Sunday, April 12, 2015

Eating around STL

The truth is, we eat out too much.  Apart, together, we just don't cook often.  I think a Shawn ought to write a food blog to document his passion for sandwiches; since he doesn't, I occasionally do.

Up first this weekend was Sugarfire -  I went with a friend on Saturday.  This is an old favorite, and did not disappoint.  I got the turkey plate with the greenbeens & squash, and the roasted cauliflower.  All  were amazing - especially the cheesy roasted cauliflower.  I basically use BBQ as a delivery system for excellent BBQ sauces, and Sugarfire has the best.

Shawn and I later went to San Jose in Webster, which is in the old Two Nice Guys.  I gut the quesadilla al pastor, Shawn got the pollo Guadalajara, and we started off with the guacamole dip.  

The guacamole was disappointing - it was basically mashed up avocados and a little onion.  The avocados were old - they had obviously gone too ripe, with gray and fibrous areas.  I won't do it again.  The salsa was spicy with a hit pepper taste and a smooth, saucey texture that was nice.

The pork al pastor was a highlight, with big chunks of pork and pineapple.  Next time I'll get the tacos - the quesadilla cheese only distracted from the great meat.  Shawn loved his chicken, smothered in chorizo & cheese.  

The accompanying beans and rice were your standard generic fare.  Our service was friendly and fun.  We'll be back for tacos al pastor.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My cat is a pervert...& other fun stories

I came home yesterday evening to a trail of undergarments winding their way through my hallway, inching their way towards the stairs. Except they weren't a romantic invitation.  They were my panties.  I was just home from work.  My husband was still across town. And  I don't have a secret boyfriend.

I do have a cat, though, and he is a pervert.

We rarely see Turk with his treasures.  He prefers to steal my socks, undies, and tights out of the hamper when no one is looking.  They disappear and reappear suddenly:  one morning, a pair of tights is draped languidly across the living room floor; a dirty sock is placed lovingly on a basement step.  Not that he is ashamed of his actions - the few times we have seen him, he carries his head high and holds his trophy like a flag.  When it's time to nap, we often find him curled up on used towels on the bathroom floor.  He loves dirty laundry.

I just wish he would stop carrying my underwear around.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Merry Christmas, & a Happy New Year!

We rang in the new year with at Sidney Street Cafe, with delicious food and a great time with friends & family.  Today we welcomed the new year with an open house, and I had a chance to dig out my Christmas entertaining pieces and show the house to family. 

 The house is far from complete, but it is "finished" for the first time. The floors were finished this year, the bedrooms sorted out and the guest bedroom finished, and the dining room was completed with the addition of the china cabinet.  

Merry Christmas & happy new year,


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A partridge in a pear tree...or, My ill-gotten pears

So....  This has been quite the week.  On Christmas Day, 2 AM, I had the opportunity to shoot off and angry letter to Union Pacific over the train that screeched to a stop & idled outside our home.  At 8 AM I followed up with a second email - merry Christmas, UP district manager!   He promises to investigate, and the train is still idling at 2 pm when we leave for my uncle's.   

The next day I discover my cleaning service is skipping out early while charging me for the whole job.  Great.

And by that night, when my mother called, I was prepped and primed to fight the good fight, wherever it took me.  

She ends the call with a warning:  "You need to call your grandparents.  They say their pears are soft and mushy at the bottom, but never got ripe at the top.  They read me the instructions three times on how the pears should ripen at the stem.  It sounds like they were frozen.  I told them they should call you the company will replace them if they are bad."

I get off the phone with a sigh.  My grandparents do not take things back...and they are not hoping to call me up to say "hey, you know the gift you bought us?  It's not any good..."  Before I call, I need a plan of action.  And if one box is bad, odds are both boxes are bad, so I might as well figure them both out at once.

I call the store and explain it all...the upset grandparents, the trashed receipt, and the need to replace pears from two locations 30 minutes away from me & each other.  The girl is wonderful - call corporate!  They won't just replace the fruit - they will replace the entire basket!  A little excessive, bit these christmas themed towers are already marked down by a third.  Maybe they want to get rid of them fast.

The girl at corporate was not as free and easy with the baskets - she wanted to get rid of me, instead. "They shouldn't have sent you here - this is their responsibility" she barked into the phone, maybe waiting for me to apologize to her for the inconvenience?  

Told that she had access to gift boxes & pears, I pressed my case.  No, they would NOT be giving me an entire replacement tower, she said accusingly.  There was nothing wrong with the rest of it.  They would only replace the pears.

After a while checking on what she could do, she said she would send me gift cards for my home bound grandparents.  

Not helpful.  

Down the highway to the store, determined to replace these pears.  The lady at the counter also thought corporate was a tool, and after thinking a moment she came back with a case of 10 pears.  Would these do?

It would do no good to show up & replace 5 pears if they had come 7 to a box.  I called my grandfather and asked withou so much as a hello how many pears came in the box.

"5 - they were delicious"

Not helpful, grandpa!  I don't have time to tactfully dance around the topic of rotten pears so you can preserve my feelings!   You deserve good pears I deserve good pears for your!  The box of 10 will do - I walk out with the box and four Bon bons, without having to so much as tell them my name & date of purchase.  I've avoided pear-pocalypse - I've saved Christmas with the strength of 10 grinches, plus 2!

Out in the car I call my grandfather again.  No need to worry about rotten pears - new ones will be there soon.  He promptly tells me that upon slicing the pear, they are not rotten at all.  They are fine.  

My ill- gotten bon bons are reflecting the parking lot lights, blinking reproachfully at me.  

I just went across town, talked to three different people demanding replacement pears!  I've practically committed a strong arm robbery of these pears, waking in and recieving them without so much as a confirmatory scan of my credit card.  

My mother just laughed & laughed, and was no help.  

The pears are in my fridge.  Despite their checkered past, they are delicious.  

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Decorating the dining room

The dining room has taken 3.5 years to come together...  It took 9 months to find the right table and chairs on craigslist ( and another few years to get the chairs reglued - "Richie", described by my husband as chain smoking, shellac covered, with a garage full of furniture is taking care of that now!), and another 6 months for the right china cabinet.  My mother gifted us with her old magnavox case out of her dining room, and she and my grandmother loaned me a china cabinet this summer.

The china cabinet is a bit too big, and will likely continue on to my mother's house, but it is here to stay for awhile.  I'd like to hang up some decorations on the walls, but haven't decided just what.  A big picture of Shawn and I, several little pictures in sepia or black and white, wood frames, white, or silver?  Or use one wall for a pretty plate display or silver platters to brighten up the space?

I found this little, pitted silver plate tray this weekend for 5 dollars, and am loving how it pops against the blue wallpaper.  The yellowed thermostat does nothing for any of this, but... It was convenient & the lighting is bad right now anyways. I'm off to try to build a collection now....  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ozark National Scenic Riverways - Jacks Fork at Bunker Hill

Shawn and I lucked out this weekend, and had the perfect fall weather at the Jacks Fork River.  Bunker Hill is where my family has been going each year since before I was born, where Shawn proposed at Lookout Point, and one of my favorite places, ever.  The bluffs and river change with the seasons, the weather, and the light...and are always the same. 


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Stair crazy quilt

have been working on this quilt since I finished the first one in April.  It was a step up in difficulty, with a lot more cutting, piecing, and precision.  I also learned backstich embroidery for this one, which is so simple I wish I had known about it for the first quilt.  Here it is, pieced and ready for a quilt sandwich.