Goodbye, Old Friend

Another one of my goals this year was to get back into film photography. It seems silly to have a box full of cameras that don’t get used simply because they require film. Of course, that didn’t mean that I wanted my digital camera to simply up and die while I rediscovered film, but that’s just the way things go sometimes. I’ve had this digital camera since 2007, when I inherited it from my uncle who passed away that fall. Since then I have taken literally thousands of photographs of family events, shows, hikes, and parties. I always liked to think that it was a way for my uncle to share in the event, to carry a part of him with me through all these adventures. But like all technology, it seems the camera just doesn’t want to work anymore, and it’s time to move onto a new one. It is disappointing though, to know that I have film cameras that are 30-50 years old and still working, while a digital camera (like all things digital) has a shelf life. Below is a gallery of some of my favorite shots from over the years.

Uncle Erik and BAugust 2007

Sunset on Pamlico River, August 2007

Birthday Boy, April 2008

Carolina Pines, NC June 2008

Abandoned Piano, October 2008

Ben Nichols, Washington, D.C. April 2009

Shenandoah National Park, November 2009

With Grandma, November 2009

Sailors, August 2010

Our Honeymoon, May 2011

Tiny Bear, October 2011

Bear and Grandpa, January 2012




I like flowers and I like chocolates, but if I had to pick a favorite, chocolate would always win (see previous post for evidence). So on Monday night when we came across a recipe for cocoa rubbed steak with whiskey bacon gravy in the latest issue of Food Network magazine, well it was like fate gave us our Valentine’s day recipe. I mean really, what says love more then steak on the grill with cheesy mashed potatoes and some chocolate cake for dessert. Needless to say, we decided to forgo the diet for the evening.

Overall impressions of this recipe? I would’ve added a bit more salt to the rub which was my own fault. However, I accidentally made up for it in the mashed potatoes. The gravy was pretty thin. While it tasted great, we were expecting something a little thicker. I think next time around I’ll cut the chicken broth down by half.

Birthday Cake

For the past several years, I have made my own birthday cake. This seems strange to many people, as if it is wrong for someone to make their own cake. I say, why should I be subjected to a grocery store sponge cake with sugary frosting, when for about 10 minutes of work I can enjoy a decadent double chocolate sour cream cake? (Especially nice because we have been on a diet) Of course, I think most people underestimate the actual joy of baking something and then enjoying the fruits of your label…or think it’s too complicated…or would rather just spend the ten minutes of prep time shotgunning beers, but for me, I enjoy drinking a beer while firing up the KitchenAid, or better yet, putting some beer into your cake, as has been done in years past. But that’s just me. If I had to make one alteration to the recipe it would be to use a cup of Guinness with instant espresso powder mixed in, instead of the cup of strong coffee called for by the recipe. I will report back once this iteration is tested.

I turned 29 a couple weeks ago. I have a list of things to accomplish this year that go beyond enjoying a chocolatey cake with a fancy coffee drink. Some of them are boring career-oriented things that I won’t bother boring you with. Others, like bread baking, canning, knitting socks, and visited several national parks, will be popping up pretty frequently around here. So I hope you enjoy them, and consider making yourself a delicious chocolate cake soon…even if it’s not your birthday.

Stash Hats

One of my goals this year is to knit through my stash. In truth, it’s a pretty small stash. I managed to fit the whole thing in one large space bag and two plastic shoe boxes when I moved out here. However, some of that yarn has been in there for 4 or 5 years and it deserves to be something more than baggage. I’ve started small, taking all the odds and ends and constructing hats. Most of these have been gifted away already making room for more hats, which are the perfect project to bring while going out on one of our local adventures.