Sunday, July 24, 2011

Baking, Boats, and Blackberry Brambles

Yesterday was my good friend's birthday.  I wondered what kind of gift I could give and figured something edible would probably be best.  I inquired if there was a preference and apple pie was the answer.  So I woke up early and headed to the Walmart Supercenter to see what apple selection I had to pick from.  I was stunned to find that Walmart had no apples at all, I even made a couple trips round the produce section just to make sure.  I quickly went over my options knowing that the day's events were pretty full, and ran over to the freezer section.  I glanced at the frozen options and finally decided on the Claim Jumpers' brand.  I checked out and thought again that home made pie would be oh so much better, and decided I'd give Raleys a try.  I turned down Antelope road and was pleased to find that Raleys did have apples.  My choices were granny smith, gala, or golden delicious, so I gathered some granny smith and gala, checked the time on my phone, then made a beeline for the checkout as I was running behind schedule. 

I got home, unloaded the groceries, put the store bought pie in the freezer, and set to work peeling and coring.  I love that apple peeler corer slicer, it makes the work so much easier.  Apples peeled and in a bowl, I covered it with a towel and then set to mixing the pie crust.  My favorite is the Pampered Chef Perfect Pie Crust recipe.  I rolled out the crust, and decided I needed to try a new way to get it into the pie plate.  The last few times I've tried to just loosen the crust and pick it up didn't work out too nicely.  This time I rolled the crust in the same wax paper that I'd used to roll it out, and then unrolled the crust into the pan.  It worked beautifully.  I then added some sugar, flour, and cinnamon to the apples, mixed, and then added them to the pie plate.  Then I quickly rolled out the top crust, cut some venting slits, and into the oven it went.  I made a couple of calls to adjust the time frame on the pick up of my siblings for our trip to the Aunt and Uncle's house.  Then it was a quick clean up and the waiting game. 

55 or so minutes later the pie came out of the oven and it was pretty. 

Then I hopped in the car, headed towards the arden area and picked up my brother, sister, Kelly and Bella.  We drove down to Pittsburg to spend the afternoon with Aunt Debby and Uncle Tom.  It was fun.  They prepped some food, had the boat all loaded, and after a brief stop for changing and potty breaks, we drove over to the marina in Antioch.  We boarded the boat and headed out to the open water of the delta.  On our way out we saw a huge tanker like ship headed toward the Antioch bridge.  The water was a bit choppy and with so many people on the boat it meant for great splashes as we crested the whitecaps.  We went up and down a couple of the sloughs, and finally beached the boat on a little sandbar area full of blackberry brambles.  We unloaded the chairs, cooler, and toys and set up a little camp area.  We ate some lunch, and then Aunt Debby and I set off on the hunt for blackberries.  We found some, but were not having quite the success we had hoped.  Many of the ripe berries were just out of reach.  That all changed when Uncle Tom brought over a paddle from the raft.  He was able to pull some of the branches with ripe berries closer, and also able to move some of the branches causing problems out of the way.  By the time we finished picking berries we had quite the hat full, literally. 

Then it was time to sit and relax in the shade of the umbrella.  After a little while another boat with quite a few people came to stop at the beach too.  They had a pit bull with them that was wearing a life vest and loved to chase water and sand.  The puppy dog was very entertaining to watch.  It wasn't long before another boat showed up, and then a little while later and two more boats showed up.  It was getting a bit cramped so we packed up the boat and headed back to the marina.  The ride back across the open water was still choppy and this time we all got quite wet.  We made it back to the Aunt and Uncle's house, changed, and then drove back to Sacramento.  I dropped off the passengers, headed to my house, picked up the pie, and then off to Davis I went.  I'd forgotten to pick up some vanilla ice cream during my early morning store run, so on my way into Davis I stopped at Nugget and got some.  You can't have apple pie without it. I arrived and Joseph and I had some pie and ice cream.  I came to conclusion that I like Gravenstein apple pie better, which is all Joseph's fault :) for telling me about the Gravenstein apple which I tried last year while at Apple Hill.  After chatting a while we took a walk around Davis.  There was much joking back and forth.  I learned that I don't qualify as a true girl because I don't own enough pairs of shoes, and given the hypothetical option of choosing between paying the mortgage and buying new shoes, I opt for paying the mortgage.  It was a lot of fun, exploring Davis and there was much laughter.  As we walked down one path I happened to glance to my right and stopped walking.  I had to look again to make sure I'd actually seen what I thought I saw, a large art structure made up of dominoes. We left the path and headed over to take a closer look.  I lived in Davis for two years, and never new about the Dominoes.  I climbed up one of the Dominoes and decided I shouldn't climb over and down to the next one, so I climbed back down the way I came. 

(pictures courtesy of Davis Wiki)
We continued out walk and Joseph introduced me to another statue, this time of a dog riding a tricycle.  The dog's tongue was hanging out of the side of his mouth, and even though it was mostly dark, it appeared the dog had a smile on his face.

(Photo Courtesy of Davis Wiki)
There are apparently so many things to see in Davis that I have not yet explored.  I plan on having many more adventures in Davis in the future.

After I left Joseph's house I made my way over to the Gazebo where I visited for a while with Emily, Bridget, and Jolene.  It was fun.  I hadn't seen the girls for quite some time.  We talked about life, work, school, plans, the usual.  Jolene had just gotten a book from Border's about the 500 craziest crimes of all time, or maybe it was criminals.  It was interesting to hear some of the stories.  Some I knew well from hearing the news, like Columbine, Oklahoma City, and the like.  There was one about an Italian Opera singer which made us all laugh.  As it drew near 11 I decided that I better drive home before I got too tired.  I made it back home, but was very glad that I left when I did, as I was feeling very tired from all the days fun activities. 

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