Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Spring Forward, Fall Back?

Spring 2010? Fall Down...
Well, Mother Nature isn't quite done with Winter. She's sending yet another Monday precipitation event our way. (For those who are keeping score at home, that's three Monday's in a row!) SturgeUrge phoned from work today, and we hammered out a suitable alternative to boating for Monday's fishing trip. Foul Weather Gear and Crab Tackle are in order at Pacifica Pier.

We'll get a late start so we miss the Rush Hour Traffic across the Bridge, and to catch the last couple hours of the incoming tide and the slack at the top of the tide. SturgeUrge quipped "You never come home from the Pier empty handed...even if you have to swing through Chinatown to pick up some live crab on the way home! "Good plan" I agreed.

Getting Monday's plan settled was the capper to my great Sunday. I hit the sack early Saturday night. I answered the alarm at 0430, and settled in to watch the Monaco Grand Prix in HD. No problem staying awake after all the on-track fireworks on Lap 1! Monte Carlo in the spring is just gorgeous in HD...I was reminded of the scenery of the Tour de France, except with 200mph race cars in lieu of 200 bicycles!

After the F1 Race, I dropped Mom off at church and I did my errands. I picked up some soil amendments and tomato plants at the Home Improvement Store, picked up a bag of groceries, and toured the Farmer's Market for the first time this spring. No rhubarb, but I got a nice bunch of leeks, some Bing Cherries, an heirloom tomato plant of the "Pineapple" variety, and some vine-ripe tomatoes!

I made burgers on the BBQ for dinner, and the tomatoes were delicious. We were suprised to find such good tomatoes this early (especially with the cool, wet spring we've endured so far this year!)

I watched some NASCAR out of the corner of my eye...I was paying more attention to my computer screen that the tube. I watched the final 15Km of Stage One of the Amgen Tour of California, while following Amgen's Official ToC Twitter Feed. Lance Armstrong Tweeted his thoughts on the day just minutes after the Stage ended.

I wasn't done soaking up Sports, either! I caught the last three innings of the Giants vs Astros. The Giants won after a very high drama threat from the Astros in the 9th. Finally, I watched a few passes of the Funny Cars at the NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta. Kinda cool watching the Father/Daughter matchup between 14 time NHRA Funny Car Champion and his daughter Ashley Force-Hood. Ashley beat her dad with a holeshot win! I didn't hang with the rest of the brackets...I don't know who won in the end.

I love it when a plan comes together!
Well, our "evil" plan worked to perfection! The weather forecast scared everyone off, so we ended up with the Pier almost to ourselves! Oh, there were sprinkles on and off, but no steady rain until we had eight dungeness crabs in the cooler! Things started out slow for us, but our neighbors were killing them! After a while we started getting one every 10-15 minutes...all of them just under legal size.

About an hour before the top of the tide, we started slaying them too! Every set yielded crab! Many were keepers, too. Meanwhile, our neighbors were high-lining their limits...and giving us their culls. They gave us five in all, SturgeUrge and I got three keepers, and the rain started to pick up. We called it just before 5PM. Walking off the pier, changing out of our foul weather gear, and loading the car took a half an hour...we were in no hurry to catch rush hour going home.

We caught up to rush hour about a mile from the Bridge. The approaches were parking lots. The Westbound side was crawling wasn't raining hard, but traffic was definitely in defense mode. We enjoyed the time...all smug from our afternoon of fun and good fortune.

Back at the SturgeUrge Compound, I rigged the crab cooker out back, while SturgeUrge entertained and fed the dog. He made a simple green salad with some of his freshly pickled cauliflower, and shredded Parmesan, steamed all eight crabs in one shot, dropped them into the cooler now filled with ice water, and made his usual beautiful crab plates. We washed the bounty down with a bottle of Chandon Blanc de Noir, and some crusty sourdough bread. The perfect meal for our perfect day...three weeks of rain-dashed plans were forgotten...lost in the warm afterglow of success. Delicious success, too!

SturgeUrge explained the pickled cauliflower...out of the blue, he decided to make his own Giardiniera...but thought the cauliflower was too sweet. I said "Don't worry Urge, once you add some pepperoncini, celery, onions, carrots, and a few Pimientos it'll taste great" SturgeUrge said "You always follow the recipe the first time out, then you make adjustments" "Great Minds think alike" I replied.

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