Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Shine a little light

Black light that is! Sunday Peter and I went to an indoor glow in the dark mini golf range with Nicole and Dan. It was a blast.

It was quite the adventure to get there as well. We biked 45 minutes to Norridge IL. It is one of those weird communities that considers itself a separate city but it is kind of surrounded by Chicago. It was a nice hot summer day and yet again Peter and I discovered parts of the city we had never seen before. In case you don't know Chicago is really really really big. Next time I'll try to remember to capture some of it via snapshot.

Saturday evening prior to exploits in mini medal play I took a culinary trip to Italy. I attempted to make homemade pasta with a rabbit stew. I've never made pasta or rabbit before and only one of them turned out well. I will definitely take another stab at pasta again soon (especially since we procured a pasta machine just for the occasion) and the rabbit was most excellent. Rabbit is a nice lean low cholesterol meat and it has a lovely subtle gamey flavor. It does taste (like so many others) like chicken. Once I have the recipes perfected maybe I'll shoot some photos into hyperspace here on the old blog.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Oh Canada

Peter and I spent last week in Canada on Lake of the Woods in the province of Ontario. It was a lovely trip. We got to be with his parents and brother on Canada Day (Canadian Independence July 1st) and also on July 4th! Because Canadian Independence Day and US Independence Day fall so close to each other Peter's brilliant parents decided to start hosting an annual spit roast on or around those holidays every year. This was the second annual. Unfortunately Peter and I missed the first. The massive event was held Saturday July 5th and almost all of Peter's Canadian family was in attendance.

Here is all of us together for the group family shot. In total 30 adults, 3 children, and 2 pregnant ladies! Peter grew up spending most of his summer in this part of the world and so it was nice to spend a good amount of time there and see what his lake life was like. I grew up spending a lot of my summers on Lake Sam Rayburn but the fishing on Lake of the Woods is very different. 

This was Peter's biggest haul. Mine wasn't worth photographing but because I helped him net this monster and get it in the boat he let me hold it. He totaled nearly 4 lbs. What I learned about walleye is they have very weak mouths and so you can't just jerk them out of the water the way we do with catfish. They have to be caressed slowly to the boat lest you rip the hook from their thin lips.

We also partook in some non motorized boating.

About 5 minutes after that picture was taken Peter and I flipped that tiny sailboat. It was a terrifying experience for me, as I have never flipped a water craft larger than a inner tube before in my life. It was fairly easy to get flipped back over which I was not expecting and we had a nice 40 minute cruise. The water levels were quite high in the lake due to a lot of rain and the water was coming in twice as fast as it could get out. We spent some time early in the week securing the boat dock with weights to keep it from floating away. 

From left Peter, myself, and his best friend Will Hall. Peter and I have been trying to get Will to move to Chicago for quite some time now. The agreement is if we can get Rahm Emanuel quoted to say that Will Hall is Chicago's favorite person he has to move here. I'm still working on it but if any one of my readers can make that happen I'll buy you a cookie!

THE MEAT! These two giant bone-in ribeyes were the main course of our Saturday meal. As you can see, like a good Texan, my favorite Canadian beer is something the locals think is swill. Hopefully it won't be another two years before we make it to the Great White North again.

Photo credit goes to John Tulloch. Thank you!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Active Month

So let's see I had a birthday about a half dozen bbq's and so much stuff I don't even know how I fit it all in. In a few days Peter and I are going up to Canada to spend some time with his family and hopefully I'll have time to recharge, unwind, kick back, relax and just all around laze about. The last few weeks we have just been enjoying the summer. I love summer in Chicago. There is music and movies in the park. Lots of sunny days to bike through different neighborhoods and experience all there is to love about this city. It's one of the things that keeps me in love with Chicago; is the fact that every time I go somewhere, I bike a different way home and it always seems like a completely new place. Recently Peter and I spent some time in a northern neighborhood we have not frequented and we biked home along the Chicago River that area is so gorgeous. Hopefully when I get back after next week I'll have tons of photos and stories of canoeing galore to share.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Summering in Chi

Friday night we attended a White Sox game. Sorry for all you Astros fans but I have to root root root for the home team as the song goes. Although when the Astros play the White Sox I still hope they win. I bought tickets to this particular game because of the post game fireworks show. It was quite the spectacular. I was not expecting it to be such an affair but it was a good 20-25 minutes worth of really kick ass fireworks.

These days it seems like baseball is the only professional sport that it is affordable to attend. We were able to get our tickets for $10. They weren't down front and center but most stadiums are designed so that every seat in the house has a decent view.

The Sox unfortunately lost but we still had a wonderful time.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


This past weekend my bestie came up from Houston and we painted the town red. Red with the blood of crawfish that is.

Sunday was an all day eat-a-thon at Toons bar. We did some major damage on their 1000 lb stock. Pictured above is Ashley on the left me on the right and all the crawfish in between. We also spent some nice time at the beach and took in a wonderful play at the Oracle Theater called The President. It was hilarious and I would highly recommend anyone to see it. Time spent with Ashley always rushes by so quickly but hopefully we will be down in Tejas soon! Peter was too busy eating and snapping photos to be captured. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Karaoke Komedy & Kocktails

This past weekend our beloved comrade from Michigan Mr. Jason Rodnick was in the house!

Friday night we went bowling with Jason and Lacey tying it up for the win with big old 117. I love bowling but it is definitely a past time to partake in with a group of friends. Peter and I have been a number of times, just to two of us, and while we do have a good time it is much more enjoyable as a crowd function. There is this lovely divey place on Fullerton called Fireside Bowl. They used to have bands play on Friday and Saturday nights but I guess that is a thing of the past.

Saturday we spent the day working the yard and going to Costco. Contrary to popular belief, I do not spend ALL my free time getting my party on. Soon we will have some stunning herbs and veggies to munch on and I'll be sure and show the "fruits" of my labors here on these pages. After gardening and gathering things from the giant box store we partook in an engaging play called Death Defying Acts. It was actually three short plays written by Woody Allen, David Mamet, and Elaine May. They were all darkly comedic involving somewhat disturbing subject matter. My favorite of the three was definitely Woody Allen's Central Park West that was just dripping with New York high brow intellectual zeal as most of his work generally is. After the play we went out to a Karaoke bar and this happened!

So I did get my party on a little this weekend. Tune in next week for another recap of my upcoming weekend with Ms. Ashley Shaw.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler

This past Saturday Peter and I hosted our 1st Annual Crawfish Boil. Only a few eaters in attendance which is fine by me as that means more mudbugs for me. Next year my parents said they may join us.

The first batch! We ordered 20 lbs from Louisiana Crawfish Company and they were delivered via Fedex over night! It was quite incredible that we didn't have more than about 20 die on us. I cooked them in 2 batches of 10 lbs each.

The weight of that bucket is almost too much for me to bear but I'm grinning through it.

Many thanks to Candace (pictured above) who helped me sift through and pick out all the dead ones. She doesn't eat crawfish but she was mighty helpful during the boil.

Our package also came with this lovely t-shrit and I can't advertise for this company enough. Customer service was exceptional and the cost was very affordable.

Renee giving one crawdad a very warm welcome to Chicago.

When you party with the PK we do it up right! My father was very impressed that for the first time in his life he got to hear the words chandelier and crawfish in the same sentence. Hopefully next year some of my readers will join us.