Thursday, September 17, 2009

Summer Day of Cooking and Laundry... but Fun!

I'm still catching up on weekends from JULY, but this weekend, I go visit Sophie!! I was lucky to see her twice last year, once for her brother Simon's wedding in May and once when she visited Richmond in October, but THIS YEAR is different. This year I will be visiting a Casey family of THREE! I can't wait.

Meanwhile, here are some pictures from a fun Saturday in July where I hung out with the older Lual girls for the day. The goal was to talk about healthy shopping and cooking and to get a few loads of laundry done. I think - when it was all said and done - they just wanted a day out of the house. Oh well! We had a great time!

Achan and Awut

The fresh pasta guy at the Farmers' Market.

Aunt Crazy at the Farmers' Market, coffee and wallet in hand. (Both necessities, I'm sure you'll agree.)

Running into Molly's friend "B" on the farm bus. I used to babysit for Molly when she was 6, and as she grew up with this great group of friends in Fredericksburg. Lo and behold, one of them lived a few doors down from me. And if that's not enough, we run into each other on an old school bus that sells farm veggies at the Farmers' Market!

Hitting the Asian Market (Tan-A for you Richmonders) for a few more ingredients.

The fish looked awesome, but alas, it wasn't one of the 4 recipes the girls had picked out for the day.

The twins, Achan and Anger.




A typical Saturday's worth of laundry at the Lual house ... there ARE 10 people living there, you know. It took about 8 loads.

The Sausage ... mmmmm, meat makes EVERYTHING better.
OK, so maybe I haven't learned the secret of making pizza dough with wheat flour. It was REALLY wrong. I think I downloaded a bad recipe from The Interweb, because instead of encouraging the girls to make this at home, they were TOTALLY turned off by the make-your-own-pizza thing and decided ordering pizza is way better any time. Oy.

Achan holding a ceramic ornament she made me a few years ago, which I keep on my kitchen wall.

The pizza ... don't worry! We still ate it. Again, did I MENTION how meat makes everything OK? Particularly when cheese is also involved.

Anger on the back porch

We got a little punchy towards the end of the day. Time to comment on one of Awut's treasured wrestling shirts - Shawn Michaels. I am still waiting for her obsession with wrestling to END (particularly this John Cena person she adores), but I think I just have to accept that it is one of her passions and it will never end. *SIGH*

So after pasta, pizza, and something else I forgot we made, the brownies. They were actually all right.
Even with wheat flour. :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Charlottesville Winery tour with the SAP boys

Look at me - BLOGGING like crazy! Two posts in two days - can you believe it?? Of course, they're from July, but anyway ....

On Saturday, July 11th, I met Matt and Geoff in Charlottesville to tour a few wineries that Matt had researched. He now lives in Myrtle Beach, SC, so Virginia Wine must be earning quite a good reputation to justify this investment of time and energy.

Oh, all right ... it was probably mostly for fun. And yes, we drank half of our "finds" that day anyway!! I might have a FEW bottles left...
First stop: Barboursville. Beautiful location, delicious wine, great wine tasting "system"!

Grounds of Barboursville .... windmills and all!

Bottles anxious to be filled...

Herb garden, presumably to supply the famous local Italian restaurant also located here.


More vines...

Lavender, I think?


The old Governor's mansion.

Next stop: Horton - there was a pig roast going on here that day which looked like fun.

Horton: cool castle, crap wine.

Next stop: Lunch at Smokin' Eddie's BBQ ... Matt and Geoff walking in ...

Matt really needs to not zoom in that close with my camera just because he can.

OK, there's a REASON I'm usually the one TAKING the pictures!!

I think that's enough!!

Condiments at Fast Eddies.

Turnabout is fair play, Matthew!!

Geoff looks good, of course. It's a shame. It would be fun to blackmail him.

Deep fried mushrooms ... just because. (They actually weren't as good as they looked!)

Last stop: Veritas ... DEFINITELY our favorite!!

The Veritas Tasting room.

More of the Veritas Tasting Room ... they actually bring the wine to YOU!

Matt, Aunt Crazy, and Geoff .... with empty glasses!!

Buying our loot. We all regretted not buying more of the Veritas Claret - that was so yummy.

More views of the Veritas Tasting Room...

Matt and Geoff laughing at me because I left the windows and the sunroof down at Barboursville while Matt toured us around. Meanwhile, there was apparently a DELUGE - but ONLY over Barboursville! We never saw rain! It took days to dry out the car.

Geoff in what we HOPE will eventually be his Facebook picture, if he ever bothers to get an account!

Matt's Facebook picture. :)

Geoff teasing me ... we actually SAW the woman who drives this car, and she looks remarkably normal. It's still a mystery to me.

Before heading home, we got a cheeseplate, opened a newly-purchased bottle, and walked over to the ruins of the Barboursville Governor's mansion.

The columns at the front entrance.

A view of an interior fireplace through a window.
The back columns from the outside.

Geoff, me and Matt, taken by a nice mother and daughter who also chose to trespass on the grounds after hours. Safety in numbers!

View from the back of the mansion toward the ... backyard, I guess? Some nice backyard!

This is the front of the mansion with the famous Octagon room. Thomas Jefferson designed this home, and I guess octagon rooms were his thing! Personally, I think it would be hard to furnish.

Time to go, I guess. I have to be at Bollywood Night at Cous Cous in Richmond by 10:30.

Farewell Charlottesville! Thanks for a beautiful day!