Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lord Grey's Peach Preserves

We've been getting some really tasty peaches at the grocery store lately. I was browsing Rich's Bon Appetit magazine while having lunch by myself earlier this week, and came across a recipe for peach preserves with Earl Grey tea. As a tea lover and a peach lover, this seemed like the perfect combination to me! We bought five pounds of peaches and got to work after dinner tonight.

First, blanch and peel the peaches.

Cut into slices.

Mix with four cups of sugar (uh-oh, not on the diet!) and two tbsp fresh lemon juice, let sit for 30 minutes. Then bring to a boil with four full tea bags and one extra teabag opened up and sprinkled into peaches. Cook for 15-20 minutes.

Remove teabags, skim foam off the top and put into sterilized jars.

Process in water bath for 10 minutes and voila!

The recipe calls for TWO 1 pint jars. We had enough for a whole lot more than that. Don't know if it was a typo or what. We bought a bunch of little jars recently, with intentions of making salmonberry jam (soon) so we sterilized a couple of those, too. And we have two small storage bowls full that we are going to eat right away. In fact, I already tried some tonight and it is super delicious. I have to admit that I really don't get much of the Earl Grey taste, but that's okay, too. Peachy peachy is just fine with me.

Monday, August 29, 2011

This Monday's One Fun Thing

Pinterest. That's all I have to say. Check it out.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

August winds down

Lots going on, as always! Both of us are busy at work, for one thing. Wednesday night, I went back in to host Flash! Unalaska, our weekly news/community events show, with Alyssa from the CVB. We had a lot of fun and she is just so cute and enthusiastic! I told her she is definitely in the right job! Thursday night, I went out for sushi with Andrea, Sonia, Tammy and Melanie to celebrate Melanie's birthday a little late. We have not all been in town at the same time for MONTHS so it was fun to catch up. Tammy and I were lamenting our lack of exercise so joined Mel at the gym on Friday morning. Melanie is pretty dedicated--I am not! I don't always sleep in but even if I am up early, I like to putter around the house in my pj's for hours on end. I might be working, mind you, but I am not showered and dressed. So it was a chore to make myself throw on some workout clothes, stick my hair in a ponytail and drive across town to the community center at--horrors!--9 AM! But we got in a good workout and I was glad I did it. I took the weekend off, but am planning to go in again tomorrow morning. I think I've done all I can do on the weight loss thing by just adjusting my diet so need to get serious about exercising.

Friday night we met some other friends, Kelly and Elaine, at the second-to-last deck bbq of the season. It was fun to hang out with them! Blogger Steve was supposed to come but got tied up at the eye doctor's office. Or so he says. :) I can't believe the bbq is about done for this year. That makes me think that fall and winter are fast approaching.

Rich had to work Saturday but managed to take most of today off. We had a quiet day and got a few things accomplished around the house but that's about it. Checked in with my mom, who got a bit of Hurricane Irene in NJ but nothing major, thankfully. You can tell we're a little jaded out here when all the locals say that it would be "just another day in Unalaska." :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

This Monday's One Fun Thing

Money management is not my idea of fun. Who wants to budget or pay bills or examine where all the money goes? Wouldn't you rather be out picking berries in the sunshine? Yes, I would.

But I am liking this site called Bundle, which actually makes all of the above a lot easier. Well, not the berry picking part but the money part. After signing up, you link all of your accounts, which allows you to log on to Bundle and see what's happening with your bank, your credit cards, and your retirement funds. It's so much easier than logging onto each one separately. You can't make payments or transfer money on Bundle and it's *supposedly* safe and secure. In addition to checking your balances, it shows you all of your expenditures (which you can categorize) and gives you a tool for setting up a budget. It's been pretty interesting to see everything in one place. There are also price and spending comparisons for different parts of the country, which I have really not delved into since we live in a rather unique place and I'm not sure what good it would do me to know that bread costs a lot less somewhere else.

Check it out here.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Beautiful Unalaska Summer Days

We're having lots of sunshine and warm-ish weather. I am in heaven! We were both off yesterday and took advantage. First we went to the annual Heart of the Aleutians Festival, had lunch, browsed the booths, chatted with friends and bought some of Sharon's decadently delicious chocolates. Man, I am addicted! Her sea salt caramels are the best! So much for the diet--I also had a hot dog and a Coke. Ran into my friend Andrea on the way out and she lectured me about the Coke. :) But, hey, it's not a "festival" without some junk food, right?!

We came back home and climbed into the salmonberry bushes around our house, snagging several pints of ripe berries. We are going to make salmonberry jam....okay, well, Rich is, and maybe I will be his assistant. Then we drove out to Pyramid Valley and walked up past the dam to look for more berries and photo opportunities. Here are two of Rich's photos--Aleutian cotton here and fireweed above. Gorgeous!

Our son in law Miles celebrated his birthday on the 19th. Happy birthday, Miles!

And happy anniversary to Susan and Corey today!

I'm gearing up for a visit to Texas in less than a month! Can't wait to see everyone again. My job is sending me to Anchorage for a development conference in mid September so I am flying from there to DFW, then on to Amarillo for a few days, to Abilene/Clyde for a few days, and back to Dallas to stay with Elle and Beck while Sarah and Miles take a little trip for their tenth anniversary. I am thankful for a flexible job that allows me to squeeze in as much family time as possible!

