22 July 2009

Road Trip!! (Part 1:Illinois)


John and I spent a week in Illinois over the 4th of July with his family.  We had a great time at Papa's house on a lake for the 4th, visiting with extended family, fishing, watching the annual Nathan's hot dog eating contest marathon (2000-2009...it was so gross), as well as enjoying a great fireworks display on the levy filled with "ooh's" and "ahh's."  

We visited John's Grandpa and Grandma Byrd in Bunker Hill and enjoyed Grandpa's stories and his singing.  He is one of the biggest country music aficionados I now know!

John, his cuz Anthony, and I went fishing one morning at the spillway, which I'm convinced is home to some of Illinois' biggest fish.  John caught a 15 pounder, Anthony a 12 pounder, me about a 10 pounder but it broke my line.  But that was nothing compared to 4 Vietnamese people fishing alongside of us.  They were consistently reeling in 20-25 lb. fish, for what reason I do not know.  I had a fleeting notion they have a restaurant and that these would soon be on the menu. (j/k)  As soon as we left the spillway, it was off to the Greenville golf course for a morning packed full of adventure.  

Grandpa Germanceri, Papa, took us to an auction in Grant Fork, which was quite an experience!  It was a first for me, and I was determined to buy something.  The whole thing was set up in a long barn with trailers filled with stuff on them and included three auctioneers buzzing at the same time in different places.  It was a little overwhelming at first, and I just sat and tried to understand the auctioneer before I started to bid.  Since nothing inside struck my fancy, I walked outside to a trailer filled with fresh produce.  There were bags of peaches I thought would turn into a great cobbler, so I set my heart on bidding for them.  I clearly did not know what I was doing, but went for it anyway.  Sure enough, I walked away with 2 bags of freshly picked Calhoun County peaches.  Look for the recipe I used at the end of this post...they were worth the experience!  Thanks, Papa! 


We spent a day in St. Louis visiting the Botanical Gardens, where John and I got engaged.  We didn't have time to walk the day he proposed, so we went back to fully enjoy the gardens.  After the gardens, we went to Sarah and Jason's for a scrumptious calzone dinner and Ted Drew's famous custard...the end to a perfect day!

We were sad to go, but thankful to all the family for putting their busy schedules on hold to hang out with us while we were there.  We hope you had as much fun as we did! 

Quick Ginger Peach Cobbler (Rachael Ray's recipe)

2 can sliced peaches in syrup, drained OR fresh peaches
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons softened butter
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup granola cereal with raisins and nuts
2 egg whites, beaten
whipped cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix drained peaches with ginger (I added cinnamon, too..tres yummy!)
Place sliced peaches in small ramekins or the bottom of a baking tray.
Combine butter and sugar with a fork, then mix butter and sugar with granola cereal.  Fold in beaten egg white.  Mound the topping on top of the peaches in each ramekin.  Place ramekins on a small baking sheet and bake 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove and cool cobbler while you enjoy dinner.  After dinner, serve warm quick cobbler with prepared whipped cream.


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