Monday, July 31, 2006

A party and a day just for ourselves

As some of you may know, our 1st wedding anniversary passed this weekend, and we celebrated in style.

First, on Saturday, we had about 15 people over for a great big barbecue on the deck. Folks came from as far away as Calgary to wish us well, which was much appreciated. For those of you who couldn't make it, you missed out on some serious rib eye and plenty of potluck, and cake, the entire top layer of our wedding cake. This means that I now have room in my freezer for actual food I can eat without getting a divorce.

Jenn was sweet enough to get me my very own copy of the classic, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" Along with two 3 DVD sets of "The French Chef". It was almost as like she could read my mind.

Thanks to everyone who made our party a success, it will be the first of many, I'm sure.

Then on Sunday, we finally got around to the breakfast that we had been looking forward to the day after our wedding, but which we just didn't have time for. We went for a leisurely 2 hour brunch at the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald. In the Empire Ballroom, which has been restored to its original 1915 condition. Needless to say the food was wonderful, with handmade crepes, mimosas, pastries, seafood, hot and cold items of all kinds.

We then headed to the Telus World of Science, because we are both very strange people. We also popped over to the flea market, because that is what we used to do on a Sunday when I lived in Westmount, we would pop over to the flea market and listen to the vinyl cafe on CBC.

In the evening we went to the Keg, because so many of you have seen fit to give us the gift of red meat, which is much appreciated. I had an enormous rib eye which I couldn't come close to finishing, and Jenn had the blue cheese filet, which she came closer to finishing, but not quite. Lunch leftovers today were lovely, by the way.

Once home, we collapsed, and passed out from red meat until this morning. I hope everyone got home safe from Edmonton, thanks for coming.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Lovely supper

Today was farmer's market day in Collingwood, as well as "Jenn and Owen go to T&T" day, so we wound up with an assortment of lovely things. First of all, new potatoes, then hardneck garlic, peaches, salmon steak, and artichokes. We took advantage of our Barbecue having a side burner as we boiled the potatoes and artichokes together, and grilled the salmon. I also made Aioli with taragon, chive, and scallion, and topped the potatoes with that. The artichokes we had en vinaigrette. All this was accompanied by a bottle of Viognier, which went down a treat, and for dessert? Watermelon. All in all, a nice day.

Oh, and we went for a swim before supper, too, which took the edge off the 34 degree heat.

Taste of Edmonton

So today we went to the Taste of Edmonton festival, where about 20 different food outlets have a booth doing 2 different dishes, and you pay with tickets. It's kinda like a culinary midway. The Heritage Festival is similar, but then it is more ethnic and more different foods per booth, and it is in the park instead of Churchill Square. Anyway, here's my review of the food I had:

Buffaloaf with Caramelized Onion Gravy: Tasted like sage stuffing.

Brewster's Brewpub:
Lobster Penne: Tasted good. Had some lobster in it. It was pub pasta, how good does it get?
Deep fried Cheesecake: Okay, you read the name, right? That's what it was. A heart-attack in a bowl. I was in favour.

Hoang Long:
Green Papaya salad with Beef Jerkey: Way cilantro. Way way cilantro.

Korean Village:
Vegetable Tempura: Like all deep fried veg, it was good. It was really good with Ponzu and chillie sauce.
Bul-Go-Gi Chicken with Kimchi and Rice: The kimchi was better than the chicken. Neither was as good as the tempura.

Krua Wilai:
Penang Beef with Rice: It was Thai Curry. It was okay, I make better.

La Tapa:
Patatas Aioli: Potatoes with garlic mayo. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. I want this again, enough for me to bother to make my own mayonaise.

Lakeside Grill:
Seafood Paella: Not as good as the stuff at Las Caletas, for which I have the recipe, and would make if anyone I knew would eat it with me. I can't eat a whole paella myself, you know.

Martinique Cafe:
Grilled west coast salmon: Dry, but it came with a sauce of capers and tomatoes. Happily, I didn't pay for it, I had a bite of someone else's.

