Saturday, September 16, 2006

Grasshopper Food , Fun and Farewells

On July 4th, I spent the afternoon working on minutes from the previous Durham FM Association meeting and made some earrings. It was nice to have a day off.

For dinner, I conducted an experiment that turned out well. I toasted about a third of a bag of coconut in a pan, in the oven. It was set to 360 degrees and I stirred it every few minutes. In the frying pan, I sauteed a few tablespoons of minced garlic. Eventually, I added a few handfuls of pine nuts. I served it with basmati rice, so when the rice was close to ready, I added the juice of one lime, some dried orange peel, thyme, black pepper and thawed cooked shrimp. It wasn't quite enough liquid, so I added a quarter cup of water. When the liquid came to a boil again, I dumped all the toasted coconut with a quarter cup of fresh coarsely chopped mint leaves. My parents, as guinea pigs, seemed to really like it.

The rest of the week I furiously tried to get everything done that I could in preparation for being on vacation for two weeks. Amazingly enough, I did manage to leave in time to go to guitar practice that Friday night. There I suggested that we try playing Blownin' in The Wind and Puff the Magic Dragon, two of my favorites. One of the chords I needed to play for Blowin' in the Wind was an F#minor, which is a barre chord and at that point I couldn't play barre chords. HB joined us and we headed for Grasshopper.

Grasshopper, one of Bakatsias's restaurants, is extremely hard to get into on a Friday night, so we were lucky. It's even harder to get a decent parking space there, but we managed, after some negotiating. JA and I ordered summer rolls. JJ and I ordered calamari, which was excellent. For my entree, I ordered mussles and the pork ribs appetizer.

Both were wonderful, but it was way too much food for me. Well, at little too much, at least. The windchimes were right above and behind my head.

That Saturday, July 8th, I spent most of the day wrapping presents and washing dishes. It was AE's birthday, so I had to wrap the earrings I made for her the previous weekend. I also wrapped a remote control dalek that I was planning to give GM as a going-away/very early birthday present. I wrapped the dalek in equations wrapping paper that I got from Think Geek. Of course, I got the dalek from Think Geek, too.

I picked up AE and KD and we went to the barbecue in JB and EG's neighbor, JA's, back yard. It was JA's birthday, too.
The weather was fantastic. We played four Gamewright card games, Loot, Wig Out, Moose in the House and Sleeping Queens. The last one was the most creative and complicated. All these are games have such great and elaborate illustrations. EG's friend from highschool, L, played cards with us. As you can see, we also had fun with bubble soap. JB was eager to be featured in another blog post and GL, the owner of Shade Tree Coffee, is standing behind him. As we were leaving, GM and I said our farewells, since I was leaving that Tuesday and he was moving to Charleston on Wednesday. Finally, after all that, we decided to all have lunch the next day.

The next day, I met GM and AE at Madhatter's Bake Shop for lunch. GM had played the oboe at his church that morning and the congregation has been going to Madhatter's and other local restaurants for a while. I had eggs benedict, which was good, but the yolks were overcooked. My cappuchino was very good. Afterwards, we went to Southpointe and saw Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest. It was good and entertaining, but not nearly as good as the original.

GM and I said our farewells for the second and last time and then I headed home so I could go to Nantucket Cafe and Grill for dinner, with my parents. I had fish and chips and it was good.

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