Alot Of This And Alot More Of That.. - Put the Kettle on.... Blog at - 282263

Put the Kettle on....

Alot of this and alot more of that.. 
Aug. 20, 2012 1:20 pm 
Updated: Aug. 26, 2012 5:15 am
I've been busy.  Not just busy - real busy.  My summer flew by without any of the things on my to-do list getting done.  At least not the things on my list that would classify as chores.  I had plenty of fun.  We just got back from our annual trip to Virginia down by the Shenandoah National Park where we camp, hike and hit the wineries.  Suzy the black lab usually goes along for the hiking and camping part, but this year she had a pulled muscle and the vet thought it best if she stayed home and rested so she'd be ready for the hunting season.  Suzy didn't really mind.  She got to go to Grandma and Grandpa's house and play with "cousin" Dream, their black lab.  She came home happy and spoiled. 

We did get a pleasant surprise visitor for the last 4 days of our trip.  Our daughter, Kristal, decided to drive down and spend some time with her mom and dad.  It was fun to have her along.  She enjoys visiting the wineries and doing the hiking as much as we do.  This year we found a few new wineries and they were great!  The winery with the best and most unique room was like sitting in a jungle.  The tables were scattered around a large greenhouse-like room where there were huge plants growing.   There were papaya, cocoa beans, bananas and all kinds of exotic flowers growing.  We were lucky to be there the day the bananas were ripe and being picked.  After the owner picked the bananas he gave one to each table to sample.  It was a Sumatran banana and very tasty.  Who would have thought bananas would go so well with wine??!!

Another of the wineries had their tasting room right in the barrel room.  That was really neat.  And to get to another one of the wineries we had to drive six miles on a gravel road that was only one and a half lanes wide, up a mountain.  We actually had to put the truck in four-wheel drive at some places to make it up the hill!  The view and the wine was well worth the trip, though.

I started back to work two weeks ago and today was the first day of school for the students.  It has been quite hectic and I was ready for a fun, relaxing weekend this past Friday afternoon.  Saturday morning Kristal called and said she saw where our local winery was hosting a fund-raiser for the Search & Rescue Dog group.  What better way to relax than sipping a nice glass of wine while watching search & rescue dogs demonstrate their skills.  The possibility of winning a prize was there, too, since they had baskets to raffle off.  I called my parents and we all headed to the winery.  The weather was perfect, not too hot and not too chilly.  We found ourselves a table and chose our wines.  We also dropped a few tickets into several of the baskets being raffled off.  Kristal was a winner rather quickly!  She scored a soft-sided animal carrier that was filled with all sorts of great goodies her cocker spaniel, Maggie, will love.  She was quite pleased.  A short time later the next round of basket winners were called.  I won!  My basket had two red wine glasses with a lab head etched on each and some candles.  I was quite pleased to have won this prize.  Unfortunately my mom and dad did not win a basket.  But they had a good time and were glad they came along.

After we left the winery we headed to the Mexican restaurant.  Every Saturday we are having a DJ on the patio so we go for dinner and just hang out on the patio.  This night was also Kristal's birthday, so we had a surprise cake to share with all our friends and family that was there.  Federico brought all the worker's out and had them sing happy birthday to her and presented her with a shot of tequila.  It was a fun evening.

Yesterday we had Federico and his family over for a spaghetti dinner.  Kristal and her husband came, too.  She made a peach crisp from some of the peaches we picked in Virginia and it was delicious!  Everyone enjoyed it, even the kids.  Even after we had already had several cupcakes each.  I had made chocolate cupcakes and frosted them with white icing and then decorated them with Teddy Graham teddy bear crackers, a square of Hershey's chocolate, and a mini-marshmallow; making them sort of a s'more-type cupcake.  The kids loved them.  Little Jocelyn, who is 5, asked for extra teddy bears.  I gave her a small dish of them and she proceeded to decorate her cupcake with a whole gang of teddy bears.  We got a good chuckle out of that.  After her hard work of decorating it she then picked each bear off the top and ate them with the icing stuck on their feet. 

