Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Food and Hiking

This weekend was filled with much activity, at least the first part of the weekend was! Dan and I hatched a plan to go hiking this past weekend. We were really excited about hitting the trails again and planned to go to Mt. Diablo to hike the waterfall trails while there is still water flowing. We started the morning off with a Dutch Baby pancake. Dan and his family got me into these delectable treats when we were both in college. Slightly like a popover, the pancake is chewy on the outsides and the bottom is almost like custard in texture. The pancake is then dressed with butter, a little powdered sugar, and fresh squeezed lemon juice. They are simply wonderful to eat! We used to wait up to an hour and a half to have these at a restaurant, but with the purchase of our own cast iron pan and a book about cast iron cooking, we found out how easy these are to make. It almost makes me regret all the waiting around for a table at that restaurant for something so easy to make.

We then took off for the mountain. We drove up to the summit first, and then came the realization that we could not get to the trail head that I wanted to use with the car. We would have had to circumnavigate the entire mountain using roads that would take a long time to achieve our goal. We decided instead to just hike out to the trail, turning our once 5.5 mile hike into a near 10 mile one. This also resulted in us going downhill at the beginning rather than the end, another decision we would not be happy with later. We saw quite a few small and beautiful waterfalls. I took pictures of two of them. The sunlight was perfect, highlighting the ripples and flow of the water. At times the water would splash up into droplets that looked like diamonds in the air. It was glorious.
We walked in and out of forested areas and into grassy fields. The trail was a bit narrow, so side by side walking was rarely an option unless we were on sections that were the fire roads. There were lots of people out as well. I think the first day of spring always makes people want to get out of the house and explore nature again. The clouds were gone, and for the most part, the haze was minimal, giving us beautiful views of the San Francisco and Discovery Bays. The valleys stretched out like a shaggy green carpet. It was nice to be surrounded by so much green as so much of the summer and fall here is so brown. The wildflowers were something to behold as well. The poppies, Indian paintbrush, and lupines were all in full bloom. Many people were walking around with guidebooks for both the flowers and the many birds that were out and about with us all. Soon enough it was time to turn back and head up the mountain. It was a hard hike that took us a long while due to being a bit tired from the up and down sections of the waterfall loop. We eventually made it and then collapsed into the car, two very sore hikers. Sunday was declared a day of rest, literally. We did not move a bit due to the extreme soreness we both were feeling. The only movement activities that we partook in was the making of food. We cooked a mostly from scratch pizza that was marvelous. We made the crust with semolina and white flowers, used jar sauce*, and then added cheese; our wild boar sausage; and some caramelized onions. Needless to say, it was gone as soon as it was out of the oven. We hoped for leftovers, but there were none!

Today I am going to work on my niece's birthday gift as well as plant the tomato plants out into their permanent pots. They have gotten too large for their temporary home in the office window. While the soreness has subsided a bit, I am still feeling it. Hopefully I will be back in form for dance class on Thursday!

* My plans for this next canning season it to work on our own pizza sauce. The usage of store bought sauce is hopefully a thing of the past next year! Any good sauce recipes? Send them my way!


Steph said...

Not pizza sauce, but I've been dying to make up a batch of my grandmother's spaghetti sauce. It's a meat sauce with a whole ton of stuff in it--but it makes a ton so I haven't bothered, as I haven't got the freezer space. If you're up for it, I can get the recipe from my mom and see if you might be interested in splitting a batch!

Fabulous Pants said...

I am definitely interested! Also, we need to plan your canning lessons this summer! :)