Sunday, November 30, 2008

20 bucks and change.

That is what I made for dinner this evening. A pre-roasted barbecue chicken from the grocery store. Funny story. We are at the table eating and the son is peaved that he can't have another drumstick. We are trying to tell him that there are only two and he isn't buying it. Suddenly he reaches for his sisters notebook which is on the table on the other side of his sister. She is shouting no its mine and he is determinedly trying to reach across and get it. I finally pick it up and show it to him and ask him what its about. He points to the dog on the cover and says, "four legs." He was trying to prove us wrong. It was a pretty profound moment of three year old logic. After the wife and I shared a raised eyebrow moment we talked about the differences in dogs and chickens and showed him the carcass of the bird. This seemed to appease him and dinner went on. I also brought home a store bought ham and pineapple pizza. In another nice moment I was watching both kids eating. In front of both of them are a bowl of rice and chicken, a slice of pizza and an assortment of veggies to go with the homemade dill dip. Both were moaning back the cucumber not even looking at the pizza. They like their veggies. Other than that it has been a real real slow day. Notably, we didn't go ice skating and we didn't make home made pizza. But hey, that's okay. Its Sunday. Time for rest.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Winter

Has arrived here. It started sprinkling down this morning as I fortuitously put away the trampoline. After hauling in some wood, cutting my own hair and feeding the masses the wife finally arrived back at home. There was some serious snow playing and now there is a 6' snowman in our front yard. He did not figure in the picture taking session. As for dinner I had lentil stew on bread with some of our hot peppers sprinkled liberally. This was of course after I had eaten a bunch of the pizza the wife brought home after lunch. And a cinnamon bun. You just have to love knowing someone who works in a bakery. It just makes everything better. We are off to watch a basketball game that I will be refereeing. I also managed a trip to be the dentist and hardware store. Unrelated events. I have some video I will edit and upload later. Stay tuned.
video

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The dregs

Arriving home on a Thursday night all I want to do is sit back, put my feet up, and drink a beer. Today however upon arrival home with the daughter we hopped right back in the car and got down to errand running. We stopped off and bought some christmas party tickets at work. Today was the last day and I, as usual, did not bring my wallet to work. Then we went to the library and got some books, the daughter is now pretty much reading the level one readers by herself. She no longer gets frustrated by the longer words and is doing great at sounding them out. I can't wait to have her read Harry potter aloud to me. That will be just about the time she no longer wants to hang with her uncool dad. Oh you can so clearly see the day coming. After the library we hit the bank and then the grocery store. Now I have to ask. You are a kid in the grocery store and your dad says you can get a candy. All they have are the big bags of m & m s, the bags of swedish raspberries, that sort of thing. So what do you reach for? My daughter picks a bag of peppermint hard candies. I mean they are good peppermint candies but really. She couldn't have come up with something better than that. So after that we arrived home to some lovely curry. The avocadoes I had bought were made into guacamole and we had a typical Thursday night feed. Assorted snacks and dishes. It was all good. Then we tried to watch a movie and ended up down stairs by the fire reading books and playing around. I think its time for bed. Oh yeah, the curry was too spicy for the kids but I was loving it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Out and About

So I didn't sit down and eat with the family today as the elementary school had their bonfire night. I arrived post work at the same time as the family and we all had a nice stand around the bonfire. I guess it is a sign of living somewhere for a while when the small talk starts to be less laboured. The wife and I had some hot chocolate while the kids ran around and played with the other kids. In spite of the minus temperatures they had a good time. The son was mostly pushed around but did some fighting back. He really seemed to be having a good time so I tried not to intervene. After Santa came and gave out little candy canes I was done so we came home. On the home front we read the Barbar teaches French book as a bed time story. The key phrase for tonight was ,"le petit dejeuner est delicieux." The daughter is worried she will have forgotten it by breakfast but isn't that the joy of learning a new language. Re learning it every day there after. Tomorrow is Thursday and we are not leaving town, hurray. I do however have to referee four basketball games this weekend. I need to tie my hand to the side of my body so that I can stop volunteering for stuff.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lunch and Dinner

Well today I thought I would share a picture of my lunch. I really think the cute Japanese Bento box makes the meal. I was fortunate enough to have leftovers, meatballs, some of the lovely soup stew from Sunday night on one side and home made onigiri, with a green salad on the other. I truly relish these lunches. I feel like a king while I eat them. I especially like my lunch on the days when I go to the staff room and get heckled. The hecklers are always green with envy so I just smile and wave. Life is good.Do to staff meeting feed (I promised my self I would not consume to much but then I was over served, I mean five slices of pizza, get a grip) I was not in on this evenings meal but they managed to have ebi furai and age dashi tofu. I am actually shaking my head in disbelief at the amazingness of my wife, hold on while I go and give her a kiss on the forehead (she is currently having a bath with the kids)... She is great to kiss too.
So other than that it is Tuesday night and there are only four weeks of school before the winter break. If I keep my head down I am pretty sure I can make it through. Just gotta keep the head down.

