Sunday, July 22, 2007

A day at the Beach


Friday morning we packed up the kids, lots of food, about a quart of sunscreen, and all the other necessities, and headed off to Huntington Beach. The boys had been eagerly awaiting this outing--most of the week had been spent on projects while they played at Nana's. (We almost finished her tax return, got more than halfway through clearing out her storeroom, boxed up 4 or 5 kitchen cupboards for Allison's upcoming move, and all the meantime shopped for and prepared yummy food. Did you notice that except for the food part, we started three projects and finished none? Oh, well.) So Friday was a reward day for us, plus it was the only day that Tyler and Erika could join us because they actually have jobs in the summer (teaching summer school--Evan works so much that we were thrilled to see him around 8pm most evenings.)
It was a beautiful day to be at the beach (as most days are in the southern part of the state). Apparently a lot of other people had noticed this fact as well, because there were a lot of people on the beach. We decided not to be beach snobs (which would entail continuing on down the coast indefinitely in search of a less crowded shoreline) and stick to the Huntington plan. We had a great time playing in the sand and surf. Mom and I expended all sorts of calories wrestling the ridiculous beach umbrellas that we had rented for the occasion. It was quite windy and these particular umbrellas kept blowing upwards or knocking over. When we finally returned the umbrellas, we realized what a relief it was to not have to be constantly securing them. But we did come away with our creamy white skin intact (the women and baby, I mean.)
Tyler had brought a kite and he and the boys had a great time flying it (see photo). Kimball put on his ginormous snorkling mask to go in the water. It looked ridiculous but seemed to take away all his fear and he was diving into the waves with Allison. Since his favorite thing to do when he gets out of the water is flop face-down in the sand, he came up with this debonair sand mustache!
Kimball and Henry spent the last hour there happily digging a big hole (how many of you have never done this? I think every kid has) and waiting for the tide to fill it up. So cute.
Because my family doesn't know how to do anything without a menu planned, I'll itemize our beach food. Many of these items are mandatory for a day at the beach, since we have been bringing them in some form since we were children ourselves.
Beach Menu:
  • Grapes (not frozen, since previously frozen grapes taste awful and how would they stay frozen?)
  • Red licorice (must be Red Vines--Twizzlers are disgusting!)
  • Chocolate and Vanilla Jo-Jos (Trader Joe's. These can be interchanged with Oreos or Mother's Taffy Cookies and still meet family requirements.)
  • Carrots, apples, and celery sticks (with a little tub of peanut butter) -- these are not a part of the mandatory list, but we brought them and loved them.
  • Pizza Rolls (I'll put the recipe at the end of this post)
  • Plain dinner rolls (we got some from Polly's Pies this time, but the traditional beach roll was from La Prima, an Italian Delicatessen in Whittier that made the best Italian bread and rolls ever. They have since been bought out and the bread is not nearly as good anymore. Don't you hate when you can't duplicate the nostalgic food loves of your past?)
  • Frozen water bottles, Chocolate Silk, and Capri Sun 100% juice, which turned to slush after a few minutes out of the cooler--perfect.
What's on your must have list for a day at the beach? Leave me a comment!

Pizza Rolls
Although we sometimes get creative and use other pizza ingredients, these are perfectly yummy with pepperoni and then you don't have to mess around with marking them creatively on the outside to keep track of flavors!
  • 2 c. warm water
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 T. yeast
  • 1/4 c. oil
  • 2 t. kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 8-9 c. flour
  • Mozzarella cheese (at least a pound, maybe more)
  • Pepperoni (a lot)--this isn't a precise recipe!
Combine water, sugar, and yeast and let rise for about 10 minutes. Add oil, salt, egg, and 3 c. flour. Blend until sticky (you need to use a dough hook for this recipe). Slowly add 5-6 c. flour. Knead until soft but not stiff. Let rise until double, about an hour. Divide into 12 balls (do 16 if you want smaller rolls) Roll out flat and layer with 8ish pieces of pepperoni and about 1/3 c. shredded mozzarella. Roll up and seat the edges well. Place on greased baking sheets, spacing them apart, and let rise again for at least 30 minutes. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until brown. Eat warm or cold.


Rebecca said...

Um, we don't (and didn't) go to the beach too much. Once in the past 8 years! My boys have only been to the beach once, yes. So, what I like at the beach is an umbrella of course, and a motorhome for taking a shower afterwards, and that's the two requirements. My kids enjoyed it though, so maybe next summer we'll make a trip to the beach again.
I like all your beach things. You have a great tradition. Fun blog!

Michal said...

once in the past 8 years! wow! and you being an orange county girl and all!
one thing that's good about huntington is that they have showers there--you have to keep your shoes and suit on, but you can at least clean up before you get in the car.
try it again--you might like it!

Macy said...

Super Kimmie was nice enough to make us Pizza Rolls when she came to help out with the baby. I just adore them. I haven't attempted making them yet because I know I'd eat them all.

Michal said...

isn't kim wonderful? she's one of my favorite people. you're lucky to have her for a step-mom. we always knew she'd be a fab mom and grandma.
hope you're enjoying that baby boy.