Friday, December 25, 2015

Rodeo Beach, Sausalito, California

After days of raining, we had a sunny day today on Christmas. I took advantage of the nice weather and drove to Marin Headlands in Sausalito with the pooches. I ended up at Rodeo Beach. It was beautiful out there. I don't think I had ever been out there before. It was also Cracus' first day trip. He was so excited and couldn't stop pulling and sniffing everything.

There were many dogs around. Some had leashes on and some were leash free. Since it was Cracus first time there, I kept both of them on the leash. It had been a while since I took Kelsey on a day trip, too. She was very excited as soon as we got off the freeway. She got up in backseat and started barking at the bicyclists passing by the car.

Kelsey is probably about twelve years old now, which is quite old for a dog her size. She has been getting slower and slower. However, she always wants to come along. I was worried she would not be able to make it up the hill. As soon as we got to the top, she laid down and took a break to enjoy the view. Both Cracus and Kelsey seemed to really enjoyed the hike along the coast. I had a good workout as well.  Both dogs were so tired after they got home. They went to sleep early tonight.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Lékué Egg Cooker

Last week one of my new colleagues gave me a set of Lékué egg cookers as a holiday gift.  They are just the cutest things. If you have been following my blog, you know that I love mushrooms and anything mushroom shaped. I have only been at my new job since end of August this year, so I was just amazed how she picked this gift for me.

Today I finally got the time to try it out. I brushed inside of the cooker with olive oil and lined it with some baby spinach. I put a couple grilled shishito peppers in there just because I grilled a bunch last night. Now about these shishito peppers, according to Wikipedia, about one of ten peppers is spicy. Last night I had them for the first time, and the first one I ate set my face on fire. I was very surprised and wasn't sure if I could eat another one.  Fortunately, the next 2 peppers weren't as spicy, but I would say one out of five is spicy for the batch of peppers I got. They are very good though, so I couldn't stop eating them. I think my tolerance for hot peppers just went up a notch last night.

I sprinkled a little salt and pepper and put the lid back on. It was cooked in microwave for about 50 seconds, then I heard it popped. I guess the egg popped.  Luckily it didn't make an explosive mess in there because it had a lid.  The egg was fully cooked after 50 seconds.  Next time I will try 40 seconds for a softer egg. This is a great way to cook an egg with other vegetables or meats. I am going to pick up some gorgonzola cheese and mushrooms later for more experiments.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Basket Artist

Baskets made by Michelle

Shortly after we moved to our new location, I found out that my next door neighbor is a basket artist. I was very intrigued by it. When I hear basket making, I tend to think of South American or Southeast Asian women in small villages making baskets by hand for generations to make money as a living. I know my next door neighbor doesn't just make baskets to pay her bills. This is one of the most expensive places to live in the world! 

Baskets made by Michelle

A few nights ago, as we were taking out our garbage, Michelle, my next door neighbor invited me to her pottery and basket party on Sunday. Finally!  I would have a chance to check out her baskets! I was very much looking forward to it.   

Today I went over to my neighbor's house in the afternoon, and I was amazed by all the beautiful baskets.   Some of them were made by her, and some of them were made by village women in  Guatemala. Michelle works with Mayan Hands, a fair trade organization, to help Mayan women support themselves by selling baskets and other handmade items directly to the consumers. Michelle, being a master basket weaver, actually has traveled to Guatemala to teach the women basket weaving techniques. Wow! I guess someone has to teach Maya women how to make baskets. Nobody is born with that knowledge. 

Baskets made by Mayan women in Guatemala

I got Michelle's permission to take photographs so that I can show them to others who love handmade baskets. I want to help Mayan women, too!

Baskets made by Mayan women in Guatemala