Saturday, June 26, 2010

Blast from the Past

This past week has been one of the best weeks I've had in a long time.
One of my very best friends from high school and the early 20-something years came to visit.  We figured we hadn't seen each other for nearly 20 years.  Last time, I was 7 months pregnant and Matron of Honor at her wedding.  She is one of those people nearly everyone can let their hair down around and whose spirit is contagious.  As I sit here flicking away the tears (missing her already), I marvel at how blessed  I've been to have such wonderful friendships in my life.  It's not an easy thing, you know.  Some never have "those kind" of  friends, I've had more than any one person deserves.  Not all life long, but all quality.

While she was visiting, I wanted to show her some of the sites, unfortunately you run out quickly around here.  So day one, we did the Huffman Prairie Flying Field and Interpretive Center a-a-and local tour done!  There is a lot more to see in the area, but neither of us were in the frame of mind to play tourist, so we cast our cares to the wind and played it by ear.

We did go to Young's Dairy for ice cream (practically considered a local sin if you omit this from the show and tell list), where we enjoyed some of their yummy (I use that word a lot, don't I...?) ice cream.  My favorite?  Two actually...Chocolate-Peanut Butter and Key Lime Crunch...OMGosh....'nuff sed, as my uncle used to say.  Seriously, best ice cream in town.
...Oh yeah....they have goats, putt-putt, tractor/hay rides, petting & feeding area, cows, etc.  Great place for the kiddies.
Go there.

On the very last day of the visit Wright-Patterson AFB held it's now annual Tattoo 2010, which one of the web dictionaries defines as "Tattoo: a drumbeat or bugle call that signals the military to return to their quarters".   The show consisted of  fly-overs,

honors and induction services, Air Force bands/singers and special guest performer .38 Special.

The night was capped off with the best fireworks in the area, if not the state.  Their idea?  Instead of an hour long show of a burst here and there in the sky, why not make the whole show a finale!  So it's a short 20 minutes of WOW!  I personally like the idea.  Who wants to sit there unimpressed for an hour?  This is a stroke of pyrotechnic genius.   Thank you Wright-Patterson AFB!!!  You guys rock!
.38 Special mentioned there were 60,000 in attendance.  Not too shabby.  As in past years, I know you'll find us there again.

I hope my dear friend visits me again.  Or better yet, maybe I'll weasel a mini girl's vacation out of hubby and go visit her.  She has many things to teach me and I'd be happy to play Grasshopper to her sage-like wisdom.

Now....go hug your friends.  Tell them I sent you.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Banana Split Festival

Banana Splits....what's not to like here?  Three nice scoops of ice cream, bananas (my favorite fruit) and fudgy, fruity sauces.  The thought of one instantly makes you feel like a giddy 8 years old, covered with rich goo.  My grandmother once made me one in a red banana boat.  I must have been about 4, but the memory is as vivid as if it were yesterday, and I still can see myself sitting at her kitchen table waiting for the special treat.  I must have been very good that day. 

So when hubby suggested a trip to Wilmington, Ohio's Banana Split Festival today it was thumbs up all around. 
When we arrived we were a little worried we'd have to do some major walking just to get to the festival grounds, you see the temperataure was well into the 80's (humid as all get-out) and parking was across the street.  But the festival folks were very efficient, having a nice little golf cart shuttle service running betwixt and between.  

No sooner had we arrived on the grounds than we honed in on the Banana Split tent.

You place your order, receive your dish...
Collect your banana and add topping as desired...
And wa-la....
Okay, so I wussed out.  I only got one scoop of chocolate ice cream....I'm a banana split loser.  It was still good and the chocolate ice cream was soooo smooth.  They ordered all the ice cream for the festival splits from a place in Wilmington called Peppermint Patty's...very scrumptious.  We passed it on the way out of town and decided that we would need to make a pit stop there sometime soon.

Aside from the obvious attraction, the rest of the festival was your typical small town doin's.
Dunk tanks and bandstands...
Game area and craft alley....

...I did find the cutest necklaces sold by the sweetest lady I'd met in a while.  Apparently her tent had blown over earlier in the day and she nearly threw in the towel.  I'm glad she was a trooper and didn't, I enjoyed our meeting.
Here is the necklace I chose...
She explained to me that she makes them herself and they are made out of scrabble pieces!  I thought it was such a neat idea and she really did a very nice job on these.  So I asked her if I could post her info on the blog and she was gracious enough to allow me to share.
Her name is Jennifer and you can find her at:  She sells her necklaces for $5.00 each and there is no additional charge for a custom request.  Shipping and handling is .80.  I thought it was extremely reasonable.  So if you're looking for a well made, adorable bauble, check her out! 
(PS...I am in no way affiliated with this vendor...I just like her stuff....;-))

So much for the latest in the Riverspitter Adventure Journal.  I'm getting geared up for some baking in the next week or so and hope to post something new in that department.  What to bake...what to bake....?

Thanks for tagging along today.  Somehow posting these sorts of things here puts the icing on the cupcake for me...or should I dare to say...cherry on top...;-)
More later...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Antiquing Haul

Went to one of my favorite antique haunts today, Waynesville, Ohio.  During the year Waynesville hosts several events such as the Sauerkraut Festival, a Civil War Encampment, Fall Gathering and Christmas in the Village.  My favorite reason for roaming it's Main Street is the antique stores that line both sides, guaranteeing me a  find of some new little bauble or brick-a-brack.