Polka Cafe: Potato pancakes: Greasy, but good. This is the sort of thing I would make if I ever had leftover mashed potatoes, but to do that, I would need to have mashed potatoes to begin with.

Sutton Place Hotel:
Cappacino Chocolate shooter cup: Dark chocolate cup filled with coffe-cream. Uh, what part of this might not be good? None? None less good? Yeah, that's about it.

That's Aroma:
Garlic Tomato Salad: Plenty of garlic. I liked it. I might make it someday, If I find a recipe I like.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Water Damage

So after several weeks of waiting, they finally came and repaired not only our water damaged wall, but also the leaking toilet tank in our bathroom. This had been somewhat of a saga, as they were supposed to paint our wall last Friday, but never showed. By 3:00 on Monday, after plenty of calling on our part, I got a call from the administration to see if the work had been done yet. It hadn't. The admin lady came up and looked. Then she looked mad. She gets on her cell right then and there and starts bawling out the guy on the other end. It sounded like this:

It hasn't been done.

No, it hasn't.

I'm right here, looking at yellow stains on the walls.

No, there's no grandfather clock here.

What building was it?

You painted #605 in the WRONG BUILDING! Can't you tell if there's stains on the walls or not?


And then she hung up. The guy was here in about an hour, and took all of 20 minutes to paint the place including some fast drying spray primer. Was that so hard? NO!

Now Jenn is making me supper, and that makes me happy.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Even more psychic cheezy poof connection:

As we were finishing up lunch, and discussing what we would take to the potluck tomorrow, Jenn said, "I think I'll make some chocolate chip cookies." To which I said, "Hun..." To which she replied, "You want to eat the dough with the frozen yoghurt in the freezer, don't you?"

Dangit, neither of us can conceal our various food cravings from the other with this psychic cheezy-poof connection.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Mmmmmmmm .... Beer.

Today, Jenn and I bottled the batch of beer that we had brewing in the storeroom. We had tried some raspberry beer at Swan's Brewpub in Victoria, liked it, and decided to make some ourselves. Happily, we were putting in an order to one of our more esoteric suppliers just as I got back and 120 ml of raspberry beer essence was obtained, along with a Brewhouse American Premium Lager kit and a couple of cases of bottles and some caps. I also snaked a bunch of supplies from my Dad's place when I was there on the way back from the coast.

We started the beer pretty soon after we got back, and siphoned it over almost right away again. It was during a heat wave that we started it, so I'm just as happy that I didn't go for the liquid yeast, which wouldn't have done so well in that heat. Today we got up the gumption to bottle, and wound up with 24 650 ml bottles and 20 or so 341 ml bottles. Plenty of beer for the money. The proof, however, will be in the tasting, which will not happen for another week or so, while we wait for it to carbonate itself.

Also, after that, I want to T&T supermarket and bought some frozen spring rolls, because they were on sale and we were out, and Shanghai noodles, which I made into our supper and tomorrow's lunch, and a duck, which will sit in my freezer until I decide I need to make Caneton a l'orange, sometime soon. If you want in on the big supper, let us know, because we need at least 2 other people to dig into a 5 pound duck with all the trimmings. T&T is having this really good sale, southeast Asian specialty foods, and as a result, they have got a bunch of Thai and Malaysian food in the hot counter which I totally want. Maybe sometime this week I will get some.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Furniture Assembly and the Inevitable

