last night was oodles of fun, but i totally was a jerk and forgot to take pictures of the attendees. i also didn't take a picture of the table when A & C had pics of their grandparents up (complete with these cute post-it note frames that A made to differentiate the still living person from the dead grandparent in the pictures) and one that our friend B brought of our friend S who passed away last year. this is a picture of the table:
i think calling back the dead people to walk among us totally worked because at some point, everyone's eyes started burning like crazy and we couldn't definitively attribute a source.
these are the crazy paper decorations i bought. aren't they beautiful? i love them...i want to have them around and up all the time. the paper cutting is so intricate and the colours are so punchy. i especially like the purple one and the level of detail in the yellow one is insane. i also dig how coy the religious nun skeleton is being. she's totally giving you come-f**k-me eyes:
i was totally brutal at making tamales so i out-sourced the work to C, dr. rei, and bwong. they did an amazing job. the pozole turned out really nice and toasty with rich chili flavour and my roasted tomatillo salsa was incendiary. overall i was quite pleased.
the piece de resistance was the pan de muerto, which is probably the best rendition of an egg and butter-enriched sweet bread that i've ever done. i think the secret was to start the dough with a sponge. it had a great, moist, texture and didn't require a super-long time in the oven...it was lightly sweet and had a faint orange flavour from 3 oranges that i zested into the dough (the recipe only called for 1/2 an orange...i'm glad i upped the amount.) i've found that a lot of these sweet breads can get a little dry (panettone, babka, even some brioche) but this one was super soft and yielding.
i was super proud of how it turned out, even if my skull and bone decorations turned out looking like weird, vaguely phallic splotches. the hazelnut churros are always a winner. i ate an ungodly amount of those, too.
today i have a jam-packed day of doing sweet f**k all. i might hit some open houses in the 'hood. we went to one yesterday...the house was a gut-job reno and cost $529,900. the thing with a lot of these flip-job renos is that you end up paying a $100,000 premium for this generic "new" looking style that (to me) lacks any personality or individuality. it ends up looking like one of those model homes in the 'burbs or just another standard condo. so yes, it's "nice" but it's also very, very bland and lacking in personality. i'd rather have a place that has a bit more character to it, so that i can personalize it and make it more reflective of my own aesthetic taste. but it seems like you can't hit that sweet spot. so you either get reno'd and super expensive, or you get cheap and a s**thole. you can't really find medium priced, good bones, but not re-done.
for sunday breakkie we made french toast with the pan de muertos and had that with bacon. we drizzled extra bittersweet chocolate ganache on the french toast instead of maple syrup, and topped it with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. even with all that, it didn't taste overly sweet. regular french toast with maple syrup is way sweeter. i'm debating on skipping dodgeball. i don't really feel like going. i kind of feel like maybe going for a bike ride or a run and then doing yoga and holing up on the couch knitting all day.
i really want to unwind.
i'm hoping i can finish giant mitten #2 and get on to knitting fun holiday gifty stuff.
tonight for dinner we're having seared scallops with hollandaise, guanciale, and peas. with a fennel, radicchio, and orange segment salad with parsley. maybe new york times chocolate chip cookies for dessert. maybe not though.
i tried on both of my performance dresses this morning...they still fit (phew!) i could probably tone up a little though, but realistically that's not going to happen, and realistically, i'm also probably not going to change my eating habits. so i'll be a giant silver sausage on my performance day. i did run to the yarn store at the bottom of my street and back and i'm going to an afternoon yoga class. so i don't feel TOTALLY piggy. but sundays are kinda meant for being piggy anyway.