Friday, July 3, 2009

Finding Our Way to..."The Island"

Typing tonight is a little difficult as I frequently must pull my hair up off my neck to let in the breeze. Except there is no breeze, the air is hot and close. These are the conditions we endure for such a beautiful day in Seattle.

Since my husband got the day off, we decided to take advantage and get out of town. Usually we lounge around or clean the house, but not today. We got up and out to the ferry, shuttling us to Bainbridge Island.

I've only been there a couple of times, both when I was in high school. So my memory of it was a little on the fuzzy side. But to my husband, it sounded like some sort of magical island of fun (he's often enamored with the unknown...a glass half full kind of guy). We brought along the kids' bikes thinking that maybe we'd rent some for ourselves and bike around, like a trial run for our upcoming vacation to Sun River.

Since the trunk was full of bikes, we neglected to bring a stroller and had to lug the baby the pizza joint, the playground, the "waterfront park" (oh, yeah, not a lake and smells like low tide). Finally, we drive over to the bicycle shop only to find out it costs like $25 per bike to rent one! Sorry, but $50 for a bike ride is not my favorite idea of how to spend money.

The kids were a little crushed as they had been looking forward to that bike ride. So, we took them over to the local elementary school parking lot for a ride around "Mario Circuit". That lasted about 10 minutes. Then we packed up and drove back to the ferry, thinking that 3 hours on the island was a modest success.

Honestly, the ferry ride was everyone's favorite part. Especially since the kids got those gross Drumstick ice cream cones on the way back. The city is fun to watch as it comes into focus. And there were lots of sailboats to admire on the way.

All that exploring sapped every last ounce of energy out of me. My son and I (being the whitest members of the family) turn red and literally melt in the bright sunlight. The whine turns on full blast. Can't wait for that future trip to the Philippines...that ought to be about a 12 on the 1-10 scale of pleasantness!

But I digress...dinner needed to be simple and quick. I boiled a big pot of water for some bow-tie pasta. Meanwhile, I cleaned some veg for a great big pasta salad.

Pasta with Summer Sauce

Boil a lot of salted water. Add:

1 pound bow-tie pasta (or other chunky pasta)

Let it cook a couple of minutes. When it comes back to a boil, add:

2 c green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces

Boil 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop up the veg for the salad. Combine in a bowl:

2 c cherry tomatoes, quartered (a mixture is pretty)
1/4 c minced parsley
1/2 c minced red onion
1/4 c chopped black olives
2 TB minced fresh basil
1/4 c olive oil
1 tsp salt (may need more)
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp balsamic vinegar

When the pasta is cooked, drain and add the pasta/beans to the bowl of salad items. Sprinkle on:

1/4-1/2 c feta cheese, crumbled

Mix gently. Serve warm, room temp, or cooled. My leftovers are becoming 4th of July picnic food tomorrow.

Happy Independence Day! Or should I say, "Have a safe and sane 4th..." (that's my favorite party dampening slogan).


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