Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Captain Jack Sparrow came to our house!!
キャプテンJack Sparrowがやってきた!!

He wanted to use Internet to search liquor store for Rum so I let him use our PC. I didn't know he needs reading glasses! Captain Jack Sparrow standing next to the window decorations. キャプテンはラムを買う酒屋をインターネットで探している(左)。メガネがいるなんてね。右はキャプテンがゴーストと記念撮影してるとこ。

I dressed up like a pirate, too. Doesn't Steven look great in this costume? I made his shirt, vest and hair piece. It was so much fun to make these. 私もパイレーツのかっこをしました。Stevenのコスチュームいいでしょ?シャツ、ベスト、かつら+ターバンは私が作ったの!こういうのすごい楽しい。
Pretty close, isn't he? かなり近いでしょ?

We had around 10 groups of trick or treaters and enjoyed giving away candies and seeing their costumes. After the kids had gone, we took a walk to see our neighbor's Halloween decorations. One of them had a real casket on the porch. Later we hooked up with our friends and enjoyed blues and drinks in downtown!! What a great Halloween!
10グループほどのtrick or treaterの子供達が家にもきてお菓子をあげたりコスチュームを楽しんだり。その後はご近所のHalloweenのデコレーションを見に行きました。ある家は本物の棺おけを置いてあってびっくり。最後には友達とお出かけしてブルースとカクテルを楽しみ、盛りだくさんのHalloweenになりました。

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

New Lawn

Steven didn't like the lawn we had and decided to replace it. He also didn't like the sprinkler system so he dug all them up and installed new systems! The white poles in the up-right pic are old sprinkler pipes. We ripped up the old lawn and it was VERY HARD because the lawn had plastic thread underneath and it was hard to rip them. 

We went to hardware shops several times and Steven built a new sprinkler system.

After we raked the yard to balance it out, we packed it down with a rental lawn roller. Steven is putting water into the lawn roller on the up-right pic.

Then we spread starter fertilizer. One of our neighbor gave it to us and lent us this spreader. They are so nice!!!

Not only that the neighbor helped us to install the sod(down-left pic)!! We used 75 rolls of sod. Looked like roll cakes or sushi rolls...anyone hungry? We laid them in a staggered pattern like laying bricks.

Wow! After a few hours, we got a nice green lawn!!! Steven studied about lawns, designed the sprinkler systems and we did it in a month total. Now we can have a backyard party!!

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Recent cooking

Recent cooking...最近のお料理
1.Ossobuco  オッソブッコ 
We got Osso bucco meat from Prather Ranch Meat Company at Farmer's market. The meat fell from the bone when I touched with a fork...soft and juicy!
オッソブッコ用のお肉をファーマーズマーケットのRanch Meat Companyで見つけました。フォークでさわるだけでお肉がホロリと骨からはずれる柔らかさ。それにジューシーでおいしかった!

2.Fajita ファヒタ 
Since we loved the ossobuco we got last week, tried a skirt steak from the same store. Marinated it in beer and some herbs and spices, Steven grilled it outside and had the meat with veggies on an iron skillet I cooked in the kitchen. We rolled it with tortilla wrap with condiments. Delicious! Recipe is here.

3.Meatloaf ミートローフ
Made meatloaf with sun dried tomato wrapped with panchetta. The side dish were mashed potato and salad with grilled figs. The lunch next day was meatloaf sandwich, of course.サンドライドトマト入り、パンチェッタを巻いたミートローフを作りました。サイドディッシュはマッシュポテトと軽くグリルしたいちじくを入れたサラダ。次の日のお昼はミートローフサンドイッチでした。

4.Carbonara カルボナーラ
We got some eggs from our neighbor who has a hen in their garden so the eggs were very fresh. I made pasta carbonara with panchetta. Mmmmm it was very tasty. The salad was tomato+anchovy+red onion.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Halloween decoration

I had wanted to do Halloween decoration for long time and now we have a place to play with! I made this witch and let her sit on the front porch. She is peddling a skeleton and holding a bloom.
Look, she is a good size witch wearing my black dress, my scarf and my boots. Yeah, she looks nice enough and needs them only by the end of this month so I decided to rent them to her. :) I also made some ghosts and tombstones by the window. 見て見て!割と大きな魔女でしょ。私のドレス、ブーツ、スカーフを着ています。魔女が割りといい人だったし、今月末まででいいっていうので快く貸してあげました。:)窓の脇にはお化けや墓石なども作りました。
I used a tree on our street for part of the decoration. Doesn't it look like coming out from the tree hallow?! We are going to put some light in the hallow at night so it will look spookier!! 道沿いにある木のほら穴も使いました。穴から出ようとしてるみたいでしょ?夜には穴の中にライトを灯してもっと怖くなりますよ。

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Pickled Eggplant in olive oil

Since I saw this blog entry, I had wanted to make this pickled eggplant in olive oil. I saved this unique shaped jar from our honeymoon, 2005! It was a sun dried tomato jar that we bought in South France. このブログで見てから作って見たかったナスのオイル漬けをついに作りました。右側の面白い形のビンは2005年に新婚旅行で行った南仏で買ったサンドライトマトのオリーブオイル漬けのもの。何かを入れたくて取っておきました。

First, I cut eggplants in 1/3 inch thick. Put salt generously in a bowl, cover with a plate with a weight on it. Wait overnight. Next morning, squeeze the eggplant softly to get rid of excess water and dry them on towels for a whole day. 1cmくらいに切ったナスに塩して重石をのせて一晩置きます。次の朝、そうっとナスをしぼり水を軽く切り、タオルをしいたかごの上で一日外で干します。

Cook them in 1:1 water: wine vinegar mixture for 5 minutes and drain.

Layer eggplants in the jars with garlic, chili pepper and basil or flat parsley. Press them for better marinating. ガーリック、赤唐辛子、イタリアンパセリかバジルそしてナスをビンの中で交互に重ねていきます。ギュッと押しながら入れたほうが味がしみるということ。

Pour some olive oil till eggplants submerge. I need to wait for a month to eat this. I can eat just like this as an appetizer, eat it in sandwich or with pasta!! I can't wait! 上からオリーブオイルを注ぎ隙間を埋めます。ナスがすっかりかぶるように。1ヶ月後が食べ頃だそうなのでちょっと待たないと。このまま前菜として、サンドイッチに入れて、パスタと一緒に…楽しみです。

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Friday, October 02, 2009

Recent Craft Projects

Made a purse with black & white printed fabric. The liner is red. Outer fabric is thick so the purse shape won't change with a heavy loading. (Well, I would not put a bowling ball though :)

This is an on-going project still. I love this variegated yarn from Noro. Will tell you what it is when I finished...これはまだ製作中。混色のこの毛糸はNoroのもの。色合いが気に入っています。何ができるかは後ほど…。