I could have sworn I posted an update after Thanksgiving. Maybe the dogs ate it. It was a good holiday though, so I am inclined to go ahead and recap the day a week late. As is usually the case, we joined forces with our friends the James’ clan for the festivities. And quite the clan it is. I think the final count was around 25 people. The one downside was that the weather didn’t cooperate quite like it has in recent years. With a crowd that size it’s nice to have some outdoor seating options, but this year was just too chilly, not to mention wet. Eh, there was plenty of room inside. For a mob this size we went with two turkeys; One smoked, and one deep fried. We didn’t smoke the bird, we picked it up from Schwingles Meat already cooked. We’ve ordered from them several times and it’s just as good (OK likely better) than anything I could smoke up, and certainly easier. We threw in a ham for good measure too. Yeah we went a bit overboard on the meat, but it’s nice to have options. It was a fantastic meal, honestly the best I can remember. (Granted, my memory doesn’t go back too far.)
I declare that weekend to have been downright adventurous, in comparison to my normal weekend. I took off Thursday evening in the motorhome, destination Bodega Bay, to enjoy a little crabbin’. That is the proper verb, naturally, for capturing, cooking, and eating crabs. Crabs of the dungeness variety to be more specific. It was supposed to be a few weekends ago, but something happened and the season got all messed up. I started to read up on it but my short attention span kicked in before I finished. Something involving the whales, the weather, and who know what all. I am sure I’ve described the back-story before, but as a brief recap these 20-ish guys have been meeting up in Bodega Bay for this event for 30+ years. I secured an invite a few years back and it was so much fun I’ve returned since. In a small stroke of genius, I brought my friend Michael along this year, slightly upgrading my level on the Interloper Hierarchy.
So what does one do while crabbin’? Well, there is no small amount of time spent sitting around a fire and cooking. It’s a rather “primitive” campground, not much in the way of activities. Which is fine, the group seems to have little difficulty making their own. Boccie ball, seeing what all can be cooked (or not) successfully over a campfire, card games, etc. And then there are the actual boat trips out. The boat is rather smallish, so four guys go out at once. Four guys, times a 10 per person limit, and usually 40 crabs come back per trip. That sets off a flurry of activity, cleaning them, boiling them, and getting them on ice. I purchased my license ahead of time, but decided to make myself as scarce as possible when the boat went out. I actually kept up my cloak of invisibility until somebody came banging on my door Sunday morning at 7:00. Need more crew!! Rats. What that means is, they really need one more body on the boat to max out the crab limit. Fair enough, I wanted to take some crab home. Fun trip at any rate, looking forward to the next one already. And I’ve got a freezer full of fresh crab meat.
No, it is not the happiest of Mondays. There is never, ever anything happy about a Monday. That’s just my eternally optimistic outlook shining through once again. (Like most weeks, it didn’t work out for me.) But then, this generally covers the weekend, and that wasn’t too shabby at all. Friday wasn’t overly eventful. The weather has been just fantastic here, so I’ve been more than content to sit on the back porch and watch TV in the evenings. I turned on the heaters, started up the TV, and decided to watch Caravan of Souls for entertainment. I’ve been wanting to watch it for some time, as I thought it interesting that much of it was filmed in Lawrence KS. Predictably, I fell asleep about 10 minutes in and missed the majority of the movie. Keep that one on the list.
Saturday I ran down the grocery and picked up a 2.5 lb steak, and we invited another couple over for dinner. I was planning to throw it on the Traeger, but at the last moment decided to switch it up and go the sous vide route. It worked out pretty well, if I do say so my darn self. Better than the Traeger, you may ask? Well I just can’t for sure, I’ve had good luck on that too. I’ll have to do them side by side some day and have a little taste test. The problem there is you’re looking at 5-plus pounds of steak on the table. Nothing wrong with leftovers I guess.
