Sunday, September 05, 2010

Recent adventures

Despite my utter inability to keep up with blogging, interesting things have been happening the past few months. August 1st, two historic houses were moved across downtown Davis to a new site to be made into new co-ops.
The Solar Community Housing Association runs several co-ops and has been working on establishing a new one. Two houses across the street from Davis' Central Park were donated and there was a big turnout to watch them be moved. It was a huge cooperative project, with tree trimmers, PG&E, the railroad and the city all having folks there to facilitate the 7 block journey through the heart of downtown Davis. Mark Chang brought his piano car and played "Our house, in the middle of the street, our house..." as part of a procession of bikes following the house.
The houses will be retrofitted for LEED certification and will rely on a large number of volunteers. Anyone in the area is welcome to come help out, no experience necessary. A bunch of my friends and I helped out at their big September work day. See their website for more details.

Also in August, I finally made it to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. There was so much more than I expected, everything from tiny frogs:

to little brown birds:to catfish:I really liked the giant catfish.The living roof was beautiful, especially at dusk:
The next adventure was camping at Arroyo Seco. We hiked in and set up camp, then went for a swim before settling down for the night. The next day we decided to do a nice little day hike out to Tassajara Hot Springs. It didn't look far on the map. There were beautiful flowers along the trail.
and manzanita
and butterflies
and cool creeksWe went along the Horse Pasture Trail from Marble Peak Trail then took the Tassajara Cutoff Trail. There was evidence of the recent fires.and there were beautiful views
but Horse Pasture and Tassajara Cutoff trails were so overgrown that it was slow going slogging through them. It took us so much longer that we didn't have time to soak at Tassajara before turning around and taking the Tony Trail back. Tony Trail went up up up before going down and was washed out in places on top of having plenty of overgrowth. The burrs loved Aaron's socks.
Since I hadn't checked trail reports before going on this trip, I was completely unprepared in shorts and between brush and burrs and ivy and what not, my legs were in rough shape by the end.

We were very happy to make it out of Ventana Wilderness.
In September we went to the Monterey County Fair:and I was excited to see the Monterey Wool Auction
I was good and didn't bid on anything since I met Sue Reuser and picked up the three cormo/cormo x fleeces I'd bought from her in June. Her fleeces are pricey but well worth gorgeous. Her fleeces took a bunch of top honors in the wool show and if I didn't have my lovelies filling the trunk, I would have been tempted to bid on more.
Doxie:hogget 910:hogget 925:

I also had some time to saw seashells by the sea shore (to inlay the treadles of my spinning wheel):while Aaron had his African drumming practice:
Culinary adventures included a mild fixation on pluots after reading Chip Brantley's book "The Perfect Fruit"

and a new obsession with making risotto:
Shrimp and fresh veggie risotto

Heat up 1/4 cup olive oil in a stock pot.
Add 2/3 c minced onion and 4-5 large cloves minced garlic and cook until aromatic.
Add ~1 cup chopped sundried tomatoes, ~1-2 tb finely chopped rosemary and 1tb finely chopped sage and cook for a few minutes.
Add 1 cup risotto rice and mix with oils, herbs, etc.
Add preheated chicken/veggie stock +/- water in 1/2 cup aliquots, stirring and waiting for liquid to be absorbed completely before adding more. Continue adding liquid until rice is done, still slightly firm in the center.
Add in fresh peas and corn. Cook for a just little bit, then remove from heat and add in 1 cup grated parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste. Add pre-cooked shrimp and stir until warmed through, then serve. Top with a squirt of lemon juice if desired.

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