Saturday, April 26, 2008

Yes, I'm alive

I've been meaning to post, but I really don't know why I haven't lately. I suppose I've been busy, although we have been in town every weekend since we were in New Orleans. It has been nice.

Last night was my turn to host book club. It was so sad; only two of the seven attending had actually finished the book (I was one of those two, although I finished it 15 minutes before they arrived), two only made it to page 90, and the rest didn't even start. I realize that these groups are often more social than anything else, but I think people should at least try to read the book. We had six weeks!

Our book was Love in the Time of Cholera. Yes, it was a past Oprah Book Club selection. Please don't give me grief for that.

Because the book is loosely set in Colombia, I started digging around for traditional Colombian foods when deciding what to make. The food at our past meetings has not been tied to the book, but it was easier for me to do this than to come up with a menu any other way. I made an Aji Salsa, a huge pot of Sancocho de Gallina, and arepas. Dessert? Well, that was chewy chocolate cookies from Central Market. I had to have one easy thing!

In knitting, I finished a baby sweater for R's step-cousin's baby shower that we are attending this evening. I'm also working on a simple wrap using some Unger Angelspun yarn. The pattern is a simple rectangle in stockinette stitch that is seamed together. (I need to find the pattern again so I will know how to finish it!) The yarn was some from my mother-in-law and it is a very boring fleshy color, so I decided today that I would try to dye it. I have part of a sweater that she was knitting with it and it is currently in a hot pot of water with two packs of black cherry kool-aid. The yarn is a mohair/nylon/acrylic blend, so I'm hoping that the mohair and nylon will take up the dye even though the acrylic will not. It has only been 20 minutes and the water is almost clear, so things are working so far. I just have to see what happens when I rinse it. Pictures to come!

update: It worked!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Food-filled French Quarter

We flew to New Orleans this weekend for what was originally supposed to be a friend's wedding. The bride-to-be called it off about eight weeks ago, so it ended up just being a party with his family and a few friends. R booked our flight and our hotel rooms the weekend before the wedding was called off.

Our flight was late getting in, so instead of having a few hours to take a nap and get ready, we pretty much had to jump in the shower as soon as we got there so we could be ready for 8:15 when my parents picked us up. We went to Upperline for dinner, which is one of R's favorites. It was a first visit for the rest of us. Their fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade really were worthy of the dreams R had been having since he made the reservations. Mmmmm. I had a huge half roasted duck but sent much of it home with my parents, who planned to use it to make ravioli.

Saturday morning my parents came back to get us and take us to visit my Granna. I saw a real decline (even mom noticed it since her last visit), so it was a hard visit, and made even worse by finding out today that she is back in the hospital. They thought it was pneumonia, but it is apparently just a respiratory infection from the cold she had earlier and is being treated with antibiotics. She got a wheelchair on Friday and is having a hard time adjusting to it. We could tell she was depressed, and she would zone out for bits here and there. The nurses say she is sleeping more and more now. I know what that means.

We had reservations for 15 at Antoine's on Saturday night. We were in a back room and that may have affected my experience a bit. I know that getting food out for 15 can be tough, and then everyone waits for all plates to be served, but this resulted in my fish being just barely warm and I ate less than half of it. I did fill up on appetizers though, and I at least enjoyed most of them. I say most because I have discovered that I do not like Antoine's original Oysters Rockefeller. I think I prefer another restaurant's attempt at recreating it. I don't know if it was the (too much?) Pernod, but I know that I did get several grains of rock salt in my mouth (the oysters are baked in the shell on a bed of rock salt), and the salt completely overpowered it.

The rest of the evening was spent on one of the Balconies at The Royal Sonesta overlooking Bourbon Street. We had beads to throw to the drunk tourists, and I was happy to find many Auburn people to scream "WAR EAGLE" to and throw beads to. Oh, and if you're wondering, yes I did see several sets of breasts. The guys in our group were down a few feet from me and were attracting the ladies with long strands of large gold beads.

(yes, I eat. I'm just slouchy in this picture making my shoulder blade stick out in such a lovely manner. Sorry mom!)

I got a lot of knitting done with our flight delay. I'm a few inches past the waste yarn for the afterthought heel on my socks, and I have now have yarn for another pair because I found The Quarter Stitch on Chartres while we were walking around this morning and bought some green Koigu

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I hate training new employees

I'm at the same grocery store almost every day. Most of the cashiers/baggers know me. Many will get me a 10lb bag of ice before I even ask for it. They know I bring my own bags and I'm particular about how they are packed.

This one lady...I swear, three times I have said "and may I please have a bag of Reddy Ice; the big bag?" and then she doesn't ring it up and thing brings me one of their little courtesy bags of crushed ice, so I have to do another transaction, usually annoying the person behind me. Perhaps the fourth time will be the charm.

When lines are slow, one of the neighboring cashiers will usually come over to help bag if I can't get there in time to do it myself. I always put the cold stuff in my green envirosac . They don't always know this, but I'll pull that one aside and say "please put the cold stuff in here." That way I only have one bag to put and keep in my insulated bag and can pull stuff out at the client's as I need it. The guy said "Yeah, ok!"

Well, I get to my clients and I unpack the canned/dry goods onto the counter and get to work. I need my coconut milk. Where's my coconut milk? Did they forget to pack my coconut milk? Oh god. How will I make this Thai curry???

Oh, wait...nope, it's in the cold bag.

Later: where's my chicken broth? Oh...don't tell me...yep, it's in the cold bag.

I know it's silly, but it makes for a bitchy me.

There are some bagging-only employees that I will avoid completely and have no qualms about stepping in front of them and suggesting that they'd be better off helping the woman who is just staring into space while her groceries pile up at the end of the belt.