Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day, Alaskan Style. Now with Added Zip.

AlaskaI'm posting this picture for two reasons: A) Because that's what I'm seeing at 11 pm right now as I type. The sun is still up and I'm having a hard time going to bed while there's sunlight to enjoy.

And B) Because I've been gone all weekend and have been very, very lazy. A real post? Surely you jest. Nothing but casual snapshots of the backyard to see here folks.

We were up north at my parents' cabin where the temperatures were at the exact optimal point for human contentment: a steady 70-75 with a nice gentle breeze to waft through our hair (yes that was the word "waft" you read because I'm feeling so darn poetic.)

AlaskaThere was not a drop of internet to be found and I took a complete break from all things digital. Kind of like Lent. Only without the benefits of any religious significance and with a lot more calories because I'm afraid I ate my way through the weekend as compensation, from start to finish (don't worry, later I'm posting the recipe to the passionfruit cheesecake I made . . . they don't call it "passion" fruit for nothing folks.)

Here's a shot of the drive up and while at first glance it might not seem noteworthy there are three things that are quintessentially Alaskan. First, there's the "awesome" view of Denali--and yes, that is an appropriate use of the word "awesome" I'd say.

Second, you see the half-form of a bicyclist. Bikers seem to come out with the blossoming of the trees, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting someone on a bicycle, even 80 miles from civilization. Not that I'd advise doing so, they tend to get irritated when you do that.

LillianThird, a truck. Probably driven by a male under the age of 30 who pays exorbitant insurance premiums. They're everywhere and often sporting mullets and towing a set of four-wheelers or snowmachines, depending on the season.

The only thing missing to complete the ambiance of the scene is a road construction sign and a flagger to stop traffic because once the sun hits it's all about construction until the ground freezes again.

So we had a great time and you see here what my children can look like after a build up of three days worth of grime and grease. Somewhere under that dirt is my daughter.

Zippy DogsBut to make the weekend particularly grand, to top off the whole experience--our Memorial Day was sponsored by Oscar Mayer. Yes, it's the first time I've had a holiday sponsored but I have to admit it is kind of fun. We ate a LOT of hot dogs and I'm finishing up with the recipe I used.

They're called Zippy Dogs, which recipe I found at The Big Red Kitchen and which she found in an old cookbook and it goes as follows:

2 cups ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 sweet pickle relish
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons dried minced onions
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a pot, add 16 hot dogs and let them cook up nice and plump then serve on buns (I'm afraid I got rather sloppy in the picture you see above. The family was getting HUNGRY and I didn't have much time for niceties such as tidy dogs.

The kids loved them and I loved them--we all loved them!--and right now I'm thinking that Oscar Mayer really ought to get into the Zippy Dog market because they're gold. Solid gold.

As for more serious posts, I'll get back on it right away. Right after I exercise off those Zippy Dogs, tackle the seven loads of dirty laundry, the vacuuming, the hair cuts for the boys and washing the cars (my schedule for the day). Right after we get back from baseball practice, I promise.

Sponsored by Wedding Paper Divas for wedding invitations.

27 comments:

Multiple personalities.. said...

I love your blog! A former Alaskan myself, now living on the east coast, I miss the midnight sun...thanks for sharing such wonderful pictures!

Grace @ Sandier Pastures said...

I was amazed when the sun was still up at 9pm when I was in Germany but 11 pm and still bright!!?? How do you manage to sleep? Do you put an effort to totally darken your house?

Now I wonder at what time the sun rises during winter!

Jolanthe said...

I can't even fathom having sunlight at 11pm. But I can understand why you wouldn't want to miss out on it. :)

Lucy said...

When are they going to change that mountain back to Denali officially. And how did it ever get the McKinley name in the first place. Dead presidents and changes! I remember when Kennedy was shot and everybody was changing everything to the name Kennedy. Hated it then and I still do. Government: Leave things alone.

Jennifer said...

I just noticed the other night that the sun was still up at 8 pm and thought it was weird (even though it happens every summer). I remember from my own trip to Alaska having to pull the curtain over the window and having to stay up extra late just to see the stars... would do it all over again if given the chance too!

mannequin said...

