Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Weekend

Jeremy and I had a fairly busy weekend. Baylor was playing it's homecoming game against K-State Saturday at 3:30. If they won, they'd be bowl eligible. We also had tickets to the UMaine - North Dakota hockey game up in Orono (about an hour away) for 7pm. We decided that we'd go up to Jeremy's office on campus to listen to the football game (since it wasn't being televised) and then walk over to the hockey game after that.

Jeremy decided that since we were headed up to Orono that day, we should stop by Bangor and do some shopping. He was wanting/needing some dress pants and found a coupon for Express online. Since an Express just opened at the Bangor mall (45 minutes away and the nearest place to us to buy things like pants - living in a small town can be rough sometimes), we decided to head up there before listening to the football game. Turns out Express was having some crazy sales. Jeremy ended up buying two pairs of nice pants and I got a pair of earrings - a $140 value and we paid $53!

We ended up only being able to listen to the first half of the football game since lightning delayed it for almost two hours. We had a healthy 10 point lead at the half so I wasn't too worried about losing (a few years ago I would have been - the Baylor team of yore would have found a way to lose, but not this year's team!). We went to the hockey game and I called my dad at intermissions to get updates on the score. He's a K-State fan so he wasn't too thrilled that they lost.

The hockey game was packed! If it wasn't sold out, it was close. It was fun and UMaine won 4-2, beating #2 North Dakota. Here is us after the game - Jeremy thought ahead to wear UMaine colors while I'm sporting my Baylor gear (that you can't see):



We got back pretty late Saturday night so I had to get up early Sunday morning to make an apple-raisin bread for church. It was "blue jean Sunday" at church this week - that is, everyone wears their blue jeans to church and stays after for lunch and to do the fall cleaning.

The weekend definitely went by too fast. Why oh why aren't they longer?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Working at the Food Pantry

October is our church's month to help run the local food pantry. I've gone twice now to volunteer. Mostly I just help people pick out their food and help stock shelves. Spending time there has made me think how blessed Jeremy and I are - we can afford to buy food and buy what we want, for the most part. Now we aren't eating high price items a lot, but we can choose what we want to eat and how we want to eat. It must be really hard if you have to follow a special diet yet are relying on food pantries to help feed yourself or family. While there are some sugar free and gluten free options at the pantry, most of the foods aren't either. Also, there is a lot of meat given to the families, which I'm sure they enjoy. I, on the other hand, wouldn't be able to take a lot of the food given since I don't eat meat (except fish). I am so lucky that I can choose to follow this semi-vegetarian diet and have the means to do so.

I was pleased to see all the fresh fruits and vegetables at the pantry. Some local grocery stores and farmers donate some of their bruised or almost-too-old to sell items. Also, the families can take "as much as they can use" of these items! I thought this was awesome, because too often the foods donated to pantries are overly sugary/fatty/full of sodium. Some of the people bypassed the table completely, but I was pleased to see so many people taking advantage of the fresh fruits and vegetables by loading up and talking about what they were going to make with the giant zucchinis/tomatoes/etc.

The pantry also receives day old desserts such as cakes, pastries, pies, etc. I have found this is completely typical from the work I've done at other pantries and homeless shelters. In Waco, we were always getting tons of cake, but little in the way of nutritious foods. I'm glad there is a nice balance here. Both times I've been at the pantry here there have been some lemon meringue pies. I was surprised to see them go towards the end of the day. I LOVE lemon meringue - I'd totally pick that over cake or pastries any day.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Yet Another Pizza

In my never ending quest to eat new pizzas, I made yet another new one this week. Jeremy brought home a bunch of red peppers from the farm we work at last week and I couldn't decide what I was going to do with them. Yesterday, we were having pizza for dinner and we didn't have enough basil pesto for both pizzas. Suddenly it came to me - I'd roast the peppers and make a red pepper pesto for one pizza.



I was afraid the red pepper taste would be overwhelming, but it isn't. Since I roasted the peppers first, it is a pretty mild taste. I used almonds instead of pine nuts in the pesto since that is what I had. I should have used less olive oil - I forgot that peppers have more water in them than basil so they need less oil. Oh well. I topped it with some mozzarella and I must say it turned out pretty good. Jeremy says it's "okay" but he'd prefer a bbq, tomato sauce, or pesto pizza. Then again, he's not a big red pepper fan. He did eat some though.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Maine's Fall Colors


Summer is basically over now in Maine. I've actually had to wear a coat every day for a while now. One of the best things about summer being over is it means that Fall is here - which means that the leaves are changing everywhere. I cover a good swath of the area, driving between Bangor and Bar Harbor, so I've really gotten to see a lot of them. Last weekend Golda and I finally got around to driving around and taking some pictures.

The University of Maine in Orono has a pretty campus right now. Here's a few shots of the library:




And here's another building nearby that I forget the name to:


Part of the south Bangor waterfront (not really a lot of color, but I thought it was pretty):

And finally back closer to home in Bucksport:




And then a few final photos in a random cemetery in Bucksport (apparently I'm supposed to mention this is my mother-in-laws favorite place). I think it'd pretty awesome to see 4-5 generations of a family all in one place, but I'm sure this is going the way of the buffalo nowadays since it isn't as common to stay close to home now.

Wanna come visit yet?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Registered and Ready to Go

It only took a few weeks and way too much money, but my car is now fully registered and street legal in the state of Maine. This is the first state I've had a car in that requires a state inspection every year. While getting my car inspected they discovered I needed new struts on all four wheels. Sigh. They did say that everything else looked great, especially for the amount of miles on it. And the mechanics were impressed that there was no rust on the car. That's because the car has lived in Tennessee it's entire life, before moving here. There is no snow in Tennessee, which means no salt on the roads, which means no rust. Also, no oceans and no salt water in Tennessee. Yes, Tennessee is a good place to be a car. Besides all those mountains they must go up and down.

Speaking of struts, Jeremy found out that his new-to-him car needed a new strut (along with other things) this week as well. Luckily, since he's only had the car a month and a half, the dealership he got it at fixed everything for free. They said they should have caught it before they sold him the car. This was such great news to us.

This is also the first state in which I've had a car registered that requires a front plate. Which means I can no longer have my Yooper plate on the front.

This is a sad day indeed. My sister Betsy gave me this plate for Christmas in college and it adorned my Trooper and then my Accord in both Texas and Tennessee. Alas, I've had to take it down. In it's place is a standard Maine Chickadee plate,


as I didn't opt for one of the fancy lobster plates.


Maybe I should have.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Fall Food

Fall foods are my favorite seasonal foods. If cherries were ripe in the fall, it would be perfect since I also love cherry season. Last year I discovered how much I love acorn squash and made it frequently so I was excited to see our first acorn squash of the season in our CSA box this past week. I baked it for dinner tonight with a bit of butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Divine. I also have planned our first pumpkin dish of the season for this upcoming week - pumpkin soup. I love soup and I love pumpkin so it's great.

Today I needed to use up the rest of the zucchini we got in our box this week. It seems like it will never end and Jeremy and I are both getting a little tired of eating it. I decided to make some zucchini bread out of it, but we didn't have quite enough so I added in some grated honey crisp apple. Another reason to love fall - honey crisp apples are on sale. These have been my favorite since I first tasted them two years ago.

The bread tastes pretty good, but the texture is a little weird - moist and almost spongy. I think I should have either squeezed out some of the moisture from the apple or maybe added a bit more flour. I'll have to play around with it and see what I can do. At least it tastes fine.