Sunday came together very nicely. I’d really planned on firing up my new griddle out back and making brunch. I even had my menu picked out, breakfast burritos. Luckily I kept this plan to myself, as when I got up in the morning it was immediately clear I’d over-committed. Just didn’t have it in me. Instead, we met up with some friends at El Dorado Cafe. They’ve got a website but it’s pretty sketchy so I’ll skip the link. Anyway, it’s one of our favorite places, and a good breakfast is notoriously hard to find around here, so we make the 15 minute drive out to this place now and then. By the time I’d finished enjoying my delicious chicken fried steak, it was about 75 degrees and sunny outside so we dropped the top on the convertible and had a nice drive out to Amador county to visit one of our favorite wineries. We were somewhat surprised when they told us we hadn’t been there in a year, and they’d been holding four club shipments for us. Oops, sorry about that. We’re trying to cancel most of our wine clubs, we just can’t seem to track them. Afterwards as we were driving home, some friends texted us and invited us to chili on their back patio for dinner. Uh, yes please! That was a fine ending to the weekend.
So my website is still kind of messed up. I’m trying to keep it up though. As it turns out, I noticed it works OK with Chrome; Firefox not so much. Ten years ago I would have worked on fixing it until it was good with both. But, it ain’t ten years ago… I’ll just grudgingly use Chrome for now.
I can’t say that was most exciting weekend I’ve ever had, but it certainly wasn’t the most boring either. OK maybe Friday was the most boring day I’ve ever had. It happens. We were worn out from another big Halloween, and just kind of lazed around. Halloween was good, as it happens. We had a few people over, and hung out around our fire pit in the driveway passing out candy and eating chili. I’d say we probably had 75 or so kids come by, although we weren’t really counting. Seemed like a lot, and we did get rid of a substantial amount of candy. (Although, looking at the pile of wrappers in the trash can the next day, a significant amount may have been consumed by us.) And, for a brief moment, we thought we may have hit on a house to go check out. Alas, the more we looked at it online, the less appealing it became. For one thing, it was a good chunk of change over our self-determined “max price,” although we have very nearly conceded that price isn’t really going to work out. So, we overlooked that one for a short time. It also had a few bonus features that made it attractive, for instance a game room. I’ve never had a game room, and always wanted one. OK, OK, we’re looking good here. Then we noticed this little nugget of info under Lot Features… “Snow Line Above.” Wait, what? Like, the white messy stuff that falls from the sky? Well, yeah that stuff, up to three feet a few times a year. Scratch that one.
Saturday and Sunday were similarly low-key. Saturday we made a big Costco run Saturday, which is always an exciting time. Gassed up the car, picked up some groceries, that sort of stuff. Sunday, we went over to a friend’s house to enjoy brunch and watch the Chiefs game. We spent the entire first quarter trying to actually get the broadcast on the TV; Not as easy as we’d hoped. Success was finally achieved via a trial streaming subscription on a laptop, paired with my handy VPN service to make our location appear as Los Angeles. Geez man, is nothing easy? But, we did get to watch the majority of it on their back patio while enjoying pancakes and eggs so it all worked out.
Yay, Halloween season is here! That means it’s time for our annual “sit in the driveway and hand out candy” party! OK that sounds pretty lame but we look forward to it every year. Big pot of chili, fire pit, 15 lbs of candy and it’s a party. As close to a party as I care to get, anyway. Speaking of parties, we actually attended one this weekend. Our friends Michael and Alaina hosted the yearly blind-beer-tasting up at their house. Always a grand time. It has grown progressively larger over the years, as these things tend to do. This year featured 33 different beers to taste and rate. Well beyond my attention span, I might add. It was a great time as always, despite the fact that my entry did not win. Tasteless savages. Actually I do not recall what did win… Probably a Zima knowing this crowd.
That party pretty well ate up our weekend. In other local news is the big power outages, AGAIN. What a farce. Luckily (knock on wood,) our house has not been impacted yet, but it is uncomfortably close. I spent a good amount of time Sunday shopping for generators, just in case. You know, something similar to the one I sold for next-to-nothing in our garage sale last year. Because who would ever need a generator out here, right? Good grief. Actually the party hosts lost power the day of the event. How convenient is that; You invite 70+ people over and the lights go out. Luckily they were able to secure a loaner generator and get it hooked up in time, which performed admirably. In the “what a drag” news, one of our favorite wineries is no more, having burned down in the Kincade fire. We’ve been members there for a few years and always look forward to a visit when we get down that way. Actually, I think we have a shipment waiting for pickup; Something tells me we can write that one off. It was a very cool building too, it’s just really a bummer. To top it all off, the suspected cause is faulty power lines. Apparently these shut-offs aren’t doing a whole lot of good.