this weekend was a non-stop orgy of family and friends fatburger lovin'. friday i went buck and did a billion things and subsequently exhausted myself - but really, would i have had it any other way? no. then the outlaw bro and my sis showed up and we took them for rico's long-delayed birthday dinner of oysters and beers and other irish pub food at the ceili cottage. i think we totally won him over - he was loving the cask-conditioned ale and the bangers'n'mash, mac'n'cheese, and the soup of the day (eggplant and roasted garlic).
saturday morning was the ladies-only family shower - consisting of mostly the dotyron's aunts from momma and poppa d's sides of the family. my mum showed up wearing the most RIDICULOUS beyoncé heels and this flashy purple dress and a giant black patent prada bag and somehow managing to pull it off. instead of looking age-inappropriate, she just looked kind of fabulous. her shoes kind of looked like this:
that's my mum, alright. it was a brunch affair - i made my sis' ham and veggie strata, a caramelised onion-bacon-cheddar quiche, a spinach-mushroom-blue cheese quiche, a mixed green salad, a fruit salad, and my sis made a delicious sour cream coffee cake. we also had plain, chocolate, and almond croissants from bonjour brioche as well as a gorgeous lemon poppyseed cake from this place in leslieville called (stupidly) lpk's culinary groove:
nany gave us a bunch of knitted sweaters with matching caps - in graduated sizes as well as these two knitted dolls. i'm pretty sure the one on the right is supposed to be me. evidence in favour: the swarthy complexion, the slanty eyes, the angry eyebrows/side swept bangs. lol! amazing! everyone was insanely generous and i pretty much never have to buy the fatburger a single piece of clothing for the first year. we're just crossing our fingers that the ultrasound tech didn't make a mistake and that spumante is actually a boy.
for dinner that night my mum used her xmas gift certificate the kids gave her and took me and my sis out to the harbord room. it was okay. they're big on the "local" thing and i'm getting kind of tired of it, to be honest. like, i'm okay with the politics behind it, but i'm not okay with a restaurant not really having an angle - it's like, here's your meat, starch, vegetables, all simply prepared, minimal saucing. boring! i can do that...sheesh.
we started off with their charcuterie board, which featured soppresata and capicollo from pingue. a house made pig's head terrine, a deep fried poached egg (that they were inordinately chuffed about - dude, i've done that), and a chicken liver terrine that was a little lacking in liver-y flavour.
we also had the merguez sausage with polenta. this was another okay dish - nothing that knocked my socks off. the sausage was tasty (but i don't think it's made in-house) and sat on a bed of nice, soft polenta strewn with an eggplant mixture. the thing that ruined this dish for me was the crumbling of feta on top. the feta was far too sharp and gamy for the relatively restrained nature of the dish.we also split the halibut with chorizo and chickpeas. the halibut had been aggressively over-cooked...it flaked off in big, dry chunks and the dish lacked panache. the chorizo and chickpeas tasted like you would expect them to taste, but overall, it was a fairly uninspired showing.
we also shared the braised rabbit pappardelle, which tasted like chinese food, strangely. like some brothy, braised chinese pork dish with egg noodles - i wasn't feeling this dish. the pappardelle was lovely - very chewy and al dente, but the rabbit and shitake mushrooms never coalesced into a worthy sauce companion for the noodles.
for our mains - sorry, from the "large plates" section of the menu, we had the milk fed veal chop (delicious) served with mustard mashed potatoes (a little gummy) and sautéed spinach with raisins (ho hum)
for dessert, we had the doughnut filled with lime curd and served with tapioca. this was very, very nice. the doughnut could have been a touch more tender (it was hard to cut into it) but the lime curd was rich and light at the same time and i have a colossal soft spot for tapioca pudd in all its forms.
we also shared the chocolate tart with peanut butter mousse which tasted like moon cake - the combo of the peanut butter & chocolate created a pastiness reminiscent of lotus paste - again, the unexpected chinese-ness of it was a little unexpected and disconcerting.
overall, i'm not sure that we'd go back. the menu and execution lacked cohesion - there was no clear vision from the chef and the actual dishes were inconsistent - nothing ever transcended the sum of its parts. for 3 medium sized plates, the 2 large ones and the 2 desserts (plenty of food for 3 people - 2 of whom are preggos), and no booze the total came out to $140 or so.
i then spent the rest of the evening churning out vellum mobiles for the friend's shower on sunday. because i'm CRAZY. i stole the idea for the vellum mobiles from jordan ferney's blog, oh happy day. there were a not insignificant amount of work, but in the end, they went a long way to gussying up the bain co-op community centre:
our friends were overwhelmingly generous and kind-hearted and it made us feel so good about the extended network of aunties and uncles that are going to be loving up on the fatburger. it was really a lovely time overall - it's always hard mixing your various groupings of friends and making sure you get time to talk to everyone in equal measure - but i think (hope) that people had fun.
yesterday was a crazy day. at work, then my conference presentation (FINALLY OVER WITH) and then homebirth information night. homebirth info night resulted in me being the jerk in the class who's obviously texting. i r bored cat. i left the house at 7:30am yesterday and then didn't come home until 10pm. we stayed out after to get some dinner in me at a congee restaurant. i haven't really given any thought to who i want at the birth. i guess i always kind of figured that it'd just be me and the dotytron and my midwives. if my sister could travel, i know i'd want her there as well...i'm not sure who else i would want to burden with seeing me naked and rubbing my feet and massaging my back and listening to me curse and grunt and moan and poo myself. that's a tall order and a lot to ask of anyone.
at homebirth info night they bring in two women to talk about their stories - one who planned a homebirth and then had to be transferred to hospital and another one who's homebirth went well. one of the speakers brought her kid with her - the kid is crawling, so like, 6 months or so. is it weird that i'm going to have a child but am simultaneously disgusted/repulsed by most other children not related to me by blood or friendship? this kid was a snotty mess and everyone was cooing and picking him up and doting on him and i was inwardly praying (while feigning an interest in my cell phone so that i wouldn't make eye contact with him) that he wouldn't come up to me so i wouldn't have to publicly look like an a**hole for wincing when he got slobber on me. i'm not good with sticky or gritty. i'm a little worried about it, to be honest.
tonight for dinner we had CSA minestrone - chock full of kale, zucchini, carrots, pancetta, onions, garlic, tomatoes and various shelling beans. alongside we had paninis of crispy pancetta, figs, and fresh mozzarella.
i also went a little buck and prepped cabbage rolls with tomato sauce. the cabbage rolls are stuffed with beef and brown rice...i haven't tasted one yet but i'm cautiously optimistic. i'm on a huge stocking-up-the-freezer kick. right now, the best gift anyone could give me would be use of their freezer for all the meals/soups/etc. that i'm trying to stock up on for when i won't have time to think straight - let alone contemplate making dinner.