Family Fun


Chris and I find traditions very important.  There are just certain things you do at certain times.  We are not dogmatic or regimented about them – we simply love traditions because they are fun and provide a fantastic excuse to take a break and go do something together as a family. 


Last Saturday we packed up Benjamin and headed over to Craven Farm in our beloved Snohomish so that Benjamin could having his first experience with picking out the all-important Halloween pumpkin. 


We had no illusions that he would actually know what Halloween was, or care about a pumpkin as anything more than one of about a billion toys covering the whole festival area, but we knew the experience itself would be great fun for him, and memorable at the very least for us.  We were not disappointed.  Mums2.10-08

Craven Farm is nestled in Snohomish’s farmlands (being a farm, this of course makes sense), and with the day being right in line with most of this fall so far (weather-wise), the place absolutely sparkled.  You walk into a clean open area surrounded by various barn-like outbuildings, with wood chips underfoot, and pumpkins and gourds of every size, shape, and color strewn all about the yard, along with chrysanthemums, a couple fair-food stands, and plenty of contraptions for kids to crawl into and over while parents snap endless photos.  We of course were among them.  


I think at first when we put down, he was incredulous that he could run free, relatively uninhibited, and was shy at first. 


That lasted about five minutes.  And then he was everywhere, which was Ok because they place is extremely kid friendly. 



They even have a little petting zoo, so Ben got to see kittens, bunnies, goats, geese, chickens, and ducks, all of which he joyfully named “wa-wa’s”.  (That’s Ben-ese for cat, and really any other pet-like animal).




We never did get a pumpkin, which we expected – by the time Ben had enjoyed every toy there, he was exhausted and never would have lasted in the line, even though it moved pretty quickly.  We packed him back up in the car and he was asleep inside two minutes.  We picked up a pumpkin at the local farm stand by our house, and he just slept.



A very good recipe for a successful nap, if you ask me!

Thoughtful Friday 11


"Listen!  The wind
is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, we have had our summer evenings,
now for October eves!" –
Humbert Wolfe

Steak, Carmalized Onion, & Brie Sandwiches

Carmalized Onion, & Brie Sandwiches

This is a very
simple, loose recipe, so don’t pay too much attention to measurements, just make
up your sandwich in however looks good to you! 
This is a great way to use up leftover steak, and the mix of flavors are
something we especially enjoy in the fall. 
Serve these up with some sliced apples, like Honeycrisp – they pair
wonderfully with the brie in the sandwich!

  • 2 sirloin
  • Seasoning
  • 2 tsp olive
  • 2 tsp
  • 1 medium onion,
    sliced into ¼ inch rings
  • Wedge of brie
    cheese (how much you use is up to you!)
  • 4 nice crusty
    French bread hoagie-type rolls, or a baguette cut into individual
  • Dijon
  • (Chris added
    some Mayo, too….)

If your steaks
aren’t already cooked, preheat oven to the broil setting.  Sprinkle them liberally with your favorite
seasoning salt on both sides, and set on a broiling pan (line bottom with tin
foil for easier clean-up).  Put in top
rack in oven and broil 4-6 minutes on each side, or until done to your
liking.  Take out of oven just before
they are to your liking, as they will continue to cook once they are out.  Set aside to rest for about 15

Caramelize the
onion:  heat butter and oil over medium
high heat in a large, heavy sauté pan. 
Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft, golden
brown, and caramelized.  Reduce heat to
medium low if needed to keep from burning. 
This will take approximately 25 minutes. 
Add a teaspoon or so of sugar at the end of cooking to bring out more of
the caramelized flavor.

Cut some thin
slices of brie.  Slice steak thinly
across the grain.  Assemble sandwiches,
spreading on some mustard, then layering some steak slices, a couple tablespoons
of onion, and thin slices of brie.  Broil
in oven until cheese is melty, just about 1-2 minutes, taking care not to

SUPER-yum. Enjoy!

Thoughtful Friday 11

“Our life is frittered away by detail … simplify, simplify.”
Henry David Thoreau

Photo taken 9/30/2008, Ebey's Landing, Whidbey Island Washington
The rocks were already stacked.
By Chris Tindall