Tradition

We went to the cabin a couple of weeks ago with our friends, Aaron & Elizabeth.  (Also occasionally referred to as “The Bookners”, which is a combination of their last names.)  Our planning for  weekends at Guemes with them is pretty much down to a science:

1) We’re always picked up by them on a Friday at our place and once on the road, place bets in the car on when we’ll arrive in Anacortes for the ferry.  (The winner gets to choose where we eat lunch on our way back to Seattle).

2) Once at the cabin, we unpack our coolers, drop our bags, prepare a fire in the woodstove, and turn on a few of the baseboard heaters just to warm things up a bit.

3) Eat dinner (and drink draft beer) at the store.

4) Either we or the bookners are in charge of Saturday morning breakfast.  This time, it was us, and I made swedish pancakes.  Unfortunately, I totally forgot to take a picture of those, but the ones I made looked sort of like this.  We put jam on ours, though.

5) Sometime after breakfast, we always take a walk.  This time, because of the high tide for most of the day, we ended up walking on the road.  Usually, we do a long beach walk, though, and hunt for agates.

6) It’s usually about time for lunch when we return.  Elizabeth and I usually plan it so both couples contribute to the lunch.  This time, I worked on a fruit salad with persimmons, which I’d never cooked with before –  let alone eaten – while she made yummy sandwiches.  We all enjoyed the salad so much, that I had to take a picture:

7) We also read.  At a certain point, while I’m reading my book and Kyle and Aaron are reading old issues of The New Yorker, Elizabeth takes an afternoon nap.  Once she’s awake, we assemble some sort of appetizer with drinks.

8) I can’t believe I forgot to mention that we spend the whole day stoking the fire so the woodstove looks like this:

9) For dinner, once again, we usually both end up contributing something.  We had a greek theme this trip with lamb meatballs,

a sauteed veggie dish with zucchini, onions, tomato, and feta,

and what Elizabeth refers to as my “Secret Couscous”.  Oh, and of course – we have wine.  Here’s what my plate looked like:

10) In the evening, over a few more drinks, usually end up playing a game.  We played Clue this weekend, which none of us had played in ages.  We had a really good time.

11) There’s usually a dessert on our menu, too.  I made a Rum Cream Pie this time.  Yum.

12) On Sunday morning, the other couple makes breakfast.  Aaron and Elizabeth made excellent New York Breakfast sandwiches, complete with “Salt, pepper, ketchup.”

Sometimes we end up with a little extra time before it’s time to catch the ferry and we’ll take another walk.  This time, we just cleaned up the cabin, and headed out to catch the 11:15am ferry.

Our weekends away are always really predictable, but manage to leave us with unique memories and make us ready to start planning the next Guemes weekend.

Oh – p.s. I won the bet on the arrival time.  We ended up at McDonald’s for lunch on the way home.  🙂

Starstruck

If it hasn’t been blatantly obvious to you before, I’ll make it clear now: I’m a foodie.  It’s taken me a long time to actually accept myself by this term, “foodie”.  I always had a negative connotation in my mind when I hear others talking about being a foodie.  To be blunt, I pictured an uppity, opinionated jerk.

In doing some further research, I discovered that my (incorrect) assumption about foodies was pretty common.  I like the definition and distinction provided by wikipedia: “…foodies are amateurs who simply love food for consumption, study, preparation, and news.  Gourmets simply want to eat the best food, whereas foodies want to learn everything about food, both the best and the ordinary…”.

That’s me.  In my free time, I sit around looking at recipes and planning meals.  I feel refreshed and renewed when I get to prepare food, and I absolutely love eating food!

When it comes to learning about food, I’ve read a couple of books and follow a couple of blogs, one of which is Orangette.  The writer of the blog, Molly, also wrote a book , which I think I’ve mentioned before.  I love her recipes and the stories behind them, so as I started planning my contributions to our upcoming weekend on Guemes with our friends Aaron & Elizabeth, I started by looking in the book for some dessert ideas.  I happened upon her recipe for Rum Cream Pie with Graham Cracker Crust and when I mentioned this as an option to Elizabeth, she made it obvious that it was her top choice.

As I started thinking about more of the details of preparing this pie, I realized I had a question, so I went out on a limb and decided to e-mail Molly.  I really wasn’t sure whether to expect a response at all, let alone before we actually leave for the cabin.  And yet, not even an hour after I e-mailed her, I got a reply.

Kyle was sitting next to me when I saw that Molly had already replied.  He says I was giddy, and starstruck.  And, he’s totally right.  Molly is the type of person that even though I’ve never met her in person (although, I have been in the same room as her when I went to hear her do a reading from her book), I feel like we could be best friends.  Katy and I both agree that Molly could quite possibly be a kindred spirit  of ours, so, imagine my delight when Molly returned my e-mail within the hour!  And she even signed off by saying, “Have a great weekend at the cabin!”

We’re totally on a first name basis now.  And – she has my e-mail address.

I’m totally starstruck…. Molly e-mailed me.