Monday, June 13, 2011

A good weekend...

A couple weeks ago, I couldn't help but laugh at myself and the evolution of what I consider to be a “good” weekend. In my late teens and early 20s, a good weekend meant staying out all night, driving home as the sun was coming up, and sleeping well into the afternoon. Then maybe some time in my mid-twenties, a good weekend might have included dinner with a big group of friends, going to see a band I like, and sleeping in til 10. Actually that still sounds like a pretty good weekend. But two Saturdays ago, my best friend Rachael and I took a cheese-making class, and I was so excited about it that 20 year old me would probably slap 30 year old me. Then this past weekend, I was able to do something on my “Summer goals” list! I bought the ingredients to make pickled red onions and tomato basil jam. I ended up only having time to make the jam. I be jammin’. There, I said it.

I ended up finding this recipe for Savory Tomato Basil jam from the Canning Across America site. But I couldn't believe it called for 3 cups of sugar. Why does it need so much sugar? I decided to make the recipe as-is for the first time around, and then play with varying amounts of sugar later. And something you should know about jamming? A jam recipe makes, like, a shit ton of jam. Like, a baker's shit ton even. I ended up with 5 jars of it! So if you ever make jam, prepare to give most of it away as gifts. And another thing you should know is that it is watery when you put it in the jars, and then it sets as it cools. This part scared me, and I was afraid I would have tomato basil water instead of jam.
Rachael is really into making things from scratch. Specifically, she likes doing things "the old fashioned way". She grows her own veggies (and hopes to have chickens one day), and recently started baking her own bread in addition to her new cheese-making skills. Our husbands wanted to go eat pastrami sammies at The Hat and see "Thor," which means Rachael and I would be hanging out at our place after I put baby Z to bed. She made fresh baguettes and lemon herb ricotta from scratch (making ricotta is really easy!). I made a joke about how pretentious we are, and Rachael took it to the next level by showing up carrying a vintage picnic basket, with her bread wrapped in brown paper and twine. Wow. By the way, we are neighbors. Isn't that fun? Best friends for 18 years, and now neighbors too!
No offense to our pastrami-loving husbands, but our dinner was pretty awesome. I also made oven dried tomatoes (thinly slice roma tomatoes, spread them out on a parchment-lined baking sheet, add salt, pepper, olive oil, and fresh garlic and bake at 225 degrees for an hour and a half to two hours). That salad is a zucchini salad made from zucchinis in Rachael's garden. We sliced up her baguette and topped with goat cheese and tomato basil jam, and with oven dried tomatoes and fresh ricotta. It was, howyousaaaay, "off the heezy."

One of the many things I enjoy about Kyle is that he appreciates architecture. He doesn’t read about it or get super into it with technical terms, but he likes looking at buildings, and he notices little things about them that other people maybe wouldn’t notice. He has always wanted to go check out the Bradbury building, so we decided to drive up to Downtown LA and walk around and look at some of the architectural and historical landmarks. We checked out the Bradbury building, the Million Dollar theater, Angel’s Flight, Pershing Square, and Grand Central Market. Sometimes I take it for granted that we live so close to interesting things.
The images above are of the Bradbury building, which opened in 1893.
Angel's Flight, called "The shortest railway in the world", built in 1901. It was used to transport lazy people up the steep hill. Just kiiiiiddding.

Grand Central Market (above)is an open-air market full of food stands, dating back to 1817.

The Million Dollar Theater (above) opened in 1918 and was one of the country's first "movie palaces."

I left out all the stuff about how great Zoey was all weekend, how well she napped, and what a great mood she was in, and how cute she was. That's like boring mom stuff :) But it also contributed to the weekend being good. And now, for a good week! Va(stay)cation time! Flaming Lips at Hollywood Forever cemetery tomorrow night! 


Anonymous said...

I have to try the jam and I love that you guys go to these interesting places and that you are exposing Z to them too. Looks like you had a wonderful weekend.

Baby Z's Nana

Lara said...

ooooh that was a good weekend! Your dinner looks way better than pastrami!
I love walking around my neighborhood and looking at all the details of the old Victorian buildings. That theater looks so grande! Oh and that market!

You're so lucky to live next door to your bestie. Mine's in Cali for another year or so for her hub's job. I miss her like crazy.

kelly ♥ said...

I bet you have some great buildings where you live! In the town where Kyle grew up there are ton of historical Victorian homes. One of them has a big attic with windows, and you can see in it at night. Inside there is a carousel horse. Super creepy.