Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Trees

There's one thing about Christmas that will always remind me of my Grandparents. Getting the tree. For years while I was growing up they had a Christmas tree farm and when Christmas would come around they would sell Christmas trees to everyone in the towns surrounding ours. People would come from miles away, bundle up and take a wagon ride to the top of the hill to find that perfect tree that would bring cheer to their homes for the holiday. The wagon ride was what everyone looked forward to. Once they would climb into the wagon they'd take their pick on a hay bale and hang on for the journey. Through the snow drifted field, over the bubbling creek, up the slick hill to the top where my Grandpa would drop them off. You all know the next part, the search for the PERFECT tree :) Once they found it they'd cut it down, with the saws provided from my Gramps, and then they'd drag it down the hill, over the walking bridge, through the field back to the house. With rosy cheeks and sparkles in their eyes they would greet and pay my Grandma or the guys working the lot.
As my sister and I got older we'd help out on the lot: greeting people, showing them the trees on the lot, taking their money, and baling their trees. I remember being down at Grams during tree season, she'd have her boots and gloves by the wood stove and as soon as someone would come along she'd be there helping them out.

Sadly however, there aren't many more trees on the hill after all these years. My Grandparents head to Florida now in early November and so we brave the field, creek and hill with our Subaru and search for the perfect tree. I know that when people drive by the hill they remember the good days of finding that perfect tree and the memories that my Grandparents helped them create.

I hold the days with my Grandma close to my heart... not only watching and helping them sell trees, but all the time she's put into teaching me how to quilt, crochet pot holders, and helping me make rugs.
Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa, for all the great memories that you have given us and so many others! <3

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Special Dinner

I've been working on this blog for a while. Tonight (2:18 am) Asa's trying to help someone who slid off the road and so I decided to make good use of my time and finish the blog while I'm waiting to go back to bed. WE woke up to a car just spinning out over and over again so He took our ashes down there to help him out.


Ok so I never got around to telling everyone about our exciting adventure in NYC the last time. Asa had done work for this man who had a restaurant in NYC a while ago. While Asa was working for him he put together a lantern and the man paid him for his time. Asa ended up giving him the money back and asked if he could take his wife to Roberto's restaurant. Roberto thought it was a great idea so we looked forward to the time when we could try out his place.

A couple weeks ago when we went to the city we left here around 5 pm and headed straight for the Bronx. I was totally unprepared for the amazing cuisine that awaited us. We walked into a cozy restaurant, dim lighting, and people chatting. There was only one table that was empty in the entire place and we were ushered to the table. We sat there drinking our water and Asa explained to the waiter that Roberto knew we were coming and that we'd like to say hi. They quickly went and got Roberto. He came out and chatted with Asa, Emily and I for a while. It was pretty funny when he informed Asa that he doesn't look like an "upstater" any more. :) He asked us if there was anything we didn't eat and the proceeded to order our meal . Emily and I just stared in amazing when he just slightly lifted a finger and the waiters were at our side!

I'm not going to remember all the names for the dishes... if Emily would be writing this blog this would know. Somehow she was able to catch all the names, for some reason it was a little harder for me to catch what they were saying at times! The would bring out a dish and then serve each one of us and before leaving our table they would tell us to "enjoy!" :) As soon as we'd finish eating one dish they'd take our plates away, bring out clean plates and comeback with more food. I seriously have NEVER experienced something so amazing! :) Emily and I kept looking at each other giggling and saying, "It's just like in the movies!" I'm not going to lie, I actually felt like royalty! Asa enjoyed seeing us get such a huge kick out of the entire experience!

This was our first appetizer. It was actually pretty funny because before he ordered he asked if there was any food we didn't eat, my mind instantly went to seafood. I try to be open to the stuff but for some reason it's the one food I don't enjoy eating. However this stuff was MELT IN YOUR MOUTH delicious! It was Shrimp and Scallops with a while creamy sauce.

The next appetizer was smoked mozzarella with olives, roasted red peppers and spinach. I had never had smoked mozzarella before and it was very flavorful.
This was probably my most favorite dish out of everything that we ate while we were there. It's a in the restaurant made pasta, with a fresh made sauce! The flavor burst the second it hit your taste-buds! The pasta was also swirled so the juices would get trapped down inside! mmmm I could go for a bowl right now!
This next dish was had a very different and interesting texture. It was risotto with figs and prosciutto. You know when you bite into a fig newton, there's that grainy texture? This dish had that same texture but as a sauce. The most interesting part was that it almost crackled in your mouth, similar to pop rocks. (I know I sound crazy)

Then the main course we each got a plate with veal, tomato and cheese.

The mood lighting was great!!!

