Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Hap-hap-hap-happy Holidays!

Okay, the picture isn't great. I really want a digital camera - these pics are from my cell phone camera, or a camera belonging to someone else, or my good ol' film camera which I have carefully scanned into the computer.

Anyways, I got a great haul this Christmas, top gifts including the accessory pack for my Kitchen Aid Mixer, (which includes pasta extruders, so fresh pasta here we come!), and an ice cream maker (there is already a batch of Dulce de Leche ice cream chillin out in the freezer), but as usual, it is the things I make as gifts which bring me the most happiness.

Above is a shot of the cheeseboard I made, already in use. I had the marvelous assistance of my father, who is a retired shop teacher with all the toys you can imagine. The base of the board is ash, which we milled from someone's old curtain valences. The boarders are mahogany, and the darker pieces surrounding the glass centre are rosewood. Fabulous.

things in my living room

Perhaps I should have thought this through more thoroughly. I bought Paul a fluid trainer for Christmas, knowing that he really really wanted it, and I got a sweet sweet deal on the thing thanks to uber connected friend Don, and Paul is smashingly excited about it and all. Now he rides his bike in the living room. Horray.

Friday, December 23, 2005

foiled, for now.

Yesterday I spent time with my sister. She's been here about a week, so the accent is mellowing out and she sounds a lot less snooty. She isn't actually snooty at all, rather she's quite lovely, she just sounds that way. Anyways, I informed her about her blog ruining and my previous post, and she said she hadn't realized it was supposed to be a secret. I said it's not a secret, it's just not a place I thought I wanted certain people to peruse. She said, oh well, I think they've forgotten about it anyway.

I said, I doubt it.

So we go to their house to drop off Emily and loads of fruitcake which my Dad promptly started gnawing on, and a few minutes after I arrive both of my parents inform me that they have unsuccessfully googled me, and want the address. I said they'd have to google a little harder. If they're going to get here, they better work for it.

So shout out to Mom and Dad, if you've found me. Shout out to the cashiers at work, who apparently peruse this regularly, shout out strangers, hey, shout out Jesus. What up?

PS - the blogger spell checker still makes me laugh. It suggested I replace the word FRUITCAKE with the word BRITCHES and does not recognise the word BLOG.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

this blog is about to get a whole lot less interesting . . .

Thanks to my jerk sister who was all like 'I've been home from London for like 2 hours so I'm going to ruin your blogging fun by telling the address to our parents and insist on calling it a URL in my half British accent cause I work in an important web based finance related field in England so I can't possibly slum and just call it an address, and I'll sit here and laugh at you and tell our previously unaware parents all about the exibitionism of the world of blog, and now even if I don't tell them the URL, our Dad will just google you anyhow, so there, your blog is ruined.'

So it's all Emily's fault, and I'm considering posting her personal information (including SIN) in retaliation.

But it is really nice to see her.

And the accent usually goes away after a couple of days.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

make love, not fruitcake

It all started just 10 years ago, and so innocently, as a joke. My friend Sean and I were discussing the logistics of fruitcake - we had this theory where no one ever ate fruitcake, they just re-gifted it. We wanted to see how long it would take if we started making fruitcake, before we recieved one of our own fruitcakes back. And we decided that we would mostly only give the fruitcake to people we didn't like. The plan has backfired horribly for 2 reasons: 1) people assume since we make fruitcake, we must like fruitcake and 2) people eat the fruitcake. So not only does the fruitcake not get re-gifted, people give us other fruitcake. My Dad will eat one of the smaller ones in one sitting. God.

So this is 10 years running - we missed a year when I was living in New Zealand, Sean thought it just wouldn't be right to make it without me, and frankly, I'd have been upset if he did. We've been on double batches ever since, and my suggestion to go back to single batches this year was quickly vetoed. We're remarkably efficient fruitcake makers now, not like in the beginning when we just didn't know what we didn't know. We didn't know you could buy candied citrus peel, so when the recipe called for peel, we peeled oranges, grapefruits and lemons, and chucked the peel in the bowl. Sean didn't know that when the recipe called for a lemon, peel and juice, you were supposed to zest the lemon, and then squeeze the juice, he just chucked an entire lemon into the mixer. It blended rather nicely, I must admit. We didn't know you were supposed to make your fruitcakes like months in advance, and soak them in brandy. I think we made them around Dec 23rd one year.

Now it happens so fast if you blink, you'd think the fruitcake just appeared out of nowhere. You'd hardly see Sean and I waltzing into the bulk food store and picking up 4lbs of raisins, 4 lbs of currents, 3 lbs of dates, 1 lb of peel, 1/2 lb of red and green cherries, 1 lb of walnuts, 2 lbs of sugar, 2 lbs of butter, 6 cups of flour, and 16 eggs. For the rest of the ingredients, we just raid Seans Mom's pantry. Being a retired home ec teacher, she's pretty stocked, and the only person we know with a bowl big enough to mix this crap up. The recipe calls for 1 cup of pineapple juice, but we basically use whatever Pat has in the fridge - this year we even considered V8, but turns out that Sean cares about the quality of the fruitcake too much for that, so cranberry cocktail it was.

Last year, something shocking and upsetting happened. Sean broke our vow to never EVER try the fruitcake. He got a little drunk one night, and broke down and tried a bite. He called me right away and confessed, and he says it isn't good. How can it be, it's friggen fruicake? Apparantly there was a 4th wiseman who got turned away for bringing the stuff!

But still, people love it. My Dad starts pestering me for it in early December, and I even get calls from my ex boyfriend's family around October, wondering whether they'll still get a fruitcake this year, even though Doug and I have been broken up nearly 3 years. Rest assured, they'll get a big one.

The above picture is Sean with the giant bowl of crap (it was my year to mix it, so I was elbow deep in gunk. He got the date chopping job though, and that's not nice either).

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Here's a picture of Paul and I together at a friend's wedding in August. I think it may be the best picture of the two of us together, and Paul isn't giving anyone the finger!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

quote of the day . . .

" I think I'd make a really good robot "

- Paul