Thursday, December 31, 2009

Merry Mozzarella

With bitter cold temperatures and gusty winds keeping us inside we tried our hands at making mozzarella. Santa brought a kit that included all the necessary ingredients, except for pasteurized (not ultrapasteurized!) milk, and step by step instructions. The milk is the key ingredient. Modern pasteurization practices that heat milk to very high temperatures denature the milk proteins (for our geeky science readers) and render the milk unfit for making cheese. We bought milk from the Rhode Island farmers cooperative which worked just great as you can see below. We have dreamed of making mozzarella since reading Animal Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, who's description of homemade mozzarella makes your mouth water. We topped pizza with our own garden tomato sauce and the fresh mozzarella, paired with a Merlot we received for Christmas......mmmmm.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas

photo by Diane Sobolewski

On December 27th we traveled to East Haddam to The Goodspeed Opera House with Joann and Eric to see Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas. The Emmet Otter character and film was created by Jim Henson. Last year the good folks at Goodspeed turned the Christmas story into a play with a cast of characters that included both humans and puppets. The production was terrific, and so were the views of the Opera House, and the Connecticut River. We enjoyed a fantastic dinner at the River Tavern before making our way back home.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Counter Revolution

Christmas Eve, all is still, not a creature is stirring ... except at HHR where the elves are busy preparing the upstairs bathroom. These elves needed to eat plenty of cookies so they could carry a 170lb granite counter top up two flights of steps! Fortunately all went well, and the evening was completed with a meal of French Chicken in a Pot and Chocolate Bread Pudding.

The elves look a little tired.
The granite is in place (and is in one piece!).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

We woke early on Christmas morning to a bright sunny day and started with a long brisk walk. We enjoyed a relaxing day at home, talked with our loved ones, opened a few gifts, and went for a lovely dinner with the extended Panosky family.

Opening new possibilities for the Face of Produce, thanks to Andrew and Brenda in Kelowna BC

Bruno, Mark and Don enjoying Mr. Nicholl's Nuts and a beer

Tropical Fruit Trifle (Sheri and Bruno's contribution from HHR)

Happy Christmas to all!
Bruno and Sheri

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Vacation Begins!

Today started at 6 a.m., our normal "wake-up" time for work, WIDE awake, without the alarm, even though it was Christmas Eve and we are officially on Christmas vacation. Sighhh, still it was nice to know we didn't HAVE to get up.

It is a bright sunny morning and balmy (24°F) by recent standards. We are drinking tea, warming up for a walk and looking forward to doing some cooking, a little work on the bathroom renovation. Later today Joann and Eric are coming by for dinner and installation of the granite top in the bathroom. How many scientists does it take to move a piece of granite? A few photos of what's happening around HHR:

Kokee is still enjoying the snow from the storm. We think she missed her calling as an Avalanche rescue dog. Who needs an avalanche beacon when you can just carry a tennis ball. You can see it for yourself, click here.

Which color did we choose? Our final answer!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dreaming of a white Christmas

We had a lovely dinner in Westerly with Eric and Joann followed by the Granite Theater's annual production of "A Christmas Carol". We stepped out of the theater into a winter wonderland, that soon thereafter was declared to be a blizzard while driving home.

It snowed heavily all evening, and we woke to 18-inches (maybe more?) of light, fluffy snow. Perhaps we should have bought eggs after all? Many thanks to Mark who had our driveway cleared by 10 a.m.!

Friday, December 18, 2009

While everyone else is still shopping....

We have our decorated our tree, strung lights outdoors, and have finished our shopping, so our days before Christmas will be putting together the pieces of the upstairs bathroom renovation puzzle. The walls turn blue and green tonight, stay tuned for updates, provided we survive the impending storm (we haven't bought eggs, milk or bread!).

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Texas Turkey

In between work trips to LA, Puerto Rico, and back Puerto Rico again Sheri spent a week in Texas celebrating Thanksgiving her extended family. She stayed with Mimi in her brand new apartment in Kruse Village in Brenham, and also spent time in Industry where Aunt Cindy and Uncle John live. Others traveled to the Texas country-side including Kerry (Sheri's sister) and Brandon (Fort Collins, CO) Michael (Sheri's brother) and Janel (Bozeman, MT), DiAnn and Mike (Pittsburgh, via their new home Raleigh, NC), cousins Sara and Chris came from Houston along with their families. It was crazy, and SOO much fun all at the same time. The festivities included plenty of food, a few long walks with Dixie and Iggy, the traditional white elephant gift exchange and of course a grand Thanksgiving buffet .

To see more photos of the visit in Texas click here.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

First Snowfall

After an all day rain on Saturday, the temperatures dropped and we received our first snowfall! It was not enough for us to snap on skis, but it was a beautiful sunny morning. We are well on the road to catching up to Texas for snowfall for the year!