in CO I can really comprehend even more why this is. These people are outdoors taking part in active lifestyles year round. The economy thrives off tourism whether that be winter skiing or summer rafting, hiking, biking, and all things related to being outside. Today my family decided to take part in this activity and rented some bikes. They were awesome.....

Momma Marlene and Sister Tara are getting pumped for this experience. We biked along the river about 5 miles to the next town. This next town is of course another tourist town with shopping stops. We enjoyed a nice lunch outside on the patio of E-Town- bikers paradise.

I dined on the Veggie Pizza complete with sun-dried tomato pesto, artichokes, spinach, feta, and mozzarella. It was most delightful.

Along the bike path was an extremely adorable housing development. I would normally never say the word adorable in the same sentence with housing development, but it really was. The houses were not giant, nor were they all individually fenced, but rather cute and had amazing views. I think I could handle living in this one, complete with amazing dog on the front porch. 
Until later later my friends, I think I can handle this outdoor life. We're off to raft this afternoon and according to the authorities, the water is 40 degrees and the levels are pretty high. Should be exciting!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

CO Breakfast #1

We made it to Colorado. Praise the Lord for safe travels and great adventures along the way with Sister. After a nice early morning walk with wonderful mountain scenery...
I found a great local bakery and decided this must be my first Colorado dining experience. Must have artisan bread! Thank you Avon Bakery & Deli for a most delightful experience. Organic Hand Crafted Artisan Breads simply call my name.
My dining delight: Multi grain bagel with veggie cream cheese, Papa New Guinea coffee with low fat milk and raw sugar. I also enjoyed reading the local food favorites in the newspaper.
And a loaf of bread to go, the Wednesday special, Honey Walnut Wheat.
Stay tuned for my next dining delight. It's sure to be a good one! My plan is to eat my way around CO.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Two Survivors

There remains two survivors. After a tramatic experience the second go around there are two sole chicken survivors. I think if they still have it in them to pop out eggs these will be amazing chickens. They have escaped the massacre twice and still remain. We will get more someday, but not until a fence is found and implemented. Add that to the list.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Massacre 2010 Take II

I like to think I'm a pretty optimistic person. I mean when 15 out of the 26 chickens I grew from one day old were massacred on a Sunday evening I was initially quite angry. Later I realized that it's a lot easier to count 11 chickens than 26. It's also easier for them to all fit on the top roost. They eat less grain and poop less, leaving the cleaning up task to be less frequent for me. It really wasn't that big of a deal to pawn off the culprit dog on a local high schooler to take away the issue. But today here's another story..................

Last night at "Who's coming to dinner?" I was chatting with my neighbor about his chickens and the possible varmit that has been eating them. He thinks it's a bobcat, jumping out in broad daylight to get his. I told him apparantely our dogs are doing a good enough job keeping the big varmits away because we haven't seen anything. We've been letting them out during the day to forage and they've been doing just fine. Then today, while chatting with a teacher at CHS about chicken experiences she responded with, "Well, the varmits just don't know you have chickens yet. You just wait, they'll find them." This is all just too ironic.

As of today I have successfully failed at my first attempt of raising chickens. Upon my jaunt out to the chicken coop this evening to feed them I discovered Kansas Chicken Massacre II. A few feathers on the ground and a crappy fence pushed down on the end. There were no bodies in sight and the pouring rain kept me from investigating further. My chicken count is now down to zero. There is no need for me to feed them any grain because there are zero chickens to eat it. There are also zero chickens to fight for top roost. I now have zero chickens to care for and watch scratch the ground. No more chicken dancing going on on this farm.

My optimism is not great right now. Maybe I'll go out in the morning and they'll be roosting in the nearby tree. Probably not. I do know that there will be no more chickens brought on this farm again until we actually get a real fence put up. You'd think I'd learn from the first massacre. Apparantely not, but the good news is tomorrow is a new day and they are just chickens.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Closer than I thought

The local food movement is definitely closer than I thought. I had originally thought that the idea of growing all my own food, supporting other local producers and creating a network of farmers in this rural area devoted to producing quality healthful foods was a long way off. I mean in the middle of Kansas there are simply as many people doing market gardens as there are fingers on my hands. However, much to my surprise I recently found one right in my own backyard. Not my garden, but my neighbors less than two miles away are doing such a thing. I don't know how I've never met them, seen their garden or heard about these people doing what they can to live off the land. It was seriously one of the most exciting finds in a long time. I'm pumped to learn more from them and check out their garden. Tuesday night I grasped three heads of lettuce from them that are amazing. They also raise several different animals and have a great system of renewing the soil with organic fertilizer from them.