Monday, November 24, 2008

200

I am loving the irony that the blog about managing to get out 200 blogs on a regular basis comes six days after my last blog. Now that was a dry spell. But I have good reason, as you shall soon find out.

So the original title for this evenings blog was going to be "Wishes". Yesterday, after a weekend of debauchery (which is described below) I made the request for a vegetarian week (not just a day but a whole week. I've got some cahones eh.) I return home this evening to this.The home made bread was just out of the oven. I asked my wife what the potato, zucchini, and lentil stuff was, she replied, "nandaro?" meaning, "what I wonder?" or "something or other." It was made in a pot on the stove but was sort of a casserole. I had to convince the daughter that though it looked like "wei" which is japanese for barf, it tasted great. Think fried potatoes with cheese, some lentils, and zucchini with various spices. The green salad had some of those final yellow tomatoes and our new best friend the black olives. The bread was steaming as we sliced it open. The butter melted right in. It was an all around excellent vegetarian meal. Great.

Now for the Saturday night meal. It too was totally outstanding. It followed the lovely wedding ceremony of Kelly and Cole. The ceremony was in the chapel at BurnabVillage Museum. Which is a pretty cool museum to boot. The bride looked lovely and the groom looked nervous. Just like every wedding I have ever been too. The actual ceremony was short and sweet and then his fate was sealed... I mean and then they walked happily down the aisle. The reception was held in the Centennial Lodge at Queens Park in New West.

Now this was the meal of the weekend. Buffet style, four salads, roast beef, a lovely chicken, a pasta, wine at the table, open bar, dessert table, candy table with little gift boxes you could fill with your own selection of candy. We all ate, drank, and danced our faces off. We had a great time and felt great that we were able to be part of their day. The family continues to grow.

We also had a great time the night before at the Juice's house. We had fajitas, guacamole, salsa and chips, and some lovely brownies to finish the night. The kids were totally wrapped up in chasing the vicious cats and watching Monsters Inc. I have to admit that my end of the conversation was lacking because I was paying it too much attention to the movie. It was a good night and that Juice, he sure can cook.

Reaching way back we also had a dinner on Wednesday night of last week. This was the night before the day we left for the coast thus the busy-ness that forced this long blog to make up for almost a weeks worth of meals. It was a pasta and meatball dinner with green salad in tow. It was lovely as a dinner but the meatballs managed to make it into a meatball sandwich the next day for school. It has been commented that some readers of this blog have a little envy of my dinners. It must be going around because the students that I kept in at lunch today were complaining about how good my lunches look. They said it was mean of me to keep them in and then eat such an amazing lunch in front of them. I pointed out that I could not help them and just go and eat my lunch in the staff room. This quashed most of the dissent.

There were other dinners in the mix but they were either eaten on the road or on the fly so there just isn't much to post. Hope you are all well and we should be back to service as usual for the foreseeable future.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fisherole.

Its a casserole with fish. Tonights fish of choice was Salmon. It was baked with a white sauce, cheese and soy sauce as the dressing. The official word from the wife was , potato layer, turnip layer, white sauce and other seasonings, potato, turnip, white sauce, then covered in salmon steaks and more cheese. Right up my alley. The rice was a stir fried mixture which I also sampled at lunch. Mmmmm. The shot of summer on the left is greek salad. The amazing part is that the mini tomatoes are still from our garden. They have kept pretty well in the cold storage even though it has been over a month. The wife says the yellow ones are starting to get a little soft so we need to finish them up. However, the boarder said that they tasted like real tomatoes. Which indeed they do. Managed to get a run in this afternoon. Ah the endorphin rush is pretty heady stuff. I can feel the itch coming back. The question is whether or not I will have the energy to scratch it. Only so many hours in a day.
I hope you all enjoy your hump day tomorrow. I just got over mine this afternoon.

