Tuesday, September 1, 2009

August's Last Hurrah

It was just a week and a half ago that we all went to visit my dad and stepmom up in Bellingham. The one thing we ALWAYS do on such occasions is take a trip to Larrabee State Park. That's where my dad always took me and Annalaura when we were little, and in a family with darned few traditions it's important to hang on to the ones you've got.

In this case we took two trips to Larrabee, because the tide was not cooperative on our first attempt. We poked around a little on Saturday evening, but we came back on Sunday morning to get a gander at the starfish and anemones. Did you know that I've been mispronouncing the word anemone for my entire life? And I grew up next to the ocean. I collected shells and I KNEW ALL THEIR NAMES, but I had anemone wrong. Very humbling.

Below, see my dad in his natural habitat. Do not fail to notice his amazingly glossy brown hair.

Well, our boys plopped themselves right down on the beach and made rock angels. They are strange.

How many gazillions of kids do you think have had their pictures taken in this very spot?

There's a reason Larrabee became a tradition. It's purdy.

Willem has a heart-to heart with Grandpa Scott.

Dad and Juli's neighbor Sheila is one of the nicest people on earth. (The rest of her family is lovely as well.) Sheila invited all ten of us over for brunch on Sunday morning. Then her cat, who has been ailing for several years, decided it was high time to commence its death throes. Did Sheila cancel the brunch? No. She fired up her fryer (which she and her husband have been using to make and sell doughnuts at events) and cooked us THE MOST AMAZING BREAKFAST EVER and dropped it all off at Dad's and went back home to be with her dying cat.

I know, it seems crass to talk about the food with the dying pet and all. But this amazing basket of goodness cannot go unremarked-upon.

There were at least eight each of four kinds of doughnuts: beignets with lemon zest in the batter, apricot filled, spiced plum filled (best filling ever), and PERFECTLY fried plain doughnuts, which, in their crunch and grease (in a good way) were the best of all. I'm going into a reverie just thinking about those doughnuts again.

She also brought thick, spicy bacon, sausages, and a baked egg dish. And yes, I believe she picked those blueberries herself. Recounting this reminds me that a condolences card/thank you note is in order and overdue.

Now, my stepmom (feels goofy to keep calling her that, but if you don't know her you'd wonder who she is if I just called her by name) Juli is no slouch in the kitchen herself. She used to make us doughnuts when we visited when we were little and less polished (ahem) than we are now. As I mentioned in an earlier post (which I'm too lazy to track down right now), Juli is partly responsible (or to blame) for my interest in cooking and (mostly) eating good food. I think the following photo of the spanakopita she made for us should help explain why. It was so good. And so big. We got to take home leftovers, which I ate for several days.

I love Juli's kitchen. It looks like a place where someone cooks. Here I am fixing a tomato-basil salad fresh from the garden to go with our spanakopita. In culinary matters I usually defer to the other cooks in the house, but Juli doesn't eat the tomatoes she grows, so they were all mine.

One never leaves the Montgomery house empty handed. I got some amazing mid-century Franciscan plates, the boys got hand-made backpacks containing toys, and Shaun got some wings, which he ate with proper appreciation once we were home, and a summer's worth of fun was done.


Hillary said...

We were taught wrong. I've always said Anenome too.

Thank you for writing and posting. Those cousins are so cute all together. I was so so bummed to miss out...but now I feel like I got to be there a little.

Gypmar said...

Hillary, I'm glad it's not just me :)

We sure wished you coulda been here. Next time!

josieO said...

I say it wrong, too. Actually, now that I'm trying to teach a child English, I realize I'm incorrect more often that I once realized. Sigh.

Nancy M. said...

To-ma-to, to-MAH-to?

I grinned when the 6 y.o. boy I sat next to on my flight from Nice to London asked me, "Do you speak English or American?"

He then clarified the difference - soooo charming.