Monday, December 28, 2015

Latkes and the Like

We'd never made latkes before, but I randomly thought that it would be fun to try making them for brunch since Hanukkah had just passed and fried potatoes on a Sunday morning sounded like a pretty good idea.  Traditionally, latkes are eaten to commemorate the small bit of olive oil that miraculously lasted for eight days when the menorah was lit during the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem. The first latkes were not necessarily made with potatoes, though.  The Jews fried whatever they could find in olive oil to celebrate Hanukkah.  Likewise, we fried a few different things - Russett potatoes, yams, and zucchini.

Nowadays, latkes are often enjoyed with sour cream and apple sauce.  I made yogurt-based toppings and chopped a fresh apple to make apple sauce, rather than getting sour cream and Mott's.  Wes also hand-packed and seasoned a few lamb patties and fried a couple of eggs to complete the spread!

Monday, December 21, 2015

This is How We Roll: Pappardelle with Lamb Ragu

Good friends make fresh pasta for each other.  That is how things "roll" with Vivian and Nhan, anyway.  Vivian showed us how to make ravioli with her trusty hand-crank pasta roller first.  She really likes Vetri's recipe, which requires nine egg yolks, or eighteen, if you messed up the recipe like Wes did!  Luckily he noticed right away, but it didn't save us another run to the supermarket in the rain.  Anyway, when Vivian told us that she was coming to our area for the day, we offered to return the favor with pappardelle - our favorite pasta shape for Wes's awesome lamb ragu.

Seems like a lot of trouble, but it is so worth it to make our own pasta.  To me, it's fun in an almost childlike way, much like making cookies from scratch for Christmas.  Also, it was the perfect way to spend a rainy night in with friends.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Special Olympics Fall Games

A few weekends ago, we volunteered to join the media team for Special Olympics Southern California to photograph the Fall Games, which was a huge event attracting more than 1,100 athletes from across Southern California who competed for gold, silver, and bronze medals and ribbons in soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball, and more.

Daily, I work with kids who are functioning far below their chronological age level, and I try my best to help them be as independent as possible in the school setting.  Though it can be challenging, I find my job very rewarding and fun.  While Wes has not had much exposure to interactions with kids with special needs, he has a wealth of experience in sports photography.  Since high school, he has been shooting football, soccer, volleyball, waterpolo, etc., with his trusty 4-megapixel Canon 1D.  He also shoots games at Pasadena City College and Azusa Pacific after work these days, just for fun.  So when this opportunity came up, we both thought that it would be a cool way to merge our interests in a place outside of the kitchen.