One thing I really love about Ohio are the fruit picking farms. I'm not usually very good at seeking out cool activities like that, but I'm grateful I have friends who are and who then invite us to come. Back in August (I'm getting more and more behind, I know), we went peach picking with our good friend Lindsey (we call her Inny). It was wonderful, and we had fun documenting our experience.
Always have to taste one.
That's the giant fuzzy caterpillar we found on one on the ground.
June was Casey's month off after taking his first major national standardized test of medical school (also known as Step 1). We went and visited family in Seattle, my grandparents in Goldendale, and eventually made our way to Utah. From there we made the long journey home, driving from Utah to Columbus, with a quick stop in Nauvoo on the way. It was a bit of a whirlwind trip, and I will admit I felt quite miserable for much of it (due to first trimester "morning" sickness) (On a rather unrelated note...who decided to call it morning sickness? I have yet to meet someone that is only sick in the mornings when pregnant); however, it was still a fun trip, and we made some great memories. One in particular is the Edmonds farmer's market. It's usually in season when we're visiting Casey's parents, and we usually try to make it at least once.
I love farmer's markets. I love the colors, and the fresh food, the odd mix of people you see there, and the musicians on the corners. (Owen especially loves the musicians. He was quite enthralled by one guitarist in particular.) Here's my attempt to document the things I love about farmer's markets:
I'm going to try to catch up here, and in going through all the pictures I have, I got a little overwhelmed and didn't know where to start...so I'm going to start here, with our garden.
We had a good amount of peas. They got HUGE! The only problem was, we don't really love peas...so we won't be growing them again.
That first tomato picture is actually our tomato plant very soon after we'd planted it. It's grown into a monster, and that basket is actually quite large. I canned these tomatoes, it was a little disastrous, but still salvageable. I think I'll continue growing tomatoes for canning (not a big fresh tomato fan).
These were probably my favorite part of the garden. I'll be growing more carrots next year (they're really easy). We made carrot cupcakes out of these. They were delightful.
This is such a sad picture, but pretty accurate as far as what our spinach really looked like. I guess in order to be able to get more spinach they recommend harvesting the outer leaves as they are ready, and leaving the rest of the plant intact. Using this method, we made some salads and some green smoothies. I didn't love growing spinach, and it bolted pretty quickly as the days got hotter. Probably won't do it again.
The onions...I don't think I'll talk about them. The peppers are growing...but I'm not sure why I thought it would be a good idea to grow peppers, I don't like peppers at all. So the moral of the story: If you're going to grow a garden, grow things you actually like to eat. (I imagine most people already know that, I'm not sure what was happening in my head when we planned ours.)
Casey's sister, Emily, left on her mission today. She's headed to Honduras for 18 months to serve and to teach people about the gospel. We called her yesterday for part of our family night to wish her luck, tell her we love her, etc. We told Owen that we were going to call Aunt Emmie, and told him that we could tell her that we will pray for her. Meaning, we will include her in our family prayers while she is gone. Owen took us a bit more literally though. When Emily answered the phone he said, "Hi! You doe-ing on a mission?" To which she responded, "Yes!" Owen quickly answered, "I doe-ing a pay a you" (Translation: I'm going to pray for you.) Then he folded his arms and began, "Dee-oh Heavenly Fah-doe, thankful for Dee-sus, help Emmie on her mission, name a Dee-sus Tiste, Amen" (Dear Heavenly Father, we're thankful for Jesus, help Emmie on her mission, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.)
It was rainy and cold last week, so I made this soup. It was really fast, and very delicious. Even Owen liked it, and for days after asked for "soup and a dilled teaser" (translation: soup and a grilled cheeser). It's based on the recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe, with a few adjustments. Please excuse the picture, I always seem to want to take pictures of food when there's not any light.
