mmm food

Dec. 27th, 2009 09:51 am
we're in chicago - it's been a reasonable temperature, and we're ensconced on the empty third floor until the renters move in on 12/29 - it's nice to have the big space all to ourselves, although it'd be even better with some furniture and a mattress with more support than a cushion of air. i think we'll leave on the 29th to make the trek to the ithaca area, and then tim will drop me in albany from there.

highlights have been seeing the nephews, working out at the fancy gym and lots of food and presents (highlights include ugg boots, new bathrobe, a bunch of dvds and cds including Glee vol 2, and tons of chocolate).

xmas brunch: two types of baked french toast, dutch baby pancakes, cream scones, fresh fruit and cheese plates, hash browns, corned beef hash, bacon, sausage, and frittata.

xmas dinner: prime rib, catalan style swiss chard, green beans, rice, three cheese sourdough bread, glazed carrots, cake with fresh fruit and meringue.

and then last night, the parents sent us to mercat a la planxa, jose garces' tapas place downtown. we had eight tapas: flash fried peppers with salbitxada; three cheese plate (pau w/chocolate hazelnut puree, ombra with orange-guindilla marmalade, and cana de cabra with strawberries and balsamic reduction - i drank all the balsamic it was so good); escalivada with roasted peppers, cipollinis, eggplant and tomato confit; patatas bravas; roasted brussels sprouts with bacon, feta, and garbanzos; wild mushroom saute with potatoes and onions; duck breast with seckel pears and a duck confit & foie gras crepe.

the food last night was excellent - it was well-timed as far as when the courses were brought out, and the flavors were unique and excellent. the duck with the duck crepe was by far my favorite - it was ridiculously rich, small enough that i wasn't overwhelmed by it, but big enough to feel like i'd gotten a good serving.

we went to see Addams Family after that - it's in preview in Chicago. Hard to go wrong with Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth in the title roles, but the show was kinda dumb - the story wasn't that interesting, and there were no stand-out songs. Maybe people who like the tv/movie a lot will appreciate the show more. The hardest part was Nathan Lane's accent -- it felt like it wavered from Spanish to Italian to Jewish. Meh. Also, Terrence Mann is one of my favorite broadway actors, and his main song was about his tryst with a giant squid - kind of a waste of his talent. But, it was fun, the voices were great, and it's always nice to get to the theater.
thursday - arrive, admire tattoo, eat mexican food
friday - out to breakfast at friendly toast, drive down route 1a along the ocean, beer tour, outlets, blue mermaid grill
saturday - farmer's market, stonewall, when pigs fly bakery, outlets, pancakes, chinese food
sunday - berry/peach picking, downtown portsmouth, to ocean to admire the huge waves, chauncey creek eating on the pier, grilling
monday - portland [duckfat; beer tour for boys, wandering around old port for us], seafood restaurant with nana
tuesday - portsmouth wandering [more beer, cupcakes], outlets, out to york beach, dinner on cape neddick, watch baseball
My parents, grandma, and [ profile] u4ic are descending upon the house on Thursday. Cassie the dog is getting ACL surgery on Wednesday. My students start coming back on Sunday. Oh, and I'm getting my tattoo on Thursday morning. It's going to be an insane week. Hopefully it'll be insane good and not just insane insane.

We've had a kick back weekend chez fc this weekend, though, in preparation. Tim enjoyed the zen of scraping paint and touching up the exterior, and now he's pickling and canning beets. I've been knitting up a storm - 8 or so hats done, ends woven in and everything - in prep for the craft fair in dc in october. We've grilled both nights and watched baseball. He went running and I sat at the beach. We got some errands run, took naps, and enjoyed the breeze coming from our fan that's pointed directly at the couch.

Tonight, I hope to come up with a list of things to get done before I take a few days off to visit with the family. I also bought a copy of Twilight at the used bookstore so I can see if all the hype is justified or not.
My brother turned 30 yesterday, and also found out that he and Mary are pregnant, again, unexpectedly (this after spending multiple years and much money to have the twins). Yay babies! This means I will have 10 nieces and nephews by next January.

