Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hood River and Family Picture Day!

About an hour drive from where we live is a city of Hood River which is known for their beautiful orchards, vineyards, country stores and stunning Mt. Hood views.  I don't know why we don't visit this place more often.  We've driven through a couple of times, but never really explored it.  

Right now, its the pear season there hence the Pear Celebration going on there this weekend.   Unfortunately, we didn't have time to visit the places that really highlighted pears and join their festivities, we did have time to stop by and buy oh...about 60 lbs of pears from a local farmer for a whooping $15!  And ooohhh, they taste delicious!

My sister generously offered her photography services in exchange for a ride there.  We thought the trade off was fair.  The time was way overdo to take our family picture.  I also wanted to do something I've never done before--maternity pictures.  I don't know why such desire all the sudden with the 4th child.  Maybe its the fact that if I want to remember what I looked like pregnant, why not capture it when I am looking and feeling my best--5 months:)

The family picture taking again proved to be classic: one family member is usually either not cooperating or making silly faces such as here:

We do much better by our selves:

Add caption

Or when there are two of us: 

Alas, a decent family one.  

These are the teaser ones my sister sent me.  I am expecting and hoping for a couple more family ones that I could frame.

But seriously, I have concluded that taking a family picture brings out the worst in us.   Its not like we are faking being a happy family, we are only trying to capture it.   All we are asking kids is to smile and stay still for a couple of seconds?  Why should it be such nerve racking process?  Is it  because we are afraid that at the end of the day we'll have no picture to frame?   I don't know.  Maybe we should do it more often.  Resolvedtoworship, I don't know how you do it!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

'Tis the Season to Be Jolly

No, I am not talking about the winter season; I am talking about the harvest season going now right now here in the NW.  

In fact, it is this season that makes me a bit giddy carrying home fresh, organic veggies from my father's garden.  Love you, dad!    I am especially giddy because I get it all for free.   I get to reap what I didn't sow.  Or fertilize.  Or water.   Or did other things (that I have no knowledge of how to do) that need to be done in order to have seed turn into a fruit, eventually.  I know, spoiled is exactly the way I feel this time of the year.  Hey, it only lasts for a couple of weeks, plus, all this produce is super good for my baby boy (my neglect of posting makes this old news new for some of you).  See, I am not the only one spoiled.  My whole family gets to be :) .  

Anyhow, the above picture is from last week.  Whats missing from that picture is that we also get to enjoy zucchini, lots more tomatoes, parsley, dill, onion, and grapes.   So, somebody has not been doing a whole lot of grocery shopping and is not planning to for a couple of weeks.   

Having so many fall vegetables at hand, I decided to make this side dish that I always enjoy at Russian weddings.  I don't know the origin of it, but the main ingredient there is eggplant, which unfortunately is most enjoyed by only one member of my family--me, thus the reason I've waited so long for making this.  

Most of the ingredients came from dad's garden (again, love you, dad!).    Eggplant, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and onions need to be sliced and sauteed separately adding about a tablespoon of oil before each vegetable.  Tomato sauce, garlic and parsley is then added to a quart size stove top dish and simmered for about 10 minutes.    This dish could be enjoyed hot or cold.  This is not exactly a detailed recipe because I am assuming most of my Russian speaking readers know how to make this.  There might be also another way to prepare this.   

Anyway, I've got to run and feed my love this goodness and hopefully convince him that eggplant should be his friend.  In the meantime, hope you are being jolly as well this season while reaping yours or someone else's harvest :)