Saturday, February 11, 2012

Oy Vey

If you don't wish to read about a crazy-ass weekend, I leave you with some entertaining tidbits from Neil Gaiman and Stephen Colbert that I came across in my net surfing.

Stephen Colbert's interview with Maurice Sendak

Anyhow, the craziness started on Friday, when I made the suggestion to take my sister and niece out thrift store shopping. We had made plans for a two hour outing, with a stop at a Chinese food restaurant for lunch after my niece returned from preschool. That ought to leave enough time to take the cats to the vet for their shots at 5:00. Unfortunately, we both should have known better than to make plans with fate being the trollop it is.

My dad had arranged for a repair service to come fix our stove that morning, for which the scheduled time was any point between 8am and 12pm. To further confuse things, my older brother had randomly decided to get his truck serviced, so he would need to be picked up from the university campus after his classes ended in the afternoon. Plus, my younger brother required transportation to and from his job as a sign waver for Quiznos during the lunch hour.

At first, the arrangement would be for my dad to take my brother to work if we would pick him and my other brother up. Fair enough, as we would have to wait for my niece's school bus anyway. Repair person arrived in the designated window, but took three hours to fix the faulty burner on the stove. During that time I had to make an effort to clean the revealed stove siding, since it was incredibly disgusting. Also we all snacked on one of my homemade ice creams while we waited. By then it was late, and we had to have my dad pick up younger brother.

Since it was nearly time to pick up older brother, my sister suggested getting a snack at Sonic. BEST IDEA YET. She paid for onion rings, mozzarella sticks, and slushes, aw yeah. When older brother called with his location, I thought it would be best to get a map to the building, since I am horrible with finding things, especially at the university. My sister fires up the dang GPS, which takes us to the clear opposite side of the campus where my brother is at. *facepalm* After some finagling on the phone with older brother, we figure out where to actually go. He is much more calmed after chugging a Sonic Cherry Slush. I drop him off at the auto shop, since his truck is done.

Good grief. It is now after 3:00, and we finally make it to the restaurant. We get some quick combo plates, and I indulge in lemon chicken even after the deep-fried snack I had, because I needed to be pacified from the enormous time wasted already. My niece predictably takes a shower with her chow mein. It was estimated at least 80% ended up in her belly, anyway.

Finally we arrive at the thrift store. My sister asks to wander off for pants and bags, so I take it upon myself to find some dressy play shoes for the niece. They have nice shoes at the thrift store, but not many in her size. It was also difficult to get niece to understand the concept of wiggling her toes to check growth room in the shoes. Still, she ended up with a nice pair of strappy tap heels, that she promptly decided were for her to wear to "ballerina class," and thus kept asking the rest of the time we were in the store when we would go to said "ballerina class." I cannot wait until this child can understand concepts of time.

By then it was past 4pm, and while I was all for heading straight home, my sister brilliantly changes her mind and wants me to drive to pick up her girlfriend. Ugh. Girlfriend happened to live over in east Sparks, while we were in south Reno! The easiest way to get there would be to do some freeway hopping, but with the recent remodeling, people were stupider than usual and clogging up the exits to change freeways. So I had to pull a little back street maneuvering to get to girlfriend's house.

After picking up girlfriend, she apparently needs a sandwich, having not eaten for awhile. Sister also wants to pick up booze, and younger brother called to have us pick up DVDs at the store, please. I am thoroughly surprised at myself at this point for not banging my head repeatedly on a hard, firm surface. Mother arrives home from work early on Fridays, so at least she was on hand to deal with the cats' visit to the vet. Girlfriend and sister argue about where to get booze while we make a stop at Quiznos for a sandwich and Office Depot for DVDs. Niece is incredibly cranky from sitting in the car so long, as am I.

I solve the booze dilemma by driving to Raley's, which happens to be near the vet. I check in with my parents, pulling a double hit by showing off niece's new shoes. Now, since school started, I have made a habit of checking on what dinner will be, so I can either a) join the family or b) buy/make something healthier. My father claims we will shop briefly at the store to pick up some things for a dinner of steak for the boys and meatloaf for them, this way we can grab something me and my sister would be willing to eat. I agree with this plan, and head from the vet's to Raley's with my niece to get a head start. Apparently my sister and her girlfriend picked out their liquor really quick, because they were already in the parking lot looking for me. I tried to explain the plan to them, but apparently my dad pulled a typical 180º and decided that, no, we would not be shopping, as all we needed at the house was sour cream.

Trying not to punch something, I quickly decided that I would shop for my dang dinner as I'd planned. Returning my niece to her mother, I returned to the store to get sour cream, arugula, and turkey thighs. I also found some nice red bell peppers. Arriving at home with my purchases, I found that creating a pulled turkey sandwich with an old poultry spice blend I'd made was a really satisfying meal. The wine slushee probably helped too. Then of course, nothing could stay perfect and I had to help my dad bake the meatloaf. Which didn't come up to temperature even after over an hour of baking at 350º. This situation is why I tell my father to stop shopping at cheap grocery chains like Scolari's.

As for today's happenings, all I will say is that opera, Krull, and spiced pumpkin ice cream make things happy in my brain.

Also, before I forget, this was a recent Pastry Arts project:

White cake with chocolate fudge buttercream, coffee syrup, butterfinger chip sprinkles, and topped with brown sugar caramel (penuche). The layering turned out well, and I'm rather proud of the piping! (Yes it's only five rosettes, but it's sadly the best I've done). We are also going to be making intermezzo sherbets for the up and coming culinary school student's restaurant experience, and I was granted permission to make this sorbet. I'll be making the soda from scratch, but I'm considering running to the store for the ginger beer just in case ;)