And in other news, a recipe that I vaguely made up based on two other recipes:

Lamb Meatballs (serves two)
1/2 lb ground lamb
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp mint leaves, chopped
1/4 c golden raisins, chopped
1 scallion (white and green parts), chopped
1 slice whole wheat bread, ground into crumbs
1 egg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
salt & pepper

mix everything together in a bowl, let sit for half an hour, form into meatballs, fry up on stove, serve with cucumbers, greek yogurt and pita, with some more mint to garnish, if desired.
First things first: my two nephews, Andrew and Eli, were born Wednesday (no one managed to tell me til today). Everyone is happy and healthy. They were 5ish and 6ish pounds. I don't know how they both fit in Mary. One of them apparently looks like our side of the family and the other like hers. James (my other nephew) has declared them the third and fourth kids, since Henry, the basset-beagle, is his 'first younger brother.'

Second: Valentine's Day. I got up early and baked two batches of cookies to surprise Tim, then went to work, then we went out to dinner at Cambridge Brewing Company. We were there for two hours because something went awry with entrees (we waited for them for about fifty minutes). We were also sitting by the door, so I was a little freezing by the end of the night. Even so, it was a nice dinner with great beer.

My mother

Nov. 20th, 2007 10:06 am
is fine, for starters.

But more specifically, decided to run across Ashland, carefully checking traffic in one direction, but not the other direction, and promptly ended up on some poor woman's windshield. Now, again, she says she's fine (with a sore leg), but for pete's sake. I guess after 50ish years of playing in traffic the way that she does, and with her questionable night vision, it isn't as unlikely as it could be that she runs into a vehicle. Nonetheless, I have told her to both be more careful and to consider wearing a helmet when walking/running around.
I'm going to be an aunt!  Again!  Twice!

After many months of injection of hormones, harvesting of whatever needs be harvested, and other things that sound fairly painful, there are two little embryos residing happily in my sister-in-law.  Yay knitting for two!
I hope to get around to backdating some entries for the past few days at some point, but it's easier to just start from today, at least.

Been at the parents' house since the 24th in the early afternoon.  Recognized serious allergies occur in this house.  I thought I was getting sick, but the Claritin dose made me 80% better, so I'll happily chalk it up to allergies rather than actual illness.  

We spent the morning at Intelligentsia, where the scones were sadly not delivered this morning.  They're my favorite scones in Chicago.  Drank mocha, did some Scrabble flashcards, bemoaned my stuffed up state, bought coffee beans for relatives' holiday gifts.  Stopped at CVS and bought miracle drugs and lotion-laden Kleenex, then did the rounds at the local bookstores, picking up the calendars for the year, and some holiday cards.  Yay sales.  A stop at Char Dog (Weiner's Circle) for the second time this trip, and then back here.  I hope to spend the day lounging, reading magazines, doing laundry, and then out to a fancy mostly-vegetarian meal at Green Zebra.

Thank goodness for vacation.
For once, I managed to brave the stores on the 26th. One nice thing about Lincoln Park is that everyone goes away for the holidays. It's a neighborhood with lots of transplants -- young people with too much money from their high-powered jobs who visit their families wherever else for the holidays, thus leaving us lots of parking, and apparently little post-holiday neighborhood shopping traffic. Barnes and Noble had the best cards, and my 50% off calendars. Cost Plus World Market filled out the card collection, and we stopped on the way home to find Zoo Tycoon 2 - Endangered Species (to feed my addition), and for the annual Char Dog visit (to feed Tim's). Char dog is an institution in Chicago, and has some of the very best fries I've ever eaten. As importantly, the boy is hopelessly addicted to their veggie burgers. He has a Pavlovian response to their mention if he's been away from them for too long. He orders them two at a time, hoovering the first and savoring the second. It makes me happy when he finds things that make him that happy.