In other news the son was special helper today at his preschool. Very important stuff. We are so happy with the teacher at his pre school. She also taught our daughter and the teacher does such a great job of having good expectations and positively reinforcing them. We feel pretty blessed in that regard. I am sure there are thousands of great pre-school teachers, but we are really happy with ours. Money well spent. She should really charge more. People would pay it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Delightful

This was the word with which I summed up this evenings meal. It was just delightful. Let me paint you a picture. You arrive home and its already dark. You have worked from 8:00 to 5:00 and even worked through your lunch. It is cold outside and winter is moving in yet Christmas seems forever away. Everything is pushing you down and stealing your light. Then you open the back door. There stands your wife, your heart and centre. She is busily doing the things she does in the kitchen while your children play on the floor behind her. There is a plate of tonkatsu (pork cutlets) with the heat shimmering off of it. A big pot of nimono is on the stove after stewing down stairs all day. You remember seeing it being put together just before you left that morning. And suddenly the dreary gloom of late november is gone. You fill the water glasses while your daughter and son set out the fork, poon(son's pronounciation) and hashi (chopsticks). The wife ladles out the miso soup and you serve up a big plate of green salad with vinegar and onion dressing. At the table there is talk of what happened that day and you truly feel like you are home. At this point you pronounce to all, "this is just delightful." It didn't sound quite as goofy as it writes.

I love my family. They make my life so much better its kind of silly.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Super Sunday

After a good session of skating we arrived home and sat by the fire. The wife and I lolled on the carpet in a half slumber while the kids wrestled around and kept pestering us to make hot chocolate. Which I finally did. After that the wife got to work on a Stir Fry. Now she had promised to cook this stir fry with the daughter. The daughter even had it written down in the sunday section of her school agenda. Yes, she has an agenda. It is not hidden and whoa unto thee who makes her break her agenda. For example lev rayking was on her agenda for this weekend but I did most of the raking. She checked it off anyways. The wife spun the learning of stir fry cooking very nicely and convinced the daughter that making the sauce was the major part of making a stir fry. So she and I made the sauce while the wife chopped and cut and organized all the pieces. After tasting the sauce the daughter said, "I think it needs more vinegar" so we shot some more in. She was totally right on. The sauce worked very well. The stir fry worked very well and I enjoyed it. It will probably be even better for lunch. However, the daughter was not fooled, "I didn't really get to make it, I didn't stir much and I didn't get to cut anything." No these salad days are definitely over.
You can see the hot chocolate mug in front of the son. He spilled a third of it then added his leftover orange juice. The wife said it tasted like chocolate orange. Is anyone else thinking christmas? In a quick lunch update the chili from last night, after sitting for a while, was amazing today for lunch. There is no doubt chili needs a day to grow into itself. I hope someday I can get up the nerve to make a chili and not eat any of it until the next day. Time will tell. Here is the shot the son took as I scolded him for wasting the batteries. In his defense he said he would only take one picture and he only took the one then turned the camera off.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hot Yoga Makes Me Chili.

So with the stove burning all day, and myself at home to keep it hot, it seemed like the right thing to do to make chili. The daughter had a friend call her up this morning while I was out raking the leaves. Said friend came over for a play day at 1:00 and by that time the wife was back from work. I voted, returned a book and bought the necessarys for chili. Threw it all in a pot and settled it down on top of the stove. As you may have noticed there is a time lag between putting the pot on the stove and being able to eat from that pot. This is the perfect time to get your yoga on. The standing poses are almost insufferable but the laying on the floor poses towards the end get the nice cool draft from the cold air returning from upstairs. I am feeling truly released and should try to get to bed by 9:00. That would make for a very good Sunday. It aint gonna happen but it sounds nice in theory. Here is the dinner shot.How can you tell I was in charge of dinner. Single bowl of chili. No accompanying rice, soup, or salad. The bread was bought and the chips were being snacked on pre dinner. I added some extra water to the chili because I only had one can of stewed tomatoes and I was worried a really thick chili might burn. The kids called it soup but it was still pretty thick. I put mushrooms in my chili for the first time and they really do go with any meal. Between mushrooms and olives I feel I have turned around most of my vegetarian cooking. Not that this chili was vegetarian but the mushrooms sure do go a long way.

I finished the book Flowers for Algernon last night. We picked up a Japanese language version of it this summer for the wife. I am looking forward to seeing how the two versions compare.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

2 for the price of one.

Well as I was out at a meeting last night I did not have the opportunity to get in on the pork chop fest. The boarder who has had our dinners recently wanted to do his part and came up with a bunch of fast fry pork chops. This is manna from heaven for the son. That along with some coleslaw salad and it looks like I missed out on a nice evening. I managed to get the curried chick peas and spinach in my lunch today and have to say I would have loved to try it hot at my table. I had pizza with veggies and dip at the meeting. Not bad but not the same as eating with the fam.

