Saturday, December 25, 2010

Holiday Traditions

When I was 19 years old, I participated in a boot hockey game on Christmas Eve morning. Every Christmas Eve since, that game has been held on the beautiful Bahrenburg pond -- 20 years. Holiday traditions are special, aren't they? Traditions that emphasize family, giving, and holiday celebration. This particular tradition -- just as special in my opinion -- is all about friends, the outdoors, and that sacred winter activity known as hockey. I guarantee that everyone on the pond yesterday feels the same as me -- that our annual Boot League is one of the most special of winter traditions.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

One Last Bit of Summer

In an effort to get one last bit of summer before the long, cold Vermont winter, Alison and I went to Mexico this fall! You may think this is old news, because we went at the end of November. But such is the way it goes in AikenAction Land; I'm a bit behind on my reporting!

The nice thing is that we missed a rainy Vermont week right before the snow started falling. We ran, rode bikes, snorkled, sat on the beach, and -- maybe best of all -- ate unbelievable food for 10 days. The food was a highlight because it was so good! Everything we ordered at restaurants was totally fresh. We bought a lot of fresh food -- corn tortillas made that day at the tortillaria, fresh snapper at the pescatoria, veggies at the vegetable stand, and so forth -- and cooked several great meals at home.

Have you ever had corn tortillas from an American grocery store? They are dry and crumbly... because they're just not fresh. And that has always frustrated me. The only thing they're good for is my famous enchilada casserole (a topic for a future post) -- not for tacos or anything like that. But we went to one restaurant in Tulum -- La Lorena -- where I asked the owner to show me how they make tortillas. Then I went straight to the hardware store and bought a tortilla press to bring home. Which has begun a new era in Mexican cooking here in Richmond. Fresh corn tortillas are the bomb!

We met Rob and Amy French down there, which made the trip even more amazing than it already was. While there, Rob tested every flavor of hot sauce available on the Yucatan, thereby receiving the "Hot Sauce Award" (see photo of trophy. This particular trophy is an heirloom and will most likely be cherished by him for years to come. Congratulations Rob. (For more background info on the trophy, click here.)

And now that I have this tropical fix out of my system, let's get on with Winter!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

No Excuse

There's really no excuse. My dog Oscar, author of "AskOscarDog," the wildly popular dog blog, hasn't had much of anything going on lately. Yet he hasn't put up a post in months! Meanwhile, I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off, working two jobs, climbing at the gym, attending and working skiing events all over Vermont, playing hockey. And Oscar has nothing going on.

So why he hasn't been posting is beyond me. All I know is, with a schedule like his, I am sure we can expect much more regular activity on his blog moving forward.