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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Olympic Fever

The Olympics are here!  I hope you are catching as much of it as you can – we only get this once every four years, you know.  You’ve got to love all of the stories and the drama that come with the games.  Swimming, gymnastics, basketball, kayaking, table tennis, archery.  There’s just so much to see.

We’re really looking forward to the men’s shot put competition. Yeah, the shot put.

Our very own mid-Missouri boy, Christian Cantwell, will be throwing the shot for the United States this Friday.  Cantwell lives and trains right here in Columbia.  He brought home the silver from Beijing, he’s a favorite to win the gold in London, and he’s an all around nice guy.  Can you imagine throwing a 16 lb. metal ball farther than 70 feet?  Nope, me either.

Here’s a few other links to fuel your Olympic Fever…

Olympics, by East End Prints

Kim Rhode just won her 5th gold medal.  That’s five gold medals in five consecutive Olympic games!

Watch Kevin Mansker, of USA Cycling hit 257rpm.

Six lost Olympic sports.

Apparently Michael Phelps has been working on his English language skills. Just kidding.

 

 

Farmin’ With Brett :: Making it Rain

Years from now people are going to look back and talk about the summer of 2012.  I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, it has been hot and dry here in the midwest.  We’re setting all kinds of records.  I can’t remember the last time it rained.  For most people it’s an inconvenience, but when your livelihood is based on the agricultural calendar, a growing season like this can be terrifying.

Remember back in May when I took you on a ride in the tractor?  Brett was planting the corn right outside our studio, and things were going so well.  No sign at all that this summer would be one of the most stressful ones that anyone around here has seen.  Well, I thought maybe you’d be curious about how the crop is faring in the drought and intense heat.

A few years ago the guys started the process of putting up a bunch of center pivot irrigation systems all over the farm.  I’m know you’ve seen what I’m talking about.  They’re long sprayers that move around a fixed center point in a big circle.  They also built a huge 40 acre lake.  It holds the water for irrigating, if its needed.  Well, this year they sure needed it.

The water level in the lake has slowly been getting lower and lower over the past several weeks, and if we don’t get any rain soon it will be completely drained.  There’s a bunch of fish in there that should be getting a little worried.

Look at this!  On the left is an ear of corn from one of our irrigated fields.  The ear on the right is from a corner of the same field where the water didn’t quite reach.  Can you imagine a whole field of corn like that?!  It’s happening.  There are plenty of cornfields around our area that, unfortunately, haven’t gotten any water all summer.  In those cases the crop could be a total loss.

We’re lucky that we have the means to get water to most of our crops, but it takes a lot of effort and monitoring to make sure that everything is watered evenly, and at the right times.  This past Wednesday night I went along with Brett as he made the rounds turning on all the center pivots.

You were there when the corn was planted.  I think it’s time for a mid-summer farm report!  Let’s see how things look…

Farmin’ with Brett – Making it Rain from 1canoe2 on Vimeo.

A Helping Hand

We may have been the operators of a small sweatshop today.

Next week we are scheduled to ship out a huge order to one of our favorite retailers, and we needed some help.  The work wasn’t very exciting, but we asked some of our family members if they’d want to lend us a hand in getting everything packed up and ready to go.  And of course, they said “Yes!” “Sure, no problem!” “You betcha!”  So, today, eleven of us spent about seven hours tying up bundles of recipe cards, and placing barcode stickers on the backs of lots and lots of notepads.  Yeah, I told you it was a huge order.

A big THANK YOU goes out to everyone who pitched in today!  We appreciate your help SO MUCH!  We couldn’t have done it without you. Well, I guess we could have, but we might have had to pull a couple of all nighters, and that wouldn’t have been pretty.  Or nearly as much fun.

I know we’ve said before that we have some great families.  But really, our families are just the best.

Cherry Pie

Yum.

Remember all of those cherries that I picked earlier in the summer?  I thought it might be time to pull some out of the freezer for a cherry pie.

I don’t know what it is about pies, but I really love making them.  Especially when there’s some fresh tart cherries available.  I like eating them too.  My Grandma Shryock makes some really good pies.  Actually, in the community where I grew up she is kind of famous for her cherry pie.  I guarantee that if you go to any church dinner or community function you could count on Grandma taking a cherry pie.  So, I’m not claiming to have the best one around, but I’ve taken some tips from Grandma, and I think mine’s pretty good.

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Cherry Pie

First you’ll need to make the crust.  Now, you could buy a crust pre-made at the store, but that’s kind of cheating.  And, it’s not nearly as good.  It’s really not hard to make, seriously, so just do it.

2 cups sifted all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

2/3 cup butter

5-7 Tbs cold water

Sift flour and salt.  Cut in shortening until pieces are the size of small peas.  Sprinkle water over the mixture 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing mixture after each addition.  Form into a ball, flatten on lightly floured surface.  Roll out with a rolling pin 1/8″ thick from the center to the edge.  Go ahead and line the pie plate with the crust and save the left over dough to make the lattice top.

Now for the filling.  You’ll need…

3 cups of pitted fresh ripe tart red cherries

1-1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup flour

dash of salt

Combine all of the filling ingredients together and dump into the pastry lined pie plate.  Dot the mixture with 2 Tbs of butter, and cover with a lattice top.  Bake the pie in a hot oven at 400 degrees for 50-55 minutes.

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That’s it!  So simple.  I suggest that you eat your pie with some vanilla ice cream.  It’s even better if you eat it with HOMEMADE vanilla ice cream.  We’ll save that recipe for another day.

