I had all kinds of plans Friday of the wonderful cooking I was going to do when I got home from work, but as the day wore on...not so much. Instead, we opted for a simple burrito dinner and spent the evening relaxing and making plans for Saturday.
Saturday, on the other hand, things were hopping! We got a relatively early start (11 AM) and headed north towards Antioch. We got sidetracked, though, by the realization that we needed lunch and we needed to line up food for New Years Eve. How fortunate that we were going by one place that would provide a solution to both problems: Scott Dogs
! Following a delicious lunch (I had the pulled pork BBQ sandwich), we sat down with Scott's aunt, who runs the catering business, and we got a quick education in planning a catered event. Our original plans were for three appetizers, three entrees, three side dishes, and two desserts - all for $15 per person.
She was nice and didn't openly laugh at us, but we had a great conversation about buffet psychology, serving portions, and the virtues of having too much food vs. too little food. We scaled things back a bit in terms of options and upped the number of portions, and we only came in a little over budget (mostly due to taxes and delivery fees, which were still very reasonable considering they were planning on being closed that day and will be coming in expressly to make our order and bring it to us). So now we'll be serving roast pork and stuffing and Chicken Vesuvio
, with garden salad and pasta Alfredo on the side. For dessert, we'll have homemade apple strudel and three-layer chocolate cake. Yum!
It was a great experience and extremely educational, but unfortunately also took a couple of hours we hadn't budgeted for. We scrambled to stop by Antioch Packing House and pick up stuff to put in our shiny new freezer, but had to pass on Antioch Liquors, where we had planned on buying champagne for the New Year's toast. Following a quick stop by the house to drop off our meaty purchases, it was off southwards to Schweppes
, my favorite restaurant supply store. We shopped around a bit there and got some items we needed for Wuffmeet, as well as some much-needed items for our kitchen (like replacing our old, scarred cutting boards with nice new color-coded cutting boards). It wasn't a cheap visit, but we got a lot of very useful items.
From there it was down to Yorktown Mall, where we met aeto
for a showing of The Golden Compass
. Many others have reviewed it, but my thumbnail version: great cast, wonderful effects and scenery, nifty armored bears, but...it seemed to lack an essential something
. I'd give it maybe a 7 out of 10, which is a heck of a lot better than the 5 out of 10 I'd give Enchanted
. Still, it was a fun way to kill a couple of hours so I won't complain. Afterwards we grabbed dinner over at an Irish place in Glen Ellyn (the bangers and mash were quite tasty, though Dan's burger was less so). The evening was spent at perro
's place, celebrating Wolphy's birthday; Perro documented that disturbingly well already
When we left, we got to chip our car out of the ice that had encased it (gotta love freezing rain), then make a very short drive over to justincheetah
's place, where they were kind enough to put us up for the night. Following an excellent night's sleep and a pleasant morning chatting, we had an excellent, if rather heavy, lunch over at Juicy-O
. Oooh, so good. Then we all headed over to Sam's Wine
to do the booze shopping we had skipped the day before. An excellent cava
was procured for New Year's Eve, as well as a number of other tasty drinkables. We parted ways from the kitties and drove home to relax and recuperate from a busy weekend.
The one thing we did accomplish that evening though was to divide, bag, seal, and freeze our meat purchases of the day before, so now we have 10 pounds of hamburger patties, three one-pound packages of bacon, and a 2.5 pound package of stew meat in our freezer, with more to come. I'll be running to Target this week for more Foodsaver bags, though!
As for the coming week, I'll be finally getting back to making that lamb, lentil, and tomato stew for New Year's, as well as a chili con carne. Oh, and I have to work on Saturday (boo!) but in exchange I get Monday the 24th off (yay!). I expect that will be a pretty laid-back workday, though.