Today was an especially busy day at work.  Tonight we are having fresh lake perch for dinner with asparagus and the last of the peaches I picked in Virginia.  I think I'll go downstairs and find one of those bottles of wine I bought in Virginia to go with the perch.  Then if the rain holds off, a nice soak in the hot tub to finish off my evening before I go to bed. 
Peach pickin' in Virginia!
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The tasting room at one of the wineries
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Kristal with the Sumatran banana
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Enjoying banana with wine.
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Aug. 20, 2012 2:59 pm
I love going to wineries too! Sounds like you hit a lot of interesting ones. Glad you had a good time. Love those peaches too!
Aug. 20, 2012 3:34 pm
Your winery hopping sounds like fun. I have guests coming to stay so I think we'll go out to eastern LI and visit some of the wineries and some of our organic farmers. -( we don't have a restaurant to entertain them in. Fun blog!
Aug. 20, 2012 3:47 pm
Sounds like a nice summer's end for you and your family. That is pretty neat winning the glasses with a lab on them since you have a lab. Sounds like it was your lucky night, and your daughter's also. Camping, hiking it is all so much fun, nice to have had your daughter join you for a few days. Precious memories. I do love visiting the wineries when we camp in the mountains.
Aug. 20, 2012 5:57 pm
Magnolia Blossom - visiting wineries is one of my favorite past times. I love wine, but I just enjoy the atmosphere and the fun people that I meet at wineries.
Aug. 20, 2012 5:59 pm
BSM: There's always something different going on at a winery! We have had some fun events at our restaurant this summer. We have car cruise-ins with a DJ every Tuesday night, the DJ on the patio on Saturday nights and this past Wed. we had our first bike night. It was a huge success. So much so we're having another one in 2 weeks. :)
Aug. 20, 2012 6:00 pm
Sherri - we do love to hike in the mountains. Our days start out with a hike, then off to the wineries we go to rest up and relax to get ready for the next day!
Aug. 21, 2012 2:09 pm
So glad the restaurant is doing so well! Sounds like you have had a blast this summer! Perch and wine YUM! I want to eat at your house!
Aug. 21, 2012 6:20 pm
Hi Cat! I forgot to mention we also had some yummy tomatoes from a friend's garden. It was a perfect summer meal!
Aug. 21, 2012 9:33 pm
Glad to hear the restaurant is doing well. Sounds like you've got some fun stuff going on. In today's world, competition is stiff, so anyone that can step up their game like you have will do very well.
Aug. 22, 2012 3:17 am
Magnolia Blossom: We're also very lucky to have Federico & his family. They know how to run a restaurant and keep the customers happy. Our cook is one of the best, too, and that certainly helps!
Aug. 24, 2012 8:58 am
Sounds like you've had a fun and relaxing time lately. I love the idea of decorating the cupcakes with the Teddy Grahams. My Grands would love that!
Aug. 25, 2012 4:15 am
Paula - I try to steal a fun and relaxing moment every chance I get. Life is too short to just work, work, work!
Aug. 25, 2012 12:27 pm
Oh my, you were right here, in my neck of the woods, the Shenandoah Valley is a hop, skip and a jump away! Which wineries did you visit? Sounds like you've had a wonderful summer, and I agree with your philosophy about stealing those precious moments whenever possible. Life is indeed too short!
Aug. 26, 2012 5:15 am
Wyattsdogster - we come down to your neck of the woods every year! Next year we'll need to try and meet up!! We stay at Misty Mountain Campground in Greenwood and we go up the Skyline Drive as far as we feel like it. LOL. We visited Flying Fox, Cardinal Point, Wintergreen, Glasshouse, Stone Mountain, Whitehall, First Colony,Blenheim, Trump, Hill Top Berry Farm.... and many others... And we always have to eat at The Ordinary at Michie Tavern. Hubby says they have the best fried chicken of anyone!
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Mother Ann

Home Town
Streetsboro, Ohio, USA
Living In
Ravenna, Ohio, USA

Member Since
Oct. 2009

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Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Dessert

Hiking/Camping, Camping, Walking, Reading Books, Wine Tasting

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About Me
I've been married for 33 years, and live in Ohio. We have a daughter who is married and lives nearby. Our son graduated from college and moved to South Dakota. He has his own place but still goes to visit my sister and brother-in-law and have dinner with them occasionally. We have two black labs that get to go duck hunting with dad and two cats. We own a Mexican restaurant and are learning alot about the food industry. I love to eat, go camping, read, spend time with family and friends, watch movies, and drink wine; not necessarily in that order.
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake - anything chocolate is fine with me. Seafood, chicken dishes and slow-cooker fare.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My husband and I enjoy cooking together with wine. We pop open a bottle of wine and get cooking. :-)
My cooking triumphs
Whenever I can put together a meal that gets many compliments and leaves the diners satisfied is a triumph in my book! I love to cook meals for family and friends.
My cooking tragedies
When I was first married we had my grandparent's-in-law over for a pot roast dinner. The meat came out great, but the potatoes and carrots were still half raw. My husband's grandfather went to cut his fork into a carrot and it flew off his plate. He looked at me, winked, and said he loved his carrots that way!
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