Monday, April 27, 2009

tidying up

before the giant alinea review.

saturday was so much fun! i hung out with H and baby D and M for a good chunk of the day, walking around leslieville and poking into furniture shops and talking about our design aesthetics. i also bought a school desk (like, a desk from an elementary school) for $10! and the guy delivered it to my house! H bought one too and a zippy tray that's quite beautiful and 70s stark. then we went to the park and sat on a blanket and tried to knit. well, i knit and tried to teach. H remembered how to knit. and M gave it a try and by the end of our time there, had pretty much figured it out.

saturday night dinner was fantastic (if i do say so myself.) i untied the rolled up lamb shoulder roast and seasoned it with salt and pepper. then i slathered it all over with a mix of 1/4 c. dijon mustard, fresh rosemary, and garlic all blitzed up by my hand mixer, then roasted it in a 400F for about 30-45 minutes. it was super tasty and flavourful, though a little tough and fatty (that's the shoulder for you.) my fennel and potato gratin came together quite nicely and won rave reviews. i also blanched some green beans and made a shallot-mustard warm vinaigrette to toss them with. i had originally planned on making eton mess for dessert (crisp meringue, layered with fruit and whipped cream) but the humidity of the day foiled my plans and the meringue was a chewy, very uncrispy, tacky mess. i made a strawberry rhubarb crisp instead and served it with vanilla ice cream.

after hanging and laughing with the goosetang clan, on saturday i was very very very brave and very committed to being social and showed up at the birthday "party" of one of my dodgeball teammates. when i arrived, i found the birthday boy in a separate room, adjacent to the main room where the people were (including his gf), wearing a headset and applying himself with zeal and dedication to the online game, world of warcraft (that's WoW for the uninitiated/non-geeky.) he didn't come out the whole time i was there! it was kind of odd, but strangely endearing how committed to the WoW he was/is. i had a slice of cake, stayed for about an hour and then high tailed it outta there.

sunday morning we roused ourselves and picked up some treats from bonjour brioche on our way to waterloo, whereupon we promptly got discombobulated and lost upon entering the city limits. the dotytron would probably have you (and the world at large) believe that this is MY fault for not being able to remember A's directions as soon as i got off the phone with him. i blame the dotytron for not bringing page 2 of the google maps directions OR our ontario road map, which might possibly have come in handy. i'm a pretty visual learner, so i'm most comfortable with maps. gimme a map and i can get you anywhere. i also blame the roadkill beaver we passed on our way into waterloo - the shock from seeing the poor little guy all splayed out on the highway totally messed with BOTH of our senses of direction.

i've said it before and i'll say it again, i LOVE J&A. to the moon! as individuals and as a couple. as a couple their individual awesomeness is compounded to the nth degree. probably the couple we know that's most like us. we can just talk and talk for hours and hours and it's so comfortable and easy i feel like i've known them all my life. they're adorable. there's a hard push from the kdubs front for us to move down there (a giant house for $240,000 makes it not purely for selfish, nonstop hangtimes reasons) and J has obviously put a lot of thought into what our lives would be like there, transplanted, including where i'm going to be buying my cheese! lol! A served us amazing paninis (ancho roasted pepper spread, mozzarella, basil, tomatoes) on his homemade sourdough sandwich bread which rose up tall and lovely and had a great crust and mie - quite the little cook he is!

then we came home and futzed around and i freaked out about the swine flu for about 10 seconds and then our realtor showed up and gave us the rundown on what she does and how to buy a house and came prepared with a very handy booklet of information. i have a really good feeling about her. she's great. it helps that we kind of know her already.

finally, we capped off the night with a GINORMOUS, guilt-wracking, pulse-taking-inducing meal from squareboy and some of 'skins' season 2. the first episode they went to a dubstep party/rave. stuff like that makes me forget temporarily that i hate the uk (temporarily.) then the show shows the chavs in bristol and what it means to be middle class there and it all comes back to me (notwithstanding the whole colonialism thing.)

i would like to add an addendum to my 'adventureland' review - it mostly works for me if i picture the characters as high school students. there's a certain gawky naivété to the kids in the movie that doesn't translate quite so well in such a heightened fashion to post undergrad university students. but i know why the screenwriter had to do it, because if they were high school students the summer and working at the amusement park wouldn't have the same sense of weight and wouldn't be such a symbolic, oppressive cipher. summer in high school is weighty but in a different sense - it's fraught with untold potential and unspoken desires and giddy dalliances.

tonight for dinner we had orecchiete with peas, proscuitto and crème frâiche. very easy and very happy spring...i've put the recipe below. we had it with that antipasto salad that the dotytron is totally enamoured with. the salad had chopped romaine, sliced red onion, sourdough baguette croutons, these little roasted spicy peppers stuffed with feta from sun valley's deli counter, green olive stuffed with feta from the same place, hot genoa salami, sliced provolone, all dressed with a balsamic-red wine vinaigrette.

i promise you alinea tomorrow.



orecchiete with peas, proscuitto, and crème frâiche
serves 4 to 6 as a main course

1 lb. orecchiete or other short pasta
150 g. proscuitto, sliced
1 c. of crème frâiche
3 c. of frozen peas
2 shallots, thinly sliced
minced garlic to taste
zest of 2 lemons
chopped parsley

- cook the pasta in a pot of boiling, salted water
- meanwhile, sautée the shallots in a bit of olive oil, add the garlic, turn the heat off.
- when the pasta is 1-2 minutes from being down, add the frozen peas to the cooking pasta
- drain the pasta and peas, reserve some of the pasta cooking water
- toss the pasta, the peas, the proscuitto, parsley, lemon zest, and the shallot-garlic mixture with the crème frâiche.
- thin with reserved pasta cooking water if necessary
- season to taste with salt and pepper.

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