Hello, internet friends! We hope you all had a wonderful weekend, regardless of whether it was a long Thanksgiving break for you (as it was here at S&TI!), or just a regular two-day job. Any time that can be spent in one's pajamas is always time well spent is my way of thinking! Our Thanksgiving was rather quiet as we just celebrated as we traditionally do, with a huge feast for just the two of us. I know many people wouldn't bother making a turkey for such a small number, but I think this is a real oversight, as it clearly neglects to consider the glory that is LEFTOVERS. I ask you, is there anything better than leftover turkey sandwiches, crammed full with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and gravy? Clearly not! So on Thursday I went to town when it came to our Thanksgiving feast, and consequently, I have had to do no cooking since then (though our microwave has gotten quite the work out), and probably won't have to for much of this week either... huzzah! I must say that this year's Thanksgiving feast was probably our most successful, as the timing of the myriad of dishes worked out well, and pretty much everything was cooked flawlessly, and nary a complaint was to be found. Here's a snapshot of Tony's plate before we chowed down:Starting at the "6 o'clock" position and working clockwise, here's a rundown of what I cooked (with links to recipes where appropriate, though I freely admit that I didn't follow anything strictly):
- Pioneer Woman's Sweet Potatoes (with marshmallows!)
- Stuffing (following my mom's recipe, which is without a doubt the surefire way to get the absolute BEST stuffing)
- Roast Heritage Turkey with Bacon & Cider Gravy (we used a little Butterball turkey as we aren't millionaires who can go and buy our turkey at Whole Foods and I skipped the Dijon in the butter concoction, but it still turned out succulent and delicious... and the gravy... oh, probably the best gravy I have every made! We don't make turkeys often, but the next time I do, this is the recipe I'll follow.)
- Carrot & Turnip Mash
- Smoked Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
- Creamed Kale
- Dessert (not pictured): Maple Pumpkin Pie (divine! Though we didn't do the leaf lattice for the top because we are not actually Martha Stewart)
Three things I feel compelled to post on a Friday: 1) First, a question to all of you diners out there (by which I mean restaurant patrons, rather than greasy-spoon dining establishments. The difference is subtle, but important, I think.). Two nights ago, Tony and I went to a newish Mexican restaurant, since our old standby switched management and we can no longer go there because the food is no longer any good (RIP El Palenque). So we go to this new place and it's fairly busy for a Wednesday night, but keep in mind it is your run-of -the-mill Mexican place so none of the entrees require much finesse or time (read: most of it is probably pre-cooked anyway). We wound up waiting for OVER AN HOUR for our food, and it became clear that either our waiter had neglected to turn in our order, OR the kitchen had overlooked it. People who had been seated after us had eaten and left before we saw anything more than chips and salsa at our table. After many apologies (and about 75 minutes after sitting down) we finally got our food. In such a case would you expect your meal to be comped, or at the very least, for a free dessert to be sent out? Is this not pretty much the universal way that it is understood any sit-down restaurant deals with snafus that are clearly their fault? I wound up asking if I could speak to the manager, but he never showed... and we wound up paying for everything. Needless to say, we won't be going back! Sorry, Nacho's! Your guac may be good, but your service was muy abysmal.
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For people who own a television but who don’t have cable (or even rabbit ears), Tony and I do pretty well when it comes to keeping current with must-see tv. Just to be clear, we don’t eschew cable because we’re those snotty folk who turn up their noses at television; far from it! Mostly we don’t have cable (or as we refer to it, “don’t have tv”) for two reasons: 1) the local cable provider here is SUPER expensive (in Toronto, I recall not having to pay more than $60/month for cable AND internet; here a comparable package would set us back some thing like $100… I am not willing to pay that kind of money for tv... or really any monthly service); 2) it is probably for the best we can’t just watch tv whenever we want, because we would literally watch it all the time. Buh bye reading time. Say hello to the glazed look that I inevitably take on after having watched 5 hours of HGTV or Animal Planet straight. (Seriously, so little is my self-restraint when it comes to watching the idiot box, I will watch hours worth of “When Animals Attack”, which pretty much no one should watch.) Essentially, it’s in our best interest to have our tv watching limited to what we can rent through Netflix, or watch online (and with Netflix’s “Watch It Now”, Hulu, and all of the major networks streaming their stuff, we’re not doing too bad!). Anyhoodle, normally Tony and I take the summer to purge bad shows from our repertoire that we no longer enjoy, and to seek out potential replacements. Often times this involves us cottoning on to shows that are long since done, but that’s what DVD is for, right? This summer found us watching: (more…)
Back during my senior year of undergrad, I got into the Ellen Degeneres show in a big way. Whenever I could catch the show, I would (generally in my pyjamas, if at all possible!). I loved Ellen's humor and her playful approach to her show, and really, she just came across as a really cool lady. Her frequent references to drinking didn't hurt either... 😉 We don't have tv currently so I haven't been able to watch Ellen's show for quite some time now, BUT recently, Ellen gave the Commencement speech at Tulane University, and the results have been posted to YouTube. Some of you may be feeling a bit low having to return back to work after the long weekend, so do yourself a favor and watch the speech below as she lauds the class of 2009. It's both funny and touching and down to earth. In essence, it is Ellen at her best. Also, I hope that when I graduate from Vandy that we get a commencement speaker half as cool. Tulane gets Ellen; Harvard has had JK Rowling... I realize Jane Austen is right out of the question, but come on, Vanderbilt! Don't let me down!
I wish I had put money down on this season, since it turns out my prediction of the winners (Nick & Starr) was right. Then again, the returns on such a proclamation were probably not great given how obvious this outcome was. I realize that one of the things about the Race is that elements as intangible as luck can come into play and twist things around (I love when irony comes to play!), which is part of the fun, but at the end of the day, it’s always nice when you feel like the team that raced the best independently of chance and all that stuff actually wins. (more…)