Monday, July 25, 2011

Tour de France Stage 19: an overview

Last week, Himself went off to the French Alpes to do a little riding/Tour de France groupie-ing with a friend from Texas. What follows is a transcript of our text message interchange on Friday afternoon while I watched the stage on TV and he watched it from the hillside of Alpe d'Huez:

Himself: Rode up alpe d'huez. Way more fun than last time! Today it is already a 9 mile party. Incredible to be here!
Porpoise: I'm jealous!
H: It's ok, I got you a present.
P: Andy Schlek?
H: Guido*, he was going backwards anyway. Might as well bring him home.
P: Frank? Ivan? Please, anyone but Guido!
H: Cav?
P: Ummmm...too high maintenance. How about Thor?
H: He's busy. How about Levi? He's not doing anything (oh snap!)
P: LOL. Maybe that new young rider? Or maybe Tyler? Cadel? we could bbq for him...
H: If Cadel doesn't get himself bbq'd today. Imagine Andy will be turning up the heat.

You get the idea. He sat on the side of the Alpe in the midst of a pile of people who had been drinking all day, watching the best cyclists in the world speed their way up a truly legendary climb. Not a bad way to spend a Friday afternoon in July!

* Guido = Alberto Contador, so nicknamed because of a series of Sidi cycling shoe ads on TV here in the UK showing him wearing a white tuxedo, barefoot, carrying a pair of cycling shoes. Ewwwww!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Sadly, the Brits do not view today as a good excuse to stay home from work/school and each carbonized meat with lots of beer and watermelon. So we had to do it yesterday. We headed off to the home of some fellow expat-Americans (or rather, one expat-American, one expat-Ukranian and their two lovely children). I was charged with bringing graham crackers, for that special American summer sugar infusion, S'mores.

No problem! I thought. However, the British are unaware (or perhaps just resistant to) Nabisco's total graham cracker monopoly. And the digestive biscuit, while extremely tasty (and occasionally already chocolate coated!), was not going to fly. So I channeled my inner Martha and made graham crackers.

Molasses substitute
Molasses substitute
Very sticky dough
Homemade graham crackers

They weren't like the store-bought kind, that's for sure, but they were very, very, very good. And judging by the amount of gooey marshmallow and melted chocolate that was flying around yesterday, no one noticed the difference.

My inner Martha was feeling particularly rambunctious (and American food-deprived) this weekend, because I also made bagels.

Boiling bread dough
Look Ma, no hands!
Homemade bagels

Way easier then I'd expected (although I'm not sure I ever really thought about how you made bagels before Saturday...), and pretty good. Next time I will make sure to have actual bread flour in the pantry instead of using a bread mix.


Yum! And also very good with cream cheese and orange marmalade.

I hope everyone has a fabulous Fourth, with lots of fireworks and lovely summer weather. Enjoy!