Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Squash Pie

Recently I have had some success in the kitchen throwing together a dish made from whatever was there and needed to be eaten. I'm a good cook if I follow the recipe. These couple of dishes had no recipe and still came together easily and well. I decided to be just egotistical enough to share my ideas with you. Today's recipe: Squash Pie.

It helps to have two lovely fresh summer squash straight from the garden. Summer squash is good though from wherever. 
Chop some onion and cook in butter and water until onion is translucent.
Add sliced squash, one ear of corn and cook a while.
Add 2 chopped tomatoes and heat until tomatoes soften.
To a Cup or more of shredded cheese add 2 or 3 beaten eggs. 
Mix it all together and put in parchment paper covered pie pan.
Bake at 350* for 30 minutes.

I got the parchment paper idea from FB. This dish works well as a side or an entree'. 

Last night it was served as a side with grilled chicken and a grilled peach with brown sugar and butter for a sweet taste. Today the leftovers will be served as a light lunch or dinner. You can also add a meat of your choice to the pie if you so desire. Very flexible and easy, and if you don't want to take time to bake, forget the eggs, stir together after adding cheese and enjoy. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Camp Dog

As I mentioned in Camping at Virginia Lakes, Oso went with us on this trip. When I first married Dean, we took our dogs camping and I did not like it. I couldn’t relax and enjoy my camping experience because I was worried about their camping experience. Although Dean liked having the dogs along, he accept my stress and we stopped taking dogs camping. 

Then at the very last minute (we were packed and ready to pull out), we had to decide to take Oso with us. I don’t know if I was easier about this trip or if Oso is just a more laid back dog (who is older now than our other dogs were then) or whatever. What I do know is that we had a great time and I think he did too. 

He gets so nervous when he sees us packing. He wants to know he won’t be left behind and as long as someone is with him when we leave or we take him to our wonderful dog sitter, he is ok letting us go. Well, this time, we threw in some food, his red pillow, a leash and food bowls, put him in the one little back seat that was left and off we went. And we all had a great time!

Dean had created a line that attached to a tree so that Oso could wander the camp site. We spent some time unwrapping him from trees, but that was ok. We had a leash for walks to the lake. There were lots of dogs at Virginia Lakes and I was so pleased to see that other campers had their dogs on leashes too. It’s a rule, but one that is often broken. 

Oso didn’t eat much while we were gone but he drank lots of water. We were at 9000 feet or more if we hiked. He had water in his bowl and in lots of lakes and streams along the way. He swam in lakes, one night chasing a beaver for a while. He led his pack on the trail up to a higher lake, checking in with me, the slow one, occasionally. I told you about his keeping guard when I had to lie down because of dizziness. He slept on his little red pillow in the camper. All in all, it was a wonderful trip and he adjusted well. 

As we were packing up to come home, he began to get restless again and sticking very close. About an hour before we were ready to leave, Dean put him in the car where he promptly fell asleep, happy in the knowledge that he had come with us and he was going to go home with us too.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Camping at Virginia Lakes

Dean is a member of the Tahoe Truckee Fly Fishers and this weekend we camped with them at Virginia Lakes, about 3 plus hours from home. Dean and I had been there before and the group went a year or two ago. I was unable to go then so was glad to have the opportunity this year. 

Yes, that is Oso in the foreground. At the last minute we had to bring him along. It worked just fine. He was always just a little on edge wondering what was happening. He seemed to have a good time though.

A boy and his dog. It was kind of fun to have the dumpster on the edge of our camp site. We didn't have to go far to empty the trash. 

This was the closest lake. 

Dean split some found firewood and we had a lovely little fire the first night. The next two we were at another camp site. 

Dean out in the pontoon and Oso really, really wanting to go out with him. 
Sometimes a dog's life is unfair. I wouldn't let him chase whatever the guys on the shore next to us were throwing in the water. He gets to chase things Dean throws for him at home. And then to add insult to injury, Dean gets to go out on the water and I won't let Oso go after Dean. Pout!

Quiet time on the lake, drifting, casting, enjoying.

Saturday morning we hiked to one of the higher lakes. You can tell how far behind I am. I'm slow heading up hill these days. Friends are the first in line, Dean closer to me. Oso would come back to check on me if he and Dean had left me too far behind.

The other couple made it to the highest lake. I was slow, and along the way, there was some beautiful scenery.

At the next to the highest lake, we found a shady spot to sit and have our lunch. Dean and Oso began to fish. I sat down and suddenly had a bit of altitude or electrolyte problem. I lay down with my jacket under my head and closed my eyes. Once when I opened my eyes, Oso was lying close and on guard. Bless him! I felt strange and uneasy until about half way down and suddenly I was fine. Just tired because I had hiked a long way but otherwise just fine. In this case the "lower" altitude was over 9000 ft. It still made a difference.

