serious shopping and lamb soiree

Saturday, January 19, 2013

while i appreciate the aesthetic, i'm really the polar opposite of a fifties housewife
I am so very full of food... good food... but *insert the "I ate too much" noise here*

It's been a somewhat compartmentalised day to be honest. This morning was all about the shopping and this afternoon was all about the eating.

And when I say that this morning was all about the shopping, I'm not kidding either.

I did the usual stuff first thing this morning (including opening the front door so that I could get some air into the apartment since I was going to be out all afternoon), and then when Ma came down we headed off to the supermarket.

Now with one thing and another (Christmas, New Year, hot weather, still having a large amount of food in my fridge) I haven't bought a lot of groceries since before Christmas.

Except today both Ma and I seemed to go a little bit bananas (although I didn't actually buy any bananas)... so I have a crisper full of fruit and vegetables and a fridge full of things I'd been running low on.

But we also did a wander around Target, and because I'm obsessed (clearly) with both Lego and stationery, I bought a Lego Minifigures notebook. Now technically I don't even need another notebook, but I might use it as my quasi travel journal since the other one is filling up (although all I really use that for these days is the list of what I'm taking with me).

If not I'll find some use for it... eventually... maybe...

Then we had a brief look in both Coles and Woolworths before heading back and making a detour to the Village in North Adelaide so I could buy some tomatoes and basil to make panzanella.

By the time we made it back to my place we'd logged a good two hours of shopping...

And that was pretty much when Ma wandered off home (after I'd unpacked everything and leafed through the paper and she'd used my wi-fi to update things on her phone).

So I had a little while to relax before I had to start getting ready for the other half of my Saturday.

I think I mentioned already that The Nut House had decided not to bother doing a pre-Christmas get together at Sugarmonkey's house (like we've done a few times now... although I can only find two blog posts about it and one of those isn't a Christmas thing) since everybody had full calendars during the Yuletide season.

Instead Sugarmonkey suggested that we move it to after Christmas to allow everyone to come along. And so everybody has had it in their diaries for a month or more... but out of ten people, only five showed up (not including partners).

I'd call that a pretty poor effort to be honest. But anyway...

proto-panzanella... just add the bread and it's good to go
Just like last year, I volunteered to make a salad, and like last year, I decided to make panzanella, since it was a really big hit last year and it's dead easy to make.

I didn't really follow a recipe, but it's kind of halfway between this recipe and this recipe.

I possibly made a little too much bread though (either that or I could have used more tomatoes)... but this time I actually dried it out in the oven instead of toasting it like last time and even though it sat there for a while soaking up liquid after I mixed it all, most of the bread still had a slight crunch to the centre, so that was nice.

Plus I used some "gourmet mix" tomatoes which had a range of colours and sizes and types, which made for a more interesting looking salad. And I used white balsamic vinegar (which neither Sugarmonkey nor Mrs Monkey had heard of, and they're both very definite "foodies", so I was glad I could introduce them to something new)... and I totally forgot to add any garlic (not that I think it needed it).

I was a little bit late setting off (but I knew that if I'd left on time I would have been the first one there like I was last year), but when I got in my car I was shocked to find that my rear vision mirror had fallen off the window.

The stickum that was supposed to hold it in place was no longer sticky, I'm guessing due to all the hot weather (or possibly the repeated hot weather/cool weather cycles we've had lately) and it had given up the ghost.

But I was already a little late, and there was no way I could have re-stuck it onto the window so that it would have stayed in place, so I did the only thing I could... very carefully drove without a rear vision mirror, making continual and appropriate use of my side mirrors instead.

I'll have to go down to Supercheap Auto or something tomorrow and see about getting some new stickum... which I can probably manage to do myself, although I might see if they'll assist me, or at least give me some advice.

Anyway, because I sometimes get lost on my way to Sugarmonkey's house, I used the Google Maps turn-by-turn navigation on my phone to direct me. Which worked brilliantly... except for the portion of the drive that I needed it to work brilliantly. I don't know if it's because Sugarmonkey's place is in a little bit of a mobile deadspot, but the nice map lady was only giving me some halfassed directions... or rather not giving me directions when I really could have used some (as in, continue straight ahead at this intersection). But at least she was pretty good with the "In 100 metres, do a U-Turn" instructions when I did get a little displaced.

But I got there eventually, and arrived at exactly the same time as Rockchick which was good.

And since the fifth member of the team only showed up after we'd had lunch, we pretty much had a quorum since H-San and Mrs San were already there.

Which, to be honest, was kinda nice... not that I don't like the other members of the team, I do, but if everybody else had show up and the ones with partners brought partners there would have been eleven people in addition to the six grown-ups and two kids. And I generally prefer a smaller gathering... although that's just me.

It was also nice to see Mrs San and Mrs Monkey and the two little Monkeys.

Lunch was really nice... Sugarmonkey had bought half a lamb and cooked it outside, and although I'm usually not a huge one for lamb, this was quite nice.

And we sat around and chatted and talked about everything and nothing (although I think we talked about work more this time than we have previously, but only because Rockchick has been on leave this week).

Sugarmonkey has also decided to downsize his DVD collection, so we all went through those to see what he had that looked good... I came away with four even though I'm supposed to be downsizing my own DVD collection so that I have enough room in my new bookcases. Oh well.

For dessert Sugarmonkey had made a range of his own ice-cream flavours, which were all pretty awesome (some more than others though), and when the fifth member of the team showed up he brought an amazing cake from the cafe he works at on Saturday mornings.

So, yeah... when I said "full of food" at the start of this post, I wasn't kidding!

As usual, as soon as one of the group makes a move to leave that's usually the point at which the whole party starts to break up... but that's fine, especially as I took some leftover lamb and the remaining half of the lavender and caramel ice-cream home with me.

So a very nice day all up... busy enough to be interesting but still nice and cruisey.

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