Monday, May 18, 2009

Blinds, Bike Beer Run, and Brunch

We moved into our 100+ year old house a couple years ago and we have so many projects, it is hard to get anything completely done. It seems like there is always something calling for attention. Then we fall into the squeaky wheel circle and never finish a project. We are not great at the DIY thing, but money (or lack of) requires we get better. The house came with some very, very old curtains on some of the windows, hideous metal blinds on others, and some others were completely bare. I had grandiose plans of buying window treatments for the entire house as I did at our first house, but less money and more windows equals a couple of years making due. Well, two and half years later, we finally caved and bought some not so high quality wood blinds for our bedroom. Nothing fancy, but nice to get rid of the hideous ripped roll up blinds with a scratchy shear curtain. Saturday was a beautiful day so we had to relax and enjoy the day some, but we also tackled a few projects. Rob's project was installing the blinds. He did a nice job and they greatly improve the quality of sleep (I didn't realize how much light was coming in before, the blinds really make the room darker). There was some cussing and frustration (mainly due to the construction of the blinds, but you get what you pay for), but it all worked out fine.To top off our day, Loretta and her sweet family came over for an impromptu dinner. I love doing the last minute thing, especially with Loretta and David. It always seems to come together better than if we planned something in advance. She texted me during the cussing part of the blinds so I wasn't sure if it was going to work out, but Rob said he was game as he finished them up. I had no idea what I was going to fix until 20 minutes before they were supposed to arrive. We had just used up the last of our cooked beans so I thought I might make something with lentils since they cook quickly. I needed to avoid tomatoes and we had some fresh broccoli which needed to be used up. I stared at the broccoli for a couple minutes while Rob kept asking what I was going to fix (nothing like pressure from the spouse when I'm in a time crunch). I decided on a curry. I pretty much winged it, but it was similar to In a Hurry Thai Red Curry except with ginger and blackstrap molasses added...I may have thrown something else in, but I don't remember. We realized we didn't have any beer in the house and Rob went on a beer run on his bike last minute. His Xtracycle has been out of commission for a while due to some brake issue and he never has time to work on it so he carried the beer on his commuter bike in his Timbuk2 bag. That bag is amazing (Rob is too, of course) and has lasted for years through lots of abuse (bike wrecks on ice, hauling an obscene amount of stuff, things spilled on it, etc.), but I don't remember him hauling quite this much alcohol in it before. No, the four adults did not drink all this beer in one evening.

Loretta and her crew brought roasted brussel sprouts and an excellent pasta salad from La Dolce Vegan. I love loaning out my cookbooks to friends because then they try recipes I haven't yet and I know what to make when they give them back. Such will be the case with this great pasta salad which includes Parker's new favorite, artichoke hearts. We added a mixed greens (from our first CSA pickup of the season!) salad with black grape raisins (an impulse buy the other day at the store) and cashews. Rob made his version of Green Goddess dressing and almost forgot the tahini (I told you we were in a hurry). All the food was super yummy. The kids had seconds and thirds of everything (okay, maybe we did too). Parker finished up the curry after everyone left so I made more the next day. It wasn't quite a good without fresh broccoli, but the kids devoured it just the same. As always, it was great to sit around after dinner and chat until the kids crashed.

Sunday morning we got up first thing and rode our bikes over to Ricky and Catharine's house for brunch (another one of our favorite thing to do). Ricky made pancakes, potatoes, and grits. Super as always. The kids had a great time playing and we had a great time chatting until Rob had to get home for a 4pm soccer game (last game of the season...woot!). It was a beautiful day! I think brunch with friends is my favorite meal. I would open a restaurant in a second if it could just be a brunch place. People could come in to eat around 9 or 10am and stay until 3 or 4pm socializing. All I need is the financial backing...anyone with deep pockets want to lend us money for an all vegan brunch restaurant where we encourage people to hang out all day??? Hmm, pretty quiet. Maybe we'll just buy Vegan Brunch and have people over every weekend.

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