Hope you all had a nice weekend! Ever since Friday, when Ash and I served homemade Coq au Vin to our wonderful friends, I have been on a recipe rampage. Tonight I’m making Chana Punjabi with the spice kit my mother bought Ash from Vij’s Rangoli. I found the recipe on the blog, The Wednesday Chef, who writes: “I have been rendered mute by a chick pea.” What a great sell.
Also, I read this post recently on the blog of food writer, Dorie Greenspan. Very Champagne Wednesdays, don’t you think? This weekend, for the first time in so long, we pulled our little grey, wicker loveseat out to our front patio to enjoy the spring weather with home-fried pot stickers and edamame. The sun, much like a good bottle, should never be saved. We find Stella Artois in our fridge hard to save as well.
Lastly, much excitement in our home about the recent purchase of one of these babies! I am hoping it means big things to come for Champagne Wednesdays and a few other projects we have in the works. That’s one of the things I love most about life with Ash – we have so many great ideas together, the best of which happened one year ago this week.
As Ash packed for his business trip, I used the tooth floss in his bathroom bag to make a leaf mobile for our back door. All in all, I’m fairly pleased with it. Mobiles are whimsical. The leaf selection in our neighbourhood is good. And after tying all those leaves to the floss, my fingers smelled mildly of After Eights.
Last night was Champagne Wednesday. I made cannelloni with lots of bubbling, crusty parmesean on top because I think its important Ash remembers me fondly while digesting home-cooked food whenever he jets off to Los Angeles (which is becoming far too frequent). He brought home a bottle of Proseco Del Veneto. It’s nice, light and rarely leads to headaches, making it perfect for preflight celebrations.
Now it’s Thursday morning. I am sitting in our window seat with my laptop, coffee, whiskey on the floor beneath me, the leaf mobile on one end of the house and the gas fireplace glowing away on the other. I have sacrificed the following things in order to sit here as long as possible before going to work: ironing, blow drying my hair, food, make up, walking to the lake, packing a lunch, emptying the dishwasher.
The great thing about having a regular event like champagne wednesdays in our life is that sometimes people want to share it with us. People like the Crooks (Christina, I stole this picture from your blog).
Michael and Christina – a creative, smart, engaged couple we like spending time with – had us over last night for dinner. They even popped their engagement bottle of Henkell (a year into marriage, mind you). Christina is a writer and asks questions like, “when do you make time to be creative?” – all things that make me like her very much. And Michael even shared a bit about what’s it’s like to be married. I found that comforting, talking about marriage, because sometimes the act of getting married feels like setting off on a long journey with a blindfold on. A blindfold, or maybe blinders. Because you’re not supposed to look into anyone else’s.
Henkell is not for everyone as it’s a bit on the dry side. But for me, just the sight of the bottle gives me a homey, Christmas morning feeling since its been the Hargreaves’ drink of choice on Christmas mornings for as long as I can remember.
Finally, I make an open apology for the chocolate mousse, two of which I knocked over in their kitchen. It was really more like chocolate soup.
Yesterday, I went to get my eyebrows shaped and the lady burned me with boiling, hot wax. Now I have a scab above my right eye, a very tender eyelid and an outstanding appointment for waxing of a different “venue,” so to speak. Believe me, I am canceling that appointment today. The sad thing is, the people who run this little spa are so nice. Just a young couple really trying to make a go of business ownership in Vancouver’s East side. And I really did want to support them in their venture. But, seriously, you have to protect your face.
Also not good, the place we’re getting married can’t seem to find anyone to fill the role of event planner (the lady we’ve been working with is going on maternity leave in one week). There are so many loose details still and now, it seems, we’re going to be dealing with someone very, very new to their job. On the other hand, it will probably be the new person’s first wedding, so maybe he/she will try extra, extra hard. Yes, I like that kind of thinking. It’s a real half-full approach.
Seems like an indulgent moment to rip a stem of roses out of a vase and clench down. In my wanderings, I’ve had a few moments like that. I thought it’d be a fine way to start the week, too, since I don’t have a whole lot else to say this morning. Indulgence is good. Like lying in bed with fresh mint tea. Or buying organics when you normally don’t. Or making a big announcement in front of friends and feeling their happiness soar toward you. I’ve witnessed a few wonderful examples of that kind of indulgence lately. It always makes me happy.
Ash and I crafted our brains out yesterday and only completed half of our invites. That said, they’re a delectable half. Much like a champagne cocktail. Here, take a look:
To celebrate, we indulged ourselves with an hour, fireside, at Yew. We’d just spent three hours registering. Turned out to be much harder than one would think. Collapsing like Olympic athletes into leather chairs, we split the Cuban Sandwich, had a beer, congratulated ourselves on progress and only felt half-bad the waiter recognized us.
These little rustic organs brimming with their blood red juices are the object of my current (and deepest) food desires. Replacing fresh dill, and so nicely matched by Ash and I’s new weekly forays into the world of fancy cheese. I will try to take a picture of our next Sunday afternoon patio lunch. There’s just something about my rectangular white tray pilled high with labouriously selected food treasures from Rapers…I mean, Capers. There’s just something about it that brings me such peace (Note: Ash thinks it might also be the bottle of Dirty Laundry’s Hush 2007 which induced said “peace” feeling).
Back to beets. Try them:
…tossed with champagne walnut vinegar.
…in the roasted beet salad at the Libra Room on Commercial Drive.
…on a pizza like food designer Sweet Paul did. No no has made a beet look better.
What’s summer sun without summer music? And what’s summer music without pretty you on a patio with memories to remember, and futures to entertain? Five years back or five years forward, music and champagne taste good. And so does a glass of Joie’s Rosé with just enough pinot meunier (it’s champagne cousin) to make it a great option for a Wednesday night. I promise, whatever you might think about this rosé or that rosé…Joie has concoted a blush of light, stupid, breezy fun. It’s also great with pakoras (as we found out this weekend on Rangoli’s off-Granville patio).
If you’re not cooking, it’s $8.95/glass. If you are, it’s about $20 a bottle, split however many ways you like.
Go ahead. Dance. Have fun. Tell someone you’re happy.