I made the Yule Log today. I sort of followed Martha Stewart's recipe. The cake is a chocolate sponge cake, the filling is chocolate mousse, and the icing is chocolate ganache.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Sunday, December 22, 2013
I've been doing a little holiday baking lately. These chocolate crackles are a family favorite.
And the captain loves these shortbread cookies.
And last night I made these meringue mushrooms to decorate the Buche de Noel that I'll be making for Christmas Eve.
You start with an Italian meringue, pipe it into these shapes, bake for an hour, then stick them together with melted chocolate.
I love making desserts that require artsy/crafty touches, so making these mushrooms was a lot of fun. I'll show you the cake later.
Friday, December 20, 2013
We have managed to get a tree, find the decorations, send out some cards, buy a few presents, and make some cookies. Katie is home from school. We have been invited to dinner on Christmas Eve. And we will have a quiet Christmas Day here at the condo with just the four of us. And maybe go for a boat ride on the weekend.
Happy Christmas everyone!
Monday, December 9, 2013
We had a wonderful weekend in Las Vegas with some dear friends. We were celebrating winter birthdays and enjoyed Bocelli on Saturday night.
Last time we were in Vegas, most of the really fabulous casinos weren't even built, so we did a lot of "walkin and gawkin".
Egypt, and New York.
We enjoyed shopping at the Forum,
seeing the Trevi Fountain, and afternoon gelato.
What a fun weekend. Las Vegas is like Disneyland for adults. Only smokier....
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
And then when we finally got the green light they gave us three weeks to build and install the sign! Luckily they had given us a deposit and we had pre-ordered lots of the components, but we still had to work some long hours to make it all happen.
It's quite a process installing the neon tubing. Each piece has several tube supports that the glass has to be wired to, two PK housings to accept the ends, and rubber caps to keep the wiring dry. On the inside, wires must connect the back of each PK housing to the next one in line and eventually connect to the transformer. There were 152 connections in this sign and guess who had to crawl into the sign to make all those connection? Below you see me standing in the sign working on the easy part. It was way worse in the middle part of the sign.
When I was finally done making all those connections, and the Captain had installed all the glass, and our employees had installed the transformers, and done all the other little things to finish the sign, we turned it on and all the tubes lit up perfectly. So we left it running all night long. On Monday we rolled it into the trailer in preparation for Tuesday's install. And on Tuesday morning everything went smoothly and the sign was bolted onto the wall around 4pm. Whew!
Sunday, November 24, 2013
After a particularly grueling work week, we decided to take a little ride in the boat. So within 15 minutes of deciding, we were on our way. Look, Look! Here's our empty slip!
Bob's At The Marina in 5 minutes if we walked and 45 minutes if we took the boat? Well, we were right. We motored over to Bob's and it took 45 minutes.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Did you notice my copper teakettle? It's a Simplex, made in England. I'm kind of an Anglophile and when I saw this at a local thrift store for only $15.00, I snatched it up post haste. I have to polish it and I know it will probably be a pain in the marine environment, but I love it anyway.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Why is our old stove sitting on the floor?
Because we are getting a new one!
But first we have to get the stove into the main cabin....which means it has to go down through the hatch in the center of the boat because the stove is 21"wide and all the doors in the boat are only 16" wide.
Here's the new metal being put into place. Next we made a template to get the gimble points figured out.
Then we mounted the brackets and lifted the stove into place.
Monday, November 4, 2013
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Here in the San Joaquin Delta the richest soil contains lots of decomposed peat moss, which is very light in weight. If it's been dry for a while and the winds kicks up it gets blown right out of the fields and into town.
Frequently when I was a kid we'd have huge dust storms in the summertime. The farmers have changed their practices so it doesn't happen so much anymore, but today we have having a doozey.
The day started out nice, and the temperature is still warm, but it's blowing 20 knots. All the halyards in the marina are clacking on the masts (why do people allow that to happen?) and the wind is shrieking through the rigging. The boat is heeling over and the bumpers are squeaking.
Our boat came with a "cover" and I managed to rig it up right after we got the boat. However, I couldn't figure out what it was supposed to do. It wasn't high enough to walk under so it couldn't have been a sun awning. And it didn't really cover the cockpit, so it would have allowed rain in, so it wasn't a winter cover.
And what a beautiful day to be outdoors sewing. I think I'm getting a sunburn!
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Every now and then we are too lazy to cook dinner and we walk over to our local burger joint; Bob's at the Marina.
It's an old fashioned place with basic burgers, fries, onion rings, and sandwiches. And they serve a generous breakfast too. Oh, and beer and wine.
But the best part is, you can come here by boat and tie up at the guest dock while you eat. In fact, we could do that too, but it would take about 45 minutes to get our boat from the Sailing Club to this marina. It's way easier to walk out the front door of the condo, turn left and walk about a half block, turn left at the marina driveway, make our way up to Bob's, and order a burger and a beer. But maybe someday we will bring our boat here and enjoy looking at it while we eat our lunch.
Monday, October 21, 2013
So we got these little LED lights earlier this year for the patio at the condo. But we decided to take them out to the boat and hang them around the awning.
Just add that to the list......
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
This project was instigated by a card we received from some dear friends in England.
I decided to make a memory board and attach it to the head door. First I made a paper pattern of the funny shape of the door panel. Then the Captain cut it out of 1/4" plywood. I marked out the ribbon pattern and drilled the 1/16" holes for the buttons. Next I stapled two layers of quilt batting and the fabric over the board.
I like how this turned out. It not only provides a display space for cards, photos, and notes, but it also brightens this dark corner.
Monday, October 7, 2013
It was so peaceful and quiet anchored behind Spud Island that we slept until 8:00 am. After a leisurely breakfast and tidy up, we raised the anchor and headed back upriver towards the Port of Stockton.
Out on the channel there was plenty of traffic. Lots of these...
Stockton is a deep water ship port and we get several ships in and out each week. The channel is 30' deep all the way to San Francisco Bay, and about 200' wide here. Although it looks close, there is plenty of room, BUT, if you dilly dally in the center of the channel, you will get a long blast from the ship's horn. He is saying, "Get out of my way!"
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Before we left the dock yesterday the Captain installed three more LED lights. He also retrofitted two existing lights with LEDs. When he removed the old lights he found THESE!
It's best to solder the splices and seal them with heat shrink.
Here's how the new lights look.
He wired the lights so we can turn on either the left light, the center lights, or the right light. And the Admiral/Galley Slave is much happier now.