so far this weekend i've:
- eaten conch
- played TWO rounds of kickball
- went to a strawberry-less strawberry festival
- had my first 'montana's outhouse' experience (or is it 'montana's cookhouse'?)
- ate too much cake
- snoozed my way through the movie 'doubt'
- had a conversation about child pornography sentencing in the united states and the failure of the left
- gotten hosed at a second hand book store. i was a willing accomplice (nay, instigator!) in my own hosing
friday night's dinner was a blur. as usual, my grandparents INSISTED on our attendance but then scarcely paid any attention to the kids and rushed through a dinner seen as an inconvenient and unwelcome interruption to their mah jong wheeling and dealing. that's where the conch came into play. we had it mixed with mushrooms and bechamel and stuffed into a conch shell and broiled with a breadcrumb topping. it was pretty good! they also had a new kind of shark's fin soup on the menu and soy braised quail.
the next morning the dotytron went to work while we had brunch and then we went to the park and played kickball, my outlaw brother against everyone. in this case, "everyone" turned out to be me and my sister, as my niece rapidly went apocalyptica when she realized she didn't know the rules of the game and thus, was losing (did i mention that competitiveness runs in my family?) little ze clearly had less of a comprehension of the rules than my niece and was basically running in circles making sound effects. in the end, me and my sister got destroyed like, 10 to 2. it was an ignominious defeat that only stoked my desire for a rematch.
after that, we briefly regrouped and then hit the stouffville strawberry festival. call me crazy, but i kind of expected STRAWBERRIES to be featured. boy, was i wrong! instead there was the usual town festival assortment of sunglasses, hats, and garden decorations for sale, fried food, funnel cakes, and various main street stouffville enterprises setting up shop trying to entice people to buy their wares. there was a strawberry cafe, that sold strawberry shortcake (SPRAY CAN WHIPPED CREAM! a travesty!), strawberry pie, a bowl of strawberries and cream, and cookies and water. the cafe was a tired, sad looking thing. no decorations to speak of - only a ragtag group of community centre tables with a few forlorn people half-heartedly picking and their food. the shortcake was abysmal. airy, foamy cake split and topped with the aforementioned spray can whipped cream (NO NAME BRAND!!!!!!) it grieved my food and fair and festival loving soul. i also got into a tussle with one of the doddering old women who was running the show. i ordered: 2 strawberry pies with ice cream, 1 strawberry shortcake, and 1 bowl of strawberries and cream. she asked me, "was that 2 shortcakes and 1 pie?" and i repeated the whole order again (politely!) and then she CHASTISED ME for MAKING HER CONFUSED. lady, please!
there were some very shady carnival rides - shady even by carnival standards. so shady that everything was coated in a fine film of wd-40 and tetanus and a hepatitis cocktail.
the best part of the strawberry festival was that when we came upon a funnel cake stand, my sister turned to me, her eyes glowing, a beatific smile on her face, pointed, and said, "FUNNEL CAKES!" and then my outlaw bro said, "get one!" and she said, triumphantly, "SEE! he supports me!" lol! and that my friends, is how you make a relationship work. when your partner wants a funnel cake, you support them, dammit!
we came home and played ANOTHER round of kickball, this time with the dotytron on our team, and we STILL lost. this is after c-hova came out to give outlaw bro a hand playing outfield and twisted his ankle in his rookie debut. somehow for dinner we ended up at montana's. ummmm...that place is THE WORST. the worst, the worst, the worst! we paid $8.99 for a calamari portion that was little 1/2 a cup of rings and tentacles. THE WORST!
playing two rounds of kickball and then wandering the stouffville strawberry festival like the tribe of issachar was tiring to say the least. we ate cake and then passed out. the cake was a TWELVE layer cake. in retrospect, i should have made a double batch of chocolate buttercream and used that to sandwich in between each layer. instead, i alternated layers of jam and nutella and then frosted the whole thing with chocolate buttercream. it was pretty good, but could be improved. it certainly LOOKS impressive. i used 8" foil pans to make all the cake layers. i can fit 8 into my oven at a time, but the layers took a long time to cook. the most time consuming part was really cutting out the parchment circles to line the cake pans and then greasing and flouring the pans. overall, i think the cake base recipe could use some work...it tastes kind of under done and not very overwhelming. i'd probably just double a standard cake recipe that i really like, or use 1.5 times the recipe and go with that instead of the one provided. live and learn!
we were supposed to go see "public enemies" but it's tracking at 60% on rotten tomatoes so we were hesitant. plus it's uber-long and the only show we would be in time for was the late one. so we watched "doubt" instead. and by "watched" i mean "snoozed intermittently through." it was BORING. so boring! i say this having watched maybe 5 minutes total. i trust my opinion though.
so now we're at home, waiting for the dotytron's new guitar student to show up, even though it looks like she's bailed. for dinner we're going to try this new place called the stockyards. i'm totally pumped for it! i hope it doesn't disappoint!
full review to come a demain.