Monday, September 10, 2012

Grand Electric

Psych! Here's the thing about lining up for tacos (keep in mind, I'm planning on visiting Grand Electric someday), I can make perfectly good tacos at home.  Like, absolutely delicious tacos.  That's what we did on Friday.  I had the day off and I packed off the Big Yam to daycare (with some twinges of guilt) and cleaned the house and prepped tacos in advance of Dr. Rei and Hanbo's visit.  I made fish tacos and shrimp tacos and we had them with awesome tortillas from La Tortilleria and the green tomatillo salsa and the smoky red salsa from La Tortilleria as well.  Some chopped avocado, a cabbage-carrot slaw, some crema, some home made tortilla chips - so easy and so delicious, plus it's AYCE and you can't beat the price or setting.  AND we had that toasted almond meringue lemon curd semifreddo for dessert, and I have a hard time believing that anything Grand Electric serves up can test that.

We had such a good time chatting with those guys.  We covered a lot of topics - my chances of getting an interview for these jobs I'm applying for, which yielded this photo of Dr. Rei being a good bff and laying it down:
I love this photo because she looks like her beloved Pai Mei from Kill Bill
Also: check Uncle Hanbo reading the Big Yam a story!

We also covered "hipster racism" and artistic intent and the coming US-election.  It was aces.  The conversation also yielded this classic M-R-I exchange:

The Dotytron puts Des'ree's "You Gotta Be" on the Youtube.
Dr. Rei: "Who is this?"
The Dotytron: "I don't actually know.  Jodeci?"
Me: "Uhhh, Jodeci is a guy."
Dr. Rei: "Actually, Jodeci is TWO guys!"

LOL!  I don't know why I find that so funny, but it was hilarious at the time.  

Here are some "after" shots of the Lil' Ugmo facelift:

I'm still waiting for the shelf that I want to use as a landing strip to come in.  We have to put that up and my junk store oval mirror and then it's pretty much done (barring a light fixture for what used to be hallway light).

Saturday we showed up late like classic skidballs to our first Parent & Tot Mandarin class.  It was pretty good!  It's only 45 minutes long and it's basically an extended story/circle time at the drop-in centre.  We did songs, then a game, then a story/interactive play with a vocabulary lesson in which I eagerly glommed onto the Mandarin words for "rabbit" and "frog" that closely match the Cantonese.  The point of this class was to get the kids used to calling their mom's "Mama" and their dad's "Baba" which means the Big Yam had a bit of a home ice advantage.  The best was the Big Yam walking in (late), sitting down and listening to one song and then getting up and saying, "All done!" and trying to leave the class.  LOL!  The other best thing was that we gossiped about the other kids and parents when we were in the car coming home.  We learned two lines of a song and I think it's pretty fun.  I'm excited to go back.  

The other good thing about Saturday class is that we get to hit up Chinese food in Markham/Scarborough afterwards.  This week we met my mum for lunch at Congee Queen.  Otherwise, it was a pretty lazy weekend, which was nice.  I think I'm going to make a concerted effort (she says now) to not overschedule us on weekends.  It was nice having the one night of socializing and then two whole days and evenings to work on our own stuff and be relaxed and chill around the house.  We biked out to Riverdale Farm and stumbled upon the Cabbagetown Festival.  We hung out with our neighbours and planted some mums in the garden and did laundry and put up pictures and visited briefly with the Roomie and baby T.  It was all so delightfully lowkey:

I could use a million more of those types of weekends, please!

Saturday night we had take out night and we tried this Thai place called Sukho Thai, which is the restaurant from which Khao San Road spun off.  The benefit of Sukho Thai is that it's not in clubland and they pay lower rent (= lower prices for similar - and some same - dishes!) and it's close enough that we can nip out and get take out and eat in the comfort of our own home (big bonus for us).  We had the Guaytiaw Sukhothai, which is like a Thai take on Vietnamese pho - in this case, the broth is punched up with lovely anise and sour notes.  We had it with beef brisket and it was tender and flavourful.   We also had the Pad Kee Mao with chicken and the Gaeng Panang with beef.  The last dish we ordered spicy and they weren't joking about the heat levels.  All the flavours were incredibly well balanced and in proportion - it was incredibly delicious and a great alternative to Jean's Vegetarian Kitchen for when I'm looking for meat-filled Thai food.  So good!  I'm glad we have this restaurant in our back pocket now.  

We were talking restaurants with the neighbours and the Dotytron was summing up our attitude towards restaurants which is basically like, we want to spend either $10 a plate or like, $60 a plate and be wowed.  Anything in between is completely uninteresting to us.  That's where you get a lot of your typical "neighbourhood" joints where the food is good, but nothing outstanding or worth travelling over.  If it's just protein, starch and vegetables on a plate and there's not much in the way of inventiveness or technique, I'm not interested and I'd much rather cook and entertain and eat at home, really.

Taco salad!

Roasted tomato soup, grilled cheese & pepper jelly sandwiches and kale chips

Fish & shrimp tacos

Toasted almond meringue & lemon curd semifreddo

Wild blueberry buttermilk pancakes & smoky thick-cut Mennonite bacon

 I've found my go-to buttermilk pancake recipe.  I've posted it at the end of this post.

All-in-all, a great way to close off the first week of the school year.  I love my family and I love that fall is coming and that we can start hunkering down at home more.  I started working on my quilt again and I pulled out my knitting and I jarred up 5 litres of my tomato sauce.  I'm also doubling up on a dinner once a week (so I made two dinners' worth of the stuffed eggplant) to go in the freezer so that one day a week all the Dotytron has to do is turn on the oven or reheat something already prepared.  

Yay fall!


Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
makes about 16 regular sized pancakes and a bunch of silver dollar pancakes

2 c. all purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1 T. baking soda
pinch of salt
2 c. buttermilk
3 eggs

- Mix the wet ingredients together 
- Stir together the dry ingredients then whisk wet into dry.  Whisk until no lumps remain.
- Stir in 2 T. of melted butter and 2 c. of wild blueberries (or whatever fruit you want to mix in)
- cook as per usual.


Jen said...

The house looks great!! Can't wait to see it in person!

dr. rei said...

Lil ugmo is NOT living up to its ugmo name.
Looking fiiiiiiiiiiiine
(That's me channeling Jodeci)