We had a butter tasting with some friends tonight. I know it sounds strange, but it was actually kind of fun. Brian got the idea from an episode of NPR's The Splendid Table.
I had no idea how different brands of butter were from one another. We tasted 4 types of salted butter: Hope CreameryLand 'O Lakes (Whipped)Plugra (European Style)Farmhouse Kitchen's (Handrolled)
We tasted each butter alone and on sourbread. It was also a blind taste test.
In the end, everyone else preferred the Farmhouse Kitchen butter that we got at Byerly's. I preferred the Hope Creamery butter.
I should make potato wedges more often. 475 degrees for 20 minutes or so and I have piping hot, fresh potato wedges with whatever spices I care to put on them. Tonight's was curry and garlic. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for the free potatoes!
I finished reading Song of Kali by Dan Simmons last night. I polished the book off in less than 48 hours. Not only was it a quick read, the suspense kept me up late turning the pages to find out what would happen next.
Set in India in the late 1970s, the story is about a journalist sent to Calcutta with his wife and baby daughter. His mission is to pick up a new manuscript by a famous Indian poet who was thought missing for the last 8 years.
To give away more, I fear, would ruin the story. What I enjoyed most about the book was the suspense, mystery and terror that seemed to be lurking just on the next page. If you enjoy Stephen King novels and other tales of suspense, I would recommend reading this book.
You can't have a glass of water in this house without a cat coming up to steal some. As a result, I leave glasses of water all over the house, abandoning each glass as Leela sticks her face in it. I prefer to drink my water free of whatever the cat licked last.
We went to Brian's parents' house for dinner last night. Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the delicious steak, Caesar salad, mushrooms, etc. before I ate it all. I did, however, get a picture of Kelsey's cat, Saucy Jack.
I updated the design of my blog and my main website tonight. My main website, at www.aliciacopeland.com is a flavors.me landing page. I finally paid to upgrade my account and decided that I should celebrate by changing the look and feel of my page:
I think it looks rather nice myself.
My other site is my blog, which is located at blog.aliciacopeland.com. After I gave my main site a face lift, I started changing around things on my blog too:
I'm sure this won't be the last time I change the look and feel of my sites. Let me know what you think! I always appreciate feedback.
Brian and I went to Mystic Lake for dinner tonight. Oddly enough, the food court has really excellent Pad Thai there. We also happen to like to gamble.
On our way out the door, I put a dollar in a slot machine and it took 98 cents. It was not worth the two cents to walk back to the change machine, so I decided to take the voucher home for my photo of the day:
I spent an hour tonight looking at Amazon trying to decide what book to download to my Kindle next. I wasn't able to make a decision. One 30-minute trip to Half Priced Books, a chain used bookstore, and I managed to find an armful of books:
It's so much easier for me to choose a book when I can hold it in my hand, scan the reviews from reputable sources on the back cover, and hunt for deals among the stacks.
Brian and I went out to dinner tonight with friends to celebrate Brian's birthday. After dinner, we played Cards Against Humanity, a raunchy version of Apples to Apples. I do love that game. Here's an example:
One player drew the black card, and the rest of us had to pick two white cards from our hands to make the sentence funny. I created the following winning combo: "That's right, I killed amputees. How you ask? Flash flooding." With this game, the more offensive it is, the better.
Brian's grandmother, Janan Gulbrandson, passed away on Thursday and the funeral was today. We will miss her very much, and family events will never be the same again.
Here is a picture of Janan that Brian's dad took at our wedding in 2009:
Some happy things I want to remember from this sad day:
After the funeral and back at the house, the family poured a glass of Budweiser into her favorite glass and set it on the table for her. Brian's dad, Bob, told us about the first time he met Janan in the late 70s, where she was making hamburgers "for the boys to hold them over until dinner." Only Janan would think of hamburgers as a snack when it came to her family. I'll bet those were some good hamburgers too.The priest talked about how Janan loved to travel, including her "short trips to Iowa with Roger and Sue." He said he didn't know what that meant. All of the family knew that she loved going down to her favorite slot machines at Diamond Jo's Casi…
It's Brian's birthday today. We had pizza, I made him a cake and we continued his Scotch tradition. A few years ago he bought a 25-year-old bottle of Glenfarclas. Every year he has a small glass for his birthday.
I think it's a great tradition. It also happens to be a great Scotch. I'm lucky he shares. Here's some pictures from our celebrations. Opening presents:
Cake and Scotch:
Here's the book on Scotch I gave him, turned to the page describing his birthday Scotch:
The cat wanted to help him open gifts:
I yelled at Brian to tell him to blow out the candles before wax got all over his cake. His response was to ask me why the candles were so big if we were just going to blow them out right away:
Only when you live in a place for a while do you really seem to get the sense of it. Certain stores, restaurants and products become ingrained in your day to day life, and when you leave that place, those are the things you really miss.
For me, when I think about living in New York, I remember specific things that I can't get here: gnudi from the Spotted Pig restaurant, steak from Peter Luger's and Barcade. But even more than those one-of-a-kind restaurants/bars, I remember the things I used to get at the grocery store: Pennysticks pretzels, Apple & Eve apple juice, and Entenmann's chocolate chip cookies.
Now, the grocery stores have carried the Entenmann's brand in Minnesota for a while but it was only the donuts. It drove me nuts that I couldn't get a box of their chocolate chip cookies. Three years later, I'm going through Cub Foods, and there they are!
Now all I need is some Apple & Eve apple juice and I can recreate the snack that got me through la…
I was organizing my office recently and stumbled upon an old piece of outdated currency from Italy. Here's what 1000 Lire (according to Wikipedia, Lire is plural for Lira) looked like:
I must have this from my trip to Europe when I was 16. I didn't go back to Italy until just after the Euros took over. I understand why the Euro was created, but I still miss the individualism and vibrancy of Europe's currency before 2002.
Ice in our alley has made a giant puddle of the end of our backyard. To fix the issue, Brian chopped out a little river from the ice leading to the alley. It was rather fun to see the little stream flow to the alley. Puddle is not slightly diminished. At least it isn't flowing toward the house.
I had a really good cocktail with dinner tonight at Burger Jones. It was called the Hillbilly Hooch. It came in a mason jar and had Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea Vodka, lemonade and mint leaves in it. It tasted like summer. I am totally making these when the patio is warm enough for lounging and we are free of this seemingly endless snow.
Yesterday, I organized my Legos. Today, I got to play with them. I built a Lego model of the front of my house. It isn't perfect, but I sure had fun building it. The minifigs are as close to Brian and myself as I could get.
Picture I used for reference:
Next time, I'll try to get that tricky roofline right first.