Wow, so many things to report on this weekend.
I put together a yummy chicken dish - a variant on a recipe my mom gave me: raw chicken parts (thighs usually, bone in is just fine), 1 C soy sauce, 1 C white vinegar, fresh ginger 4 each of 1/4 inch slices, 4 garlic cloves, and 1 star anise. You can, of course, vary the quantities as you desire, but the rule of thumb is 1:1 soy to vinegar. Throw it in a covered pot (crockpot) and bake 1 hour at 350, or until the chicken is done. The meat falls off the bone, and it's super yummy. You can cook it longer with no ill-effects.
I started drinking my new batch of rootbeer. I made it last weekend, using Hoptech's concentrate #2. Perhaps I did something wrong, but the rootbeer is pretty uninspiring. It doesn't taste bad, it just doesn't taste much like rootbeer. The flavors are all very muted, which allows the flavor of the ale yeast to come through (not a positive thing in my book). Still, it was very satisfying to take a cold bottle of something I made out of the fridge, pop the flip-top off, and drink the lightly carbonated drink in the heat of the day. And this batch has a little bit of head as I added some of the foam enhancing solution.
Mom and dad came down this weekend to help us do more prep work for the path. With their help we dug out almost all of the path (I finished the second patio on Sunday), broke down the little playhouse (t'was infested with termites), planted the front bed, and spread 4 yards of compost-soil mixture. Except for some touch-up digging (to correct the grade), we're done with the digging. We just have some little projects before we start laying gravel. We need to replace the supports for the roof of our deck, bury some hoses for watering, remove a board that used to support the back deck, and relocate a downspout and it's sewer connection.
I figure we dug up around 5 yards of dirt on Saturday, which expands to 7 or 8 when it is loose soil (as opposed to packed earth). What the heck are we going to do with that much soil? Well, it's lying in a big pile in the corner of the yard. Later on we'll use it to level out the back yard, which suffers from a pretty steep slope in one corner. But, that project will have to wait until the fall at the very earliest.
Some time soon, I hope, I'll put up some pics of the progress. Perhaps then, Paul will be able to visualize all the work we've done. He complained that his visualization surely didn't match reality.
I watched the most excellent movie Riding Giants after the long day on Saturday. This has to be one of the best movies I've watched in a long time. I've always been fascinated by surfing, and this flic does an amazing job of showing the history and characters of big-wave surfing. And, of course, the surfing footage just blows you away. I cannot recommend this movie enough - go out and rent it right now, or put it in your NetFlix queue.