The Mind of Bluesleepy

The weather outside….* 2 December 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — bluesleepy @ 8:39 pm

… is cold!! Brrr!! It didn’t even break 30º today. I couldn’t even fathom weather like this when we lived in Washington — and I am loving every minute!!

Momma and Grace try out the ice at the local ice rinkI dressed for the weather, though. Kurt bought me a leather and faux fur coat last year as a “for the hell of it” present. I was so shocked when I got a random box in the mail (he was on deployment, you see) and opened it up to find a gorgeous denim-blue long leather coat with a faux fur trim. (It’s a Dennis Basso, for you QVC folks out there.) I didn’t get much of a chance to wear it last year, except the day we took Grace ice skating. I was so surprised that they made ice skates for such little kids! They had an infant size 7, and the skates were just too cute.

I could barely stand the cuteness.

I could also barely stand in my skates, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. I am not much of a skater, though I think I only fell once that day.

Today Kurt looked at me and asked me what I wanted to do. His first thought was to go to the Y to swim, but I forgot he said that and got all gussied up with hair and makeup. So instead we went to this local restaurant that is quickly becoming a favorite. Once we were finished eating, Kurt and I looked at each other like, “Ummm. What’s next??”

So we did what I always want to do — we went ‘sploring!

See, when I was a kid, my dad used to pile us kids in the car and take off. It wasn’t that he was mad or anything; he just loved to get himself lost wherever it was that we lived at the time, and then find his way home again. It let us see lots of little out-of-the-way places, things that you wouldn’t see if you stuck to the main drag all the time. When we lived in Nebraska, Dad would take us down all kinds of dirt roads among all the corn fields. It was really a lot of fun.

Imagine the photos I could have taken, if only I had thought of it!!!

Well, Dad probably wouldn’t have stopped long enough for me to take a photo, but that’s neither here nor there.

So this afternoon, we got ourselves slightly lost. It’s hard to get truly lost, since I live on an island. You always end up coming out somewhere familiar within about ten minutes.

But it was still fun. We ended up going off the northern part of the island and arrived in Bristol. We noticed a lot of cops out, and signs saying you couldn’t park on the side of the street today. Come to find out, Bristol was holding its holiday illumination tonight. We knew there was something going on, but couldn’t figure it out.

It was a cute little town, though. I love old houses, and I especially love that most houses carry an informational plaque on the front. It tells you when the house was built (or thereabouts), and sometimes even who built the house! The earliest one I found was 1738. Amazing, really. That house is older than this country!!!

I’m used to old things, being from Virginia (Jamestown just celebrated its 400th anniversary this year), and having graduated from the College of William and Mary, which received its royal charter in 1693. But I kind of got unused to old things living in Washington. There, if it’s more than a hundred years old, it’s old. That’s almost brand-new here on the East Coast!

Finally it was time to head home, where dinner was waiting for us in the crockpot. I absolutely love using the crockpot. A little bit of work in the morning, and then you come home to dinner at night. How could it be any easier?

This recipe I made was so good that I just have to share it with you. It came from the October 2007 issue of Cooking Light. If you choose to make it, let me know how you like it. I don’t like pork, but I love how the meat turns out in this recipe.

Slow-Cooked Tuscan Pork with White Beans

2 cups dried navy beans
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage, divided
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
8 garlic cloves, minced and divided
2½ pounds boneless pork shoulder [I used a boneless pork top loin this time]
4 cups water
2 bay leaves

1. Sort and wash navy beans, and place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand for 8 hours. Drain the beans.

2. Preheat the oven to 275º.

3. Combine 2 teaspoons sage, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds, and 3 minced garlic cloves. Rub sage mixture over pork. Place pork, navy beans, remaining 1 teaspoon sage, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, remaining 5 minced garlic cloves, 4 cups water, and bay leaves in Dutch oven, and bring to a boil. COver and bake at 275º for 4 hours or until pork is very tender. Discard bay leaves. Pull pork apart into chunks, and serve with bean mixture.

You can also make this in the slow cooker. Rub pork with sage mixture, then add water, beans, and remaining ingredients to slow cooker and place pork on top. Cook on HIGH for 8 hours.

*Title stolen from The Purple Chai — ha ha!!


9 Responses to “The weather outside….*”

  1. Poolie Says:

    Oh! How cute! Wee skates!

  2. yankeechick Says:

    LOVE your coat!! Dennis Basso has some nice coats. I have a couple. Grace is so cute on her little skates!!

  3. acaldwell Says:

    lookit you two!! is gracie ready to play hockey? heheee!!!

  4. yankeechick Says:

    me again! Our buddies at QVC still have that coat and I want it!! I’m just not sure I would get to wear a coat that warm very often. For most of the winter I just wear my leather coat (no fur lining), but we do have weather cold enough to be able to wear it a little bit. Hmmmmm……..I really love it. What to do, what to do!!

  5. Gopheroo Says:

    Awwww, she looks so cute!! Yay you for getting out there with her. I can’skate. Not an inch. And I have this pride issue tht prevents me from doing anything that results in my 6 year old saying to me: “Come on Mom, it’s not that hard! You just move your feet like this, see, watch how I do it!”…and it’s not said in a helpful tone, spoken more in the kind of tone used when trying to show someone how to blink, or wave, or something.

  6. sleepyjane Says:

    Awwww. Love the picture! (And your coat is gorgeous!)
    I have never been ice skating in my life even though there is a rink around the corner. And I’d have loved to see all the old houses. Sounds like so much fun!

  7. clairec23 Says:

    Yankeechick, just get the coat! 🙂

    Aw, blue that pic was so cute! I’d love to bring my kids ice-skating, I’ve only ever been once in my whole life! So, um, I would definitely be falling over constantly. 🙂

    That recipe sounds interesting, I might learn to cook properly yet! I’m not usually mad on pork but I never cook it like that so who knows?

  8. michele Says:

    I absolutely *love* that song, too! I’m glad you guys did some exploring. It’s so cool to hear how you’re really settling in and having fun in your new “hometown”!!!


  9. karmacat Says:

    Bristol goes absolutely BONKERS for the Fourth of July, largely because they have the oldest continuing parade in the country. They make a month-long celebration of it, and the traffic is horrendous. This place in Bristol is beautiful at Christmastime:

    You know about the outdoor skating rink in Newport, right?

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