11 August, 2008

Girl's Weekend, Part 2

So when I left you last, Mom and I had just hit up Fibers, where I walked away with a much smaller bill than usual - clearly this Social Pressure thing is working! From there we went to see Mamma Mia!, which was just as entertaining the second time around as the first. I'm a die-hard musical fan as well as an ABBA junkie (shut up, it's good for singing in the car!), so this one was a slam dunk for me. About 5 minutes in - somewhere in the middle of Honey, Honey - Mom leaned over and said, "I think I'll own this soon." To which I replied, "that's exactly what I said!" Clearly we're related. 

My judgement of musicals is pretty simple: did I want to sing along? Buy the soundtrack? Dance in the aisles? Live in that world? A resounding Yes! to all four puts Mamma Mia! solidly in my Happy Place. When I grow up, I will move into this musical with speed and alacrity, thankyouverymuch. It helps that I've known the words since I could squeak. Oh, and the gorgeous Greek scenery made me choke up a little, but that's a whiny, why-can't-I-travel post for a different day.* 

Mom is a consummate gardener. She's one of those people who can look sideways at a plant and it bursts into flower - a talent I envy, but don't want to work for, hence my struggling Back Porch Ficus (now with 5 leaves!). She planted something like 24 tomato plants this year, everything from Goliaths to tiny little Sun Sugars, and they are all delicious. Given last year's spectacular success with spaghetti sauce, we filled three baskets with garden bounty and set to work:

(Don't they just make your mouth water? They were sooooo goooood!) We blanched, skinned, seeded and mushed tomatoes for nearly an hour and a half, then chopped onions and enough garlic to fell a horse, dumped in some wine - what was left of the bottle after an hour and a half, anyway - and a few peppers from mom's garden in. Pierre supervised from the Observation Deck:

Then we simmered it on the stove for a bit and dumped it into the crock pot to finish cooking over night. In the morning, the house smelled heavenly - if not breakfast-like - and I came into the kitchen to see this:

Looks delicious, doesn't it? Deep red, properly reduced, and tasting like absolute shit. Sickly sweet, then with a bitter aftertaste that stuck in the nose and the back of the throat; it was a 12-hour Labor of Love, fit only for pigs. I have some idea of what happened - something about red onions instead of white, and a minor scorching while over the stove - but this will be chalked up as one of my Great Kitchen Failures, of which there are thankfully not many. I did have fun cooking with my mom though, so it wasn't time entirely wasted. 

On Sunday morning, after we'd made coffee and cleared the taste of the Spaghetti Sauce from Hell out of our systems, I ventured outside to get some pictures of my mother's lovely flowers. I managed the Koi Pond 

and some lovely flowers 

before the sprinkler system turned on and sent me scurrying out of the yard. Then it was time to go, and I spent the train ride home reading the 5th book in the Outlander series. ManCandy picked me up at the train station and we headed up to a friend's house for dinner. All in all, a highly satisfying weekend. 

And in sort-of-but-not-really-related news, I have a few finishes! Pictures still to come, but here's one:

"Torch Island," 100% merino from Copperpot Woolies
255 yds, 2-ply, worsted thick'n'thin

*I know why I can't travel: because I keep buying yarn instead of saving my pennies. That's not the point!