Friday, January 30, 2009

First Family Garden

This spring the Fox Den will attempt to grow our first garden--complete with fruits, veggies, herbs and... (drum roll, please) a tent. We've got the bamboo stakes, the climbing vines, seed packets, and organic soil. We are planting our seeds in biodegradable egg cartons we've been hoarding over the last few months. Next up: digging up a corner of our lawn (renting a roto-tiller sure sounds tempting) to replace it with compost, manure and whatever else the local nursery advises. I'm also nudging Chief Fox to get a compost container set up (his reluctance on this is due to his fear of attracting roaches... should that be a concern?).

photo credit: Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots, copyright 1999 by Sharon Lovejoy

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Sunday, January 4, 2009


Since half of San Diego hits the malls for those after-Christmas-day sales, we decided to go sledding that day instead. Pine Valley has a great little diner we like to visit every now and then for malts and melts called Major's...and Mt. Laguna is where we found all the snow--as well as the other half of San Diego. The sledding traffic was so thick that it felt and sounded like we were at a stadium event!
Play the video below for a glimpse of Rigel surfing the snow...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Balloon Parade

A bunch of us found ourselves at the Balloon Parade the Monday before New Year's...

According to the website: "As always, this exciting family event brings together world-class marching bands, magnificent floats, entertaining drill teams, and a procession of enormous balloons-more than any other parade! Over 100,000 street-side spectators will enjoy the parade along with a nationwide television audience. Parade festivities will begin... with the finals of the 13th annual Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals and the Bumble Bee Foods 5K."

We loved the balloons, but missed the wiener dog races... next year, perhaps?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Our family usually celebrates the New Year with a traditional meal, as I'm sure many other families do as well. This year, we are going to my grandmother's house for dinner, where pork, greens, and black eyed peas will be served--a southern tradition for many generations. Pork for good health, greens for "greenbacks all year," and black-eyed peas for good luck. I'm bringing noodles "for long life" (out of respect for my Japanese descent--my dad's mom was full Japanese).
Any leftover pork will be cooked into Senate Bean Soup, a recipe obtained by my grandfather during his years as a political writer for the San Diego Union. He covered the presidential elections (Johnson, Reagan, Nixon, and Bobby Kennedy), following the candidates to Washington D.C. Ever since, he was in charge of cooking this delicious bean soup.
... For anyone who is interested in the soupy historical details, here's a tidbit from Time Life's 1968 publishing of The District of Columbia: "...Every day on the menu of every restaurant in the Capitol Building can be found Senate Bean Soup...there is no record of the origin of this practice, but according to one story it originated not in the Senate but in the House, with a Representative who insisted that bean soup be served daily. Today, however the soup is especially popular in the private dining quarters in the Capitol's Senate wing, two adjoining rooms, one for Democrats and one for Republicans. The Senators' fondness for the soup does not make them gourmets. The maitre d'hotel says, 'if they don't choose Senate Bean Soup, they invariably ask for a hamburger.' " My mom has adapted this recipe into a version that is even tastier, in my opinion.

Above, top: Granddad and colleague in a SD Union article, August of 1968. Above, bottom: Governor Reagan and Grandma, 1968

Click here for Mom's Senate Bean Soup recipe.