:: Carrie ::

Vienna, Austria

For the final leg of our trip Mei Ling and I hopped on a train and traveled from Salzburg, to Vienna.  We’d heard that Vienna is a pretty amazing city, so we were excited to end our trip there.

The best part about Vienna, from our perspective, is that it is where Liz lives!  Liz was another roommate of ours in college, and she’s been all over world since we all graduated.  She’s lived in the Ukraine, in Moscow, in Texas, and now she and her family (!) live in Vienna.  It was great to see her, and Matt, and their little one, Naomi who we got to meet for the first time!  She’s cute as a button.

It rained a bunch while we were in Vienna, but we still got out and did as much as we could.  We climbed up to the top of St. Stephen’s Cathedral to get a view of the city.  Look at the rooftop!  I loved the patterns. Those are ceramic tiles, glazed in all kinds of bright colors.

We visited Schönbrunn Palace, the summer residence of the Habsburg emperors.  It has 1,441 rooms.  Goodness.

We walked through a few of those rooms, but what we liked best was the garden surrounding the palace.  It covers 435 acres and includes hedge mazes, miles and miles of walking paths, a greenhouse filled with tropical plants, an orangerie (for growing oranges, of course) an aviary filled with birds, lots of fountains and pools, and a zoo!  With pandas!

We tried the famous Sacher Torte at Hotel Sacher – Vienna’s special chocolate cake.  Yeah, it was good.

And, we became acquainted with Austria’s favorite soft drink, Almdudler.  It’s similar to ginger ale, but maybe not quite as sweet.  And, it comes in some pretty great bottles.

 

Salzburg, Austria

If you asked us to name our favorite stop on our trip I think both Mei Ling and I would say that it was Salzurg.  We LOVED it.  Salzburg is a little town just over the border into Austria, in the foothills of the Alps, and it is beautiful!  We loved wandering the little streets and exploring the fortress that sits on the hilltop overlooking the city.

We declared this to be our favorite place in Salzburg…Cafe Tomaselli.  We may have eaten there more than once.

Salzburg is famous for a couple of things.  First of all, it’s the home of that boy genius – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  That kid sure could play the piano!  We visited his house and learned all about him, and even got to see his piano.  But we weren’t allowed to take any photos.  Sorry.

Second of all, Salzburg is famous for being the town that brought us the Sound of Music!  That’s right!  Apparently, Austrians don’t really get excited about this, but I can tell you that Mei Ling and I did.  We learned that the Sound of Music is a (mostly) true story.  There really was a Captain von Trapp, and he did have seven kids, and they did have a governess named Maria.  The Captain and Maria really did fall in love and get married in real life, but their story wasn’t as dramatic and dangerous as Hollywood made it seem.

 

We visited some of the places that were used as sites for filming the movie.  This is Mirabell Garden, and you might recognize those steps at the far end of the photo.  Did we hop up and down those steps and sing “Do Re Mi?”  You bet we did.

Remember in the movie when the von Trapps hid behind the headstones when they were running away to escape from the Nazis?  That scene was based on this place, St. Peter’s Cemetery.

Yeah, we kind of got into it.

:: Carrie ::

 

Munich, Germany

Mei Ling and I tried our hardest to talk Kristi into coming with us on the rest of the trip, but she wouldn’t budge.  She said something about being responsible and that she had to work.  I don’t know. We finally gave up and made our way down to Munich.  We were only in Munich for about a day and a half but we crammed in SO much.  We visited Dachau, the first Nazi Concentration Camp established during WWII, which is just outside the city.  Wow.  It was such a somber place, but we were so glad we went. It’s hard to fathom what the people who were held there went through, but walking the grounds and seeing the buildings and reading their stories made it so much more real to us.

Most of our time was spent wandering around the city center.  We climbed to the top of a bell tower to get a good view.

We visited an outdoor market.

We hung out in a Bavarian Palace for a couple of hours.

And we watched some guys surfing in a canal in the big city park, The English Garden.  Crazy, but true!

:: Carrie ::

Cologne, Germany

Well, I know that I promised that I’d give you updates as I made my way across Europe, but I guess I got too caught up in it all, and that didn’t happen, did it? I hope you weren’t too worried about me. The good news is that I saw so many amazing things and I took a bunch of photos!

I think I mentioned that I was traveling with one of my college roommates, Mei Ling. She lives in San Diego now, so any time that we get to spend together is always fun, and especially when we can be together in Europe! When we were in school at Mizzou we actually lived in a house next to campus with five other girls…seven of us!  Today we are scattered all over the world, literally, and it’s not very often that we get to see one another. So, after our time in Amsterdam we hopped on a train to Germany. First stop was Cologne, the home of one of our other former roommates, Kristi!

Reunited!!  So fun!

Kristi gave us the grand tour of her city, and even took us to a 4th of July picnic, complete with live country music.  Felt just like home, sort of, aside from the fact that people around us were speaking German.  We also visited the huge Cathedral, took a cruise up the River Rhine, and got to explore an old castle!

The view from the top of the Cathedral.

The Cathedral was beautiful.  Huge and gothic, but what impressed me the most was the tile mosaic floor.  Everyone else was looking up at the domed ceiling and marveling at the gigantic pipe organ and colorful windows, but I couldn’t stop looking at the floor.

I was also fascinated with the ornate signs on the storefronts and restaurants.

Cruising on the Rhine.

:: Carrie ::