Today, Owen and I finally broke down and bought a futon frame to put our futon mattress on. Our futon mattress is still at my parent’s house, and they have been after us to take it for two months now. Anyhow, we now have our new futon fame assembled and in place in the living room. It was really the last piece of furniture we were waiting for until we would feel completely settled into our new apartment. Well, today would be the day, or at least 99% closer, the 1% coming after we picked up the mattress, but we still can’t have our living room to ourselves. You see, shortly before we left for our trip to Victoria, I noticed that our walls, which had been freshly painted the day we moved in, were suddenly yellowing. Then, I recalled a few days earlier when I had been trying to put up pictures on that wall. The nails were not sitting well in the drywall. I really didn’t think much of it at the time and continued to put my pictures up anyhow. Well, in addition to the yellowing walls tipping me off, our framed poster I had put up on the wall was starting to bubble, the matting was also bubbling and the ink running! YUCK!
Anyhow, I phoned the building management, and they sent someone up immediately. It turns out the people beside us had just phoned as they were having the same problem, as were the people upstairs (go figure.) At the beginning of May when we had all that rain, we had heard grumbling from people on the higher floors up (17 and 18 so way up) that they were having some flooding from the roof. We didn’t think much of it, being on the 6th floor. The water seems to have seeped down the walls along the support columns soaking the dry wall and oozing its way down towards the ground floors, as gravity would of course have it do. Yuck. Well, I reported this BEFORE our vacation. We were gone nearly two weeks and have now been back for over a week and still have no idea what is going on. Some one was supposed to come back and do a more thorough assessment of the damage, but we have no idea when to expect the repairs to be made. So needless to say, all of our stuff is pulled away from the wall in affected area, and is of course sitting in a pile in the middle of the living room. This would explain why we do not have our living room arranged as we would like it just yet. The frustration!
Also, today Owen and I assembled our porch swing. My parents and Grandparents bought it for us as an anniversary gift. Our anniversary isn’t until the end of the month, but the wanted us to have it now so we could enjoy it in this beautiful weather. Our patio is now complete at least.
Now, if only any furniture assembling story could be that dull. Owen and I did manage to assemble both pieces of furniture today, without getting angry at each other and fighting about who is sticking piece Nb into Ma when it should go into Bq with a Bc bolt instead of a Er bolt….Damn assemble it yourself furniture….You know how it goes. Anyhow, we actually managed the construction fairly well, we were a good team, but furniture assemble would not be complete without the war wounds. As were putting one post up and bolting them together I lost my grip on post and slashed the inside of my arm on a sharp “thingy”. I am now sporting a bloody, oozing gash on the inside of my arm which is about four inched long. Then the inevitable occurred. My husband, the eternal head bonker, got bonked over the head with a post. This was doomed to have happened, it’s just something that happens whenever Owen is involved in furniture construction. We aren’t completely sure how it happened this time and he would like to blame me for his misfortune, but I don’t think I was responsible for it although it may have been a joint effort… Anyhow, the furniture is now assembled whether or not we are is another question.

Tomorrow I am back in school every day for three hours a day for the next six weeks. I will be taking two of my Educational psychology courses which I require as part of my practicum curriculum. The first course is all about inclusion in the classroom and working with children with special needs. Not my favorite areas of study, but I have to take it anyhow. I am starting to get excited about actually doing my practicum. Maybe, it’s because after that I am finally finished and can get a real job and then we can stop living like students…


A neologism developed for days like the recent heat wave in Alberta and the acompanying physical and mental meltdown.

Floob: To lie about the place in a state of physical entropy and mental ennui.

(To feel) Floobidy: Feeling as though one has no choice but to floob.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Our Trip to Victoria: The FInal Chapter.

Now the continuation of our Victoria saga. About this time Jenn acquired a knee brace as walking was getting too painful for her, even at the reduced pace typical in Victoria, who use walkers, canes, or powered scooters to travel. We took a day for her to recover, and watched the world cup, cheering for whoever had cooler uniforms. That night we hit the Med Grill, a fabulous place in Sannich serving modern Italian at a four course prix fixé that can’t be beat. We started with Antipasti, followed by a choice of salads, (Caesar for me, Walnut Spinach Vinaigrette for Jenn) we skipped the soup of the day, reasoning that it was too hot for corn chowder, even after dusk. We moved on to the Main course, (Ron- Mediterranean chicken, Jenn- Smoked Chicken pasta, Owen – Gorgonzola Sirloin Ravioli) which were all fabulous, and rounded it out with dessert, tiramisu, Crème Brulee, and some other assorted stuff I can’t recall. All this was accompanied by a reasonable Argentine Malbec. Thanks to Ron who took us out there for a lovely dinner.

