It's Memorial Day Weekend in beautiful sunny Southern California.
On Sunday, in the morning we took a bike ride.
We've been going on a lot more bike rides lately. Today we decided to take a new route and found lots of beauty. These trees are covered with brilliant purple flowers.
And we came across a park we've never visited before. This one has a big lake in the middle with ducks and geese!
And wow, this bougainvillea is huge! And so vibrant!
Later in the day, I pulled out the pop-up tent, portable hammocks, and some beach chairs. It's beautiful weather, and I'm going to try to get some reading in.
I did have a hammock... but then the kids took that over.
Then Ian decided to make a table out of his slide. Skip the next photo if you don't like spiders.
After he picked it up, we found that a not-so-little jumping spider had made its home in one of the cracks. Instead of squishing it, we shooed it out and watched as it crawled through the grass. It's a learning experience. Not all bugs are pests, and there's not many bugs you need to be wary of.
Once Ian's slide was clear of spiders, he was ready to turn it into a desk. A place for drawings and crayons on one side.
A place to rest books while you read.
Mommy made treats!
Thanks Mommy! Perfect for a beautiful day like today.
What a difference a few days makes to the Mulberry bush. Just 4 days ago we picked a tupperware sized container full of them. Today there's a whole lot more berries that are ripe! A colander full of berries today! We rinsed them and then froze them on baking sheets. They'll be seen again shortly.
Monday morning and it's Memorial Day. We're going to be grilling later tonight. Theresa really wanted to do a dessert to go along with it. The perfect dessert would be an angel food cake, but we didn't pick any up during our shopping trip.
I think you know what's coming next. We're going to be making it ourselves! This recipe from SallysBakingAddiction.com looks pretty good.
It starts by using a food processor to turn regular sugar into fine sugar.
And if you don't have cake flour, Theresa found a recipe to make it yourself. It does require sifting twice to make it nice and aerated.
Using our new stand mixer, we whipped up the egg whites. They'll be providing most of the structure for this cake.
Slowly you add the aerated sugar and flour mixture to the whipped egg whites.
Alton Brown would be proud. Straight down the middle, fold it over, then a quarter turn and repeat.
Our kitchen doesn't have a proper bundt pan, so today, Theresa is making Angel Food Cupcakes.
After a few minutes in the oven, these are looking beautifully fluffy.
Theresa also used fresh strawberries and a little sugar to make the topping for our cake.
The kids are once again in the front yard, taking over my hammock again.
Remember those mulberries we froze the day before. They're hard frozen now. Perfect for smoothies today! And those stems won't stand up to my blender.
Everyone enjoyed their mulberry, strawberry, with pineapple and orange juice smoothie.
You could really taste the mulberries in it.
Dinnertime and everything looks delicious.
Before we started eating, we did take a little time to remember the reason for Memorial Day. Today is the day we honor those who fought and died for our country. Richard recounted how one of his friends in high school died in the Vietnam War. It did bring up questions from the kids, but it was a good discussion.
Theresa made some more fruit skewers for us to enjoy with our meal.
That's a tasty looking plate.
With dinner complete, it's almost time for dessert. There's just one ingredient left for our Angel Food Cake. Using Heavy Whipping Cream, Theresa made fresh Whipped Cream at home. Kids, want to try heavy cream straight? Alli thought it was great! Ian thought it tasted like butter and didn't care for it. I think it's great.
And you're never too old to lick the beater.
Theresa those turned out great!
There were enough cupcakes for everyone to have 2. The cupcakes turned out perfect!
Great job Theresa on your very first Angel Food Cake made at home! Ooh, and it looks like you got a little sun laying out in the front yard.
Ian, where did your two cupcakes go?
Ian - In my mouth. I ate them already.
I made Alli's first cupcake, and thought I did a pretty good job.
She wanted to make her own "fancy cupcake" by herself. Cake, strawberries, whipped cream, more strawberries.
Looks great Alli. She thought the cupcake by itself tasted like marshmallows. Theresa mentioned the same thing earlier. It's got a very light and fluffy texture.
Good job Mom!