Happy Big Bang!

Today is the first day of Summerfest. For those of you unfamiliar with the "Big Gig", it is the largest music festival in the world. To top it all of, it happens right here in little old Milwaukee. As an avid live music patron, I have an unnatural desire to camp out on the lakefront for 11 straight days. However, most years I end up not going at all. I think it comes down these facts:
A) food and beverages are not cheap, B) Summerfest is UBER C-R-O-W-D-E-D and C) most of the bands I'd go to see at Summerfest also play at smaller local venues during other times of the year. Yeah, I prefer seeing my live music in a more intimate setting. Does that make me a music snob?

The first night of Summerfest is highlighted by a huge celebration of fireworks called "The Big Bang." Lo and I have made it a bit of a tradition to go down to one of the parks down on Lake Michigan early in the evening on the eve of the Bang. We plunk ourselves down, have dinner, drink, and make merry. Typically we bring our Weber Smokey Joe and grill up something fantastic. This year, we have opted to go the way of cheese and wine. Should be nice and relaxing. As an added bonus, the weather report suggests that this evening will be in the mid-60's! Having recently survived a mean streak of 90ºF weather, the mild temps will be a pleasant change.

With the fireworks tonight, and the 4th of July coming up, I'm feeling a bit patriotic. So, in honor of my mood -- here is probably the best remix of the Star Spangled Banner I have heard in awhile. Enjoy, and have a great 4th of July!


To Minnesota and Back

So... we spent last weekend in Minnesota, visiting Peef's parents. They moved to Belle Plaine, MN in February so that his dad could take a new job at the Lutheran Home there. And they invited us out to visit to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary. While we were there, we had a chance to visit online with Paul's brother who is currently living in Antigua. We had a nice visit, and it was great to see everyone.

Ever since we got back on Sunday, it seems we've been on the go! We've been running errands, and cooking (see some of what we've been up to in the kitchen at BURP!), working in the yard, and taking care of all sorts of loose ends.

One of the big time "suckers" has been trying to find the time to arrange a meeting with someone at our credit union to find out about financing options. We're in the process of trying to plan out the rennovation of our upstairs bathroom -- which desparately needs an overhaul. It was a mess when we moved in -- a real "do it yourself" project gone wrong. The shower shows signs of water damage -- so we've never actually USED it. The drywall is taped off so badly that you can see EVERY seam. If the workmanship itself wasn't an issue, the previous owners taste in decorating would definitely be enough to warrant the rennovation. Right now, the bathroom is decorated in peachy pink and green. We are the proud owners of a green faux marble counter top -- and oh-so-lovely Menard's-style cabinetry. If that weren't enough, the room is bedecked with a hideous flowered wallpaper border that screams 1983. So, you get what we're up against. When we start the project, we'll have to find a way to post some photos so that you can see for yourself!

Tonight we're off to celebrate Midsummer's Eve at a friend's house. She's putting together a traditional Swedish groaning board, complete with cucumber salad, salmon, and the like. Oh, yes -- and there will be fresh strawberries and cream for dessert... I'm off to make a dilled potato salad to add to the feasting.



Hippies of the world, UNIITE!

I'm used to people giving me a hard time for some of my habits... like chopping up my banana peels into small pieces so that they decompose faster in my compost pile, and dutifully sprinkling crushed egg shells around all of my tomato plants...

And I'm used to friends, on occasion, throwing out the "h-word" in my direction. It's OK, people -- we're not offended!

So, when I read an article like this DANDY from Mark Morford (SF Gate), I really get a kick. I mean, let's give some credit where credit is due, eh? Be warned -- Morford is VERY funny. But also very wrye.


Kid food vs. Adult food

I frequent a number of cooking boards online. And I do quite a bit of reading. The more I “listen in” on conversations about what children eat, the more I hear people saying things like "grown up food" or "kid food". Honestly, it wouldn’t even occur to me that there was a difference… and, although I’m not a parent, I just get the feeling that making this distinction is a bad idea. So, when Peef found this article in the New York Times, he knew I’d love it.

People who know me have heard me talk about how I TRULY believe that most food aversions are learned. I don’t think we are BORN with them; I think they’re based on a lot of psychological factors that come into play over the course of our lives.

Let me offer up a few examples. Say we have a bad experience (or two, or a few) with asparagus… we will probably decide we’d prefer not to eat it. Same goes for the time we got sick after eating a certain cheese… yeah, that makes for a good aversion too! Even eating a specific food or dish on a day when we're in a bad mood could trigger an aversion; our brain links something BAD with the food... and it becomes something we don't really want to eat.

If we don’t revisit these aversions – and make the conscious decision to change them -- they just STICK with us. And we spend our lives avoiding foods.

So -- how many of these things were developed at an early age, when we were "allowed" to make these differentiations between adult/kid food? I grew up eating almost everything. And I enjoyed eating foods for which my parents expressed pleasure. Until I was almost in high school, I never knew that my mother disliked anything! She encouraged us to be adventurous and try new things. She never refused to make something that she didn't care for -- and she ate it right along with us. I never second guessed them. I grew to like anchovies because my father was just NUTS for them...I seriously wonder... if kids weren't exposed to the idea that certain foods are "less likeable" than others, would they still dislike them?

Food for thought.


Peef & Lo. In the 21st Century.

Our first correspondence as Peef & Lo came in the form of a newsletter we sent out to our wedding party way back in 1997. After the wedding, the newsletter took a larger shape — and we began sending it out to friends and family, in an effort to keep them apprised of our “adventures” during our newlywed years. We shared the hardships and joys of those first years — with a bit of humor thrown in for good measure.

But now, ten years later, here we are. Still Peef and Lo. But in a very different place. And living in a very different world. Time has grown short. Paper has gotten scarce. Postage has gone the way of gasoline — and gotten expensive.

And so — this blog is the fodder of our fantastic revolution…
Here we are. In the 21st Century.