Monday, October 13, 2008

Extended weekend

It's Columbus Day, meaning lots of government employees have the day off, including Zac. Now granted if we were invaded by Indonesia he'd have to go into work, but right now he gets to chill out watching NFL Live on ESPN.

It's been a busy weekend. On Saturday we spent the day doing some cooking. Usually weekends are reserved for grilling, but Zac and I had a couple of things we wanted to try that were a break from the meat-on-fire routine. First off we decided to roast our own red bell peppers. Zac really likes them (so do I) and he was flabbergasted to see how much a jar of them cost here. So we decided we'd roast them ourselves. It was obnoxiously easy and they turned out really well. We'll definitely being doing that more often.

The second thing we made were tortillas. We use a lot of tortillas around here and we wanted to know how tough it was to make them. We found a couple recipes online involving some sort of flour, water, oil/lard/shortening and salt. We mixed the dough, rolled them out and cooked them up. The toughest part was getting them as thin as we wanted. I think we'd need one of those handy-dandy machines to do it effectively. (Like those old-fashioned laundry wringers. The kind that have two rolling pins on top of one another.) We ended up with some very soft, tasty, chewy gordita-like tortillas. They'd be great for tacos, but maybe not so much for Zac's famous breakfast burritos.

They looked really nice though!

After playing in the kitchen for the afternoon, Zac and I went to the Hawaii football game. This was my first visit to Aloha Stadium (home of the aptly named Aloha Bowl). It was strange being outside at a college football game. It was strange that the sun had been down for an hour and it was still 80 degrees. But it was a fun experience. It was Hawaii's homecoming so there was a decent-sized crowd. I would imagine they usually draw a decent crowd, as it's really the only show in town. That, and the University's women's volleyball team, which is consistently ranked nationally. I guess in a lot of ways it reminds me of Nebraska -- College football is king, college volleyball is queen and sometimes college baseball comes into the mix.

After the game we went to a local watering hole. Zac had called them a few days earlier to see if they had karaoke or darts. They said they had both so we decided to check it out. It was a hole in the wall, for sure. It was filled with locals, and I think they were all a little surprised that a military guy and his wife had wandered in. You could tell that most of the people in there were regulars and put in an appearance every Saturday night. But, much to my surprise, they were very friendly and inviting. Zac threw darts with a couple of guys that were really good, so he had decent competition for once. We had a good time and I'm sure we'll probably go back again.

On Sunday we planted some tomatoes, some mild jalapenos, basil and cilantro. It's odd to think that in MN we're getting close to frost and here I can plant tomatoes whenever I want. We'll add some plants after we get these going. We'd like to add some bell peppers. We'll probably do some other spices and herbs as well. We'll see how green our thumbs are. Zac is a farmer boy, so I expect great things from his agriculture mind.

We also finally went to the beach for the first time. We were going to go to Waimea Beach, but the traffic was awful once we started getting close. We decided to pull off the highway early and ended up at Haleiwa Beach, which turned out to be just fine. I used sunscreen effectively and emerged from two hours on the beach and in the water with no sunburn. After the beach we swung by the Dole Plantation on the way home and had a pineapple float. (Pineapple soft-serve in pineapple juice.) Then we went home and practically collapsed onto the couch. Too much fresh air, too much sun, too much ocean.

I'm glad that we have today off too, just to recover from the weekend.


Joyce said...

Football is SUPPOSED to be outside. Ask Zack about Memorial Stadium on any give Saturday in the Fall.

Teebore said...

I am envious of your ability to plant in October. Meanwhile, I am taking in my herbs and tomato plants for the winter...

How'd you roast the red peppers? They're awesome but expensive here, too.