100 Year Old Spoilers

At some point during Dave and Carla's visit, we started talking about old books, like Pride and Prejudice, and how there should be a statute of limitations on spoilers. If you haven't read Pride and Prejudice, then only you are to blame for having the ending spoiled. The same is probably true for Harry Potter or The Sopranos at this point. Dave kept bringing up older examples, like Sherlock Holmes (as in, the original stories), and how those were 100 year old spoilers, and couldn't really be spoilers. In response, I said that he should write "100yearoldspoilers.blogspot.com." He could give away the endings to various bits of literature. 


We tried to keep our guests entertained with activities like: shopping, planning meals, beer, and "Let's go renew our license tags! It'll only take a second!"
That turned into "Let's go walk around Canadian Tire for an hour while we get our emissions test renewed!" They looked as bored as they do above the whole time they were here.

I keed, I keed!

We also went down to St. Thomas to try out the Railway City Brewing Co., and then we headed down to Port Stanley to drink beer at The Wharf, overlooking Lake Erie.

We walked around Port Stanley a bit, and stopped by Sweet Beach. Dave stated in advance that he wasn't much of a beach person, so I love this picture of him pretending to enjoy the beach, while Carla and I pose for the camera. We stuck our feet in the lake, and it was like an ice bath, so the beach portion of our visit was rather short.

The car ride down to St. Thomas was probably my favorite part of the trip, and I laughed so hard that we nearly had to pull over so I didn't kill us. At one point Dave read the name of the Forge and Anvil Museum* off of a tourism sign, and, assuming he wanted to go there, I did a U-turn to follow the sign. Carla started saying that Dave didn't even necessarily want to go there, and that sometimes  he just "says words," that people take seriously. For instance: when I decided to become a vegetarian, it was partially because of a conversation in Summer 2009 between Dave, Carla, Kira, and myself, about knowing where your meat comes from, that ended with Dave shouting, "MAYBE YOU SHOULD STARE DEATH IN THE FACE A LITTLE MORE OFTEN!" The thing is, he was right. But Carla hated/was amused by the idea that it's Dave's fault that I'm a vegetarian, because he just "says words" and people think he knows what he's talking about.

Other highlights included Dave's impersonation of John's southern accent, that sounded something like Cletus the Slack-jawed Yokel on the Simpsons. I also overheard Dave say the following: "Anything can be gay if you want it to be."

In somewhat related news, we got new neighbors who we already love. We made them cookies as a sort of "Welcome to the building!" gift. Two days later, while we were having dinner with Carla, Dave, and two other people, our neighbors showed up with, as John put it, "a whole goddamned pie." The two undergrad girls who live there baked us a double-crust apple pie! Goddamn.

*Unfortunately, we never made it there. Put it on the list for next time! But seriously, click here to read someone else's account of going there and a bunch of other places in our area.


Dave and Carla's Visit: A Photostudy in Food and Drinks

Dave and Carla's trip was mostly a beer and food festival at our house.

One night, Dave made a delicious almond cake.

After our second morning run in a row, I made a simple brunch out of tomato rosemary scones (Vegan Brunch), scrambled eggs, and melon. I love these scones! Tomato sauce, olive oil, and rosemary are a great combination.

I made the potato-based cookie dough dip from Oh She Glows, to mixed reviews. Personally, I think it tastes awesome. The likeness to cookie dough is uncanny! Others thought it tasted faintly of potato. But for the nutritional make up, you can't go wrong. It's basically potato, cashew butter, and honey.


 I added a few chocolate chips before chilling it so that it had a faint chocolate swirl.


One night, we made flatbread pizzas with dough from the PPK, and topped them with shaved asparagus and mozzerella, based on a recipe from Smitten Kitchen that Dave and Carla had tried. I loved it! We will definitely make this again.

And we drank it with a bottle of Strewn (Niagara) wine that we had been saving to share with them.

