Monday, July 09, 2007

It's Summer in Orange County

And you know what that means......Sawdust Festival!

I wanted to start out the day doing something nice for Jon. Mostly because I got back from my run around 8 something and Jon was still sleeping. Now, anyone who knows Jon knows how much he loves pancakes. This has always been a big "issue" between us. Not that I don't like pancakes, but Jon ONLY likes the kind his dad makes. Here are my issues with that:
1) His dad uses Bisquick. Before he met me, Jon didn't know you could make pancakes without that big yellow box. I'm a little bit of a snob about box mixes and pancakes are so easy I really feel strongly anti-Bisquick.
2) His dad doesn't make pancakes. Pancakes are light, fluffy, and sweet. What his dad makes are thin, gooey, and not sweet at all. Not that anyone in his family has noticed because they drown it in syrup. I notice because I don't use syrup, ever.
3) No matter how hard I try, I can never make pancakes "the way dad makes them" so I'm always frustrated and he's always disappointed.

My friend Sarah knows how much Jon loves pancakes and actually got me a cookbook of pancake recipes. I decided "Screw Jon and his dad's pancakes" and took a stab at the classic pancake recipe in the cookbook. It was perfect. Well, at least for me. The pancakes were the best pancakes I have ever made. Super light and fluffy, just the right amount of sweetness. Jon hated them. Tough beans Jon. Its not all about you.

The we headed to the Sawdust Festival in Laguna. For me, this is the quintessential summer activity. The Sawdust Festival is a local artisan fair - you must be a resident of Laguna in order to set up a booth. And oh the booths! The ground is covered in sawdust, hence the catchy moniker. There are hundreds of booths, crammed together like an Indian bazaar of bright colors and interesting shapes. One of the delights of the festival is winding your way between booths, trying to visit each one, but knowing you're sure to miss a few in your meanderings. The festival is fun for the whole family with crafts areas for kids to create their own pottery, mosaics, or other treasure, musicians around every corner. It is a feast of sights and sounds.

One of our favorite past times is watching the glass blowing demonstrations in the center of the festival. At the Sawdust Festival, the glass blower is what the Liontamer is to the circus. Children gather round in awe and fear as he plunges his rod into the roaring oven, only to remove it with a glowing amber honey-like orb now resting at its tip. Adults are equally impressed as his skill and craft mold that orb into a beautiful piece of art which catches the light and captures the heart.

And some of the finished products:

We always walk away with something amazing from the Festival. My best find was a work by Linda Pirri who paints on silk. I love the vibrant, rich, jewel tones which are emphasized in her waters and beach scenes.

This trip, Jon stumbled upon a newcomer, a young surf photographer. Sean Tiner takes photos of surfers and lights and combines them to create images which burst of the page with electricity. Jon was in love and purchased a piece. He also pointed out several others he would like to own in the future. In time, in time.

We also stumbled upon David Kluver's booth because we recognized some of the scenery from our honeymoon in French Polynesia. "That's Bora Bora!" "That's Moorea!" Unfortunately we had made our purchase for the day, and I have plenty of pictures of Moorea and Bora Bora that I should frame before purchasing more. But we enjoyed talking with David and he sent us off with his 2007 calendar. We can't wait to get his 2008, which should come out around September.

It was so much fun to see the new artists and returning artists. It really is one of the nicest ways to spend a day.

Kate Habershon's Pancakes (From Pancakes and Waffles)
1 1/2 cups AP flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar
1 cup milk
3 eggs
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1) Combine dry ingredients in the food processor. "Sifters are for people who don't have food processors"*
2) Mix wet ingredients with a whisk
3) Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, beat gently to make a thick batter
4) Heat a lightly greased griddle on medium heat. (I use by double burner griddle Sarah got me with the book). Lower heat and place 3 Tbsps of batter on griddle for each pancake.
5) When bubble form on surface and bottom is golden brown, flip each pancake and cook for another minute on opposite side.
*Alton Brown


  1. Pamcakes are my favorite amd you kmow this. I'm droolimg amd am seriously comtemplatimg goimg to Demmy's to get a short stack.

  2. Thanks for writing about my artwork. I look forward to seeing you this summer. Feel free to check out my blog for some current work.