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foodie heaven, foodie hell
January 17, 2019, 9:46 P.M.

Friday was bittersweet, in a way--my last 4.5 hour Friday, since I changed my hours to get out of the office a half-hour earlier M-Th, I will be taking shorter lunches (company offers longer than mandated minimum, so if we want to take the minimum we get can use it to flex our hours) and working an extra hour on Fridays.

I got a haircut & wax after work, then went home and jumped on the laundry, and grabbed a nap to help make up for my inability to stay asleep at night. I wanted to get a decent chunk of the wash done because I wanted us to be able to have a weekend where we went somewhere for a change.

By the time Spouse was off of work, I had gotten thru three loads. We just ran out for a quick bite at the coffee shop for Friday dinner. I was going to suggest over dinner that we head down towards Chicago to the north suburbs and do a little shopping on Saturday, but Spouse had the idea to go north instead. So we retired early-ish, with a plan for Saturday.

As it turned out, Saturday was a very busy day. We got up quite early and were on our way to breakfast by 6:30. We went to Racine, to Meli. Because it's fantastic and gets very crowded if you wait till later, we decided it was a good choice for our early morning. Boy, was it ever. I had the french toast special--FT topped with raspberry-bacon jam, raspberry coulis, and garnished with fresh raspberries, it was INSANE. Spouse ordered his usual ham and eggs, but they were anything but ordinary.

After breakfast, we took the back way up to South Milwaukee and stopped at Wildflour bakery for a loaf of their lovely sourdough, and then drove over by the airport to stock up on the high-quality chicken at Tower. We got drumettes, breasts, boned but with the skin on, ground chicken, and a whole bird for roasting.

We turned back south then, stopping in Oak Creek at Farm and Fleet (found no jeans, alas.) Bought dog treats, birdseed, motor oil, and another new "copper" frying pan--they actually had a very nice one in the 8-inch size Spouse favors for cooking eggs.

Then the Oak Creek Meijer, where we landed before the crowds and found one of those serendipitous circumstances where the coupons, the sales, and the shopping list coordinated perfectly to save us a buttload of money. (Another alas, though, because they didn't have my haircolor, and boy, do I ever need some!)

On the way home, we did some meal-planning and realized we needed to stop at Hometown Meats and get ground sirloin. Ended up with a couple of lovely pork chops, too, as well as 7 strips of bacon for Sunday breakfast.

We actually did all that and were home by 11:00 am!

I put everything away and Spouse did the mainenance checks on the cars. I threw a few potatoes in the convection oven to bake for Sunday morning home fries, ran downstairs to empty the dryer, and then brought up the King Arthur Flour website, and looked up a pizza crust recipe for dinner. Yep--I decided to get gutsy and make my own, instead of buying the Festival dough. We had everything else on hand, so it was a challenge to myself not to have to buy the crust.

I accidentally mentioned a cake recipe I saw on the site, so the next thing I knew I was in the kitchen whipping up a vanilla cake from scratch. Never mention cake to Spouse unless you can guarantee there will be cake. Pretty easy recipe, and only made an 8"x8" cake. It was a "depression cake" type recipe, so it was fast and simple. The cake part was only just okay--but the frosting recipe is my new go-to for vanila frosting, because it was lovely.

So between baking a cake, and going through the long, drawn-out process of making homemade pizza dough, and then frosting the cake, and then making pizza for dinner...I was hustling all afternoon.

I am not crazy about the crust recipe, though. Again, it was okay--but too "biscuity"/not "bready" enough for me. Next time I think I'll cut the water back some, and knead it longer. We just made one rectangular pizza for a change, and topped it with our favorite sauce, some good Italian sausage from Tenuta's, and our favorite pizza cheese--Provolone and Mozzarella slices from Steve's Cheese, torn up and scattered over the top. It was good. Could have been better. Will be next time.

We did have some interesting entertainment with dinner; Spouse located some travelogues on Amazon Prime that covered Balboa Park in San Diego, Vancouver, and Victoria.
Sunday was quieter. I should havebeen cleaning my house--but instead, I was just kind of lazy. We had a lovely breakfast of our meat market bacon, fried eggs, home fries, and sourdough toast, along with coffee and orange juice.

After we cleaned up the kitchen, we ran out to pick up a couple of items we didn't get on Saturday, and then topped up the tank of the Sonic. Came home, put stuff away, then I set to work getting everything sorted for a couple of insurance claims I needed to submit (one of my supplemental policies has a rider that pays me to get certain preventive services, and I needed to do my submissions for 2017 and 2018 mammograms) then lazed about until time to make dinner. (My new favorite weekend laze is to drink cups of properly brewed Constant Comment tea while playing computer solitaire.) Then Spouse made a batch of his delicious stuffing and roasted a chicken, and I made glazed carrots, using orange juice, brown sugar, honey, butter, and a little cinnamon and ginger. Everything came out really nice. Then it was dishes, a couple of episodes of Corner Gas, and then Monday morning prep and bed.
Spouse called in on Monday; had a bit of a bug. Chills, aches, tummy bug, etc. Dog was throwingup, too! So I stopped on the way home and picked up potpies and ginger ale for dinner (his call). And whatever they had, I got, because come Tuesday, it was my turn. After being up feeling horrid (all of the above, plus a blinding headache) from 1:30 am on, I called in, took aspirins and tums, and went back to bed.

Woke up around 9:00, and the stomach was feeling better. I had a cup of coffee and some toast. I was still achy, freezing, and the pounding headache was worse than ever. I didn't do much but sit in a chair under the electric throw. Well, I did take some time for pen maintenance. All three of the pens I've been carrying were dry, and it was high time I did. And I took a hot shower and changed from my nightgown to sweats. Other than that, and heating up Sunday's leftovers for supper, I wasn't taxing myself much.
On Wednesday, Spouse worked a 10-hour and I had a dental appointment after work, so poor B had a very long crate day. But I was home shortly after 5:00. It's unbelievable how fast they are at the Aspen Dental. My appointment was for 4:30, they took me back at 4:43, and I was walking out the front door with a new filling at 5:04!

I made linguini with meat sauce and garlic bread for dinner. I figured it was a quick-yet-hearty choice for a night where I had an appointment and Spouse worked his hinder off for 10 hours. Yes, I cheat: A jar of Classico, and frozen garlic bread. But I still had to brown the ground sirloin and sausage, and drain it, mix it with the sauce, boil the pasta, and heat the bread! Hubs loved it, and scarfed it like a champ.

Tonight, we are back to wholesale cheating. I'm heating up a Marie Callender entree for two--Salisbury Steak with Roasted Potatoes. I hope it's as good as the pot pies!

We are supposed to get nailed this weekend with lots of snow and frigid temps. Sounds like the perfect weekend for my homemade vegetable soup and some homemade bread. Definitely back to the stay-at-home weekend.

Reading: "Outside Inn" (1920), by Ethel M. Kelley Well, I've barely had a book open this last week or two, so this is not so much "the one I'm reading" as "the one I was reading when I stopped reading".

Listening: Big band-era goodies on the 40s channel; Doris Day, Bunny Berigan, Helen Forrest, Artie Shaw.

Inked Up: Waterman Kultur medium with Waterman Tender Purple, Pilot Vanishing Point medium with Diamine Misty Blue, Conklin Duragraph fine with Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Brown.

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