Its vacay time....

(I don't have my usual fancy lighting and photography equip, so pictures may be less than usual.... WHAT fancy equip?) Its our annual June vacation time. We have been going for an extended vacation in June for a few years now. Last year we took the plunge and advantage of record low real estate prices, and scooped up a little getaway in the dessert. We live on the west coast so come June we are desperate for some Vitamin D. June in the dessert gives us that and then some.

(its 100F right now, at like 8:30 at night, so lets make hot soup. really? really? really.) Coming off of an uber exciting Blogher Food conference in Seattle, I was pumped for some serious blog time. Vacation, wahoooo. I will cook lots, blog lots, and really take this little project to the next level. Uh Right. Ya Sure. DREAMer. Four days in and reality set in.  I have a 17 month old. A Tuesday looks the same as a Sunday.  A vacation the same as our regular life. I am still on my conference high no question, but execution is lagging. I'm not sure why I thought there would be all these extra hours in the day.

(being on vacay also means temp kitchen and not always the ware one would like to use.) Let me be crystal clear here. Having my parenting partner here is a HUGE help. HUGE. And I really don't just say this 'cause he is reading this over my shoulder (maybe I capitalized HUGE cause he was reading this over my shoulder), but help is help. It makes a really big difference having someone with you 24/7 dedicated to all things parenting. You get to use the bathroom alone. You get to dry your hair. You get to unload the dishwasher without snatching knives and cheese graters from little hands. You get to dry your hair. You get to pop out while Little is sleeping to run  an errand. You get to dry your hair. I only have one and I know it takes a village. Even if that village is Population 2 right now. Its awesome. But I'm still trying to work out, and love the opportunity to take in the pool, explore the area, and even fix up the new place etc....

But where does that leave Baby sixtone45 (aka, this blog). Well, a bit on an abbreviated pause, sorta kinda. I (and we)  are going to continue to cook great food. Tonight we used the leftover broth from this recipe and made another dinner of protein, veggies, noodles. I may not photograph everything, but I will try. My film is pretty full of Little sixtyone45 in a swimsuit and that suits me just fine. I am finding time everyday to reflect on many many notes from the conference. There seems to be more time for me to brainstorm and imaginary whiteboard ideas with Mr. and I value that time. I'm honing in on my finding my voice, my point of view, my ability to communicate stories....both on this screen and off. I continue to remind my self that progress is not always visible to the outside world (like just because I had a great run yesterday my clothes are not suddenly looser today), sometimes taking the time to just think and reflect and do the "admin" work is progress too.

One of my favorite quotes from the conference was one a panelist mentioned. She asked if people knew who Ira Glass was  (everyone nodded their head , me included while frantically scribbling...."Ira Glass, who is this??? google his quote") and proceeded to read something he said once. I leave you with it, as its where my head is at right now. 

This was our version of PHO, it was fresh and bright, flavourful and filling, And on this hot smmer evening, surprisingly...refreshing.

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
Ira Glass

A Coupla Western Canadians On Vacation Version of Pho. (lotsa pots here, but worth it)

(Note: we would have loved to have ginger, scriacchi (sp??) & fish sauce but they were absent from our vacay pantry on this particular evening)

For the broth...

4 cups water in a pot
4 cloves minced garlic
1 white onion
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
dried basil
chili flakes
1/2 jalapeno
1/2 tetrapack free range organic chicken broth
Chicken/beef and/or pork bones for flavour if available.

Bring this stuff to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Then for the good stuff...

1/2 lb of country style boneless pork ribs
1 lb of thin cut top round beef

Slice into strips.  Saute the meat with some soy sauce, on medium to low heat.


Chop up....carrots, radish, cilantro, green onion, jalapeno.
Amounts to taste...we used 2 carrots, 5 radishes, a palm full of cilantro, 2 green onion, 1/2 jalapeno)
Set aside.

Bring 2 bunches dried udon noodles to a boil. Cook until tender. Rinse, drain and set aside.

In the bowls you are eating out of....

 - put the noodles in.
 - then the meat
 - then the raw veggies

Pour the brother over,
Top with cilantro and green onion.

Run back to Safeway to get chopsticks because you realize vacay house doesn't have any...

Slurp and enjoy.