AND we have finalized plans for our month-long November vacation...yes, I know, we are always traveling! We had no real idea about what we wanted to do till I saw an Alaska Air sale on tickets to Hawaii. We've been there a couple of times already and were thinking about doing something different, but the price was more than right so we are going to Maui for 8 days, then flying to San Diego with another couple of weeks to fill on the west coast or environs. Leaving from LAX the day after Thanksgiving and stopping over in Anchorage for the highlight of the trip...his and hers colonoscopies on the way home. Woohoo! What a way to finish off vacation, right?

Monday, August 15, 2011

This Monday's One Fun Thing

Tundra Golf! Each August, Unalaska Community Broadcasting hosts a crazy golf tournament fundraiser in the hills of Pyramid Valley. As most of you know, there is no *real* golf course here, so we lay one out on the tundra and everyone has a blast trying to play golf as never intended. The weather is unpredictable--the last two years were mostly chilly and rainy and I was semi-miserable working the event for two full days.

This year we were blessed with fabulous sunshine and warm temps on Friday night and all day Saturday. Some of our local firefighters sunbathed during lulls in grilling food for the crowd. You don't see this sight very often in Unalaska!

I was very happy to be out in the sunshine all day!

Fireweed blooming
Sunday was a bit of a different story. The fog was so thick in the morning that no one could see where their golf balls landed. The first team tried to play and decided to come back later. Several more teams came in and made the same decision.

We had our own little "weather hold" for a few hours--it was just as enjoyable sitting and chatting with everyone-- and then the sun came out. The rest of Sunday was gorgeous and we were back on track!

Rich was working but stopped by to say hi after he got off, and brought me some iced tea. Our friend Tammy and her girls also popped in and soaked up some sunshine with us for awhile.

In the "it's a small world" department, some guys came by off a boat and asked if they could play even though they had not registered. I said, "sure!" and found them a tee time. They came back later to play and I was doing my usual promoting of Unalaska by telling them all the things that are going on in town. One guy looked at me and laughingly asked me something about whether I'd been in NJ recently. I was confused, like, how would this person have any idea that I'd been in NJ? I said, "Yeah, actually, I was just in Ocean City in July." He starts laughing and says, "I think you were sitting next to my wife on the plane!" Sure enough, I'd been sitting next to a woman who'd lived out here years ago so we'd been chatting about all things Unalaska and how there's so much going on all the time. She told me that her husband brought his boat out here fishing on a regular basis and maybe she'd come out sometime while he was here. I think I even gave her my card and told her to call me if she did. He was on the same plane but sitting further back and after they got off, she was telling him about our conversation. So he took my picture waving and saying "Hi Robin!" What are the odds?!

It was a very busy, hectic weekend but it went extremely well and I did not even mind all the hours of work because the weather was so fabulous! There are a ton of photos on KUCB's Facebook page (KUCB) if you want to check them out. Or go to KUCB's blog by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Nature Walk

The Convention and Visitors Bureau sponsored a nature walk tonight. It was fun to get out with a different group of people and explore a little bit of Unalaska. This is right in "the valley" near our small lake--we didn't even have to hike or climb to find all of these beautiful flowers.

Some of our fun walk-mates

My attempt to catch a bee on a flower....

What a big field of Aleutian cotton!

Thanks, Alyssa! We had a great time!

Monday, August 8, 2011

This Monday's One Fun Thing

I wasn't sure what I was going to post this Monday but we do not have to look any further than right here in Unalaska. The sun is shining, I read online that it's 58 degrees, though it feels warmer to me, I am wearing a short sleeved shirt (U2 concert--woohoo!), and, yes, Rich made us some fabulous fresh peach mojitos. No, they are not on our diet. Life is grand, and fun....

Saturday, August 6, 2011

An August Saturday

There's been lots going on! Rich has been super busy and shorthanded at work so putting in lots of hours. I've also been filling in at my job and going in earlier than usual. Like 11 AM. Sometimes even 10! Feel sorry for me! We've been going to the Friday night deck bbq at the hotel, which is one of my favorite summer things. Last night we met up with some friends for the bbq and I had to eat fast because my monthly bunco game got switched from Saturday to Friday. After dinner, I rushed on over to Juliette's house, where they'd already started without me (LATE!!) It's always a lot of fun, even if I didn't win a prize. haha Today Rich had to work so I went by myself to the library to hear Andre Brugiroux speak. He was on the ferry that arrived in town for a few hours and the local Baha'i group made arrangements for him to show part of a film about his life and to discuss his adventures as a world traveler.

Andre left his home in France at age 17 with 10 francs in his pocket and has been traveling ever since. He spent many years hitchhiking around the globe and has visited every country in the world. He says he averaged a dollar a day, traveling over 400,000 km! The map behind him shows his routes and all of the places he's been. Because he only had a couple of hours off the ferry, we watched just a portion of the documentary about his travels and then enjoyed hearing some stories first hand. He was such an interesting guy, funny and self-deprecating, and full of love and appreciation for the many people and cultures that populate the world. He's 73 now and says he believes that peace is not only possible, but inevitable. I like that way of thinking! I bought his book One People, One Planet--The Adventures of a World Citizen, and am excited about reading more. Here's some info from Wikipedia.


From there, I stopped by the Post Office, where all of these gorgeous flowers are blooming. It's summer!

Dwarf fireweed

Either petruski or western hemlock parsley :)

Dwarf fireweed again

I'm not sure what these are!


It's been a bit overcast and foggy today. This is one of the scenes I get to see on my way home every day. Lucky me!