Monday, March 27, 2006

Thanks For Asking

Yes, as a matter of fact, I AM So.Freaking.Ready.For.Summer.

It's not just about the weather for me. It's about the fact that I haven't had a real summer since before the last Olympics. Last summer, The Lad was barely of his apnea/Bradi monitor, was needing to be fed every 2 hours at the LONGEST, and The Feared Redhead was pumping -- this limited our travel range AND our time away from the house (or other source of electricity and privacy). The summer before THAT, it was job hunting as a result of the pending layoff, and dealing with TFR's hyperemesis. Most of my time was spent by the bedside of a very sick pregnant woman.

So for both of us, this summer is being looked forward to quite expectantly. The Lad is old enough to take camping, and for drives in the country. We're already thinking about where we want to go camping, and I'm starting to get the Itch.

And yes, the weather has been part of the problem. But not because it's miserable. Au contraire, we're having quite a pleasant early spring. Today, despite a bit of chill in the air, the sun is shining brightly. Yesterday was similar, and warmer, and we enjoyed a lovely walk through Alton Baker Park. But it's still too cold for camping and other TRULY Summer activities, so the fact that it's pleasant enough to hint at what's to come, but still cool enough to make me wait is driving me CRAZY.

In fact, Saturday I was singing along with THomas the Tank Engine's theme music, but changed the lyrics to "They're 2, they're 4, they're 6, they're 8, shunting trucks and hauling freight. Watch daddy go 'round the bend, Thomas and his friends."

I do need to get out.

I'm It!

Thanks for the Memory to GroovyVic at Fiddle Dee Dee.

You Are Coke

A true original and classic, you represent the best of everything you can offer.
Just the right amount of sweet, just the right amount of energy... you're the life of the party.

Your best soda match: Mountain Dew

Stay away from:Dr Pepper

Honey Bee Mine

Last week I mentioned Terroir, the idea that due to factors like soil composition, location has an effect on the way wine, and indeed food in general, tastes. One of the most common foodstuffs of which this is true, yet often is overlooked, is honey. Interestingly, when I opened my email this morning, I had received a link to an online culinary publication that highlights honey this month. That's right -- the type of flower from which the bees extract nectar has an effect on the flavor of the honey. And bees being the little energy conservationists they are, if you place hives near a large source of one particular flower, odds are strongly in favor of that flower predominating the honey produced.

As the article alludes to but does not state, the most common honey in the United States is clover and/or alfalfa honey. There are a few regional favorites of which I'm aware -- in California, Orange Blossom honey is popular. In some other western states, sagebrush honey is. Here in the Northwest, it's blackberry honey.

But as the article also mentions, wildflowers make a dark, sharp-tasting honey. And growing up in Southern Oregon, I developed a taste for honey from an all-too-common local variety of, ahem, "wlidflower". It' s a local secret that not many people even here in Oregon know about, but for those of us raised rurally, especially in the southern end of the state, it can be a passion. The wildflower in question?

Poison Oak.

You heard me right. Poison oak is indeed a flowering plant, and there is SCADS of the stuff all over Southwestern Oregon. And yes, bees produce honey from its flowers. The honey is, like most wildflower honey, darker and sharper than clover honey. It's also a bit stronger, with a wilder flavor, almost spicy or musky. It's an acquired taste, but once acquired, it will haunt you, because it can be hard to find.

But over the weekend I discovered that Market of Choice is stocking it. Glory Bee, a local honey company, produces it, and I knew this, but not many stores will stiock it. MoC has taken a chance, and from what the clerk was telling me, it's getting the same "I've found the Grail!" reaction from other shoppers that it got from me yesterday.