Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hilton Head

Matt and I took a trip to Hilton Head, which is a small Island in South Carolina. We were only there for a couple of days, but we had a great time. We stayed with some friends in a condo next to the beach. The night we got there it was raining and the waves were pretty big, so we decided we would go swimming. I even tried a little body surfing! I had so much fun. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures while we were on the beach.

The next day, we went to the outlet malls (that was for Matt!) and then we rented bikes. There are over 25 miles of trails on the Island apparently. Matt and I rode around by ourselves for a couple of hours and we even saw a long black snake. I don't know what kind it was, but it was just hanging out in the middle of the bike trail. We tried to get a picture, but it slid away too fast.
I haven't ridden a bike since I was like 10 years old, so I was a little scared at first, but I got the hang of it. I kind of felt like a little kid again, riding that bike. I have that classic "look mom! I'm doing it!!" picture. You know, the one where your proudly looking over your shoulder at the person behind you. Honestly, I'm lucky I didn't run into a tree trying to pull a stunt like that. Anyway, it was fun and Matt and I have decided we will eventually invest in some bikes!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blueberry Pickin'

I have decided that I need to take more opportunities to experience the South, and I had the perfect opportunity over the weekend. There is a town called Thomsan (about thirty minutes away from Augusta) where a little old woman by the name of Bernice, owns a blueberry patch. I think Bernice is such an appropriate name for a little lady with a blueberry patch. My friends (Troy and Kristina) and I made our trip out to the patch only to find a sign that said "Closed, due to heat index". We were so disappointed! Just as we were about to leave, we saw a van pull up on the far side of the blueberry patch. We weren't about to give up on picking blueberries after driving a half hour to get there, so we pulled up next to the van and Troy convinced a sweet little woman to let us pick the berries. She was a good friend of the owner. It was insanely hot and humid! I have never sweat that much in my life! I wore sandals (I don't know what I was thinking) and about five minutes into picking, my toes started to sting. I looked down to find fire ants crawling all over my toes. I moved from bush to bush, trying to escape those darn ants, but they always found me. There was an older man picking berries while sitting in his wheel chair and the poor man was practically eaten alive by those awful things! He had welts everywhere. I felt so bad for him! Fire ants have to be one of the worst features of the South....along with the roaches. I don't know which are worse. I got about 5 lbs. of blueberries for only $1.50/lb. We made blueberry jam when we got home and the next day I made my own blueberry syrup to put on my favorite pancakes. I'm not a pancake lover, but I love this recipe!

Ricotta pancakes
2 cups ricotta
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Dash of salt

Combine the ricotta, egg yolks, buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Sift the dry ingredients: flour sugar, baking powder, and salt together into the ricotta mixture and stir until fully combined. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form and then gently fold into the batter. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat and add a little butter. Cook 2 to 3 pancakes at a time using a 6-ounce ladle or measuring cup to pour the batter into the pan. Cook the pancakes on 1 side until they set. When small bubbles appear on the uncooked surface, flip the pancakes and cook until golden on both sides, about 6 minutes.

Blueberry Syrup
1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
3 tablespoons sugar
juice of half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon corn starch
Combing ingredients in a saucepan. Crush some of the berries to release juices. Simmer until sauce thickens. Serve warm.

I like to spread a little lemon curd over the top of the pancakes and then pour blueberry syrup over that. It's soooo good!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

So I decided that it was time for me to join the blogger world. Being as Matt and I live across the country from most of my family and friends, I thought this might be a good way to let everyone know what we are up to. We have been in Augusta for just over a year and we are unsure at this point, when we will be returning back to Utah. Matt is in the process of applying for jobs in Augusta as well as Utah. I miss my family and friends, but we both feel that we need to be out here just a little longer. We will see what happens.
Matt and I were just called to be primary teachers for the 9-year-old's. We have taught the class twice and it has been a good experience so far. I love watching Matt interact with the kids. We have one little girl in the class that has been a challenge for teachers in the past. We were told that she didn't like men, but apparently she feels differently about Matt! She warmed up to him very quickly and was eager to be near him. As we made our way down the isle of the primary room she said, "I gonna split you guys up!". Although she sat between us, she insisted we hold hands across her lap. She's a character! I have no doubt that this calling will provide many learning experiences for both of us!