Just wanted to wish our pal Steve in California a great birthday. I hope the fish are bitin', buddy!
I got an early start today, since I wanted to get to the grocery store and back before my parents stopped by. They had borrowed our trailer a while back in order to haul a few things, and they were taking a load of firewood to my niece, so they stopped by on the way back to return the trailer. I wish they could have stayed a little longer, but Mom said, "Oh, honey, we've got all kinds of things we need to do!" They crack me up. They have a busier social life than Ken and I do!
They did take some time to walk around our yard a bit, though. I showed them how our crazy redbud has grown at least 3 feet so far this summer--the thing is almost scary!--and how one of our little walnut trees has grown a couple of feet already. I told them how just an hour or so before, I watched 3 8-point bucks walk through our back yard, and when we walked out by the pond, we found their hoof prints. We checked on the fruit trees that Ken planted, and they seem to be recovering nicely after the deer ate almost all the leaves off of them. Ken had put up wire around them to protect them, and they're looking really good! Dad walked down the pathway into the marsh a little bit and we talked about how we could easily hunt in there, and about how good venison is. I said, "You know what, though? After living here, I couldn't eat venison." If I were starving, obviously, I could, but I've gotten so I love watching our deer so much that I can't imagine ever hurting one of them! I know Dad understands.
Dad said, "Isn't it amazing that it worked out that this is the kind of place that both you and Ken love?" I have to agree! It was really a nice visit with them, but like I said, I wish it could have been a little longer!
Speaking of wildlife, I had an amazing thing happen while I was sitting out on the deck reading. We have a hummingbird feeder out there, and it hangs right over our little tête-à-tête settee. The hummingbirds often come up to the feeder while I'm out there reading. I can look up and see their tiny little claws, and sometimes they'll hover in front of me for a moment, checking me out. Well, this female hummingbird did just that, but I have never had one get so close to me! She was maybe 6 inches in front of my face, just looking me straight in the eye, and she was there for several seconds. She was so close that the beat of her wings felt like a breeze on my face. It was almost scary, because for a moment, I wasn't sure if she was going to slam into my head! But no, she just looked at me. It was one of the most amazing things I've had happen to me, and as long as I live, I will never forget that tiny little thing hovering right in front of me, as we looked into each other's eyes. It was SO COOL!
On the way to the grocery store this morning, I drove by a large Baptist church near us. They are signing up kids for Vacation Bible School, and in order to promote their VBS, they had one of those large, inflatable Godzillas out by their sign.
Maybe I'm missing something here, but I just don't get the connection. All those years that I spent in Sunday School classes, and they never covered Godzilla's part in the Bible! Too bad, because it would have been pretty cool to hear about Godzilla on a rampage in the temple, not just throwing out the money lenders but stomping on them! Or to hear about the angry and vengeful Godzilla of the Old Testament, and how he compares and contrasts to the loving, forgiving Godzilla of the New Testament. Then there's the Holy Trinity: Godzilla the Father, Godzilla the Son, and Godzilla the Holy Ghost. And I think every single one of us who has ever rooted for the underdog loves the story of David vs. Godzilla!
I know I'm being irreverent (I've been known to do that from time to time), but what the heck? Wouldn't maybe something like oh, I don't know...a CROSS?? be a little more pertinent when it comes to Vacation Bible School? I just don't get it.
But I hear that next week, they're putting up a big inflatable gorilla and calling it King of Kongs.
And they'll be teaching the King Kong James version of the Bible.
Insert your own rim-shot sound here. Okay, I'm done with that, but feel free to add your own in comments!
Late last week, I was at the grocery store, and one of their specials was to buy a large French bread and get one free. These babies are about a yard long, and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to use both of them, but heck, the second one was free! If nothing else, I'd throw it out for the birds. We've gone through most of one by making garlic bread, and I had a brainstorm a couple of days ago! Muffalettas! (This is where Ken would probably say, "Gesundheit!")
If you've never had a Muffaletta, it's an Italian sandwich that originated in 1910 at Central Grocery in New Orleans. I'm not making a traditional one, because it's supposed to be made on a round Italian loaf, but hey, I have this bread to use up. I think it will still taste just fine. I'm using ham and salami, with provolone and Swiss cheese. My recipe calls for Mortadella, which is kind of similar to salami, but my store didn't have Mortadella. You top it off with olive salad, which is a mixture of green and black olives, as well as carrots, celery, onion, and cauliflower. The first time I made this, I chopped all of that stuff up myself, well before hand, and let it soak in olive oil for a couple of days. It's much easier--and I think it will taste just as good--to get a small can of chopped black olives, sliced green olives (I chopped those up a little more), and a jar of Giardiniera, which I also chopped into small bits. Also the last time I made this, I used all the oil it called for (over a cup of olive oil and vegetable oil) and Ken and I agreed it was WAY too much. So I went lightly on the oil this time, and the olive salad is chillin' in the fridge.
Most guidebooks will tell you that Central Grocery makes the best Muffaletta in New Orleans. I've had a couple of them at different places in New Orleans, and this last time with Kim and Steve, we got our Muffalettas from Central Grocery--they really ARE the best. As we were chowing down on them, Kim and I were making what she calls "yummy sounds," as in "mm...yum...mmmm!" as we ate! Every once in a while, Ken will tell me, "You're making yummy sounds, Honey!" I consider it a compliment to the chef!