Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Bit of This and That

Every year at Fanshawe College the students in the Culinary & Events programs put on a shindig to end all shindigs! This year the theme was Mardi Gras and so on Friday night my friends and I ate everything from hushpuppies and catfish to gumbo and blackened beef sirloin ( as I don't eat red meat I gave my piece to the 3rd member of our group for her husband) ....oh, mustn't forget the Oysters Rockefeller and Cajun Shrimp!  There's my friend Troy (she used to work in this program so we get a BIG discount on the ticket price :) There was a Dixieland band playing during the evening. I eat so simply that I found I had stomach cramps for the rest of the night and all the next dayfrom the rich sauces and hot spicy food - at least I THINK that's the reason!! I hope they teach FOOD HYGIENE in this course!!
**Last year at this dinner it was snowing like crazy outside - this year there is narry a flake in sight - well except for me hee hee!

LOOK - I had a giant head!! A pretty good selfie - I managed to get us both in! Kelly hadn't arrived yet.

The students do everything: cook, bake, choose the menu, make the decorations including the beautiful centrepieces,  set up, take down and so on.

Then on Sunday I went to a potluck with my fellow Council of Canadian members and no,  - "duck" was not on the menu. Just Aldous ducking horsing around!

We were celebrating the birthday of the group's chairperson, which is Roberta - red hair on the right side of the table.

It was a really yummy potluck - Roberta and her husband provided 2 big crockpots of homemade soup and then we brought things like salad, rolls, dips, wine and desserts. I took a big round pumpernickel loaf and spinach dip. There were 4 or 5 desserts - I had a thin slice of carrot cake, a piece of apricot tart and some cheesecake that was gluten-free, sugar-free, lactose free and yet was totally scumptious! (Though, if there's no dairy in it how can it be called "cheese" cake?)

Will I never learn? I didn't have stomach cramps this time - I ate very small portions but I have noticed my clothes are shrinking a little. That must soon be dealt with!

Here's my friend Julie staking out a chair for the movie we watched after dinner - "Stranger than Fiction" with Will Ferrell and Emma Thompson. It's one of Roberta's favourites and I highly recommend it!

At home I continue to crochet and rip out, crochet and rip out, cro........!!! Lily is checking out my latest attempt and agrees that it is looking more even down the sides and the tension is pretty good.

This is going to be (in my dreams) a man's hat; this is the brim so far. I'm thrilled I've managed to do this much! I may or may not get it done before Christmas, lol!   Hmmmmm, just had a thought, if I made it for a baby it would almost be done!!

We needed a new tree because when Michael lived here we would go and chop down a real tree but I prefer an artificial tree. This one was on sale at Walmart and it came with lights already on it. I liked it because it is narrow yet tall. I have only put one ornament on it so far just to see if the kitties will acclimate to something new in their environment. Well...

So far it's going great!! The kitties are just not interested in the tree at all! Said with dripping sarcasm!

We haven't had much (NO) interest in our birdfeeders yet, well, just a squirrel or two but so far they are unable to get to the bird seed. I'm sure they'll figure it our eventually! I read about this idea last year and had great success with it - and it's so easy and thrifty! Take empty toilet paper rolls, slather them with peanut butter and roll them in birdseed. Can you say "cheap cheap"! I stuck one on a rake and one on my butterfly ornament. You can't really see but I put a bowl of niger seed over ont the storage unit as I read squirrels don't eat niger seeds.

I assume we've had little activity because there is NO snow. I'm going to go out on a branch.....well, perhaps a small twig (because I think it's a pretty safe bet) and predict a green Christmas in these parts. With temperatures ranging in the 10c range the only precipation in our forecast is rain! I'm not complaining - it means I can still navigate the streets using my feet instead of my truck!

How are your Christmas plans coming along? Have you decorated? (I have that done); written Christmas cards? (NO); done your Christmas baking (NONE); finished shopping? (A BIG NO), wrapped gifts (kinda hard when you haven't bought them yet so that's another BIG NO!)

I've been obsessed with learning how to crochet, plus carving and many other non-Christmas activities. Well, the crocheted hat would be a gift if I could finish it but I'm not counting on it. I think the first few wacky-looking creations should be for me and when I get more profficient I can start gifting them.

Toodles - off to get the makings of a stir fry for dinner.

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