The weekend was short, but we got a lot accomplished. I had dinner on Friday night with Michael and Sara at Texas Roadhouse. It was tasty and, even though Sara was working, we got to hang out and had a good time.
Saturday morning I woke up to the sound of rain. While it’s nice to hear, as California needs the rain, all I could think of was the wonderful ladies I’ve met on the wedding message boards who were getting married on Saturday. It rained all morning and the sun didn’t come out until after 3pm. When it finally did, it was beautiful, but I hope everything went allright with their weddings. I picked up my first Chinese that had been shortened from the seamstress. It fits wonderfully and really looks nice. I’m still debating on whether I’ll wear it on my wedding day or not. Immediately afterwards Mom and I picked up Jan and her friend Sharon and headed to Catherine’s house in Hayward. Sharon is the sister of Jan’s first husband. She was visiting California for the first time from Arkansas and was nice enough to help us on Saturday. We met up with Catherine, Yvonne and Mom’s friend Riki to assemble the favors and centerpieces. We also completed the decorations for the ceremony. We got all the favors assembled rather quickly and got all of the paper cut and ready to make the centerpieces. A portion of the centerpieces I’ll do on my own a few days before the wedding as it lists the names of everyone sitting at that table. The seating information is still being finalized.
For dinner on Saturday Patrick felt inspired by this month’s issue of Bon Appetit magazine and cooked a fabulous dinner for us. What started out as a small group grew into a group of thirteen as rumor spread that Patrick was cooking dinner. Jan and Mark were over with Sharon, Yvonne picked up her husband Kevin, and Arthur and Bill joined us too. Patrick cooked Cabernet braised short ribs served over gorgonzola polenta.
As he pulled the ribs out of the braise, the meat fell off the bones. The braise of three bottles of Cabernet and one bottle of Beaujolais along with rosemary and thyme. He had run out of Cabernet.
For dessert he made apple, goat cheese and honey tartlets. They were so delicious with the goat cheese contrasting with the sweetness of the gala apples.
Using the leftover puff pastry from the tartlets, he made an appetizer that was almost a Caprese salad on puff pastry; a slice of mozzerella cheese, multi-colored cherry tomato halves (from a friend’s garden) a couple pieces of pancetta, and julienned basil with a mixture of olive oil and high quality basalmic vinegar drizzled on top. They were so delicious. As he was puting them together, I asked if it was going to be a Caprese salad on puff pastry. He said, “that’s a good idea” and added the basalmic and olive oil. He was making up this recipe on the spot.
We all had a lot of fun enjoying the food and the company. We drank some of the
beaujolais that was used in the braise along with a tasty Zinfandel.
Yvonne brought a merlot, a cabernet and a chardonnay from the winery,
Twin Castle Cellars, where her dad works. I designed their wine label
and it was the first time I got to see the label on a bottle. Pretty
exciting. Unfortunately, this group of bottles was just printed on
regular printer paper and it didn’t react well when the bottle began to
collect condensation. You can see the bottles in the background of the
photo above of the braised ribs plated with broccoli. At least, the
wine tasted good.
Patrick finally sits down to eat.
Because there was a Raider’s home game on Sunday afternoon, all of the flights to the LA area were sold out… except for the very first flight. So Bill and I got our butts out the door just after 5am on Sunday to make our way home. There should be a law against waking up that early on a Sunday. We got home and napped a little. Then we spent the day cruising a local mall picking up a few items. We went back the the Ashley Home store to sit on the sofa and loveseat that we want to buy. We just wanted to make sure it was still as comfortable as we remembered. (we’ve done this a few times now) We tried to negotiate a price with the sales rep we’ve been talking to. She wasn’t able to get the price down to where we want it, so we’re going to think about it. If we had access to a good-sized pickup truck, we could save $100 in delivery costs. But, we don’t. So, we’ll think about it some more and maybe stop by a different Ashley store to see if the sales rep would be willing to give us the price we want. It’s becoming an interesting process and, given that we don’t really have a deadline where we need the furniture, it’s easy to walk away. We will eventually buy this set, it’s just a matter of getting it to the price we want.
We stopped at a local Petsmart because I wanted to see if any of the dog products I designed were on the shelves. They were! There’s a Halloween tshirt that I designed on a Halloween endcap. It’s an orange tshirt with a trick-o-treat bag graphic on the front. The bag is filled with dog bones. There were also some graphic tees and tanks that I designed. It was really neat to see them actually on the shelves. They were kind of expensive too! $10 to $18 for a tshirt… for a dog! You can see a couple of them on the Petsmart website. On these items, I created the graphics. Hoodie and tee. I never thought to look on their website before. Yes, ladies and gentleman, this is my contribution to society. I help clothe the spoiled and pampered dogs of this world.