This evening I managed to get a run in with the boys and we all came back to the homestead for a beer. One of them had to go home to eat dinner but the boarder joined us for an amazing beef stew. Anyone who has had a bowl of Tony's beef barley soup would have thought they were living in West Van again. It was amazing. A start time of 9:30 let this cook all day and by 6:00 the beef was falling apart good and the flavours had totally blended. Filling out the dance card were onions, garlic, carrots, tomatoes and beets. It was seasoned with red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, bay leaves and parsley. It rocked. The wife just mentioned that if we had had an open bottle of red wine she would have added that instead of the vinegar. It still rocked. The meal was rounded out with two salads. The boarder's chicken breasts were fried up and served over a green salad and last nights coleslaw was re-mealed. Some homemade bread was grilled after being slathered with margarine and crushed garlic. This extraordinary Thursday nighter was capped with a serving of super healthy browny and mint chocolate chip ice cream. My eyes are currently only a third of the way open and the head is drooping visibly. Too bad that work is calling my name this evening. Perhaps a cup of coffee is in the offing. One more day this week. Fridays, what is the deal with that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chicken and Potatoes

This is a true Dunnet winter favourite. You fill up the big roasting pot with some chicken legs, cubed potatoes, sliced onion, garlic cloves and covered it all with some spices. After putting the lid on the whole pot is left on the wood burning stove for 3 hours or so and in the end you have a slow cooked meal ready to go. What is essential is that the wood burning stove stays hot. Arriving home this afternoon the wife informed me that she had let the fire go out and dinner was in the regular oven. You win some and you lose some. Funny I always thought winsome was kind of a dark word but it turns out it means innocently charming. I vaguely remember reading about a winsome smile on a character in a novel. I always thought it meant tough and rugged. Maybe even stoic. Well there you go. Blogging increases intelligence. I hear it is fat free too. I'm gonna get me some more of that.

In family news the kids managed to make it through about 35 minutes of standing outside before there were too many tears and we had to be the first to leave the Rememberance day ceremony. Now there is a walk of shame. I am trying to give off the whole, "look its the kids, I would stay in hail storm but I can't force them to suffer anymore" look. Meanwhile, I am feeling the whole, "cut and run, you bastard, be a man" thing from everyone I walk past. It could very well have been imagined. I just wish some other family had cracked before us. There is always next year. I think about all the chickens who didn't even venture out. Yeah... think about that.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Back to business

So after a wonderful weekend of not thinking to hard it was back to the grind today. Meaning we have pics of dinner.

The wife had whipped up a wonderful, nutritious, non-french fry meal. I have a weakness for the potato sticks of death when on the road. Practically every meal I enjoy ordering comes with. Thankfully at home, when we make them, we only make them in the baked variety so I only need to worry about the road. Anyways our dinner was a bowl of miso soup, thick with chunks of tofu. This was followed by a serving of brown rice and ginger pork stir fry. The veggies were all really crispy, just on the verge. They were in the stir fry zone. The sauce was not over powering and I made the good decision not to add extra flavouring. The green salad was accompanied by the yogurt dill dressing. This also gave the last few bites an extra kick. We all finished off the meal by having some of the kids candy. I sure wish I had the guts to actually ask for some. Oh yes, I will burn in hell. Make no mistake.

The kids both wanted to have their pictures taken at dinner. Getting to like the camera I guess.

Unmentionedables

Well I forgot some things we did this weekend. Our first day at the coast after shopping we went swimming at a wicked awesome pool in Richmond. It is called watermania and has a really cool wave pool even if the life guards are a little over the top and forced me to stay within an arms length of both kids. Come on, were about to have a third. If we lose one at this point were covered. It was a good time and made a great start to the trip.

The other things we did, WE didn't really do,THEY did. While I was in meetings listening to intense debate, fiery speeches and meaningless haggling over the wording of policy statements, the kids and wife were at a rec-centre in Richmond enjoying play group. Apparently the daughter was the oldest one there but she is equally comfortable with older of younger kids so she had a good time. As for the son, riding around on a firetruck tricycle inside. Need I say more.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Procrastination

Well I should be marking projects from last week but I just got bogged down. So here I am. The reason I still have this marking to do is because we were away all weekend. We drove down Wednesday night and drove back Sunday morning. It was a pretty great trip. Leaving on the Wednesday meant we had all of Thursday to do stuff as a family. The wife got a new pair of shoes, the kids got another dvd a piece. The son picked up a wedding outfit for two weeks from now.

Man was the daughter ever pissed that she didn't get equal treatment. She is a tough nut sometimes and I am worried about the day that my fatherly authority no longer carries the weight it does currently...."Because I said so" is my umbrella to her approaching hurricane winds. Lets just hope I have the sense to let go of it once she really starts blowing.

