It seems like just a week ago I was lamenting the fact that Emily had announced to the world wide web that I was officially old. Obviously life moved on, and now it’s already August! Our birthday month highlights include a backpacking trip to the Golden Trout Wilderness (link) with a trans-Sierra road trip, and a camping bash at Figueroa Mountain to celebrate no less than 4 birthdays.
With all this fun, getting back into the work routine has been difficult, but I kept myself happy by developing another routine – commuting to work by bicycle. I haven’t been spending a lot of time in the saddle since our bike tour so this has been like rekindling an old flame with my two-wheeled best friend.
In the process, I’ve been able to get Joyce into cycling as well and she’s been on my tail riding to work ever since. Even better, she spread the cycling enthusiasm to the rest of the office and we’ve now got 4 more cycling commuters! I can’t say how excited I am about this, and even though I don’t deserve any credit, I feel like a proud mother hen
Riding a bike makes me feel like a kid again. I remember that first moment of independence – that feeling of being in control, and realizing that I had the power to get myself whereever I desired. To this day, I still get that feeling every time I get on my bike – instant happiness!
There are of course not-so-great things you have to deal with when riding bikes, like pissed off motorists that don’t understand that you have every right to be on the street. There’s an important bill going up for vote by the full Assembly next month (Senate Bill 910) that would establish 3 feet as the minimum clearance when motorists pass cyclists. There are a couple of groups fiercely advocating against the bill, but with the support of you and the rest of the cycling community, we can hopefully push back and make sure that the bill gets passed to create a safer cycling environment in California (especially for car congested cities like Los Angeles!). You can visit www.givemethree.org for more information.
My birthday partying is not quite over as I get ready to fly out to Montreal to celebrate another 30th (misery loves company!). Montreal is one of the most bike friendly cities I’ve ever been to, and I can’t wait to get on a saddle there and enjoy some more of the summer. I hope you are doing the same! For those of you going backpacking, we’re sharing our latest field tested recipe Grit Cakes. This recipe was adapted from a recipe in one of our favorite backpacking cookbooks, Simple Foods for the Pack. These are savory and filling and should keep for at least a couple days in cooler weather. Combine with cheese and some tomatoes and you’ve got yourself a meal.
YieldAbout 24 Cakes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Activity GuideBackpacking, Bike Touring,
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup grits
- 2 onions, minced
- 2 carrots, grated
- 2 zucchini, grated OR 8 mushrooms, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons tahini
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup milk powder (optional)
- salt, to taste
- Baking Sheet
- Mixing Bowl
- Cook grits according to package directions, or use this grits recipe (omitting all the optional ingredients and butter). Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Saute vegetables and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until lightly browned and dry. Remove from heat and add to grits along with remaining ingredients.
- Combine the mixture until there are no lumps—you might need to get dirty and use your hands.
- With damp hands, form patties about 3 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, turning once halfway through baking time. Alternately, you can place the grits mixture in a muffin tin. Cakes should be golden brown and firm.