Saturday, June 25, 2011

The last two weeks have been pretty busy! In addition to Bob and Martha (Robb's parents) visiting, I've been working on a number of my goals.

Foremost is the Chinese class, which is such a challenge! They teach in full immersion, so once they teach you a word in Chinese, they never say it again in English. It is such a challenge to my American ear!! Bo Hao!

I ordered my worms for the compost bin from I would like to build that next weekend in a stackable drawer system like this one. It will hold a lot of worms, and is much cheaper than the bins you buy already made. It will have 4 drawers for worms and one drawer for worm juice. Sounds weird, but I'm totally stoked!!

I started running again to train for the 5k that I will run at some point, and ordered the application for a CSA just a mile from my work.

I visted a local museum (Goal Met! 6/16/11) and learned about the history of The Great Fire of 1911 that burned half of Bangor.

and I started taking pictures for my Extraordinary Shots of Ordinary Things album. Here are some preliminaries...

Light in my hallway

New summer hat

All in all, it's been a great couple of weeks!

One week from today Jennifer will be here ... maybe she can help me build my new worm condo!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Catering a Formal Dinner Party

Last night was our German dinner party to benefit Hospice of Hancock County. Robb and I prepared food all week with a final pull on Friday afternoon, had a rousing game of Jetta Tetris on Saturday morning and we set up at my friend Dewey and Danner's home in Blue Hill all day Saturday in time to greet our guests at 6pm. After donating $65 per plate to hospice for our dinner, we knew our guests would be expecting a grand show, and a grand show they received! We brought our own decorations from home, our own settings and linens, cooking implements, candles and my paintings (which particularly interested one of our guests!) and set the stage for a formal evening for 8 impressed guests.

The Menu
*The only things that were not made completely from scratch were the liverwurst, weisswurst and sweet & spicy mustard.*



Murbe Teig
Pairing: Sparkling Pear Juice or Raspberry Cordial
Coffee and Tea Service

Robb's cooking demonstration for the Spaetzle and mine for Murbe Teig,

As I sit here with a hot mug of tea, a flickering tapered candle and the sound of rain on the windowsill, I am able to reflect on something that I am truly proud of, in a way that I haven't been since leaving school. We put a lot of time and money into the event, but that was our donation to hospice. In total, we raised $520 and provided a beautiful night for 8 generous guests who will hopefully remember the evening fondly. I know we will.
Goal Met 6/11/11.

*Special thanks for Robb's awesome photography!!*

and an unexpected multi-media presentation on the TV:

made this a dinner party to remember.

Additional pictures:
Putting together the centerpiece - lupines I gathered from the highway on Saturday morning.

The completed centerpiece.

The bar settings.

Cordial setting with our awesome pepper grinder from our friend, Christine.

Our prep and teaching kitchen. Mad love to the Viking professional appliances. There's nothing like 14,500 BTUs. Brown butter? Yes. Instantly. Whether you like it or not.

Homemade Wheat Bread with Liverwurst and Sweet Onion Pickles
Bias-cut Weisswurst with Raye's Sweet & Spicy Mustard
Pairing: Weihenstephan Original Premium

My Spring Onion Soup with Robb's Salted Carraway Breadsticks

Main Course (Robb's Specialties!)
Homemade Spaetzle
Pairing: Einbecker Schwarzbier

Watercress Salad with Raspberry Mustard Vinaigrette

Monday, June 6, 2011

Goals, goals, goals.

What can I learn and accomplish in one year? To kill my post-grad degree stagnation I'm launching this blog with 52 goals to kick off a year of continuous learning and enrichment, beginning on June 6, 2011.

2. Milk a goat or cow
3. Learn how to make soap
4. Learn how to make cheese 3/10/12
6. Run a 5k
7. Learn to play 3 singable songs well on an acoustic guitar.
9. Complete a beginners language course 11/17/11
10. Learn to sail
11. Volunteer for at least one Bangor committee
12. Learn to waltz
13. Join a CSA  3/11/12
16. Learn the geographical location and capitals of all the countries in the world
17. Volunteer for a day at a food pantry
18. Learn to dehydrate and store my own food 10/15/11
19. Learn how to make and can mom's mustard pickles
20. Become well-versed in the history of Bangor
21. Hike to Gulf Hagas
22. Photograph a sunset from Cadillac Mountain in Acadia 10/08/11
23. Sell my greeting cards in a local store
24. Learn how to make yogurt 2/7/12
25. Start a worm composting bin
26. Visit a local museum 6/16/11
28. Ride in a glider
29. Donate blood
30. Complete one knitting project
31. Take a skiing lesson
32. Write a children's book
33. Visit at least one new city
34. Take a cooking class
35. Cook 3 items from Julia Child's cookbook
36. Complete the knife skills lessons in my culinary textbook
37. Complete an 8 month emergency fund
38. Start a Roth IRA
39. Learn how to make corn and flour tortillas from scratch
40. Review all muscle and bone anatomy flashcards
41. Taste foie gras
42. Share a meal with at least one new, interesting person
44. Learn how to decorate a cake
45. Learn how to properly tie a necktie
46. Make a piece of jewelry
47. Bake a lemon meringue pie
48. Learn how to make chocolate truffles
49. Taste truffle mushrooms and/or truffle oil
50. Eat duck October '11
51. Make an album of creative shots of every-day things
52. Learn to shoot a pistol 10/30/11