Rainy & Cold

I guess we’ve hit the requisite rainy stretch for the winter. It’s the water supply for the rest of the year, so I guess it’s a necessary evil, but man is it a drag. We just didn’t do a whole lot this weekend, mostly due to the weather. Who wants to go out in the pouring rain? (Not us, apparently.) We spent the majority of the weekend on the couch, watching a lot of movies. I won’t even list them all, there were too many. We ran the gamut of our library, everything from a few 80’s favorites to some of this years Oscar nominations. Some were good, some were… Not.

I guess I’d have to say the highlight of my past week was a great cheese find at Costco. (Queue the “you know you don’t get out much when…” jokes.) I was cruising the aisles making sure there wasn’t something I couldn’t go without and there it was: A big block of Point Reyes blue cheese. I realize this particular dairy product can be a bit polarizing, but I happen to enjoy it. I’ve been wanting to get down to Point Reyes and visit their dairy for quite a while, but it just hasn’t been in the cards. I guess for now I’ll have to be satisfied with a great deal on their product. (It was WAY cheaper than on their website.) We had some on our salad for Valentines Day, and then made bacon-blue burgers Sunday night. I guess that’s the one small issue with things at Costco; It was only packaged in 1 pound sizes. That is a lot of blue cheese. Thinking about creating a new breakfast sandwich to use some up.

Winning!

Wow, the Chiefs went back-to-back. Pretty darn impressive, not to mention fun for the fans. Got these stats today from a buddy: Patrick Mahomes has been a starter for 6 seasons. In that time, he’s rung up 6 AFC championships, 4 Super Bowl appearances, 3 Super Bowl wins, 3 Super Bowl MVP’s, and 2 NFL MVP’s. Pretty solid start to a career. It will be exciting to see if they make a run at being the first team to 3-peat next season. Better make some moves in the off season!

Pretty solid weekend out here, if somewhat marred by work. Saturday we went on a pre-valentine’s event at one of the wineries up here. We’re members there, so it fell under the “cheap date/entertainment” category. It was an afternoon tasting and charcuterie tray, and they were pouring their latest wine releases. The weather was pretty cool out, but everybody was sitting outside on the patio. We gladly took a table inside when they offered. It was a nice way to kill the afternoon. Side note, I am somewhat famous with the tasting room manager for messing up “something” every time we go there. Pretty bad when that’s what she remembers me for. Well, this trip was no exception; Somehow or another we ended up with two charcuterie trays. I didn’t think too much about it, other than “holy smokes, that’s a lot of food.” Then I noticed every other couple only had one tray. Well, they insisted (and were egged on by my very own wife,) that I’d messed up ordering. The “deal” was per couple, and they said I’d ordered two of them. Well, I don’t think that’s the case. It did indeed say “2x valentines tastings.” But I only paid the price of one, which is all I care about. Afterwards they gave you a box of cookies and stuff, and they only gave of one of those also. I’m of the thought that the girl pouring for us just messed up and gave us two, as it was the first table she helped. I’m the victim, again. Hey, I’m not upset about extra charcuterie anyway, it’s my favorite food group.

Sunday, of course, was the big game. We kicked the day off watching the Puppy Bowl, which has become something of a tradition. It was a little hard to watch this year; Nacho kept growling and yapping at the TV. She would not be convinced the puppies were not actually in the room with us. It was good entertainment all the same. (I didn’t see any Missouri pups this year?) After that, we headed down to a friend’s house for a watch party. We used to be friends anyway, I’m not too sure we didn’t get banished. Hey, I like the Niners too; Just not this game. They set up a tv for me on the back patio, and I watched the first half in ostracized solitude while enjoying some fantastic food. He made a massive pot of pozole that was incredible. Everything was incredible for that matter; A big taco bar, and loads of chips and homemade salsas & dips. The patio got a little too chilly during halftime, so we hightailed it back to our house for the second half. All remaining taunts were delivered via text.

Break In The Weather

Hey, it’s nice out! We enjoyed a nice little stretch of 70 degree weather over the weekend, and managed to take advantage of it to some degree. Saturday we got out of the house around noon and visited one of the nearby wineries. We weren’t terribly interested in the wine, our sights were set on their fantastic patio. The dogs came along for the ride, and we managed to kill a few hours in the sunshine.

Sunday turned out even nicer than Saturday, but we felt a moral obligation to watch the Chiefs game. We headed down to EDH to watch it at a friends house. Luckily he had it on outside, so we managed to enjoy the game and the weather! It was so nice and we were having so much fun, we even stayed for the whole 49’ers game too. They are, of course, a big San Fran household, so the stage is set for another Superbowl showdown between our teams.

Random side note; We watched a movie at home last night, and I made popcorn. Made it in the dutch oven! This was quite exciting to me, never done that. I wasn’t too confident in the success, figured it would come out burned or half popped or who knows what. Came out great! I think it’s even faster than the microwave too, I’m sold. I used bacon grease, which got a mixed review. I liked it, but due to other negative feedback I’ll probably stick with veggie oil next time.

Weekly Update!

Hey hey, a weekly update that is actually… WEEKLY! I had some interesting encounters last week, so I have a few “stories” to relate. Makes it easier. ** Disclaimer: “Interesting” is a very relative term, your mileage may vary. It doesn’t take much to qualify as interesting in my world these days, so take that into consideration.

