Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hiking and Camping in Yosemite

Last weekend we went on a hiking and camping trip to Yosemite with our friends Dustin, Sascha and Krista.

We did a ~4mi RT hike (1000+ ft of elevation) to the top of Vernal Falls.

Half Dome in the distance.

The hike on day 2 was less strenuous, but no less impressive.

The giant sequoias of Merced Grove.

Relaxing amidst the trees.

Thanks again to Dustin for the photos.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Hardly Strictly, 2011

Yesterday was the third and final day of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival (, a free festival in Golden Gate Park. Though we were busy on Friday and Saturday, we had just enough free time on Sunday to head out to the park in time to catch Emmylou Harris perform a set which mixed some songs off her new album with covers (including Gillian Welch's Orphan Girl and Gram Parsons' Luxury Liner) she's been performing for years. It was a great way to end the weekend.

(Thank you to Dustin for the fantastic photos!)

Food and Plants, Indoors and Out

A few weeks ago, we took a raw fermentation class from Raw Bay Area chef Heather Haxo Phillips and got lots of great ideas on fermentation. We learned how to make raw coconut yogurt using vegan kefir grains, got tips on how to improve our sauerkraut and recipe ideas for kombucha second fermentations, and even learned how to make raw vegan cheese! Since the class, we've tried to make coconut yogurt twice. While we haven't gotten it right yet, we'll keep trying when we can afford the coconuts! Our first attempt at sauerkraut was pretty disastrous (too salty!!) but we remain undaunted and are ready to try again. We're also very excited to make the nut cheese the next time we make vegan sushi rolls.

After the class, we took Sascha's brother to dim sum in Chinatown. On the recommendation of a friend, we tried Great Eastern restaurant for the first time and were happy to discover that their to-miao (bean sprout leaves) was fabulous.

We walked off our very heavy lunch by going to the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate park, a magical place filled with beautiful pools of water, hanging water lilies, carnivorous plants, and tropical orchids. The currently exhibit at the CoF is the Wicked Plants exhibition, a collection of "deadly" and harmful plants that features over 30 species of plants with scandalous histories, some of which can be found growing in many of your homes and gardens.

And speaking of gardens, our own garden is doing very well. We've been working outside all summer and wanted to share some of our success with you! We've had a month of tomatoes (red, yellow, and orange) and it looks as if we'll have many more in the weeks to come. The other crops -- broccoli, mustard greens, kale, chard, collards, lettuce, fava beans -- should all be ready soon. We may even get some late-season melons soon (currently we have 10-12 small melons on the vine, each about the size of a half-dollar). Hope you all can come and see our home and garden in person one day.

(Thank you to Patrick for the photos of the exhibit and of our lunch together.)