Sunday, June 24, 2007

So Friday night's dinner didn't turn out too well, but oh well. The pasta with smoked oysters, spinach and enoki was okay -- enoki mushrooms taste similar to regular white mushrooms, except there's more crunch because they're so small.

For a main I surfed around restaurant menus with smoked oysters, figuring the menu would have matches. Found a menu with veal with pancetta and sage, served with turnip/potato mash, baby root vegetables and a shiraz demi-glace. I prepared the veal by rolling thinly sliced pancetta and a few leaves of sage, then roasting. I nuked the turnip and potato and then mashed them together. The "root" vegetables were carrot and parsnip. It was all a big experiment which went mostly wrong. Used too much sage (one leaf per roll would have done), I overcooked the veal, my demi glace separated, there were too many root vegetables.

Last night we tried another new recipe, going Greek. Heather and I made up a greek salad, along with lamb kebabs, a yoghurt & mint dip, and greek pitas. It all tasted amazing. As well, Mike from the LCBO recommended a zinfadel that was a great match.

We finished our marriage course today -- one more thing to check of the list!

Friday, June 22, 2007

It's Friday afternoon and I'm trying to decide what to cook for dinner. I have a hankering to try enoki mushrooms (I'm not sure where this urge came from), and found a recipe for pasta with smoked oysters, spinach and enoki that could be the pasta course. Now I'm surfing around for the meat course.

Yesterday we had our department summer party, which returned to its roots as a boat cruise. It was a fun time, with most of my group showing up. They only had four types of beer (Keith's, Blue, Bud, Bud Light), so as you can imagine, the Keith's went rather quickly. They ran out of cold Keith's before the boat even left the dock. I had one Blue, before deciding that a warm Keith's was better than a cold Blue. After the cruise, about 15 of us had some drinks at a nearby bar on Queen's Quay, and then five of us made it to the Drake to close out the night. At the Drake, the people drinking beside us turned out to be members of the royal family! (There's five families that own most of the voting shares of the Star (see May 27, 1958), and at the Star we call them the "royal families"). I think she said she was the granddaughter of Ruth Hindmarsh.

I'm almost over the cold that I picked up at the end of our vacation. It was getting to be quite a nuisance.

On Wednesday evening I rearranged some of the plants in our front garden. I moved the larger plants with height to the back corner, although it's now too busy and I may remove the tall grass altogether. I'm hoping if I leave the grass at the foot of the sidewalk with a "free" sign that someone will take it to a better home. I also moved the dwarf evergreen to the front corner, and replanted the hens and chicks around it. Maricar's going to help me prune the pear tree tomorrow (some lower branches are too heavy and leaning downwards). Overall the garden's looking pretty good.

I also (finally) fixed the screens on the 1st floor windows, and there's a nice cross-breeze flowing through the floor now. It's the perfect weather for this.

Heather and I updated our list of things-to-do for the wedding, using Google Docs and Spreadsheets. Google Docs is really convenient for sharing and updating files between multiple people. Plus it's accessible on the web, so I don't need to save the list on a particular computer, or email it back-and-forth. We've also used it for the guest list and other wedding documents.

One of things-to-do is confirming our wedding favours. We're going to have js bonbons, one each of the corriander & lime, and sea-salted caramel. Heather brought a box of js bonbons for our 2nd date (I cooked dinner), and they've been our favourite chocolate ever since. We have a tasting appointment tomorrow, after the marriage course. We don't really need to have the tasting because we already know what we want, but why would anyone skip a chocolate tasting at js bonbons?

Well it's getting later and I should figure out dinner.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Heather and I have been on vacation. We were in Morocco for four weeks, a pre-wedding honeymoon of sorts. We arrived back in Toronto a week ago, and have been getting back into life.

The flowers and plants in our front yard grew like weeds while we were gone:

Unfortunately so did the weeds, and we spent most of Sunday evening pulling up weeds. Some were almost three feet high! -- not looking very neighbourly at all. ...I can't believe how big our pear tree has grown. It was only planted last year by the city!

We're in the middle of our marriage preparation course. It's two weekends, for three hours each Saturday & Sunday. There's about 30 couples in the course, taking place at the Catholic Family Services centre at Yonge and Summerhill. The course is okay. Heather and I have previously talked about most of the topics, which is good.

My right shoulder improved over the vacation. I now have full mobility without pain, and I'm able to sleep on my right side. However, it was sore after my hockey game on Thursday (we won 2-0), so I went to see the physiotherapist today. He did some tests, and said I just needed to build up strength, but otherwise was okay.

Oh yah, the big news is that I'm playing on the same Ultimate team as cousin John! I joined a new team this summer (with Craig and Maricar) after last season's team fell apart, and John (Fred and Bernice's son) is on the team! I played my first game yesterday, and was looking at the roster before the game. Heather noticed John Callaghan on the list, and because of the 'g' in his name, asked me to ask John if he had relatives in PEI. Turns out he is cousin John!

Our Ultimate team is less skilled than my last team, but it's a lot more fun, which was the main thing I was looking for in a team. Many people are new to the team, and we're still learning how we all play, so we should improve as the season goes on.

Well that's it for now!