Wow. This news is exciting.....even if they put my garden to shame.

Still here

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I'm still in the Bake Lab. I think I might be becoming more and more like this supervisor, advisor, father, giver of much great wisdom, teacher, comedian man named Dave. I know he spends much more time in here than his own home and although I do not think that to be ideal, I can see how it happens.

Today was a day of cake gone awry. It was definitely my own fault; the result of me trying out new formulas on the day of production. This is definitely not a good idea, but it has worked before so I figured it could work today. I'm also learning that I am not very productive when people I enjoy are around me. This would mean I happen to be a fairly chatty person and have not quite mastered the technique of scaling, mixing, and baking things while holding conversations. That and the fact that making my lunch, going to ice cream, and planning out life was a little more exciting than the task at hand. In the end, the greatest cake ever, Power Cocoa Cake will come to my rescue. I don't know why I even think about making anything else anyway.

Have I mentioned I think I'm over this cake baking business idea?

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Thunder Rolls

Just in time to water my garden. Praise the Lord my parents and I spent the entire day outside on Saturday working to get every last empty space in the garden filled with something promising a bounty harvest. I believe we have about 75 pepper plants in the ground. They vary from a standard California Wonder Pepper, a mini yellow bell pepper, purple beauty, and chili peppers. I'm just hoping that we don't have another experience like two years ago when the plants got large and beautiful but no fruit came. We also planted two long rows of tomatoes, probably about 30 plants. That leaves around 80 more that are still sitting out there in their flats waiting for me to find another place to put them. We planted nine plants in the side yard, as in right outside the back door. They shall be quick and convenient for my snatching up for a meal. We also put in five squash hills, okra, and more rainbow chard. I have more squash seeds to plant another acre I think, but that might have to do. I'm thinking about planting them at the base of fruit trees. Something I read recently recommended that, anyone?

So life in the planting mode has come to a big of a slow down. Until these crazy storms go away, I can plant no more. Another exciting bit of information: the chickens came out this weekend and all went back in the coop at the end of the day. Victory!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The L'oven Awards

Today was our last lab day for the Bakery Science II class. It's kinda crazy how fast the semester has gone and it has really been a most enjoyable experience as Bakery Lab Manager. Although the majority of time I feel as if I'm managing nothing, but simply following Dave around trying to be useful, I suppose my position is important. In honor of a great semester and the end of Bakery Lab for many students I decided to give awards to everybody. Sometimes I feel like being cheesy and today my cheesiness came at hopefully the right moment that the students felt special. One thing I have learned from Dave is that the students are our customers. They do pay a lot of money for this education and it is our responsibility to assist making their experience a good one. So today, the 1st ever L'oven Awards, everybody is a winner!

Oh and to make the day even more lovely, Mountain Bread and Challah! Mountain bread is definitely my favorite and will always be repeated with a slight raising of my voice while saying bread as if defeating a mountain.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Good News

After a not-so-great experience with the chickens last weekend, I would like to report that I have re-named my favorite chicken. She was the one free specialty chicken that I got with my order. She has feathers on the top of her head that stick up and she was the last live chicken I found after the massacre. I have officially named her "Princess Laya" because she's a laya! I think you have to say it with the ghetto thug accent to understand why the name is so great. On Monday I also built them a roost for their chicken coop; I figured since they'll be locked up in there for while now until we build a fence a roost would be nice.

The good news in the garden this weekend: We have tons of earthworms! I decided to forget about using the ancient, hard to manuever, really spastic rototiller. Therefore we have moved onto the no-till method of attack. As I transplanted my brussel sprouts and planted our four giant rows of corn, squash, and beans, I noticed that honestly 50% of the random holes I dug contained worms. Definitely good news!