Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Halloween is one of my very favorite holidays, for several reasons. 

#1 - Costumes!!  I love making costumes and dressing up and being goofy.  I am going to post pictures of costumes that I made for this year (both for my nieces and myself).  It's fun to wear something totally random and pretend to be someone else.  My nieces this year were a princess and a mermaid.  And I was the flu.  Yes, there are pictures.

#2 - Scooby Doo cartoons on TV.  Yay!  Scooby Doo = proof that all evil in the world is just a bunch of bored robot-building guys in masks. 

#3 - Halloween is a great holiday for allowing us to poke fun at the things that scare us.  I think this is the real reason that Halloween is such a wonderful and useful holiday.  In folklore, Halloween traditionally is a time when the spirit world is closest to our own.  It's a time to remember fondly those who have gone before us.  And it's a good time to think about our own mortality - the talk of ghosts and scary things that go bump in the night is a way for us to cope with the parts of life that scare us most.  It helps us to not be so scared of the things we don't understand, when we can dress up as scary things and pretend that those things can be understood.  We've lost several people this year, and tonight is a wonderful time to remember them.

So from Noel, me, and the orange and black kitties living in our house, Happy Halloween! 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My  mom came to visit last week!  She hadn't really ever spent any time in Texas (just passing through Amarillo once years ago), so there was a lot to experience.

We had a really nice time - we saw a LOT.  We went to the riverwalk in San Antonio, we drove through some beautiful farm country, and (needless to say) we went fabric shopping.

One really cool thing we saw was the Austin County Fair.  It was the first Texas fair either of us had ever been to.  They had livestock shows and auctions.  We were blown away by the auctioneers.  How can these guys possibly talk this fast?  (I remembered that my camera takes videos - yay!)

They also had a rodeo!  Mom really wanted to go, and I hadn't been before, so why not?  I have to say though, I was worried about the animals getting hurt, and kept my eyes closed during the portions when they roped calves and such.

The barrel racing was really impressive. 

My favorite part of it was definitely the bronco and bull riding.  These people are INSANE.

How can they even WALK after that?  That's....impressive.  And crazy. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Yet Another Post About Food. Yes, Again.

On the first day of Autumn, we had our annual Autumn Feast.  The plan was to finish off the meal with a homemade apple cobbler, but in an almost superhuman display of self-restraint, we decided to hold off on the cobbler til another day, when we might be able to actually eat it without rupturing part of our digestive system or rendering ourselves unconscious for 3 or more days straight. 

So!  Yesterday, I made a cobber!  This is a variation of Rachel's super-easy cobbler recipe:

1 stick of butter
1 cup of self-rising flour
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of milk
1 can of apple pie filling (or another fruit of your choice)

Preheat oven to 350.  While oven is heating, put the stick of butter in your dish and put in the oven to melt.  While that's melting, in a separate bowl mix flour, sugar, and milk.  Pour this evenly over top of the melted butter.  Then spread the can of apple pie filling on top of this mixture making sure the fruit is distributed all over the dish.  Bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown.  Eat until you pass out.

My Autumnal variations: 

I used half white sugar, half brown sugar (molasses makes it tasty!)
I added in a couple of dashes of cinnamon and vanilla extract into the batter as well, to make it more fall-tasting.

It was GOOD.

Now, the cobbler deliciousness was the second fantastic food we had eaten this past weekend.  On Friday, we went to our favorite local hang-out & restaurant, Othie's.  They were having live music and the crowd was hoppin'!

Othie's has excellent food.  But they've recently raised the bar - they bought a smoker!  Noel and I originally planned to get sandwiches, but when we walked in the door, we smelled heaven on a platter.  Oh yes, they wooed us in to having this:

The biggest platter of BBQ ribs I've ever seen in my life.  Now, for those of you NOT from Texas, you may be surprised to know that these are beef and not pork.  Noel and I both have an affinity for BBQ pork and consider it superior to beef BBQ in general.


These were, without any question, the best ribs of any kind either of us has EVER had.  No really.  They were beyond phenomenal.  I ate until I couldn't eat anymore.

Noel did too.

So!  If you ever get the chance, head to Othie's for their ribs.  We certainly will be there.  Oh yes.  YUM.