Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day Weekend

Let me apologize in advance for the lack of pictures in this post. My camera died and I kept forgetting to charge it! Anyway, back to the post. We have has some pretty busy (but fun--no complaints here!) weekends lately so this weekend it was actually nice to stay at home and relax! I guess I should begin by discussing our very interesting Thursday. When I got home the piano tech guy was at the house working on the piano. It needed to be tuned and the player needed some updating. He was such an interesting guy and definitely knew his stuff! He has autism and while it makes him a little socially nervous, it has allowed him to become a master musician! He plays the piano and the oboe (which he brought to our house to demonstrate) beautifully--I've never heard anyone play that well! He also showed Forrest how we can download player piano music off of iTunes and send it to our computer rather than buying discs. The piano has speakers that can play accompaniment as well as voice, so we can download Billy Joel, for instance, and have his voice and accompaniment come through the speakers and then the keys will play the piano part, just like Billy himself is in the room (even though I have been referring to the piano as Elton John). I was SUPER excited to learn about this--I had no idea that pianos could do that! Needless to say, I had the piano cranked up all weekend!
On Friday, Forrest went with his friends Chris and Jeff from high school to the Hiwassee to go canoeing. Have I mentioned that Forrest and Jay went in together to purchase a white water canoe off of Craig's list? I don't know much about it except that they flipped it the first day, ruining their phones, and causing Forrest to come home soaking wet! They have really been having fun with it and putting it to good use! After the Hiwassee, the guys hadn't gotten enough, so they went to the Ocoee and rafted that. To their surprise, another high school friend, Kyle, ended up being their guide, so they really had a full day of reuniting!
On Saturday, I got up and put on my swimsuit and headed to mom and dad's to pick up my sister to go to the lake to lay out. The bottom dropped out while we were eating a quick sandwhich, thereby ruining our day! I really should bother to check the weather more often! I went home and took another nap while Forrest went to play golf with my brother and Chris and Chris's dad, despite the drizzle. I was bummed about the lake but was able to go to Mass and get some shopping for Father's Day completed, so it probably worked out for the best. That night we drove up to our friends the Condras' lake house and had dinner with Barbara, Mark, Claire, and Jay. We had planned to stay just a few hours but ended up getting home at almost midnight! We sat out on their deck looking through Mark's telescope and talking for hours!
On Sunday, I got up at 4 am to put on my Father's Day roast, as we were hosting Forrest's parents for lunch. (I went right back to sleep--no worries!) Along with my roast I had green bean casserole with fresh green beans, black eyed peas, corn, and rolls. I was super impressed with my cooking skills! I don't think I've ever cooked that much for a meal before so I was feeling like a little chef. Mrs. Bailey brought some delicious rice krispie treats that she made with cocoa krispies, peanut butter, and roasted peanuts! After the Bailey's left I practiced actually playing the piano with my own fingers for a while before another epic grocery store trip. Then, after my 3rd nap of the weekend, Forrest and I went to my parents' house to celebrate Father's Day with my dad. Daddy likes to cook so that is what he wanted to do for his day and we weren't about to stop him! He did cornish hens--which I like to call "squab". I was in charge of making my mom's famous baked rice because she had to go to Auburn (boo) for an AP conference yesterday. We all LOVE this rice and it is pretty easy to do, however, I decided to use my new healthy brown rice---NOT a good plan. It never got soft so we had soupy hard rice! I am including the recipe below, but be sure to only use Uncle Ben's white rice, as that is the only kind I have ever used before and I know for sure that it works! Despite the disappointing rice incident, we had a great time with Dad and Roy and Mary Margaret. We even brought Sonny and Ruffles to play with Buddy, although Buddy doesn't care for Sonny too much! We had gotten Dad's present several weeks ago when Roy Upchurch and Mt. Cody (both UA players) were signing autographs at Flowers by Rita. Roy Upchurch signed "The Drive", a picture of him catching the winning touchdown to beat Auburn, for Dad, signing "To Roy, From Roy". I mean, how could we not get that for him? We thought that was awesome, and so did Dad! It will look great in his newly redesigned basement! After dinner Forrest went with Roy and some guys to play baseball and I took the dogs home and went to bed early, despite my previous nap! Now we are both looking forward to a fun week ahead!

Carol's Famous Baked Rice
1 cup Uncle Ben's White Rice (brown does not work!)
1/2 stick butter
1 can Campbell's French Onion Soup
1 can Campbell's beef consumme (I like the kind with gelatin added-it makes it cook faster)
1 small can pieces and stems mushrooms (optional, but delicious)
slivered almonds (optional, but also delicious)

Pour rice, soups, and all other ingredients into 9x9 pyrex. Put the butter on top in the middle--it will melt in the oven! Bake at 350 for 30 min to an hour. You will need to stir it a few times while it is cooking to make sure it blends, and will have to check it periodically to see if it is ready. It will be ready when most of the liquid is absorbed by the rice.

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