This past weekend was full of some really great things, plus a bunch of little annoying things that went wrong. I took a vacation day from work on Friday so that I could catch up on life, which made Thursday night the start of my weekend.
Kevin and I headed to Nawab for a delicious meal of chicken tikka mushrooms and chicken madras with naan. After dinner, we wandered into Home & Planet, one of my favorite south Bethlehem stores and ran around 3rd & 4th streets looking for a cup of coffee. (Really, nowhere to get a good cup of coffee after 6pm?! Deja Brew was even closed!)
After wandering on southside, we drove over the hill to DeSales University to see a performance of Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, thanks to a gift of tickets from my in-laws. It was a great play! The music was varied and lively and the actors were energetic and well rehearsed.
Friday was my “vacation” day, which I spent doing several grown up things, interspersed with a lot of good food. I started the day with laundry, which I despise more than about any other routine task in my life. To make it even more fun, I realized as I was pulling clothes out of the dryer that my husband had one of those pretty Vespers candles in his dress pants pocket when they went through the machine. Yeah, beeswax and dryers and dress pants don’t mix well. Even an hour of ironing with a paper bag on top couldn’t remove the stains.
Fortunately, my mood was quickly rescued after the laundry fiasco by a delicious lunch with a friend. We went to the Black Forest Deli, where I tried (and discovered I love) borscht.
To fill out the lunch, we shared this enormous platter of pierogies. The dough on Russian/Ukranian pierogies is slightly different than I am used to from Polish ones, but still delicious!
After lunch, I went back to my dull grown-up activities, running to the vet for meds for Irie and heading over to the DMV to get my driver’s license renewed. Of course, no trip to the DMV would be complete without ridiculous bureaucracy and being yelled at by a cranky woman (who’s voice sounded exactly like my grandmother), but I did walk out with a new license.
For dinner, we met my parents for an early birthday celebration at Hampton Winds, the culinary student-run restaurant at Northampton Community College. What a fantastic meal! Five courses for $30. I had an asiago chicken appetizer, beer cheddar apple soup, chopped salad with gorgonzolla & cranberries, cumin-dusted diver scallops with poblano grits and chocolate raspberry mousse.
Throughout our meal, we were reminded to save room for dessert as this enormous cart was wheeled past us to various tables.
I got this pretty sweater and this interesting hand-blown glass speech bubble as birthday gifts from my parents. I can't decide where to hang the bubble!
Saturday morning, I headed to Easton to check out the brand new Valley View Farms Market, which carries products from several local farms. The store is great, and the owner has many more ideas he'd like to implement. Unfortunately, the raw milk vendor doesn't have the appropriate license yet to sell at a retail store, so I headed to Northampton to get milk from Keepsake Farm. Unfortunately again, they sold out of milk before I got there (calves were suckling, so not as much milk available. So, a couple of hours and a quarter-tank of gas later, I got milk from Klein Farms.
Next up was supposed to be the student sponsored holiday dinner where I work. The invitation said to arrive any time between 5 & 8pm, so we thought we were fine arriving at 6:30. Nope. All the food was away! So, to Wegmans we went and I ended up with some tasty (but not free like the other dinner would have been) sushi for dinner.
Sunday, I was up bright & early to get cabbage, bockwurst & potatoes cooking in the slow cooker.
We had our weekly Jumbars fix for breakfast. I forgot to take a picture of my amazing pumpkin pancakes and sausage until I just had this bite left!
After breakfast, it was time to get Kevin's pickup truck from work and go to Brookside Tree Farm for our Christmas Tree! I tried sawing it down, but eventually handed that duty over to Kevin.
Once we got home, we decorated the tree and house and stacked our gifts beneath the tree. Seeing them all there makes me realize how much we've actually made!
The evening was spent making candies. We ended up having to fight with this ganache a bit, as it "broke" or separated when we mixed the cream & chocolate. After some difficult tempering, we got it!
These beer-pretzel caramels also proved to be a challenge after the caramel boiled all over the newly scrubbed stove and one of the batches never set. But, they taste amazing.
Finally, we decked Irie out in her holiday finest and took some pictures to enter in an upcoming photo contest at our vet. I'll post the voting link here when I have it—The prize is a gift card we could use to pay off our vet bill! It's like Irie got a modeling job to pay off her vet bills. 🙂