Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dragged Through the Garden

After reading about our fun little picnic, I'm sure you're all anxious to stampede the grocery and squeeze in a little outdoor dining yourself. Let me introduce you to the ways of the aforementioned Chicago-Style Hot Dog.

1. BUN: IF you are fortunate to have poppy seed hot dog buns and IF they are not astronomically expensive and IF you have a bun steamer then that's what you would do. If not, get the whole wheat or white enriched jobbies and toast them briefly under the broiler (guess which one I do).

2. HOT DOG: find the best quality all-beef hot dog you can. I usually reach for Hebrew National or Nathan's. An authenticity expert will tell you the hot dog should be in a natural casing (i.e. pork intestine) and should "snap" when you bite into it. We don't have those kinds of hot dogs in Idaho. Cut an half-inch x into the end of each dog and fry in a pan until cooked through and deliciously browned. The x is for decoration and Mark invented it. (Authenticity requires steaming or boiling the dog. You decide.)


~Dill Pickle Spear

~Tomato Wedges

~Celery Salt (light sprinkling): you must NOT skip this. It is not a Chicago Dog without it. Buy it cheaply in bulk and place in a salt shaker for ease of use.

~Sweet Relish: the neon green kind if you can find it.

~Yellow Mustard: please note that ketchup is not listed here. That's intentional. It ruins the delicate balance of flavors.

~Diced Onion: in my stomach's humble opinion, optional.

~Pickled Sport Peppers: also optional in my mind, since the entire western half of the U.S. doesn't carry them. Mark occasionally substitutes little hot peppers, which have basically the same effect: adding a little heat. I'll pass, thanks.

Assemble as best you can, open wide, and enjoy!

First Picnic of the Year

On April 4th we had our first picnic of 2009 up by the Jewett Observatory next to a healthy juniper bush.

We keep our picnic equipment, the old MSU blanket and our bright blue cooler box, at the ready for such purposes.

What the observatory looks like inside:

From our observation location, you can see most of the Washington State University Campus.

Including the Ensminger Pavillion, where we had our wedding reception.

We had Chicago-Style Hot Dogs, Pea Salad, Cheetos from a can, Mandarin Oranges and Root Beer.

I like Chicago Dogs.

Mark likes them more.

Monday, April 20, 2009

What I Did Last Fall

The King Alfreds are lending some class to the concrete steps.

Spring Means...

Sewing blue couch pillows. Fabric a la Joanna plus 40% off coupon. Thanks Susan for donating your machine to me!

Here is the lumbar pillow from the leftovers. Mark calls it the Lombard pillow, which is funny if you hear him say it.

Who in their right decorative mind put that pillow on a black chair with a green fleece blanket? Yikes! That chair is on the chopping block next.

Here is the living room WITHOUT the new pillows, although there is, confusingly, a blue pillow in this picture too. THAT blue pillow went bye-bye since it had successfully survived too many indoor and outdoor years of usage in a college apartment (and it was already there when I moved in). It had the scars to prove it.

And yes, those are the kitchen chairs in the foreground. The rooms in our house like to be close to each other.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

30 Days Hast September, APRIL, June and November

The latest desk calendar from Chocolate & Zucchini!

Mark and I sometimes have a wedge of nice cheese on Sunday to celebrate the Lord's Day. Lately we've been substituting dark chocolate, but with Easter rolling around I might need to head over to the Wine & Cheese Company on 3rd St. and pick up some beauties like these!