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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Davis Weekend

After 7 or 8 weekends spent in Livermore (I've lost count) with my parents, Dave and I spent a much-anticipated weekend at our OWN house in Davis. It was fabulous--full of a million little projects, lots of cooking, and hanging out with Edward, who flew into California last Friday.

Braving the rain, Edward helped me tackle some long overdue maintenance in the yards. All this stuff with my mom happened right when the garden was planted and I have neglected it ever since. Once the time changed, I was never at home during daylight hours except in the morning before school (and I certainly wasn't going to do any gardening that early!). Edward and I applied mulch to the vegetable garden after thinning the greens, onions, and beets. Then we planted some things in the front yard and applied mulch around everything to keep it nice and warm. Which is good since it has been below freezing every night since then.
Back in the spring of 2007 (right when we were moving into our new house), my dad and brother took a road trip from Kentucky to California to haul back a photographic enlarger they purchased. (Don't ask.) Along the way, they bought me a salt-cured ham as a southern souvenir. I never did anything with it because I was just so busy with things like moving furniture into the house and whatnot. Finally, after over 1.5 years I decided to open it up and eat some. Last Sunday I pulled the paper off it, only to discover that it was covered in mold. It grossed me out and I had to wait a week before diving into it anyway. Apparently mold is normal--the instructions even tell you how to remove it (vinegar, clean scrub brush, and warm water).
I always thought only wimpy people use electric knives, but after spending a full 45 minutes hacking away at that ham, I really wish I had one. (So if anyone ever buys me another whole ham, please also get me an electric knife. Thanks.)

The instructions warn that the ham should be eaten right away, otherwise an increasingly intense flavor develops. It also suggests soaking the ham in cold water before cooking to remove some of the salt. Since I was so tired from all the hacking, I just fried it up. It was super salty, but very good. It's called "country ham" in the south. Yummy!
While I was in the garden and in the kitchen, Dave was in the garage building a doggie door for our babies (I mean our dogs). He got it mostly done, except for painting, weather stripping, and a plastic flap over the hole. The hole is just big enough for the dogs to get through and small enough to keep human intruders out. It has handles on it so we can easily remove it from the sliding glass door track when needed (we'll lay a metal pipe in the track of the door so it can't be opened from the outside). We'll paint the outside half to match the color of the house so it won't be so obvious when viewed from the park.
After all that hard work we were starving so I made pizza for dinner with a salad made of the collard/mustard/beet greens we thinned from the garden. Oh-la-la it was delicious, but what isn't good with pesto, goat cheese, marinated olives, and pepperoni?


MrsTina said...

Can you fedex me a slice of that pizza . . . drool! Hope your doing well! Happy Holidays!

Michael said...

The door looks great! Good work, Dave! Oh, Julie. The pizza looks good, too.