On Saturday, I went with Carla and John on a five-mile run. When we arrived home, Dave had already gone to the store for supplies and was making BRUNCH! I told him he could move right in.

 He made a fantastic egg/potato/fake sausage casserole.

Abby: I'm so touched that you bought vegetarian sausage!
Dave: Oh good, it was my goal to touch you with sausage. 

He also made pancakes so that we could have Pancake Friday (Observed).

Here are pictures of everything else we drank that I managed to take photos of.

A cucumber-melon-gin cocktail that I saw on No Meat Athlete, forever ago. The thyme syrup was an interesting touch! These would be good on a very hot day. But I didn't like it enough to want to make it again and again.

This Kentucky Ale is aged in bourbon barrels and it's delicious! I think it was my favorite of the whole week. It was one of the beers that Carla and Dave graciously brought to celebrate Beer Friday. We pretty much observed Beer Friday for 5 days straight. But we also consumed a lot of these tasting-style, where we each took a small portion of the same bottle. It was fun to try so many beers without having to drink an entire bottle of each in one sitting.

The Yazoo Sue. This stout is especially smokey, and when I sniffed it, I got a distinct whiff of S'nausages (as in, dog treats). But it was nice to have a small taste.

 The Southern Tier Double Milk Stout we'd had before, but it's still a very good one.

Dave and Carla also brought this Lychee-flavored sour beer from New Belgium, part of the beer-heaven where they live in Colorado. It was extremely flavorful, what with the fruit and sour flavors. Tasty, though I don't know if I'd order or buy it myself.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. I didn't try this, but John enjoyed it.

Here's the final picture of them all. We made a trip down to St. Thomas, ON for the Railway City Brewery, and took home a few of their Iron Spike beers. John and I also bought some beers from Grand River Brewing in Cambridge, ON, most of which he really likes so far (more on those later).

And now I'm going to enjoy a week of non-alcoholic, non-dessert, non-cheese cleansing, to detox from a very delicious visit.



Let's go back - WAY back - to 2004. My roommate and I made elaborate, bird-themed Halloween costumes. I was a flamingo, and I used a ton of iron-on-hem to attach 5 zillion pink feathers to a $5 dress from a thrift store. The feathers stayed in place perfectly, and I considered myself a master of iron-on-hem. After singing in the chorus for a 3-hour long Russian opera (in a cheesy English translation), it was fun to put on the dress and head out to a big music school party.

Oh, sophomore Abby. So many things I wish I could tell you.

Fast forward to early summer, 2012. John and I have an upstairs apartment with western-facing windows and weak air conditioning. We got inspired to make some simple curtains!  

John hung the cheap curtain rod we bought, while I measured and finished cutting the fabric. We got great advice from a nice lady at Fabricland, who helped us pick fabric that would hold up to lots of exposure to light. It's actually meant for out-door furnishings, so it's pretty strong. 
Also, I followed an online tutorial from Young House Love, but once I got going, it was easy to just eyeball everything - especially since we picked fabric with a geometric pattern. The lines and shapes were helpful for cutting and measuring. 

After purchasing an iron and lots of hem (the extra-firm kind), and a few hours of ironing, voila!


The kitchen felt cooler just a few minutes after they were hung. John thinks the pattern looks kind of like a Greek flag.


We liked them so much, in fact, that we went back the next day and got more fabric to make a matching set for the other kitchen window. The whole project probably cost $40 for the supplies (we picked fabric that was marked down), and another $15 for the iron. I didn't feel bad about spending the money on the iron, since we have needed one for years, and it's good for more than just this one project. 

For the second round, I actually made an extra hemline to add some height to these curtains. It enabled us to use a curtain rod that the previous tenants left in the kitchen, even though that rod was installed a bit lower than the other window. Basically, the extra hem on the top means that the two sets of curtains look like they're hung at the same height.

It's so nice to do the dishes without the sun in our eyes, and to sit at the kitchen table without getting a tan.