Busy, busy weekend! I'm glad it's Monday just so that I can have a break!
Saturday morning we had plans to go to the Farmers Market before working around the house all day, but when some friends invited us over for coffee that morning we happily skipped the market in favor of chatting with them and seeing their gorgeous new baby boy. We spent most of the morning there and none of us seemed to realize just how long we had been there. Just before noon we left with an invitation to come back later that night for a get-together. We rushed home and started tackling our to do list. My list was full of housework and Matt's list was full of yard work. With Gabe cooperating I was able to clean the kitchen, the nursery, the living room, tidy our bedroom and do a whole bunch of laundry. I had finished by mid-afternoon so we took advantage of the nice weather and I hung out with Gabe on the lawn outside. The freshly mown lawn might I add since Matt was making good progress on his list too. One of the big things that Matt was trying to get accomplished was the build a dog run on the west side of our house. It was this incredibly awkward space that had only ever been used by the previous homeowners as storage space. It has two bushes in front of it so you can hardly see it from the front but it was completely blocked off from the back by a metal trellis and a lilac bush. Oh, and our water meter is back there so our poor meter readers had to crawl through our bushes to get to it. Well Matt started building a fence piece to put at the front of the space to close it off but he didn't have everything he needed so instead he just got everything ready for it to be built on Sunday and we headed back to our friends' house. The get-together they were having was a really neat idea; it was a YouTube party! They had a screen and a projector set up in their backyard and all evening people just recommended funny clips that they've seen on YouTube. A few highlights of the evening: Extreme Sheep LED Art, Test Your Awareness: Do The Test, Everythings Amazing &Nobodys Happy (some language) and Hotel Crazyness. Those are the titles off YouTube, spelling mistakes and all! Well, we watched videos until we all had to get our kids to bed, which was pretty much everyone there. It was nice hanging out with other people with kids!
Sunday morning I had to get up bright and early, after going to bed nice and late, so that I could start my training for the cafe manager position at church. I went in to help set up the coffee before church started and the lady I'm taking over for showed me some other things about the position which was awesome. As soon as the early service finished we loaded into the van and drove to Calgary in search of a dress for me to wear to my cousin's wedding this weekend. We hit up the Le Chateau outlet across from Chinook Mall since they seem to have the best selection of dresses. I couldn't find the same yellow one as before, but they did have the same dress in a vibrant blue. So I tried on that dress and a dozen others and narrowed it down to 2 of them - the blue one and a strapless faded purple one. After much debating I got the purple one. It was more flattering, $10 cheaper and the color was such that it could pass as a winter outfit too, whereas the vibrant blue definitely could not. Matt ended up buying a vest for $40, my dress cost $30 and within half an hour of getting to town we were ready to leave it. We swung by my sister's house on the way out of town to say hi, and we picked up Wendy's in Airdrie, but beyond that we just went straight home! We were back in Red Deer by quarter to 4. Matt still had to finish the dog run but I didn't really have anything to do so I was just sitting down to figure out what my evening would look like when Matt's sister phoned to say that they were in Calgary, would be passing through town on their way home and were wondering if we wanted to join them for dinner! Since we are all trying to save money we decided to have dinner at our place so I had to get working on dinner right away, which answered my question of what to do with myself all evening. Fortunately last week I rediscovered a company sized portion of pork ribs in my freezer. In a crunch I always prefer to make ribs because I boil them anyway before I barbecue them so I never need to worry about defrosting them. I got those boiling and then tried to figure out what to make for dessert. My sister-in-law is allergic to citrus which naturally ruled out a lot of options for me, especially since I have a case of blueberries in my fridge that I wanted to put a dent in and for me blueberries normally go with lemon or orange. Well, I decided on a blueberry peach cobbler - something that I make a lot of in the winter months. I wanted it to taste different this time from how it normally does though so I used fresh blueberries, fresh peaches and maple syrup. I'd had this syrup in my cupboard for a year and a half and I was always wanting a good reason go use it. I poured the syrup over the fruit, added some cinnamon sticks and some sprinkled cinnamon and put the crumble on top (oats, brown sugar, a bit of flour, a pinch of salt and melted butter to hold it all together). I started it in the oven and it was done just in time for dessert. I also made up a salad with cucumber, green onion, apple slices, roasted red pepper and fennel and I whipped up some garlic shrimp. The shrimp was a bit of a puzzle too. I normally make my garlic shrimp with lemon juice and white wine, but no citrus for my sister-in-law, and no white wine left because Matt drank the little bit I had saved for cooking posed a bit of a problem. So what did I use? Rum. Not just any rum. Good, dark, aged rum. It just rounded out the flavor. Well, the ribs barbqued perfectly, the salad was great with then fennel fronds in it, the shrimp was super sweet (FYI, when you can it's better to buy frozen raw shrimp than to buy frozen precooked shrimp. Yah, you have to thaw them and peel them before you cook them, but the taste is way, way better.) but the best part was the cobbler. The fresh fruit made it better than ever and the maple syrup was a perfect touch. After coffee our guests left and I was yet again trying to figure out what to do with myself. I called my mom to see if she wanted to go for a walk and she agreed to it so we set off on a hour long walk with Cash and Gabe. Once we got back it was nearly Gabe's bedtime so I got him ready and waited for him to fall asleep, which admittedly took a while.
Now, this week will be busy with seeing family, packing for our trip and then seeing more family, but aside from needing to fold laundry and put away clean dishes, my house is fairly clean so that won't demand too much of my time. I also need to get in touch with some people regarding the cafe and figure out some details with that, but all in all life is going to be less-stressful and chaotic this week than it has been in a long whole! And you know what that means... More baking!
Mrs. Vander Leek ;)