Today SIL and I went antiquing while the other half of the family went to the National Museum of the USAF.  I think I got the better deal.  I'm not saying the museum isn't a blast, but I've been there a million times (...or the number of guests that have visited over the years...) and just need a little break from the usual touristy stuff.
Waynesville fit the bill today and I bought a few things for the kitchen.

I will now share my haul...(said with the excitement of a 12 year old girl)...

I found these cookbooks to add to my collection, not paying more than $4.50 for any one of them.  The YWCA Hong Kong booklet was .50 and all the recipes inside are in both English and Chinese.  I  couldn't resist.  I also loved the red book's title..."The Mystery Chef's Own Cook Book".  It called my name...and is now Riverspitter's own cookbook....Hopefully they will yield some interesting long lost recipes that I can conjure back to a new life.

Next I found these saucers for $1.00 each.  I like to use them as spoon rests, both when I'm at the stove and when I'm assembling recipes at the counter.  They have personality and they are cheap...yeah...
The green saucer had a whole set of dessert plates that matched, but I just couldn't justify another purchase. Though give me time, they were beautiful, perfect for Christmas.

Then I ran into this salt and pepper set.  Nothing special here, I thought they somewhat matched the stoneware I have scattered about my kitchen.  Ended up I have a terrible sense of color, too mustard-y, but for a $2.00 gamble I don't feel cheated.

Last, but not least, and my favorite purchase...this crock for a whopping $22.  I like to stash my utensils in a small crock next to the stove.  The one I've had for years was nice and very functional, but didn't really match the color theme I have going (okay, I know there's a naughty word for this dysfunction, and yes, I am that word). Today, after years of searching I found an acceptable replacement.....ta-da....
Here is the before...
and after...

It's another one of those small things in life moments... 

I'm afraid nothing else eventful happened today.  Just enjoyed my time with SIL and prowling the streets of a sweet little town.  I'm hoping to go back again soon.  I had my eye on a couple other things, which I may convince myself I really do "need".  Maybe it's hubby who needs the convincing....I dunno...

Hope your summer is off to a lovely start.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sour Cream Dressing

Hubby brought in a nice bouquet of assorted salad greens from our little yard garden recently and I immediately ran for his grandma's dressing recipe.  Nothing is better on fresh greens than this elixir.  If the greens are a little bitter this helps sweeten them up, and if you like a little punch, the vinegar can be adjusted to accomodate.
What I really adore about the recipe is that is takes only about 2 minutes to throw together.  Shaking included.  So why not join me in a lovely, old recipe that's sure to become a summer favorite.

(I could almost paste the pictures here and let them tell the story, but I am a control freak and must have my way with them...)

For starters, I prefer using a small leftover pickle jar or the like.  I think this one encased some lemon curd which was devoured in short order.  They have nice tight seals on the top and 'usually' don't leak.
That being said, pour in the half and half and salt.  Then add the sugar...
And the vinegar....

Now, give 'er a good shakin'!  I know Grandma's recipe says to stir after every addition, but I don't find it makes a lick of difference.  So for the sake of saving those ever-so-precious seconds...go for it!  It'll feel good breaking the rules (don't tell Grandma!).

The only thing left to do now is to make my salad happy.  Doesn't it look happy?
 This recipe is very versatile.  I've used sugar free alternatives in place of the sugar and I've used home "brewed" herbal vinegars to spice things up a little.  I think you could change it up in many different ways and still have a lovely dressing.  Hope you enjoy playing around with this, and I bet if you ask your grandma, she'll have something similar in her trusty recipe box!

Without further adieu...

 Sour Cream Dressing

Stir together:
1/2 c. half and half
1/4 t. salt
1 heaping T. sugar
Stir well and add:
1 T. vinegar
Stir. Taste. Feel free to adjust as desired.
Pour over fresh salad greens.  M-m-m...

Thank you Grandma, 90+ years young.  You're a gem and I'm glad you came with the "package".  I love you.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Storm Season

It's the time of year when one can expect those pesky, but beautiful thunderstorms to come rolling through, which is precisely what happened tonight.  This part of the country is known for it's 'wild weather'.  The sky can change on a dime.  One minute beautiful, then look out!, there it is on the horizon, moving this way...a big ol' bank of black clouds.
 (Doesn't the sky look weird?  I'd heard later that there had been a tornado warning in the valley!)

I typically don't mind the spectacle.  It's dazzling.  Unless of course I'm deep into something special on the television and the satellite goes out, which is not the norm (me into television I'm mean).

The thunder and lightening were welcome tonight.  The plants in the garden needed a good
watering and I needed the cool air that it brought.

I spent a little too much time cleaning the cupboards in the basement with ammonia and no ventilation.  My asthmatic lungs are sad now.

Two hours later...
The storm has passed, the atmosphere is fresher and so are my lungs.  I love a good rain.  It's something I truly miss from home, but have found living without (i.e. seeing the sun more than 3 months a year) an okay thing, too!

Here's to sleeping well tonight!