Monday, July 5, 2010

Fourth of July

My husband's cousin, cousin's wife and their three children came to stay the holiday weekend with us.  It's a full house.  This morning the cousin and his youngest daughter took a walk up our creek.  She spied what she thought was a plastic lobster toy and asked her father about it.  Cousin chased after the "lobster" and with much effort caught the crawdad.  It was the largest/oldest crawdad I'd ever seen, perhaps six to seven inches long.  He put the crawdad back in the creek, but it gets me wondering, should we put a crawdad trap in the creek?  These "fresh-water lobsters" may taste really good.
Today we were invited over to our wine club friend's house for a Fourth of July barbeque.  As usual, she went all out:  balsamic glazed pork ribs, Santa Maria tri-tip, bratwurst, spicy lamb sausage, chipotle-buttered corn on the cob, etc.  Plus, the over twenty guests brought fruit salad, cheese and crackers, humus and pita, rosemary cashews, salsas and chips, chocolate cake, turtle brownies, etc.  The company was great.  We tried to put a dent into our host's extensive wine collection.
I brought a watermelon, kiwi, CSA strawberry, blueberry and handpicked backyard peaches fruit salad; and turtle brownies.
 G.G.’s Turtle Brownies:

1 box (1 lb 2.75 oz) Ghirardelli® Chocolate Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)
Water, vegetable oil and egg called for on brownie mix box
1 jar Richard Donnelly fresh caramel (or caramel sauce for apples in a tub)
1 bag (11.5 oz) semisweet chocolate chunks (2 cups)
1.5 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

1. Heat oven to 325°F. Butter bottom of 13x9-inch pan. In medium bowl, stir brownie mix, pouch of chocolate syrup, water, oil and egg until blended according to the package directions. Spread 1/2 of batter in pan. Bake 15 minutes.
2. Pour caramel over partially baked brownie; spread to edges. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the chocolate chunks and 1 cup of the walnuts. Drop remaining brownie batter by small spoonfuls onto caramel layer. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup chocolate chunks and 1/2 cup walnuts.
4. Bake 33 to 36 minutes longer or until center is almost set. Cool 1 hour at room temperature. Cover; refrigerate 1 hour before serving and cutting. Store covered at room temperature.

We could hear periodic personal fireworks go off in Menlo Park, and thought about the thousands of personal fireworks going off in Santa Cruz.  The cousins headed there to the beach to watch the spectacle.  After dropping off a friend at home, we arrived back home before turning into summer squash.  What a joyful Independence Day!

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