Sunlight at eleven, no wonder you're so bright and chipper all the time.
It was an Oscar Mayer weekend here as well, so nice to be treated to a weenie feast.

jacjewelry said...

The hotdogs look heavenly!!!

Nate and Stacia said...

Oh how I miss that Alaska sun! We're what you might call "Hot Dog Snobs" but I might actually be able to eat Oscar Meyer dogs if served like that-Yum!

Laura Moffitt said...

The sun that late at night, beautiful. I would love that as long as it was sunny year round. Love the truck. And the view is breath taking. Oh I miss mountains.

Annette Lyon said...

That first picture makes me homesick for my years in Finland, "Land of the midnight sun." Sigh.

(Of course you know you then pay for it with freakish darkness all winter, but still.)

Melissa said...

The zippy dogs look a lot like hot dogs that my mom used to make. I scraped everything off because I don't like onions. (Think of how Sally orders her food in "When Harry Met Sally" and you are almost thinking of me.) Everyone else in the family (who liked onions) thought they were really good, though!
Glad that you had a good Memorial Day and a nice break with your family!

Flea said...

LOL! What a fun weekend y'all had! The weather does sound divine. And the Zippy Dogs! Shame on you for posting that scrumptious recipe! I will not make it. Nope. Not gonna do it. Well, maybe.

Maddy said...

Hmmm. I have a pack of left over hot dogs. I wonder if they'd go well with ratatouille? Don't know if I have the energy to bake the buns though.
Cheers

Neas Nuttiness said...

I can't begin to imagine what it's like to be daylight at 11:00 pm. Do you have "black-out" curtains?

I enjoy fun posts - and I bet all your other readers do too!

tjhirst said...

"A break from all things Internet--kind of like Lent."

Love that. And it feels so good, doesn't it. Brings you back with perspective and more passion for real life.

The Dunns said...

Wow - those hot dogs look yummy. I wonder if I can pull off hot dogs for breakfast. It wouldn't be the weirdest thing I've ever done...

We had a beautiful weekend up here, too. Yesterday was almost 80 and GORGEOUS. It was as bright as midday last night when I was in bedtime denial at 11pm. So nice. This summer is starting beautifully.

Great shot of Denali. Glad you had such a nice, typical Alaskan drive!

janeywan said...

I grew up on hot dogs made like that.
Brought back memories.

cndymkr / jean said...

It looks like you guys had a nice break. I still can't get over the fact that the sun is still up that late.

florida web design said...

This post brought back memories of my 1999 visit to Alaska. We shipped our motorcycles up from Florida and rode from Anchorage to Dawsoms Creek, through four provinces of Canada and then down through the Montana, North Dakota and into South Dakota for the Sturgis Rally. Was a great trip and I found Alaska to be incredibly beautiful and adventurous. Just a tad bit too cold in winter for my liking.

BigBabyBargains said...

I don't know if I could live there being in constant sunlight. I think I would feel like I was missing out on something or really should be doing something since the sun was still out. Do you own any black out curtains?

imadramamama said...

Those dogs look goooood. And I can totally relate to the layers of grime that used to be my kids!

Terresa said...

Mmm, midnight sun. Wow, I've heard about it but the pictures are amazing. Would love to visit Alaska someday.

PS: We grilled hot dogs twice in the last three days...yeah, I think we're keeping Oscar Meyer in business, too.
:)

Littlemummy said...

Arrr, you've made me want Hot Dogs now - off to add it to my menu plan...

Blog O' Beth said...

Wow, this looks like something my husband's big family would love! I'm writing this one down.

Courtney said...

craziness that the sun is still up at 11PM!! I would never sleep.

and it is so cool that you had memorial day sponsored. too fun!!

Damselfly said...

Ah! Makes me want to make this year the year that we finally visit Alaska!

Holly's Hobbies said...

Stumbled across your blog and am enjoying reading it...I am heading up to Alaska from Atlanta June 13 for 12 days...not sure how I will do with all the daylight! Better buy more memory cards :-) Check out my blog if you get the chance, todayscreations@blogspot.com
Can't wait to come your way!
Holly