Spent the last week up at Duncan Mills with our friends, Jan and Gary. We had a great time.
Jan and I went across the street (more than once) and shopped till we dropped. Brian Trombly, the owner of a very cute shop called, Mr. Trombly's Tea, recently opened a darling new kitchen boutique next to the tea shop called, Mr. Trombly's Table. He was busy running back and forth between the two because they were having a big weekend event in both stores. Brian said that's how he stays so skinny. The windows were decorated all pretty. We got to taste of all the little scones and jams in the tea shop and oils, vinaigrettes and mustards in the kitchen shop. Yum!
The beef is all laid out, ready to go into the oven overnight.
Here's the recipe that I got out of an old magazine (Mother Earth News) back in the 1980's. The recipe was created by a young man and they did an article about his homemade beef jerky. I used to make it all the time and it's really tasty.
5 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp black pepper
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 stalks celery, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. hot sauce (I didn't have any and used a little cayenne pepper instead)
Bring this mixture to a slow boil (stirring so it doesn't burn) and lower to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. When it's cool, pour the liquid over the sliced meat in a container. Cover and keep in the refrigerator for 8 hours.
Afterward, remove the strips of meat and lay them across a broiling pan. I used a light spray of oil on the pans.
Put them into a cold oven. Turn the oven to 125 degrees F. Let the meat dry in the oven overnight for 10 to 12 hours.
Note: The newer ovens only go as low as 170 degrees F. So, doing it on this higher temperature is new to me and I'll have to let you know how it goes. I just put the pans into the oven (10:30 pm) and in the morning, I'll check on the jerky to see how done it is and will let you know how it turns out and how many hours it took at this temp.
Oh, one more note on the meat. I used to have the butcher cut me a one inch thick piece of round steak which I would then partially freeze in order to make it easier to thinly slice. This time I just bought a thick roast and I didn't have time to wait for it to partially freeze. Therefore, you can see from the photo that I have some smaller pieces along with some longer ones. Next time, I will go back to the thick round steak, it always turned out good. I was just a little in a hurry this time.
Also, be sure to lay the meat flat and try not to have it overlap. When taking the pieces out of the marinade container, you want to smooth out each piece to make them sit flat on the pan.
When the jerky is done, you need to let it cool before placing it into a covered container. No need to refrigerate the jerky.
Went to the Alameda Spring Festival today with our friends and hooked up with Mike's daughter and son-in-law and my two sons, Amon and Seth. We all went to lunch at a favorite, Burma Superstar.
Park Street was closed off from Lincoln to Encinal with food and craft vendors.
There was a stage set up on both sides of Park, one at Lincoln and one stage at Encinal and various bands played throughout the day. We saw Fleetwood Mask. And I caught the tail end of Long Train Running. They sounded pretty good.
This is the Tom Petty Tribute Band and they were really good. Who doesn't love Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers? I got to dance to a few songs before we had to leave. Yay! As you know, I love to dance, dance, dance. Here they are on YouTube.
Just saw that they're playing in Vacaville soon. We might go.
On the day before we left Zion, in the morning, we woke up to gently falling snow.
It felt like being a kid again, we were so excited about the possibility of getting some pictures in Zion with snow on the rocks. We grabbed the camera and took off for the park.
I took the above pictures out the truck window.
We stopped along the road to grab some more shots and Mike got this one of me.
When we got there and took the shuttle into the park, we saw the fog hugging the mountains of rocks had an ethereal beauty and presence. It was breathtaking.
Later that same day, we discovered there was a nearby ghost town and since we had nothing else to do, I said to Mike, why not take a drive out to see it? So that's what we did. The drive going out there was okay but when we got to the actual town, where the buildings were, because of the recent snow (and rain) it was very, very muddy. Michael parked in the mud and we got out of the truck and before I knew it, he took off with his camera to get some pictures of some barn he saw. There was no way I would follow him down that road.
I was freaking out and worried about getting our truck stuck in the mud and not being able to drive out, so I went back to the truck, got in it and sat. Grafton was quite a little drive, out in the middle of Nowhereville. The tread on our truck tires was covered in mud and my good hiking shoes (ugh!) were caked with mud about two inches thick. I kept slipping and sliding all over the road and to tell you the truth, I wasn't enjoying this one bit. Honestly, you couldn't walk anywhere without getting mud all over your shoes and the bottom of your pant legs. It was awful and all I could think of was getting us out of there so I just sat in the truck with my arms folded. Fuming and worrying. Michael came over to the truck and said, "Well, Lisa, your shoes are covered in mud. Your as muddy as you're going to get. Why don't you just get out and take some pictures while we're here? Because we're not coming back ever again."
So I did. He was right. It couldn't get any worse than it already was.
I like my pictures in black and white the best. I got some really excellent shots in Grafton and am only posting a few for you to see. Upon further research, I found that this is the most
photographed ghost town in the U.S. and has been used in films. The
ghost town of Grafton.
So, if you ever decide to go to this little ghost town in Utah, make sure it's not after a rain. Or have a 4 wheel drive and some sturdy rubber boots!!!
We stopped at the visitor center on the first day at Zion. We were overwhelmed with all the hikes available and not sure which one to do for our big hike. I asked one of the rangers at the desk which was his favorite hike and he said Observation Point. So we determined to do it on Friday, our third day there.
This is where we began, at Weeping Rock.
The trail starting out.
Here comes Mike.
See all the zig zagging of the trail we started out on?
The beginning of Echo Canyon.
Someone looks like he's enjoying this hike.
Somewhat narrow trails with obstacles to be aware of along a sheer cliff in several places.
Getting higher and higher.
I very carefully leaned over the edge to get this shot off the cliff. Straight down.
My tiny rock sculpture.
Where's Mike? Oh, there he is.
I thought this dead tree leaning on the cliff side was interesting.
I spy Mike.
Getting closer to the top. Still a ways to go though.
Notice how Mike stays very close to the rock wall. He ain't going near the edge, he's no fool.
We're way up there!
Notice Mike, he's got the stance down. Go around me, people. I'm NOT budging!
There we are. It's a bit windy, not cold, just windy and my hat kept wanting to fly off my head and off the mountain. I didn't want to lose it. That's why I put my hood on.
Yay! At the top. It's flat and sandy heading out to the point.
At the point. Observation Point, that is.
There was even a bluejay way up there.
Heading back down.
Back at Echo Canyon.
I think someone is happy to be heading down and closer to the bottom. In all, it was an eight mile round trip and took us 6.5 hours. We had lots of stops along the way, for picture taking and catching our breath and at the top we ate our peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. Overall, we gained an elevation climb of 2,120 feet.