[ed. do you see what he did there, instead of writing that he was "in over his head" he tried to create his own metaphor. I really think he should stick to cliches and leave the real writing to professionals. ]

Yeah I just don't have the time or motivation to fix it. Damn.

On Friday we went out for a White Spot dinner with one of my buddies and his lady. Gotta love the white spot. Poor service and mediocre food you can count on. I should probably break our family out of that rut but the kids like the pirate pack and I am a big believer in the burger classic plate. It comes with a ceasar salad now. That was new and unexpected. It was great catching up and we should get some more quality time in a couple of weeks.

In other news we had a lovely dinner at my sisters place. We feasted on her sushi and beer (kids not so much, me way too much) and had a lovely evening filling each other in on where life is taking us. It is always nice to reconnect. One of the topics the sis mentioned was arrival and departure dates around the holiday season. We will be open for business from the 19th of December to the 3rd of January. Those who are coming feel free to make the most of this time. Those who aren't will be missed deeply and are expected to get here some time between Feb 28th and March 29th. We should have some new stuff to show off around then.

Well gotta get back to work. Gotta stop taking off the whole weekend.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Its back

Well our boarder arrived back today. The kids weren't as enthusiastic as I thought they would be. Maybe he is truly becoming part of the family. It was brought to my attention that it has almost a been a year, off and on, since we have had a fifth member of our family during the week. Time surely does fly.

As for dinner this evening, the fall hits keep on coming. I arrived home to a nutmeg and squash soup boiling on the wood burning stove. We played a little ping pong, sans net or rules until it was just too hot. Then we came up stairs for dinner.
The pork chops were pan fried in a garlicy sauce of some description. The spinach salad was crisp and the combination of olives, spinach and the onion vinegar dressing was tight. The sweetness of the red pepper also added a nice dimension. I had an olive on its own for comparison and I must say, olives in combination are the way to go. Especially the black olives. This evenings rice had a layering of furikake on top. Once again upping the ante slightly. With the soup to start and finish it was a perfect mid-fall dinner. My favourite part had to be the peas that were hidden in the soup. They are like little flavour bombs that explode on impact.

Well back to the grind.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

On the fly

When life gives you sniffles, make pizza. Isn't that the old adage. With a serious cougher and a semi-serious sniffler we decided that today wasn't go skating in the afternoon day. I felt fine but would have felt horrible taking off by myself to go to a family skate. Especially since I had already put in 3 hours at the office. This meant we stayed at home. So what do when your afternoon plans are squashed. You make pizza dough.This afternoon the wife threw down the gauntlet and said, "could I do the toppings today?" I mean sure she has been working with a profesional baker, and sure the pizza she brings home from work is delicious, but I mean I got my thing going. Pizza making is my thing. I am not about to give up one of the key factors of my me-ness. Well what the heck. I still got to make the dough and the sauce and I did the pizza inning and outing from the oven. So what if the wife takes over topping duties. Best case scenario has her special gifts adding to my workman like performance and things go up a notch. This was a best case scenario. (disregard the son's expression. He was smelling the potpourri.) The wife did her cheese on the bottom, careful dispensing of toppings, careful ladling of sauce (which I had managed to make thick) over my thrown and stretched, pre-seasoned crusts. The result was awesome. Her first adult pizza was a zucchini, olive, red pepper affair. I snipped up some of our home dried chili peppers over half of it and the result was awesome. Then her second pizza was even better. The mushroom, spinach, olive combination turned me right around (not to mention the crust was pretty close to perfect). So all in all a good night. I have to head back to work for a bit but I have really enjoyed this weekend. Whoops I forgot to mention the veggies and dip that was also whipped up with this evenings meal. A nice balance which increased the vegetable intake thus limiting the pizza intake. Net result. Lots of pizza for lunch tomorrow. Oh yeah, baby.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Post Hallowe'en Post

Well due to popular demand (hey one comment must mean there are thousands of the silent masses yearning for their piece of the action) here is a super man snap and a short video. Just pretend like they were taken last night and we can all go to bed happy.
video.

As for tonights dinner we have yet to sit down to it. I was Supper man and made myself a bowl of chilli but is has been a stay at home, not do to much day. Pay no attention to my daughters massive bag of candy sitting open next to my meal. Honest, I was good. In other news, we had a cord of wood, or at least most of it, dropped off this morning. Then we went to the bank and bought some spongebob noodles and some bob the builder noodles for lunch. Kids choice. I made a veggy potato dish but in my haste it didn't turn out that well. The wife brought home so baked goods from work and now we are contemplating going out for a video or two. hh Saturday night.