Lazy weekend

It was a gray, drizzly weekend in Taylor. It felt good to lay low and play catch up though. No brewing, for the first time in a long time, it feels like.

Thursday was Third Thursday where a bunch of shops downtown stay open late. We got some of the first ever press coverage for the brewery. JD is on TV three times a week for his actual job, so it was interesting to see him talking about something new for a change. Judy did really well, too.

There are new fermenters! They’re hard to see in my picture, but I only took one. The big one is 7 barrels and the little one is 3. Also new: a bench in the corner and the cold storage that will eventually be the tap wall. (You may want to click any photo to enlarge it).

We added a couple of Texasy touches to the guest room/JD’s office. It’s still so boring in there though. Needs a lamp, at the very least. Why are lamps so expensive!

I’ve learned/remembered/rediscovered that I’m not a natural decorator. I don’t really know what to do about it except maybe get on Pinterest more often and copy things I like until I’ve learned some natural sense of it. Right now, it feels like we’re just filling in holes with whatever we have, so one day it would be nice to feel like I found certain things to fit in certain places.

boys room

Saturday afternoon I got on a chair and wound up all of the roll-up blinds in our room. I didn’t know that the ones that were stuck just needed a little roll up and now they’re almost good as new. It’s the first time it’s been so bright in there. It’s nice, but it’s also like living inside a green house — you can see right in. Not sure what to do in there though because I’m all curtained out. Maybe some white sheers or something for now. It would be nice to put plantation shutters in there if they weren’t prohibitively expensive. Maybe a wall at a time?

let there be light

We’re starting to personalize the house a little bit. For Valentine’s, I printed and framed some pictures we took on our trip to India. The 4×6’s in the middle are some of JD’s favorite stories to tell: a troupe of boys following me around at the sexy temples, his favorite tuk tuk driver, and floating a candle down the Ganges. And some adorable kids in Varanasi.

india pictures

We also hung up a Christmas present I got him: a scratch map. We couldn’t decide if we should scratch countries we’ve been to together or that we’ve both been to. He’s been to a bunch more in Europe and I’ve been to a bunch more in Asia.

Last night we went to Judy’s for her daughter’s going away party. It’s so pretty out in the country where she is. She has a stable with horses, some donkeys, olive and apple trees, and a chicken coop. It’s out on this beautiful land down a winding country road. It made me feel better to see she has the same cracking blackland soil we have in town.

This is her chicken coop. The chicken coop discussion continues at our house. I really want one, but I’m a little afraid of them, and not sure we’re ready for the commitment of feeding them twice a day and putting them in at night. JD is very sure we’re not ready for the commitment, and he doesn’t want to feed them at all 😉 I exaggerate. He’s thinking about it.

chickens

Spent a little bit of time with Miguel and Ms. Jones, who knows Smokey’s trick of clanging her metal food bowl when she’s hungry. She picks it up with her mouth and Smokey bangs it with his foot.

Today we had a nice time driving around in the drizzle and explored Granger, Granger Lake, and a camp ground. Elephant was pretty psyched to swim somewhere new. She has no fear jumping off the dock and couldn’t care less if it’s raining or not.

JD and Miguel apparently took a romantic drive on Valentine’s when I was sick and they went by this bridge that JD wanted to check out in more detail. We parked and slid down a muddy hill to get to the stream below.

bridge

My pictures look so dark, but in person, the water is a pretty shade of very light aqua in the deep parts and the rocks are very orange. At one point, JD threw Elephant’s toy down the stream the other direction, at my suggestion, and nearly jumped in the water to rescue Elephant as she sped away with the current. She made it though, and no humans got wet. She’s a strong swimmer.

dill bread

And that was our weekend! I made Grandpa Mannix’s dill bread this morning and am trying Smitten Kitchen’s pot roast recipe now. It smells delicious. Makes me feel less guilty for having our favorite Whataburger sandwich for lunch, too.

The recipe is only three ingredients (from Smitten Kitchen, by way of Gourmet):

Oven-Braised Beef with Tomatoes and Garlic
Gourmet, February 2001 and The Gourmet Cookbook

Serves 6

1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
1 (3 to 3 1/2 pound) boneless beef chuck roast, tied with a string
1 head garlic, separated into cloves, left unpeeled

Heat oven to 300°F (150°C). Coarsely chop tomatoes with their juice in a food processor (Gourmet’s suggestion) or go at them in their can with kitchen shears (my lazy preference) to break them up. Put roast in an ovenproof 4- to 5-quart heavy pot or a casserole dish with a lid — a tight fit is just fine, as it will shrink very soon. Pour tomatoes over roast and scatter garlic around it. Season generously with salt and pepper. Braise in middle of oven, covered, until very tender, 3 to 4 hours. Cut roast into 1/4-inch-thick slices and serve with sauce, garlic, squeezed from its peels (or you can leave others to do this) and orzo (Gourmet’s suggestion, of course not gluten-free), mashed potatoes (recipe at the end) or crusty bread. Leftovers shredded over egg noodles sound wonderful as well.

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