Quick Trip to SB

So I ultimately decided to bring the decorated cake into work and while it didn’t go as fast as Hulu standards*, it did seem to diminish in size over the course of the morning.  Who knew that cake would be that appealing at 10:30 in the morning.  I did sample a bite later in the afternoon, but was still turned off by the mass amount of frosting that I let the rest be.

*When I worked at Hulu, food would arrive or be placed in the kitchen with a mass email sent around, announcing its arrival.  Seconds later, you could hear a mad rush of people running to the kitchen, hoping to steal a bite of whatever leftovers or delicacy was there, even at 10am!  This was great if I felt the need to experiment with my baking skills or had a bunch of leftovers that I didn’t want sitting around the house (let’s just say my willpower around sugar isn’t prime).  I always knew where to bring them!

Part of today’s fun was taking a half-day of work and then driving up the 101 with my mom and sister to visit my grandparents in Santa Barbara.  I couldn’t believe how brutally hot it was in the valley! I had been in an air-conditioned office (I know, probably terrible for the environment but moving on) most of the day and was shocked as my temperature gauge read 98 degrees!  This made for a wonderful arrival in beautiful Santa Barbara, where the weather was still warm, but pleasant instead of unbearable.

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Nancy and Bob treated us to a delicious barbeque meal complete with homemade potato salad and fresh corn.  I’m not usually much of a potato eater, let alone potato salad, but I always make sure to give it a test, just to be polite.  Plus, I know I can always trust my grandma’s cooking 🙂  And, of course it was tasty!  What did you think, I’d say it was disgusting?   It was filled with celery (my new favorite), seasoned salt and a light mayonnaise.  We also munched on a fresh plum chutney (with orange/lemon slices, pecans, and plums), salad, homegrown tomatoes, and I can’t forget Bob’s grilled chicken, cooked slow enough to keep it tender.  She even included a fresh loaf of zucchini bread (compliments to the latest Sunset recipe)

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Awhile back, I mentioned I was struggling with my Oprah recommended zucchini “health” bread.  I don’t know what I messed up, whether it was not alternating the dry and wet ingredients, using a glass dish, or testing the bread with a knife (apparently a HUGE no-no).  Well, Miss Nancy went out and treated me to a lovely bread pan (just like the one she uses), along with a box of toothpicks, so I’ll have to give it a whirl.  She also mentioned that many of the bread recipes tend to take longer than the recommended time, just something to keep in mind.

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For as long as I can remember my grandmother has skinned all of her fruit and vegetables especially peaches and tomatoes.  She says it is because her mother did the same thing.  The homegrown tomato skins peel right off, but her mother used to pour boiling water over the store-bought variety to help remove the skin.

I swear Nancy (my grandmother) has a green thumb.  She is the most wonderful baker/chef I know of.  She started making her own pies at the age of 10 and has been experimenting ever since and constantly is growing seasonal vegetables.  It’s a shame that many people don’t take the time to experiment with their food, but that’s just it – we don’t seem to have the time!  I happen to love the different types of treats, especially cookies that Nancy creates. Some of her classics include: sugar, butter, molasses, snickerdoodle, and chocolate chip.  Tonight’s sampling included snickerdoodle and oatmeal chocolate chip.  Sure, why not?  I’m not sure how she made the oatmeal chocolate chip selection, but it came out as flat as a disk, actually the way I prefer, and made for an excellent topper upon our ice cream or dipped in milk.  Boy, sometimes its tough to have such a sweet tooth!

One thing I love to do when I am in Santa Barbara is to go running in the morning, when the sun is just starting to peak out from the early layer of fog.  It’s always nice to start the day on the right foot (maybe literally), so that is exactly where you will find Meghan and me tomorrow! Working off that scrumptious cookie and ice cream 🙂

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