Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Robert's Birthday Trip to Brooklynn, WA

First beer of the night
For Robert's birthday we made the second annual journey to the Historic Brooklyn Tavern in Brooklyn, Washington for a weekend of drinking, campfires, axe throwing, and good friends.  Brooklyn is a unique, small community and a place that I look forward to visiting every year.  To get to the Brooklyn Tavern, you have two options, either drive for seven miles on a gravel road or drive an extra hour on paved roads. The first year we made the trip, we followed the GPS unit and ended up on the gravel road for seven miles. We had just purchased the Fusion, and Joel wasn't too happy about taking this route. But I had a great time enjoying the amazing views of the mountains and valleys filled with wild flowers and green trees. This year, Joel planned ahead and we took the paved route. I didn't mind, because I had recently purchased the newest Brandi Carlile album, so I was busy rocking out to my favorite artist of all time.
Elisabeth and Anna
One happy Joel
Spending a weekend at the Brooklyn Tavern means camping in a field that doubles as a log show arena, not being surprised when four-wheelers appear out of the woods to pick up a six-pack from the bar before disappearing back into the woods, and being open to meeting lots of characters as the locals come and go from the bar. Once we got the tent set up, we headed into the bar to have the first beer of many to come. The bar has a great collection of logging artifacts collected from the locals, as well as some unique items. Among my favorites is the stuffed beaver with a fake beard, signs declaring, "If you don't like it here, the next bar is twenty minutes west", and all the dollar bills from visitors around the world stapled to the ceiling above the pool table, and the collection of antique glass medicine bottles that line the windows.  The bar is "L" shaped, and along one arm of the bar there is a spit-river. For those of you who don't know what this wonderful thing is, it is a trench in the floor at the base of the bar with constantly running water for those who chew tobacco to spit into. A wonderful addition to any home if you should find yourself needing to spit frequently, super gross for those who don't need to use it. Even worse, is when the dogs (yep, you can bring your dog into the bar with you), decide to quench their thirst in the "river".  You can tell the smart dogs from the not-so-smart dogs; the smart dogs drink up-stream where there is less debris in the river. There is also a giant bell you can ring by pulling on a string. When you ring the bell you buy the bar a round. This year, Joel instructed me over and over, that I was not allowed to the ring the bell more than twice an evening; unlike last year when I rang the bell about once an hour.  What a party pooper!  
The Odellsons (Anna gave the three of us a new nickname and we love it!)
Robert, the birthday boy, and Julie
Travis and Joel; quality time with Apple Pie
Hugs are the best
Me and Anna-My-Birch
We all had a great time enjoying the unique, relaxed and accepting atmosphere which is the Brooklyn Tavern. I'm so glad that Robert and Anna invited us to join them last year and we will keep coming back for many years to come!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sweet Potatoe Pie

Every other month for my office book club, we bring in food to share with everyone during our evening meetings. We try to theme the food with the book we read that month. This month we read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I decided to bring in a Sweet Potato Pie, guessing that a Potato Peel Pie wouldn't be well received. I did a bit of research online and found this recipe to include each of the features people stated to be necessary ingredients for an amazing pie. I gave it my best shot and the results were amazing! I think I might like Sweet Potato Pie better than Pumpkin Pie! I even made up a batch whipped cream from scratch to top each slice. The pie was a big hit with the other members of book club; many even had two slices! I think I might make this pie for Thanksgiving this year... who knows, it might be the new tradition!
Sweet Potato Pie