Friday, May 23, 2014

All Of The Lights

For the past 3 years my street has pooled resources and done fireworks in the park for Victoria Day.  This year, the woman who usually grabs them was away, so I did the organizing and volunteered to grab them from the fireworks store.  I can't remember what we spent last year per family, maybe $15?

I went to Kaboom! and it was hands-down one of the best customer service experiences I've ever had. First of all, I walk in, and it's like 3 Asian dudes who must have maxed out at age 22, going to town on a late lunch from Domino's that consisted of a THREE large pieces, a bunch of garlic knot things and wings.  A large pizza per person is SO CLASSY, in my books.  Then, one of those sweet kids agreed to stand outside and keep an eye on the van while the Wonder Twins snoozed so I could shop.  Then, the 22 year old store manager personally walked me around the store and helped me sort out a show.  This guy was an expert.  In the past, I think the woman has just bought those "kits" which are pretty lame - a million roman candles and burning schoolhouses.  SNOOZERS.  This guy made sure my show had a narrative arc with a beginning, middle, and end and I will say, that after witnessing the show on Sunday night, à la carte is the way to go.  I went a *little* bit crazy and spent like, $150, but the kid manager totally threw in a million sparklers and gave me mad deals on what I bought.  It was amazing.

People who complain about paying that much for fireworks are also the kind of people who can't appreciate how awesome it is when a kid manager buys his staff a large pizza each.  I would love to work in that environment.  Talk about morale!

We had such a nice long weekend.  Saw friends every day - the Roomie and baby T, dinner with JJ and S, MHui and her fambam, our friends B & G and their new baby.  So sweet!  We went for walks and ate ice cream and went out for a restaurant dinner, all five of us, which is pretty special.  When it goes off well, it's like, TOP OF THE WORLD, MA!  Eating at a REAL restaurant?  That is a feat, my friends.

JJ & S's kids are super-geniuses.  I was being a goofball and I was asking their 9 year old a series of inane questions: "Do you like to eat meatballs?  Do you like to eat giant meatballs the size of your head?" and he didn't answer me, so I said, "B! What, you're not talking to me?" and he said, "I assumed the question was rhetorical."  LOL!  He's NINE.

I can only hope my kids are that smart.  The Big Yam has been trying to figure out a bunch of stuff lately.  "Where does pee come from?"  "Where's my bladder?"  "What belly did Baba come from?"  "What does a Japanese spider crab eat?"  It's hilarious and amazing watching him process your answers.  You can see the wheels turning as he figures out how to phrase his question, and then again once you've given your answer.  My neighbour turned me onto these Youtube dudes called the "Slo Mo Guys" who basically make things explode and record it in super HD and play it back in slow motion.  Everything in that preceding sentence is the manifestation of the totality of little kid fantasies.  When the Big Yam isn't watching hours of ocean documentaries, he wants to watch this:

Meanwhile, the Quincess continues to be such a quiet, clever little lad.  He's like a classic middle child, which is hilarious, because he's the middle child by four minutes.  You basically show him something once and he'll give you a classic Quincess side-eye and then try to figure it out or start to mimic you.  Meanwhile, Lindsay Lou-Lou is, as the Dotytron said the other night, "kinesthetically smart" and then, in a whisper, "the fake kind of smart."  LOL!  Poor Lindsay Lou-Lou.  I don't want to box them in from the time they are babies though, so I will say that, right now,  Lindsay is physically advanced and is very attuned to his own emotions (read: he's very sensitive).

Now, a photo dump:

My garden, 2 weeks ago, freshly mulched and looking fiiine.  

Lendigan just back from the Grateful Dead concert

Happy, crooked smiling Quincess

11 month shot!  So squirmy!

The Big Yam and the babies and I spent all of a gloriously sunny yesterday picnicking in the park.  They've turned out the splash pad water but yesterday was the first real day it's been warm enough to think about getting wet.  Look at that little munchkin' swagger!

21st century manhood

Minds: blown (they can't figure out 2D pics of people they know)

More from our picnic

Lendigan making a run for it

Chicken Milanese dinner on a bed of roasted grape tomatoes and baby arugula

Cinqo de Mayo posole

Meat-free meal - tagliatelle tossed with wilted radicchio and bagna cauda and topped with a fried egg

Mother's day meal: seared rib eyes, brussels sprouts roasted on the grill, potatoes grilled with red onions

That time I ate 2lbs of macaroni and cheese with crispy thyme breadcrumbs

Meat-free meal: roasted asparagus on garlic toast with a fried egg, hollandaise, and leftover thyme breadcrumbs

Stromboli (basically, pizza dough rolled up with sopressata and provolone and roasted red peppers), served with tomato sauce and arugula salad

Alsatian flammenkuchen - caramelized onion, lardon, and crème frâiche on pizza dough.

French chocolate "silk" pie - basically chocolate mousse in a pie crust - I made a pretzel crust but wasn't happy with it.  Next time, will either use a chocolate sablé crust, or the standard piecrust, parbaked.  The filling is worth making again.  Will post the recipe below.

Based on one of my favorite sandwiches from La Cubana - grilled halibut with an avocado-pineapple salsa and a Greek salad.


French Chocolate Silk Pie
serves 10-12

1 piecrust, parbaked

1 c. heavy cream
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 eggs
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 T. water
8 T. unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into roughly tablespoon-sized pieces

- whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form, set aside in the fridge.
- melt the chocolate, stirring until smooth, set aside
- whisk the eggs, sugar, and water together in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water (double boiler style), and whisk until the mixture feels hot to the touch when you dip a finger in it.  Remove, and beat with a whisk attachment or beaters until thickened and cooled to room temperature.
- beat in the butter, piece by piece, then beat in the melted chocolate.
- fold in the whipped cream.
- pour mixture into your cooled pie shell vehicle of choice, then place plastic wrap directly on the surface and chill for a few hours, or overnight.  
- top with additional whipped cream and serve.

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