Saturday, July 26, 2008

Colin's New Cap

Those of you who are in the know will remember how my grandson Colin wanted to 'drive' the boat on the river and how I had told him he could be the Captain and to make it official I bought Captain's caps for him and Anna.

Well, he wore his for the entire journey that the Martin's took through Europe and on the second week he lost it. Reportedly left it hanging on a hook behind a door.

Anna was so nice that she gave him hers so he would stop yarling.........

I have a new hat for Colin. Here it is . It looks big but it is kid size.
It will fit.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Eggplant Parmagian

One of our repeat often meals is eggplant parmagian. I never make it the same way twice and every time it has different ingredients except for cheese, eggplant and sauce.

This one had 3 kindsa fromaggio and garlic and chopped sirloin and some more of the fried peppers that were so good in last night's dinner.

Here is the dish before cooking...

And here it is after 40 minutes at 350..Oohs and aahs please in the comments section.

Guess this will be a food blog until some other interesting stuff shows up back in Houston.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Evie's First Steps

Evie likes to walk and will do so as long as someone is holding her hands above her head. I have tried to make her feel comfortable with just holding on to her shirt or shoulder but she will not have it. It worked with Paige and Graham and I was sometimes able to let them take a step or two thinking I was still holding them up.

Evie usually plops as soon as you let go!

Here is a video of her first unaided steps. ( actually she had just taken a step before this vid but I missed it so we re-enacted it for you, dear reader....)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dinner Tonight

We had a lovely bottle of Proseco and I made Shrimp Alredo using Sinatra's sauce.
I also added a little fried red pepper and some asparagus to the shrimps......Bev made a nice avocado salad...We complemented this dish with a Cameron Hughes Lot 51 which actually was a little too much wine for the cream sauce. We struggled and polished it off anyway.

Here are some before and after pics.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Cisco Brewery

We went to this Nantucket brewery before noon on Tuesday and tasted all 8 of their beers, 4 of their wines and ALL of their vodkas. Our favorite was the horseradish/pepper corn infused vodka.

Here is a shot or two of the brewery tasting rooms.

A pregnant, tattooed nose-blocked Bartender named Nicole could talk about nothing else but her allergy problem. It was really not suitable while we were tasting the wines (poor) and I started to think it would be interesting to tape her. She went on and on and on.........Watch .........

And here is Lee in the vodka taste room..........

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Really and Truly

We met at Chris and Val's lovely farm Pant y Turnor - The Turnor Valley. As Jennifer reported in her blog Chris had laid some aggregate down on the grassy area outside the house and erected a humongous tent. It must have taken days to erect it.

Getting to Llangadog from Stratford took about 3 1/2 hours. It was only 128 miles and the Mapquest deal said it would take 2 hrs 28 mins. Motorway all the way to Wales and then 'A' roads to Llangadog. Well, navigating with American logic we got lost. As did Emily coming from Bristol and Jenn and Anth from Evesham. We did finally get to the hotel to get cleaned up for the do.

Emily had been there a day early so she had scoped out the directions Chris had supplied and she had not been able to locate the farm. Now these directions were distributed by me to all the American and Runcorn side of the family. Problem was they contained a GLARING error. At the three horseshoes turn right shoulda been turn left. You cannot believe how hopelessly lost we were. And all the groups from the Runcorn side had the same confusing problem. Fortunately as sparsely inhabited as the area is anyone you asked knew Chris's farm.

Here is a video of Ken scaring his new great grandaughter....
And another of Ken's acceptance speech.

As you can see from the pics, we really and truly had a wonderful time truth be told.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Cymru am Byth

'Wales Forever'

My father was born in a small Welsh town called Hanmer. It is pretty close to the border with England and the only way one would know that you'd crossed over the border is that the directional traffic and road signs are written in Welsh as well as English.

So it was like going home last week when we went to my brother's 90th birthday celebration. It was terrific to see everyone there - Emily, Jenn and her family, Ray B and Kevin H and their families. And Chris and Val Downward who live in Llangadog were just terrific hosts. Their kids Andrew and Simon and their families were there too.

With so many people coming from so many distant places there was not enough room at the farm even though it has three houses. So we stayed at the famous Red Lion Hotel in Llangadog. The name of many Welsh towns begins with Llan -meaning church- followed by a saint's name. The hotel was first class and the owners were very friendly and hospitable. They took over the hotel about 5 years ago after the prior owner's daughter was shot and killed on the hotel's back doorstep by a local farmer who then shot and killed himself. I could not find why he did it other than that he was not stable minded and she was up the duff! And the farmer had a fixation on her. You figure it out.
Caroline Evans She was 27 and ran the hotel with her dad, a retired vet named David Evans.

Farmer William Davies

After firing into the ceiling twice a struggle ensued and he shot her and she died instantly lying by the rear door of the hotel. The old dog Charlie usually occupies that spot now.

Here's two shots of the hotel. One from their brochure and one that Emily took. The three big steps of stone to the right of the the door were placed there to allow gentlemen to easily mount their horses and date back to when the hotel was a coaching inn probably mid 18th century.

Anyway, just thought you'd like to know that.

Next post will be about the 90th birthday celebration.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cruising Down The River

Despite us both catching a nasty cold with a lingering cough-(still got it after 12 days) we had a great trip and loved the Avon and its surroundings. We got to Stratford on Friday and watched a regatta that was going on and went to the market where we saw some interesting stuff....

After walking around town we caved in early and luckily that put us both right on to U.K. schedule. Next morning The Tuds met us and we drove down to Bidford to pick up the boat.

..........Had a nice ploughman's at the pub there in Bidford while we waited for the boat to be prepped. Tud and Josie were thrilled with the cruise and we sailed them down to Evesham where we overnighted next to the lock. We went ashore for dinner and finished a nice bottle of red after we returned to the boat.

The next morning we boated back to Bidford and dropped them off.

Then we cruised back down river to Evesham and stayed there again. A very nice town with good restaurants and shopping. Monday morning we headed down towards Tewkesbury to meet The Martins there Tuesday at noon.We found a lovely little mooring and had a very nice evening watching the sunset and Canadian geese.

Here's a nice couple of videos we took that evening.......

Here we meet the Martins.....

And here Col and Anna get the Captain's hats that I bought them weeks ago. Colin had asked me if he could drive the boat and I told him he and Anna could be the captains of the boat. They loved the boat and the hats.

Colin and Anna sing with a little help from Grandad.........

The kids loved seeing and feeding the wildlife on the river...

And before you knew it our time with them on the boat was over and we said goodbye.
But we would see them again, with Emily in Wales a few days later.

Bev and I enjoyed the last two days on the river and by now our colds were merely coughs. Here is a video of our last lock. We did about 25 of them and they were sometimes a little like work!
We went up to Birmingham Friday afternoon and rented our car drove it back down to Bidford where we stayed the night before leaving for Wales early Saturday morning.
Here's Bev at the station in Stratford.

That's it for the boat trip. Wales next.