It’s not often that workaholics get a weeknight off for a dinner party, but when we do, we take full advantage. The polar vortex doesn’t hurt the urge for R & R either.
Friend Philip had a hankering for crab legs, and the GF and I were the lucky beneficiaries of his craving. Here’s the thing: crab legs look really impressive, and they are surprisingly simple to make as long as you have a big pot.
Salted water, boiling, add crab, 3-5 min, voila!
Philip added some fancy stuff to the water, and you can get creative with things like herbs, lemon, Old Bay, etc., but the base recipe is all the same. For king crab (go big or go home), you may need to finagle, tuck, and adjust your legs to make sure all parts are cooked, or, get a bigger pot.
For sides, Philip went with twice baked potatoes (yum), almond crusted asparagus (YUM), and we *may* have shared a bottle of wine on a school night. It’s fine, right?
Yeah, I bet you wish you were Philip’s friend too.
She might be able to can can too, but trust me, Ann can definitely can.
When I picked up my 40 pounds of tomatoes from Midnight Sun last Sunday for her Labor Day canning party (thinking, “wow, this is a s*#$ ton of tomatoes“), Ann said, “I think we may have different expectations about canning day.”
When two crafty ladies get together with cocktails and 100 pounds of tomatoes, it’s kind of amazing. Aside from the 19 jars of marinara sauce now sit in my pantry ready for the pizza I might make next February, here are some photographic highlights of the day:
I found myself in Wheaton last weekend to attend a shared bill concert of Hubbard Street 2 and the Wheaton College Orchestra.. Downtown Wheaton is cute as a button, and so is its Starbucks. Besides its good looks, this Starbucks was about the friendliest I’ve been to, well, ever. It kind of felt like an alternate universe out there in the West suburbs. The cafe is small, and a girl sitting alone was willing to share a table… for THREE hours…
Friendly baristas, fast service, fresh coffee, and a comfortable place to sit and grade papers. Just another day in paradise.
I’m fairly confident the year was sufficiently rung last night. The wine flowed, the turkey was delicious, as were all the delectable sides (including mashed potatoes, vegetables, stuffing and my Mom’s creamed corn). I made a solid batch of deviled eggs and shoved blue cheese into pitted olives for a final touch.
But enough about me. Most importantly, the meal was shared among friends. We managed to cram nine people around the table for a family-style dinner, and were totally blessed with a night of laughter and plenty of leftovers.
I’m a little conflicted about making resolutions. I tend to shape my life goals around the academic year because, well, I work at an academic institution. Sure, I’ll be joining the pack that returns to the gym (but, to be fair, I went twice last week too). Lose weight, eat better, let go of all the holiday vices… blah-di-blah…
But if I really had to pin down what I want out of this year, it’s to get my s&*# together.
I’ve wrapped this up into three smaller goals that look like this:
Meet more deadlines
I’m pretty responsible, but the things that either (a) aren’t a priority, or (b) I don’t get paid to do sometimes fall by the wayside. It happens with writing, and paying bills, and things like student recommendations or taking a ballet class. In order to deal with all the little details and try to keep on top of managing my life, I need to find space in my brain. But, I’m also seeking out a physical space so that I can continue to work on dance related projects. With my change in jobs came a complete loss of free rehearsal space, and soon, I believe I might find the creative home that I’m looking for.
Vicki Crain told me that she was resolving to drink more tea, so this resolution is borrowed from her. But drinking tea is not just the action of sipping on a overly hot, lightly caffeinated, somewhat tasteless liquid… it’s a life philosophy that I whole-heartedly buy into. So, good one Vicki.
What, pray tell, are you going to work on this year?