Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Happenings

We've been in Loma Linda for a month, and in that time, we've done a lot of cooking, too much buying, and some fun exploring.  We've made some new friends, became reacquainted with old ones, and are continuing to discover that our best friend is the one we wake up next to each morning. :)

In general, California has some nice things to offer.  Warm weather, a long growing season, fresh oranges from the backyard tree, lots of fresh fruit and produce, and our first home.

But let me tell you, I've never seen a place with so many streets called "Orange Ave", "Orange St", "Orange Blvd", etc.   And "Citrus St" with all it's variations is just as bad!  I have yet to come across "Lemon Lane".  When I do, I just might look for real estate along its delicious curbs.

One thing we've noticed is that Loma Linda rarely has clouds.  In fact, it had been several weeks and we hadn't remembered seeing any.  That's right, not a one!  So imagine my surprise one morning when I was walking out to water "the babies" (That's what we call the plants in our little garden.) and I was faced with this:
Not only were there clouds, but they were separated from the clear blue sky in a very straight line.  It was amazing!  I couldn't get a full picture but the line of clouds went across the whole sky!

Food
I've been experimenting with several of types of breads.  Our toaster oven, wonderful though it is, is too short to tolerate fully risen breads in a normal bread pan.  The top comes out scorched because it's so high.  So I've been experimenting with artisan free-form breads.  This was my first attempt.  The texture and taste needed some work but at least it looked nice! :)  If you have any bread suggestions, send me an e-mail or leave a comment and I'll be sure to try it!


We can get lots of fruits and veggies for pretty cheap.  The avocados on our tree out back haven't ripened yet, but we are eagerly awaiting the day that they do!

Our little oven can make a pizza!  Yaaayyyy!!!

Yesterday I wanted to make a special treat so I assessed our limited supplies and found this recipe for Blueberry Crumb Bars.  (Don't worry mom, I made the recipe quite a bit healthier).  All in all, it was pretty tasty.  If you decide to give it a go, I would recommend ice cream or something creamy to go with it.  It can be a little dry (but that's probably because I didn't follow the directions to a T.)  I also got a chance to use the awesome grater that Aunt Lyn gave us.

Garden
There are raised beds in the back, and we decided to start a garden.  God blessed us with 8 free tomato plants to get things started.  (I went to a nursery to get some vegetable plants and they only had a few withered ones left.  The nice lady said I could have them for free!)  We weren't sure if all the tomatoes were going to make it but they did and are now doing splendidly!

Here is our garden before planting and one little withered tomato plant!

 We also got this little peppermint plant for free.  Barry and I affectionately called him "Pepper Baby".  We planted him in a pot outside our door and tried to take meticulous care of him.  But he didn't make it, and we were very sad.  Wasn't he pretty though?

Here is our garden now!  

We have 8 tomato plants, 4 basil plants, 1 pepper plant, 1 mint plant, 1 yellow squash, and 1 melon plant.  There are a few more raised beds that aren't being used so we are hoping to plant an herb garden too!

Hiking
An old friend of mine from Southern lives here, and she has gone overboard in making us feel welcome and showing us around.  We went hiking with her two Sabbaths ago and found a neat spot for further explorations (as long as one has a semi-off-roadable car....).  We've also had fun going to thrift stores and canning pears that were on a ridiculously good sale.

15 comments:

Lorrie said...

You have an avocado tree?? That's Amazing!!! Yuuum

EEK said...

your food section has me delighted... Yay for artisan bread! I too have been experimenting with loaves and lentils and lemon juice in my own little kitchen. Everything looks absolutely scrummy, especially the pizza! Miss ya...

Christy Joy said...

Emily, how did you know that I've been experimenting with lentils!?? lol - a picture that I didn't include (but maybe I should have) was of a lentil loaf that I concocted out of the leftovers from a lentil stew that I had made. I don't mind legumes (of the lentil and bean variety) but I always found other food so much more exciting to make. But now I'm trying to learn how to make lentils and beans up right. It's definitely been a learning process; Barry has been very kind in his culinary tastes. If you have any bread/lentil/food suggestions or recipes, let me know!

Elwyn Garaza said...

Christy, you make Loma Linda sound like an adventure, like it's a different place than the one I grew up in! Great pictures, too!

Christy Joy said...

Why thank you, Elwyn :)

Caitlin said...

Have you experimented with muffins, biscuits, or rolls / mini loaves of your bread recipe... or pita and other flat breads? or soft pretzels? Pretzels are really fun! I've only made them once but I know you would enjoy it. Just some ideas :)
Blessings! and Happy Sabbath!
by the way - I love those raised beds - tons of potential! the garden looks exciting :) I'm sure that it will grow bountifully! perhaps you and Barry could serenade it with a lovely violin / cello duet - for classical flavor ;)
miss you!

Kristin said...

Christy, can I just say you're amazing :D Love you and miss you. And I'm really glad you found Liz!

shama said...

I love your garden! Looks like you are having lots of fun. :) When I was out there for 9 weeks this summer I was more than thrilled the one time I saw rain.

Joel said...

Why didn't you ever make any of that good food for me? ;)
Looks smashing! Wish you were here!

Johonn said...

Looks and sounds great! Missed you guys at Metallak this year!

you may be interested in this book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312362919?ie=UTF8&tag=arbrinfimiada-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0312362919

Johonn said...

...also this blog/site: http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/

Marjorie said...

Aww Christy, I loved your post! You've been doing many of the things I've been wanting to do that school is keeping me from. Thanks for calling yesterday... you absolutely made my day! Can't wait for that peanut stuff... ;)

Christy Joy said...

Caitlin! I got a muffin book at the library and it has lots of cool ideas but I don't have a muffin tin yet so I haven't tried them out yet. ...I've never tried pretzels. They sound good! :)

Oh dear Joel, I'm sorry I didn't cook for you more. But I suppose the reason is because for the first time I don't have school to keep me crazy busy. If you come visit, I'll make you lots of yummy food!

Thanks for the links, Jonathan! I'll have to look into those :)

Christy Joy said...

Oh, jonathan! I just followed your links and I realized that that's a version of the book Joel and I got mom for Christmas. She sent me the recipe and that's what I was using for the artisan bread that I made. I still have lots more to try though!

Ali said...

Wow, looks like you guys have having a great time in California so far! Your comments about the orange/citrus-named-streets made me giggle. You should read "Oranges" by John McPhee. It's mostly about the Florida orange market, but still has some fascinating info about oranges and other citrus fruits.

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