One of the pleasures of this group is gathering for appetizers and then bringing our meals together at one table to talk over dinner. Later we gather around a camp fire.

A mirrored sunrise on our lake. 
It was a good trip with delightful people and dogs.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Bees: Bad News, Good News

       The bad news: Because of a wet winter, this summer we have had swarms of yellow-jacket, meat-eating bees. Makes it hard to eat outside on the deck sometimes. Remember what we had to do at a lake side restaurant the other night? 

Covering our food with our napkins was our solution then. At home on the deck meals include a lot of swatting, flailing of napkins, muttered curses and placing a tiny portion of the meat far away from the table itself. None of this works completely. They are aggressive and a tad vicious. We set traps and they fill up and the bees still come. Lots of bees this summer. 

The good news: Because of a wet winter, this summer we are seeing a lot more little round, yellow and black pollinating bees. They are buzzing around the wild flowers on the trail and by the lake. They are enjoying the squash blossoms in Dean's garden. They have no regard for humans or the meat we eat. They are very happy finding pollen and spreading it from one plant to another.

This was a plant next to my chair at the lake the other day. I ate my lunch while they ate theirs and neither one of us disturbed the other. I'm sure that the few bees I have seen around our home are not enough to take them off the endangered list, and it is good to have them back and active. Live long and prosper, little bees.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Random Summer Pictures Continue

Really good friends, Jim and Mary Catherine, came to Tahoe to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Rex, my first husband, and I were in their wedding. They are my daughters' Godparents. They have adopted Dean. 

Among other activities was a picnic on the beach before Shakespeare at Sand Harbor.

We were joined by wandering feathered friend. 

We saved our dessert to eat during intermission. 

The set for Comedy of Errors. 

We went to the Donner museum.

They joined us for the Tahoe/Truckee Fly Fishers barbecue. 
Mary Catherine pitched right in and went to work ~ it is my job
to organize the food lines.

Jim and I had time to visit as he made his way through the crowd.

The lunch line: my usual crew plus Mary Catherine and Aiden,
grandson of friends. It is fun when young people are willing to pitch in and help.

We ended their visit with dinner on the lake.

Dean's halibut.

My crab cakes.

Silly ~ and yes, we were there early enough that the meat-eating bees
were still out and about. We had to cover our plates with napkins between bites.

The moon was rising over the water as we departed after a lovely
evening and a lovely week together. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Pneumonia Rock Star

When grandson Akira had pneumonia, little did he know it would make him a rock star. Because of the excellent care that he received in the pediatric unit at Asante in Medford, OR, he and his mom have spoken often at fund raisers for The Children's Miracle Network. Although Akira is over talking about this because it seems a long time ago in the life of a 14 year old, opportunities do arise for him to once again help other parents and children know they have world-class pediatric care at the Medford hospital.

Please, watch the attached video. It is a short news story that includes interviews with Akira and Michelle. I even took some of the snapshots they use to illustrate the healthy Akira. And once again, I will add a PSA and say that if you are looking for a charity to support The Children's Miracle Network helps pediatric units in many regional hospitals and is worthy of your support.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Random Summer Pictures

Family summer fun in Tahoe. Although we had company before
Michelle and her family arrived, here's where the summer saga really begins.

Dean smoked ribs for the grand arrival.

Trinity cooked her signature stir-fry for us one night. 

Trinity and Grandpa transplanting squash. She loves to garden.


In goes the squash.

Looking good and so far still looking good. No critters have eaten it.

Gardening makes you hungry. Especially for Grandpa's smoked pork.

14 year old Akira appreciates Grandpa's pork too even
though he hasn't gardened.

The night cousin Carly came, we had fondu. Unfortunately, Carly's plane
was very late so she didn't have any. She did get to watch Marc take leftovers
and make amazing fried rice for breakfast the next day.

It was so good -

~ and Carly and Trinity loved it. As did we all.

Surprise! Meredith and David ended up in Reno so David could fight
one of the myriad of northern California fires. Michelle saw her on
their way out on Tuesday.

We saw both of them for dinner on Wednesday night
before they left again on Friday.  

Carly and Grandpa brave the windy waters of Lake Tahoe in a kayak.

Both days on the beach were perfect.

Picnic on the beach. 

It was a little chilly and I was glad Dean had brought along his sweatshirt.

Once again a grand took over the kitchen as Carly made her
signature bacon/cheddar/turkey burger with roasted veggies. 
I do love it when my grands are old enough to cook.

Thanks to neighbor Dianne, Carly and I played a Lot of Rummy Cube
while she was here. We had fun. It's been a fun summer all around and
we anticipate more fun when more company arrives on Tuesday.
The doors on the guest rooms keep revolving.