Saturday, May 22, 2010

By the Bay and Pork Sweetie's Way

Most people have some special local places that they turn to when visitors arrive. When I was growing up near Washington DC, it was rare for us to go 'downtown' to the city but we usually did when guest arrived. I loved going to the Smithsonian and the Lincoln Memorial and at the time you would climb up and down the many, many steps to the top when visiting the Washington Monument.

The art museums, like the Corcoran where I took an art class while I was in high school, were less frequent destinations. In Arlington, across the river, we would go to the Iwa Jima memorial with the soldiers keeping the flag up. After President Kennedy died we sometimes went to his grave site and saw the eternal flame. When I was older I could take the bus and go shopping or visit the museums on my own. In college I was privileged to be able to do my research at the Library of Congress in the gorgeous reading room. Since we had a large family we didn't do too much visiting as a family but I fondly remember and know I enjoyed when others came to visit us.

It is still a treat to have guests. This month we have been very blessed with beloved family members coming to town. Since we live in Wine Country there has been a picnic at a winery, and sightseeing in Healdsburg, a favorite tourist destination.

For this weekend's guests we didn't need to go to Armstrong Redwoods, a favorite place to visit with guests, since they had been to Muir Woods in Marin County. Instead today we drove out through Bodega (which still has the school and church seen in Hitchcock's film The Birds) to Bodega Bay, to the beach. It was clear but very windy and cool. A few times during the day we became part of the 'parade' of a group of old car enthusiasts who were touring the area. About 80 percent seemed to be Chevrolets of various vintages. At Bodega Head they were parked and we were able to walk around and admire them and take some photos.


Although this is the time of year when whales are making their way along the coast, we didn't spot any, but the docents from the Marine lab had a whale vertebrae on display.

As we drove back to Hwy 1 from Bodega Head we again became part of the car parade for a short while.
After a brief detour up Jonive to view some redwoods, we headed over toward Guerneville Road and Hwy 116 to Mom's Apple Pie to pick up two small pies to share. The blueberry was good but the raspberry was excellent! They were eaten so quickly that I forgot to take photos. Xam made sure to hang out nearby in case any crusts fell to the deck.

One of our guests, the wonderfully artistic Flying Fingers, showed me how to use liquify in Photoshop so I took a beach scene and turned it into the green background in the above photo. Fun!

Sweetie made his favorite slow cooked pork roast for dinner. He seasons a pork butt roast with garlic salt and freshly cracked pepper and browns it on the hot grill. He removes the roast from the grill and wraps it well in heavy duty foil. The grill gets set to its lowest setting, 325 degrees F. and the wrapped roast goes into the grill for two hours, with the lid down. He turns the roast over after an hour. When it is done, the meat is very moist and tender and very much like pulled pork if your wish to prepare it that way.

He prefers to cut it into chunks or slices. I like to chop it in smaller pieces and serve on a bun with barbecue sauce, but it is delicious straight from the grill, just as it is. Before we had a gas grill he would do much the same thing in a low oven, but somehow cooking it on the grill produces a better end product.
Hope that you are enjoying Spring, too. Do you have favorite places to take visitors?

3 comments :

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh my the pork looks/sounds like a delight. The trips ALL sound so good.
Now must look for liquify in Photoshop! thats pretty neato.

tanita davis said...

Oooh, the cars are gorgeous!! That picture of them on the curving part of Hwy 1 is pretty nifty.

Sounds like a perfect day...

Cookie baker Lynn said...

How blessed you are to have grown up so close to such wonderful historic sites and museums. And how blessed you are now to live in such gorgeous country! I will pass along the pork recipe for my grilling husband - it looks grand!