Monday, July 7, 2014

Long Weekend Basics: July 4th

We were both able to take the long weekend and enjoyed the extra day — it's amazing just how big of a difference it can make when you haven't taken one for a stretch.

Getting a little patriotic with our Sunglass Warehouse Sunnies — pretty sure Basil takes the cake here.

It turns out Ardent Craft Ales was newly releasing growlers for purchase on Thursday, so I took that as the perfect excuse to swing by and get one to kick off and enjoy throughout the long weekend or maybe Thursday night...

This weekend was my dad's 74th birthday, so we drove out to Powhatan to spend a little time together. He and mom made salt herrings — a fried fish my mom grew up on here in the south and raised us boys on too. My grandfather would dip for herring in creeks when they would run through the river. He would then clean and pack them in salt. The night before breakfast he would go down in the cellar and pull some salted herrings from a crock to soak overnight. Nowadays we purchase the herring, soak them overnight and dad heats up the cast iron skillet to make them in the summer once each year. We serve them with cantaloupe and man does it bring the memories rushing back:

The other tradition I carry on is putting fresh ground pepper on my cantaloupe — am I alone?

While out there, dad and I dug up one of the hydrangea bushes they needed to get rid of to bring back home and see if we could transplant it.

We're still settling on the best placement, but will keep you updated in another post if we're able to make the transplant. Mom told us the color of the blooms at her house might turn out different in our space — that hydrangea bloom hues depend on the makeup of the soil it's planted in. A quick Google search proved her right and us impressed! Here are some fun tips we found for making the colors of your hydrangea blooms change color.

Afterwards, we walked about 3 miles along Fighting Creek Trail with Basil, where we came across a secluded playground that had some of the funniest adult-sized swing seats — of course my parents gave us the biggest laugh of the weekend by trying them out.

To finish up the morning, we ventured out to Licking Hole Creek Brewery for a quick birthday beer before heading back home. They'd just released their Pony Pasture Pilsner, so I was eager to try it out — I just love how many great local breweries we have to choose from here in the Richmond area.

For a little summer Sunday supper I grilled the rabbit meat we'd picked up to bring home and prepare when visiting Lockhart Family Farm last weekend.

It might sound a little offbeat, but rabbit cooks and tastes very similar to chicken for those who haven't tried it. First, I brined the rabbit, then I tossed it on the grill with a healthy seasoning of BBQ rub I'd gotten on our latest trip to Brooklyn.

It was also a big weekend for sports — not only did we continue to catch the World Cup matches, but folks, The Tour de France kicked off on Saturday! Spoiler alert: I was pretty bummed watching Mark Cavendish topple over in the last moments of the UK first stage. It always surprises me how wrapped up I get in the Tour each year — it's something I grew up watching with my dad (who was a semi-pro cyclist before moving to America from Hungary) and something Mary and I have grown to watch together over the past almost 10 years. We had to laugh this year especially since the racing started out in the hills straight away (usually they reserve the tight hilly roads for the final stages), because Mary always gets so worked up watching the fans close-in on the bike path nearing the top of the hills. Without fail, she'll start passionately talking about how the tour organizers really need to set up some fan barriers and enforce them, and without fail, the fans get closer and closer in on the bike path each year, basically touching the riders as they pass through. Last night our house was filled with "those fans are not being respectful," "what other sport allows fans this close?" and a couple "hey, can you believe that fan just wove an opposite country flag right in that rider's face!?" Never a dull moment.

While talking Tour, it's also been interesting to watch the treatment of Lance Armstrong since the news of his doping came to light — we've been fascinated at how strategically the coverage omits all past coverage and mentions of Lance throughout the broadcast. Funny the things we pick up on and look out for, right?

How was your weekend? Did you get a glimpse at fireworks or like tuning into the Tour too?


  1. I LOVE rabbit. It's a running joke between my husband and myself that every time we go out for a nice dinner to celebrate something, I get the rabbit and he gets the trout. I've never actually made it myself, but it is on my list of things to try. I had some BBQ rabbit here at the Whiskey Jar last spring that was oh so tasty.
    We spent the weekend at the river picking crabs and watching fireworks.

    1. Yay, another rabbit lover! We also enjoy picking crabs! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Hope your weekend was a blast! Enjoy reading your posts :)

    1. Thanks Brittany for stopping in and saying hello!