And our desserts! I'll let the picture do the talking:
WE all decided to pick different desserts so that we could taste a few different ones. However after asa got his I was wishing the whole time I would have ordered what he had!
Us with Roberto before we left:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hey! I just wanted to post some pics of my projects today. I woke up pretty inspired to get things checked off my to-do list! I got two cupboards organized, a pie made,
and bread baked.

The kitchen cleaned... and the only thing left that I really want to do isread my Bible and go to bed! BUT before I do that I want to post a teaser of the wedding we shot this weekend.
Emily took most of the pictures but I got to be with the guys when the were tying their ties and getting ready. IT was fun... they kept me laughing!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Here are some fun pictures from Visiting my Sister-in-law! She just had a baby about a week ago!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Life's happenings

This is my last butterfly for this year. It was fun watching it grow from the VERY VERY little catipiller, into it's J, and then getting to see it transform into it's chrysalis, and then on to a very beautiful butterfly! The process amazes me and causes me to stand in wonder of the one who created these creatures!

SO yes, I've decided to be exciting and write a blog post! :) A couple weeks ago Asa and I went to my cousin's house to work on some of his porches. We had a really good time and even though it was crazy getting back in time for work EARLY that Saturday morning it was worth it! Here's a really funny shot of my cousin's cat watching the guys work:

We got back Saturday, I worked, we picked apples andwent to meet some of our friends to press our own apple cider! Our neighbors let us pick applesoff of their trees and from only two trees we got about 8 gallons of cider! Our friends did bring that many apples so we endedup letting them use some of ours. Afterwards they all came back to our house to eat and havea nice time around the camp fire. Unfortunately I just took pictures ofthe pressing cider and nothing else. HOWEVER, I did make AMAZING cakedoughnuts. AND to some of themI added frozen mashed up blueberries and they turned out delicious! (I know, shame on me for not taking pictures!) I really would like to make them again, So I promise I"ll take pictures this next time!

We were only home a few days and we were off to NYC. Asa's family needed to clean out some of their garages. Since Asa enjoys collecting other people's unwanted treasures most of the stuff to be cleaned out was his. SO while he cleaned Emily and I got to be city girls. We met up with some of her friends the first day in the city. It was fun but I was itching to find new places and go shopping. On Friday we went to Brighton Beach, a large Russian area. This is SUCH a FUN place to shop! (and no, I don't have pictures from here either) Emily and I just spent time walking in and out of the unique little shops! We bought Halvah for Asa. If you haven't every tried halvah I highly recommend it. I'd love to describe it to you, but honestly I have a hard time doing that. The first time I had it I didn't like it at all because it didn't taste like I expected it to. It has a rough/pasty texture and it slightly sweet. I bought a sunflower seed one this time and it hasmore of a nutty flavor. It's a very unique treat! On saturday Emily and I got to finally go shopping. We didn't have much luck on the purse shopping in China town, but we did get to try out a cool little tea shop for lunch. go here and on the top pick "chapter one" and you'll see where we went. It was a very cute place and the scones were AMAZING! I have always had a VERY bad impression of scones. Every single scone I've ever had was dry and flavorless, however, this place changed my mind. The scones here MELT in your mouth! (I'll post pictures soon, they're on Emily's camera) I enjoyed this place so much and I highly recommend it for something fun and delicious to try!

TOnight I made homemade maple cream! YUMMMMm it turned out delicious, thanks to Grandma!
Since I've been home I've just been trying to keep busy. It's different now with no gardening, canning, and mowing the lawn. However, there are so many projects I could keep myself busy with. I'm trying to get INSPIRED to be creative with cooking/baking again! Here's a picture of the bottles that I painted
with the lights finally in them. I think they look like fireflies.I'm thinking about selling them... what do you think?
WELLL now that I've caught everyone up on my life maybe next post will be more thoughtful and inspired :D ---Erin

Monday, October 11, 2010

The start of our second year!

We have now passed the first year mark! Yesterday, 10/10/10 (I just had to get that in) was a wonderful anniversary! WE went to Lancaster County to celebrate over the weekend! I'll let my pictures do the talking!

A nice LONG traffic jam... in PA (what a surprise)

Smelling the beautiful flowers my husband had waiting at the place we stayed at!
The view into the bedroom!

More flowers!
I took Asa to Sight and Sound for his birthday!

Some Amish people working in the fields
SOOOo many horses

The biggest most amazing whoppie pie!

Beautiful quilts!
Our Indian meal!

My definition of relaxation!

Goodbye to the weekend... heading out with my flowers

WE had a great weekend I loved how relaxed it was. We didn't really have any major plans besides going to the Joseph play. Which is something I HIGHLY recommend to anyone! It was so powerful and amazing! If I could I would go watch it again this weekend!

My project for today! I had bought a box of banana peppers for five dollars at a local market. Asa and I eat a lot of pickled banana peppers so I decided to try to can them myself! I hope they turn out well.