The next day, we caught a ride to Oak Bay where we dawdled around eating Pain au Chocolate and poking into shops like Science Works and 10,000 villages. The Italian supermarket was having a cultural day, and to celebrate, a half dozen perfectly preserved Ferraris were parked out front attended by the perfectly preserved trophy wives who went with them. Then we headed downtown one more time to enjoy a touch of IMAX, where we saw “Mystic India” which was cool looking, and then went to Hugo’s, which is a cool little brew lounge near the Royal BC Museum. We had the “Super G” ginger beer and the seasonal beer, Heffeweizen that had had mandarin oranges in the serving tanks. That was good. Then we hit the foodie shops around upper Fort Street around the antique district, and bought some Salami and Cheese for our supper sandwiches. Jenn then proceeded to make the best sandwich ever.

The next morning we were up and away hitting the highway up island in our rented Ford Taurus. I didn’t think that they still made these things, actually, but I guess they still sell to fleet customers at a steep discount. It was a bit like oozing up the road on a piece of foam rubber lubricated with lard, but not in a good way. Not the most fun ride I’ve ever had. Once we got to our halfway destination, however, we were all set to enjoy a bit of agri-tourism, which, incidentally, is much heavier on the tourism than the last time I was there. Before, tasting rooms were tucked into the back corners of sheds, now, both places I went had their own 40 seat bistros, granite countertops in custom-built tasting and guest reception centres, and much more production capacity. It was a Merridale Cidery where we first ran into the Vancouver Island Miata Owner’s Club. ttp:// All through the valley, we were buzzed by a bunch of middle aged guys and their wives bombing around the place at high speed on backroads, guts pressing precariously on steering wheels, silver hair flashing in the sun. Anyway, Merridale was great, but at the next stop, Cherry Point Vineyards, a former mink ranch turned 34 acre estate winery, and the biggest and best of the bunch on the island, the wine wasn’t up to the fancy digs. To be completely fair, I make better wine than them, with the exception of a very good Gewurtz. Definitely nothing worth $25 a bottle. I did notice, however that at some point they replaced the scaled-up versions of my own equipment with stainless tanks and a real commercial press not bought from an Italian grocer, and also replaced the cows with more vines. Their original 10 acres of plantings seem to have expanded to the entire property minus the winery proper and guest facilities.

We decided, not finding anything stunning, to travel on to what Jenn had been really looking forward to – Cheese. Hillary’s Cheese Pointe Farm is home to an artisinal cheese farm and many many goats. We tried four varieties, including a goat blue cheese that I loved but was just too much for Jenn. Blue Cheese good, goat cheese good, both together – too advanced. It was here that we encountered the Vancouver Island Cadillac Owners club and the Miata Guys again. We managed to elbow our way to the front of the line for cheese and head up island fast for lunch with Ewan, Anne, and Alison at a cute little Vietnamese place in Nanaimo.

Driving home I almost wet myself due to slush intake, but held out until the Thrifty’s on Quadra and MacKenzie, where I peed in the dairy case (just kidding). Where we bought some cold cuts and bread and ice cream and headed home for our last supper on the Island. It was at this supper that Ron brought out some olives to add to the general cheesy- bready goodness. Which was fine, except for the inadequate warning associated with certain olives. Here was the description: “Anne put some of these in some pasta and it was a bit hot.” So I tried one, and my brain melted. Turns out that these olives were jumbo green olives stuffed with Habanero peppers. Once I got a couple of Granville Island Heffeweizens down my throat and could see again, I tried them without the stuffing, and they were still hot, but not insane.

The next day we flew out and into Calgary, followed by a drive back to Edmonton which was happily uneventful. So there, that was our holiday.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Finally! Now you all can look for yourselves amongst the many pictures...

Well, it's been nearly a year and I have finally gotten around to getting all of our wedding pictures up on-line for all to view. And I mean ALL the pictures ( professional wedding pictures as well as all of the pictures taken on the little cameras that were on the tables at the reception,) nearly 1200 of them. Take a look, it is very likely that if you were at our wedding, you will appear somewhere in these pictures. If you weren't at our wedding, take a look and you will feel as if you were.

Look also for pictures from other events as I will be adding them as well.