In “general news,” we tried another BBQ restaurant last weekend. There is a place called Hog Wild right in our little town that I’ve been meaning to go to since we moved here. (“Here” as in California, not just Placerville. I spied it pretty shortly after our move.) It gets raves from all the locals, and I finally got an opportunity to try it out. I’ll give it an overall B-. We got a large sampler platter, and chose brisket, ribs, and pork. Our side choices were beans, mac & cheese, and slaw. All three sides were fantastic. The beans were especially good, if not what I’d usually expect with BBQ. There were “ranch beans,” which I happen to like. On the meat platter, the brisket and pork both held up. If I was gonna nitpick, the brisket could have used a better trim, it was pretty fatty. Solid though. Now the ribs, not so much. I’d say they knocked the lunch from a high B+ to a generous, low B-. Wow, they were tough. I’d say they needed at least another hour on the cooker, maybe two. The owner dropped by for the standard “how is everything,” and my mind was fairly racing with how to bring up the ribs. I almost just came out and asked him to try one. I mean, I have to think something went wrong there. But, I settled on my standard “It’s great, thanks.” I didn’t want to seem ticked off or anything, because I wasn’t, but I was indeed curious if he thought that was his best effort. In truth, we likely won’t be back anyway so I figured it didn’t really matter, let it drop.

After that mixed-review of a meal, we popped by our regular haunt, Bones. While exchanging pleasantries with the guy next to me, I mentioned our lunch, to which he responded with the usual local gushing about how good it is. I agreed, and we chatted barbecue a bit, and then I mentioned my favorite place up the hill. With a rather shocked look on his face, he informed me that he had walked in there once, and turned right around and left. The reasoning? They didn’t have hot links. His actual quote was, “How can you call yourself a barbecue joint and not serve hot links?” Well, that effectively ended our conversation, as I really just didn’t know how to respond. “What the @#($% is a hot link?” came to mind, but seemed ill advised. I’m making great efforts at “fitting in” out here, and felt that might be a large step backwards. Seriously though, what is it, and why would you feel that the measure of a BBQ joint? I will admit, I am curious. And, sure enough, when I brought up the pic of the menu I’d taken at lunch, it was right on there. I guess it just didn’t register while I was scanning for actual meat. I guarantee though, next time I see one, I’m ordering it, if only out of sheer interest. Who knows, maybe I’m really missing out on something.

In other heart-pounding excitement, I went to the Safeway on Saturday. This is only notable in that I do not frequent the Safeway. Nope, I’m strictly a Holiday guy, with meat purchases coming from the local butcher shop. I’m sure most would agree, visiting an unfamiliar grocery store can be quite a challenge. Nothing is where it should be. I don’t think I am exaggerating to say I looked for bay leaves for a solid 30 minutes. The sum of this time was spent furiously pushing my cart in a big circle around the store, reading each of the signs at the end of the aisles. Every lap got a little slower as I paid increasing attention to each one, making absolutely sure I wasn’t missing “spices.” After at least 4 laps, I became convinced it just wasn’t there, and switched to Donette’s tactic of just going up and down every aisle. I guess I have to grudgingly admit it to be a superior method, because I did indeed locate the bay leaves. But the question remains, why aren’t spices on the signs? It’s at least a good 1/4 of the entire aisle, why not point it out? (Luckily, my frustration was quickly replaced with pure horror when I saw the price of a few bay leaves. I also began to question if spices are labeled at ANY grocery store? Maybe I just know where they are at my usual one? Great pondering.) After overcoming that monumental achievement, it was on to the true purpose of my trip; Okra. I’ve found okra generally hard to find out here, and I figured that since Safeway is the largest store around, my odds were best there. On the plus side, I was able to quickly locate the proper aisle, thanks to the prominently placed “frozen vegetables” label on the sign. On the downside, I couldn’t find okra. Now, in truth, I don’t even really like okra. But, I was making gumbo, and gumbo should have okra. Granted, I usually just leave it out, or forget to put it in if I DO have it. I was particularly determined to have it this time though. After about 10 minutes, a nice young stocker came over and asked if I needed help, likely due to me slamming the freezer doors repeatedly. Why yes, yes I do, I need OKRA. His expression clearly revealed he didn’t know what that was. So, for some absolutely fascinating reason, he felt the need to inform me they DO have brussel sprouts! Much like barbecue guy, that comment ended our conversation. I just couldn’t come up with a response anything short of sarcasm, and he seemed genuinely pleased with his proposed solution. ** Final update, as I was feverishly scouring the store for diced tomatoes, which also weren’t where they should have been, the young man tracked me down and did indeed hand me two bags of chopped okra. He’d inquired of his manager, who found it in the back. Why was it in the back instead of the freezers? I’ll leave that mystery for another day.

Merry January

I have to think it would be a lot easier to write something on here if I ever did anything. Such is not the case, however. But, since I pay a whopping 10 bucks a year for this site registration, I better throw out a few words I suppose. My latest excuse? It’s just too cold to go outside. I mean, not like KC cold, but Northern California cold. Fifty-ish. Occasional rain, even a few random snow flurries at night. Basically not fit for human habitation. We try to go to the grocery store once a week, as the alternative is starving to death, but mostly we just huddle in front of the heat vent and try to survive.

Just not much to say outside of complaining about the weather. No new toys, no new recipes, no new projects… All quiet in general. The bathroom remodel did finally get finished last week, and it came out great. Well, it looks great anyway. We tried the shower yesterday and there is no hot water. I may well just shut the door and pretend we have one less bathroom in the house. There’s only two of us, we don’t need three bathrooms anyway. Ugh.