Thursday, July 22, 2010

Towhee Thursday

Monday, July 19, 2010

Richmond Night Market

One of the many things I love about Richmond - aside from Asian grocery stores, Japanese dollar stores, green tea cream puffs (and Blizzards!), fish n chips on the dock, daily eagles, and a plethora of farm markets - is the summer night market. All night every weekend during the summer, what seems like hundreds of booths set up in a huge lot in an industrial park on the river, drawing enormous crowds.

You can get pretty much anything at the night market - handmade incense burners shaped like houses from South America (the smoke comes out the 'chimney'), grasshopper hats, bootlegged Korean DVDs, exotic fruit, underwear both scandalous and matronly, live goldfish, and knockoff Gorillapods.

But the food is the best part - and the most packed with people. At times, trying to navigate through the food tents, we would just spend a few minutes standing still waiting for space or movement in the crowd. The variety of food is amazing...lamb skewers from the Middle East, marinated and barbequed octopus from Japan, airy pancake-like egg puffs from Hong Kong, pho noodle soup from Vietnam, dragon beard candy made from spun sugar and peanut paste from China, deep-fried Mars bars from Scotland, and a hundred other things that I can't even describe or remember. It was as common to see someone walking by sucking on an octopus tentacle as it was seeing someone drinking from a coconut. It was a little surreal.

Hope you enjoyed your weekend! Davis booked my birthday present for next weekend - I am pretty much rolling on the floor squeeing in excitement, but I think I will wait to share until I have photos. :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saturday afternoon book cave

I love used bookstores, and I love Booktown in particular - it's everything a used bookstore should be. Overflowing shelves, dark basements, creaking chairs and two elderly men taking care of it all...

Unfortunately, they're closing at the end of the month, but in the meantime all their books are 50% off... which was like a siren's song to me, Davis, and my mom. We all headed down there today and came home with an embarrassing amount of books.

It's a familial thing, I think, possibly genetic... my grandfather had to custom-build his own bookshelves in order to accommodate his enormous collection, which my mother inherited to add to her considerable stock when my grandfather passed away last year. Davis's family must have the same genes... I'm a little worried for our future children, I think their collection will probably rival the national library.

Well, there are worse addictions.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tree swallows

Surprisingly, way more difficult to photograph than hummingbirds.

I think this proves what some people say is a key to great photography... take lots of pictures! I took almost 200 to get these 4 that I like. I can't imagine being into photography before digital cameras... I guess that was incentive to get good fast!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mint and white chocolate brownies

half a cup melted butter
half a cup unsweetened cocoa
one cup sugar
two eggs
two teaspoons vanilla extract
half a cup flour
one quarter teaspoon salt
half a cup mint chocolate chips and half a cup white chocolate chips

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. mix together the melted butter and cocoa until smooth
3. add sugar and mix well
4. add eggs, one at a time, and stir until combined
5. add vanilla, flour, and salt and stir until just mixed
6. fold in chocolate chips (you can substitute anything you want... smarties, peanut butter, nuts, maraschino cherries, etc!)
7. spread batter in a greased eight-inch square pan and bake for 25 minutes
8. don't overbake! or your brownies will be dry. I discussed this with my mother and for brownies, unlike for cake, a toothpick inserted should not come out clean, it should have moist crumbs clinging to it.
9. eat like a pig and enjoy. I cleaned out half the pan before Davis got home...