Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hot Dogs! Chili Dogs! Cold Pop! Have Some Nachos!

Yesterday was the harvest festival at the church and for three hours I was hawking hotdogs, chili, and various other tasty treats that are extremely bad for one's health. I, however, resisted and waited to treat myself till after the festival was over. This event is held at Gateway each year around this time. There are various games and prizes to keep little kids busy, excited, and perhaps a little overfed for the day. It is a community outreach event and all the kids and their families from the Gateway School are targeted as well as anyone else who might have some exposure to the church.

Today after church, we had planned to stop by the Grand Central Bakery for a couple of treats and a couple of loaves of artisan baked bread. The two loaves of bread that we chose were the Calamata Olive and Peasant Levain. I can report that each of them is excellent and will complement a variety of meals and will certainly make outstanding sandwiches.

Our treats were wonderful as well. I have only rarely strayed from the pastry that was my original choice back when we first discovered this bakery. Once again, it was the Chocolate Croissant for me. Debbie, on the other hand, has ventured out a couple of times (though she too loves the chocolate croissant) and today thoroughly enjoyed a lovely Cinnamon Roll. They probably are very tasty as I noticed at least three others were purchased by fellow patrons to this notable establishment just as I waited in line. To complete our purchase and cleanse our palate, we each add coffee to the order. I haven't been disappointed yet. If you plan to eat the pastry in the car as we normally do, expect to be wearing a few crumbs of puff pastry on your lap and shirt.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What Can I Say?

I know you probably haven't missed me much but it has been two weeks since my last post and I just couldn't stay away any longer. Wow! This was looking like a tough week-end for us. The estate sale circuit was pregnant with treasure but my partner and inspiration in this whole thing had a CPR class that she needed to take for work and that put "the dirt in the soup" as it were. She sent me out with strict instructions to carry out my normal duties and hers as well. Oh man! I was soo out of my league. Usually, I'll grab a few items and let her cull the ones that she doesn't want to use. Yesterday, I was on my own. I felt completely naked. I was totally unprepared for the task before me. Have you ever felt that way? Over all, I did poorly. The only good thing was that I didn't spend much money. I got a couple of items which received two thumbs up,

at least one which received two thumbs down, and one which was one up and one down. Oh well, it was probably just too much responsibility for someone who is normally just a grunt.

Today after church, we were back in the game and Jehovah Jireh (Our Provider) smiled on us. We went to a sale that we didn't check out yesterday and lo and behold, we found some items for which we had actually been searching long and hard as well as a few smaller items which will fit nicely in our space at Monticello and we got it all at half price. Now that's the thrill of victory!

Let me show you some images which show how I best contribute to this partnership.

In the words of the great philosopher, Dirty Harry, "A man has got to know his limitations". Fortunately, I know mine and am contented with the responsibility of carrying heavy items, tying them down, and safely transporting them.

Hopefully, something fun and/or interesting will happen during this week so I can employ my other talents and post an interesting blog for you to peruse.

Let me close with the words of another great orator, The Terminator, and just say "I'll be back".

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Now That Was Really Good!

Anytime my readers post a comment, I receive an endorphine injection. I like endorphine injections. If you like me, please comment and allow me the pleasure! Ahhh!

Let me just say that a comment, no matter how trivial in your eyes, is a valued event to me.

Have you ever heard of Jamie Oliver? He is sometimes referred to as the "Naked Chef". Apparently, that title has nothing to do with nudity but instead refers to the simplicity of Jamie's recipes. Whatever! Let's get beyond the word "naked" and get to the crux of this post. I recently read a post on another blog which peaked my interest in Jamie Oliver. Apparently, it also peaked the interest of my dear life partner, friend, and wife, Debbie as she checked out a video dvd from the library called "Oliver Happy Days Tour Live!" She also checked out a book called "Jamie At Home" by Jamie Oliver. To get to the point, we watched the video and enjoyed a wonderfully enchanting evening with Jamie. The dvd was enjoyable, funny, and remarkably clean and void of any kind of bathroom humor or any content which might be considered questionable, at least in my opinion. I would recommend it highly, especially to anyone who enjoys cooking and food preparation.

The book is very nice as well and includes a fine collection of pictures as well as personal commentary from Jamie.

Tonite I am featuring a recipe from this book.

I chose "Steak, Guinness and Cheese Pie with a Puff Pastry Lid". This recipe can be found on page 342 of the book. I am not a friend of Guinness, in particular, so I chose a stout which I do enjoy from the Deschutes Brewery. They have called their stout "Obsidian" and it pleases my pallet to a far greater degree than Guinness ever has.

Ok. Now to get down to the important and perhaps more subtle and distinguishing component of this post. The time required to achieve the end was significant and the folks upon whose opinion I heavily rely were getting ancy towards the end. However, when the alarm finally sounded and I was free to announce the completion of the dish, everybody had a positive commentary.

In fact, I too was impressed. It was both beautiful and tasty. I even had it again for lunch and it was still good. I will certainly revisit this recipe but next time I'll either start much earlier in the day or prepare the filling the day before I intend to eat it.