we were incredibly spoiled this weekend with much friends, food, and laughter. it was jam-packed but i'm glad we went to each and every thing on our packed roster - the quality of the company this weekend was unparalleled and i would have felts its absence keenly had we flaked out and bailed as we are generally wont to do.
saturday i worked steadily and busily - crafting a unified wrapping aesthetic for my xmas prezzies this year and working very hard to have a substantial chunk of my shopping done so that i might meet my self-imposed end of november deadline. looks like things are proceeding nicely! zellers was an unexpected and long-neglected ally - they have such cheap stuff! i couldn't believe it! so i zipped around and did errands and also bought myself a cheapie pair of hockey skates. last weekend's tottering around on the ice in my birkenstock clogs, gazing enviously at the dotytron's big bird form gliding on the ice at the arena made me hanker to revisit my own ice dancing past (i never danced on ice). the fact that there's an outdoor, public rink at the very bottom of our street was another incentive. post-work skating will definitely replace post-work running as my exercise of choice (i never ran after work). especially since skating lends itself to such plummy, norman rockwell delights as hot chocolate, mulled cider, and freshly baked cookies après skate (running lends itself to sweat, puffy face, and boredom).
saturday night we trooped over to L's house on the west side (did you know that keele is a place?!? and it's in the GTA and not like, mississauga?) and were treated to a moroccan feast - a chickpea and chopped salad thing, some sweet potatoes, some cold beets to start. followed by a chicken bastilla - flaky phyllo dusted with cinnamon wrapped around shredded warm, chicken, studded with the brightness and acidity of pomegranate seeds. i'd read about bastilla before but never tried it. i was never sure because it's always spoken of as a sweet, meat preparation and i wasn't sure that i'd be able to reconcile my expectations that a meet pastry be savory. it was delicious!
late at night (we were served the entrée at 11:30pm!) we tucked into steamed couscous with a lamb tagine, featuring lamb cooked into submission swimming in a saffron infused broth with chunks of tender zucchini and squash. it was so good! and how ambitious and brave of L to host 15 people at the innaugural saturday night supper club! we're going to miss next month's meeting but i think it's our turn to suggest a spot in january or february. bwong came too - he's got supper club written all over him. it was really fun - most of the ranks were made up of people we went to high school with and there was an easy camraderie as we caught up and talked. another person who was there was my friend, C's partner's brother, who i believe is dating L! small world!
speaking of which, shout outs to C and his family - they recently adopted an adorable little girl from china. i can't wait to meet her in person! how do i know C? he and my sis went to undergrad together - small world, six degrees, pay it forward, blah blah.
so despite the fact that the dotytron made up in whiskey what he was lacking in food whilst we waited for our late supper on saturday and was therefore suffering from a well-deserved hangover, we got ourselves up bright and early and went to school bakery and cafe i've reviewed school bakery before, but since my last time there, they have expanded their menu and serve most of their items on plates and not tiny iron skillets - improvement!
birthday girl C got the four cheese omelet soufflé with bacon, home fries and pepper biscuit. i nabbed a bite as the server was clearing the dishes away. yes, you heard that right. when the server was clearing away the used dishes i asked her if i could have the last bite from my friend's meal because you can take the girl out of the china but you can't take the china out of the girl.
the dotytron had the potato sausage omelet with melted brie, home fries, and pepper biscuit. i had a bite, it was good.
A had the blueberry pancakes. they looked really purty.
if you are me and you love hollandaise (which you would, because you would be me, and i love hollandaise like few other things) then you have a propensity to order benny whenever it appears on the menu. but if you were also me and you saw the words "toasted coconut pancakes with caramel sauce and whipped cream" you would find yourself faced with an epic quandary, maybe more epic than deciding between ribs and brisket. if you were me, you would try to find a reasonable solution to your quagmire and you would ask the server if it's possible to get a half order of the pancakes. you know, something seemly, ladylike, toward (ie. the opposite of untoward). when the server tells you that they don't do half orders, if you were me, you would then make the perfectly sensible solution to order a SIDE OF A FULL ORDER OF TOASTED COCONUT PANCAKES. especially if you were me and had just eaten a LAMB TAGINE LESS THAN 9 HOURS PREVIOUSLY. lol!
the eggs benny was nice - they make a very lemony hollandaise with a good amount of acidity - it's rare. i was less enthused to see the deli ham gracing my pepper biscuit but the egg was poached perfectly. i'm also a little less than impressed when i'm giving sweet potato homefries and there are not crusty bits. it's HARD to get crusty bits on sweet potatoes due to the high sugar/moisture content. they tend to cook quickly and mush up before they brown and crustify.
the pancakes were good, but as i later confirmed with A, we both agreed that it would be nice if the auxiliary flavour (in his case the blueberries and in mine the caramel) could be interspersed between the layers in the stack and not just poured on top because after you've eaten around the edges, the middle gets kind of dry and doughy.
either way, it's a pretty good spot - i'm more inclined to go back than i was the first time i went. although i really, really hate waiting in line for brunch. actually, the older i get, the more i really really hate waiting in line for anything.
then we headed over to lil' ugmos so that A & C could see the place and we met up with S and 3 who were there to drive my hair towards bangs-ville and do man stuff, respectively. 3 was a godsend. he basically worked his little keister off putting up the firefly pendant lamp which looks AMAZING over our crate and barrel dining room table, which thankfully, isn't too large for the space at all (i was getting worried for a bit). i think once we re-do the kitchen and open up the wall between the dining room and kitchen and put in the peninsula, it's going to be even MORE in proportion but right now you wouldn't think that the table was out of place. but i love love love my lamp! we just need to get a dimmer for it. and we went all privileged northern hemisphere and threw compact fluoros to the wind and put in filament bulbs because they look stunning in the glass globes.
S gave me the best hair cut ever. seriously, that girl is so talented. i look like a different person and got LOADS of compliments today. the key will be whether i can maintain it - but even if i can't - who cares? i had one glorious day of looking like a hot little kitten.
today was gangbusters at work, as per usual. oy. i'm part of way too many projects. i had lunch with dr. rei. my lunches with dr. rei make my work week. i'm skipping french class just to be able to go. we don't eat. we just get together and walk around and talk. i've gotten most of my xmas shopping done. i just need to get a few small things but otherwise, we're donezo.
tonight for dinner we had to get our health back on track after eating richness and fat all weekend. i made us red cabbage borscht with dilled sour cream and cheddar sage drop biscuits. the dotytron loves borscht. he got super excited when he found out we were eating it.
now i'm going to write more thank you cards. in the words of me, "stick a gun in me, i'm done."