After some tycoonage, we headed back out and sat at the coffee establishment that also always merits a visit. There weren't as many cute gay boys as I hope for, but there were enough to sate me, I suppose. My mocha didn't sit as well as they often did. I best not be developing a milk intolerance. I would be too sad to give up the espresso beverages. Got home, did a bit more shopping with mi familia (a whole new Barnes and Noble, where I also picked up the paper journal I'm using for '06). We went out for dinner at Casbah Cafe, a local mediterranean/moroccan type eatery, where I had a dish that involved cilantro that I didn't completely hate, and we were comped baklava, just to finish out an entirely lovely vacation day.
I refuse, REFUSE to get sick again. I woke up feeling all off-balance, my head was stuffy, and I'm still vaguely nauseous, even after my medicinal grande 2% mocha. Tim's feeling not-so-well, too, so that isn't helping. Grr. Argh.

more Philly imagery )

And now I'm at work, trying to focus and failing miserably.
It is honestly 50 degrees in the room where we're sleeping. Actually, it's kinda divided into two rooms - the back one, which was an addition to the house (years and years and years ago), and then the part where we're sleeping. The back part is the frigid one - the other is only really really cold (maybe a whole 60 degrees). We have two radiators next to us, and I'm still dying even under my four blankets. Brr.

Aside from that, home is great. I love hanging out with my sister. I can't believe how old she is, and that she uses terms like 'deconstructionist'. She was 8 when I left for college, which makes her 18 now, and it's just weird. It's a good weird, though - we still get along fabulously, have a lot of the same interests, and it's just a relationship I'm glad to have. She'll hopefully be moving east-ish for college, which means I can see her a little more often, at least until we move to wherever we move next.

Went to the mall last night with the mom and sister for a couple of hours. That's about all the mall time I need this holiday season, but it's kinda a family tradition to head out the suburban mall, shop, and then go to Olive Garden for dinner. I'm definitely developing a scratchy throat (I'm sure the subarctic living conditions aren't helping), so I'm using that as an excuse to get Tim to drive us around the city instead of the usual public transportation. Luckily, many people in my neighborhood head out for the holidays, so we can always find parking. Today's tasks include taking my clothes to the dry cleaner, having coffee/tea at Intelligentsia, playing a game of Scrabble, and hopefully making a trip to the yarn store that's opened a few blocks from my house on Lincoln. Yum. I haven't been there yet, but since I managed to not pack myself a hat, I think I'll treat myself to some fancy yarn and a new hat for me, after all this holiday knitting for other people.
Many days I think I should write what I've done in here, and then I haven't managed to do so. I toyed with the idea of backdating and adding some entries, and may still do so, but that's too much to worry about right now, and I don't want that standing in the way of writing *something* so I stay in the habit.

Real life has been too busy to write. Tim's brother and his girlfriend stayed with us for a week, and his parents were in town as well, staying at an aunt's, which meant a lot of entertaining. Not that I'm complaining, since it also meant a lot of free food at the good chinese place, and at Gordon Biersch (mmm garlic fries), and, of course, that whole Thanksgiving thing. They came in last Saturday, and it was quite a lovely arrangement really. Get taken out, hang out for a few hours, and then we got to send the parents away to another house. Much better arrangement that way, and no worrying about scandalizing the houseguests (especially since they showered together, not even concerned that their older brother and his wife were home/in the next room).

Thanksgiving was lovely - not the over-the-top-ness of my family's T-day, which generally included a turkey, crown roast of pork, and roast beef. We had all the usual stuff, plus Tim and I baked brie for appetizers, baked fresh cranberry walnut yeasted bread, and made the rather cliche but still tasty chex mix. I ate home made pecan pie leftovers for two days. Yum...

and now, back to advising, and rehearsing for Messiah (which is this weekend! eek!), and a new season of (reruns of) Buffy on F/X which I haven't seen, just when UPN went back to reruns. speaking of, must get upstairs and set the vcr...



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