Mind the tentacles, Jeeves.

August 6, 2007

Still recovering from a very busy weekend. We blitzed back into Atlanta to serve as godparents and managed to squeeze in visits with both sets of grandparents before hauling a very tired brood of children back home. There was swimming, good food and friends, water gun fights and the like. A good time was incontestably had by all. Ezmerelda and I even managed to sneak away. Twice! Once to Borders and again to Trader Joe’s, which ought to just about tell you everything you need to know. Books and food. We don’t splurge very often at the bookstore, preferring usually to order stuff via Amazon but we ended up coming away with a nice assortment: Little Women, Tears of the Giraffe (the second book in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series), Mansfield Park, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and two short-story collections: P.G. Wodehouse and H.P. Lovecraft.

I’ll leave you to guess at who’s reading what. The older children, for their part, are still worming their way through the HP books (that’s “HP” as in “Harry Potter” and not as in Lovecraft).

Apropos of reading, I finished off Titus Alone over the weekend and have very mixed feelings. I came to very much enjoy it, but am saddened that Peake never finished the series (he succumbed to Parkinson’s disease having only scribbled out the first page or two of the fourth novel). If Dickens had written during a fever-dream, he might have produced something like the Gormenghast books. As it is, we end up leaving our eponymous hero within earshot of his kingdom, and heaven only knows if he ever returns to take his place as 77th Earl.

Bah.

A little foodie news to share. We ate from two different hole-in-the-wall BBQ joints and both places were great. Pulled pork is hard to mess up as long as it’s not completely dessicated. Good sauce covers a multitude of sins, and thankfully both of these places tended towards the sweet/vinegar sauce which I believe comes to us via the Carolinas. While I’m on the subject, let me go on record: if you’re putting barbecue sauce on anything other than pork (the One True Meat), you are a heretic. Also tried a peach lambic beer that my parent’s house. Not too bad, though I’d hate to get wrecked on the stuff. A little on the sweet side.

Sweet! Lurking on metafilter the other day, I came across this thread about aromatic bitters. I tried one of the Manhattan recipes and was sort of underwhelmed by it, but this was quite fantastic: compote with honey syrup. I substituted dried apricots for dates and threw a sliced banana in right at the end. You might have to adjust the cooking time a little to give the apricots some time to re-hydrate. Very good and a nice way to use the bosc pears that are in season. I served it with biscotti to E, who was hunched over the PC placing orders for this year’s curricula.

The baptism (of our third godchild) came off without a hitch. We move in a circle of other, uh, large families, so it’s always a total blast whenever an occasion brings everyone together. For one, everyone is in the same boat familywise so everyone can relax a little. But only a little, since there ends up being 25-30 children running around. Then you end up playing ‘pin the shriek on the child’ when someone gets hurt outside or upstairs. Yours? No, that sounds like one of mine. Back in a second…

That’s about it. We had a wonderful weekend and are going to be returning again at the end of the month. Maybe it’ll cool off a little.

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