Here's the original recipe. The following is my version:
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed (for about 1 1/2 cups cooked squash) 1 tablespoon butter ¼ cup diced onion 3 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped 1 can (14.5 ounces) Italian-style stewed tomatoes (or 1 can stewed tomatoes with 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning) 1 cup chicken stock 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon sugar (add more or less to taste) 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 cup heavy cream Directions:
1. Prepare the butternut squash by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Place cubed squash in a 9x13 pan. Add a bit of water (enough to cover the bottom of the pan), and cover with foil. Bake for 30-40 minutes, removing the foil for the last ten minutes. The squash should be quite soft when poked with a fork. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly, then transfer to blender.
2. While the squash is cooking, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter and saute the onion until soft and translucent. Add the minced garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Scoop the onion/garlic mixture into the blender with the squash.
3. Add the canned tomatoes (undrained) to the blender. Process until the mixture is smooth – if the mixture is too thick to blend well, you can add the chicken broth/stock into the blender to help it along. Pour the blended mixture back into the saucepan and add the chicken broth (if you didn’t already add it to the blender), salt, sugar, basil and cream. Stir to combine well. Heat over medium-low heat until the soup is warm. Serve immediately.
Notes: We ate this with grilled cheese, and it was wonderful. It would be even easier if you bought already cubed butternut squash (fresh or frozen) or just bought the frozen already cooked and pureed butternut squash! I think next time I might add another can of tomatoes as well, as it wasn't as tomato-y as Casey would have liked.
Before signing off, I feel that I should share this picture of Owen, as it was taken at the same time as the tomato soup picture. This is because any time I have the camera out Owen wants me to take a picture of him, and I'm happy to oblige!
Birds are loud. I always forget how loud, and then Spring comes and they remind me. I'm not going to complain though; warm weather and singing birds sure beats frigid weather and silence. Their is a cardinal that regularly comes to the tree behind our house and utters his call (according to wikipedia the male cardinal "marks out his territory with song"). I am becoming quite fond of him, and considering giving him a name. Any suggestions?
It's the end of March. Today it snowed. Yesterday was the first day of Spring. I still consistently wear a warm coat and need to keep my hands in my pockets. Owen wanted to blow bubbles, and since this mom doesn't blow bubbles inside, what did we do? We bundled up of course!
It got really cold by the end. Owen's face says it all.
This year Casey and I are trying our hand at square foot gardening on a very small scale. Casey built us a box, and Saturday we mixed our dirt and planted our peas. I've never had a garden before. The anticipation and excitement I felt after covering the last of the seeds with the dirt was surprising. It takes great faith to put seeds in the ground and believe that a plant will grow. (I'm still feeling skeptical.) Here's to our gardening adventure!
Owen turned 2 on Saturday. It is hard to believe that it was only two years ago that he came into our family. It feels like he has been with us forever. (In a wonderful way).
Owen loves music, especially anything with a violin. He loves to read, and his favorite books are by Mo Willems, the Pigeon series as well as the Elephant and Piggie series (if you've never checked out this author, you should...he is excellent). He likes to dance and, "play games", notably duck, duck, goose; ring around the rosy; and London bridge. He is gentle, and kind, and sweet. We love having him in our family. Happy Birthday Owen!
We opened presents in the morning. Nana and Papa and Great-Grandma and Grandpa Griffith definitely contributed the majority of Owen's presents. He was pretty excited about his new toys and clothes. (Thank you Nana and Papa! Thank you Great-Grandma and Grandpa Griffith!)
Casey and I did buy Owen one present and that was this violin. He's barely put it down since he got it.
Owen got to help Casey make the frosting for his cake in the morning. As you can see, Owen thoroughly enjoyed that part of the day.
That night we just had a few friends over to play and enjoy some cake.
We were married December 30, 2009. We both graduated from BYU December 2010, Casey in math, minor in chemistry, and Katalyn in microbiology. Casey went to medical school at Ohio State and is currently doing his residency in pediatrics. Katalyn is a full-time mom to their three boys. We're sure grand adventures await, and are excited about life as a family!