Sunday, May 16, 2010

Rapidly Passing Weekends....

Another weekend is almost gone and, as always, it went by so fast, I hardly knew it was here.

Well, ok, I knew it was here...but, as always, I wish it were longer. It was my first weekend at home in a couple of weeks. As much as I love going home to see my family, it's also nice to come home on a Friday evening, kick off my shoes and know I don't have to go out again.

This weekend turned out to be a blend of productivity and sheer laziness. My Saturday was rather busy. The puppies, early risers that they are, got me up around 7:30 a.m. I actually didn't mind, having dozed off while watching TV at 11 p.m the night before. My 'puppy schedule' now means "early to bed, early to rise."

Of course, being early to rise is not such a bad thing. I was out and about by about 8:30 a.m. I needed to go to Jungle Jim's and, on weekends, the best time to go is before the crowds hit after 10 a.m. The beauty of a 9 a.m. trip to Jungle Jim's means no 'tourists' getting in the way of actual shopping. Having been a 'tourist' once, I know the sheer fascination with the cheese counter alone. Ok, fine, even now I find myself fascinated with the cheese counter. Yet when you're a Monkeypants on a grocery-shopping mission, there's nothing more tedious than someone being amazed at the varieties of Brie. Don't get me wrong, I like Brie but, really, it's the first stop on the Cheese counter...move alone and marvel at the mass amounts of parmiagiano reggiano.

Yes, I'm a Jungle Jim's snob. I'm also a Jungle Jim's smartypants. Going that early on a Saturday is a sure way to snag some bargains. My favourite section is the 'reduced produce' area. Some people might sneer up their nose at this. However, as a 'foodie' and a lover of all things produce, it's my favourite section. I use so many vegetables when I cook that this section is a fabulous moneysaver. Yesterday, I managed to snag a tray of jalapenos- always useful- for $1. I also got mushrooms and peeled shallots for 79 cents each. I got a plantable pot of thyme for a mere 39 cents, some cilantro- which I shall use in my chicken tortilla soup- for only 39 cents.

My favourite bargain was fiddlehead ferns. When I found them, I actually had some ramps in my hands. However, I've now cooked with ramps. I liked them very much but I've also seen chefs on the Food Network cook with fiddleheads and, well, I was curious. So, having to choose between ramps and fiddleheads, I chose the unknown. For those of you who thick I'm insane, they're actually quite a spring speciality, much like the ramp. They're the unfurled new portion of the ostrich fern and they look like little tiny coils. I also paused over the morels which were reduced down to $10 for a little pot. However, as much as I'd love to taste morels, my job, alas, does not pay me enough to splurge for such delicacies. One day...

I spent far too long in the Jungle Jim's produce section. I'd like to wager I know it better than most people by now. They're actually looking for a produce manager and if I knew anything about managing produce, I'd be tempted to apply. I think I know enough about the actual produce part to be somewhat of an amateur expert already. Most of the time when I talk to people, they look at me when I'm insane when I wax poetical about my roasted cardoons or my fiddlehead ferns.

Ah well, to each his own. For the record, I made homemade linguine today and I served it with a sautee of fiddleheads, mushrooms, thyme, onions and garlic. It was, not to brag, rather delicious.

I I often do when talking about food. I spent most of the rest of the weekend in the garden. The puppies helped me dig holes and I quickly planted some of my tomato and zucchini seedlings as well as some Swiss chard seeds. I also have some asparagus coming up, finally so, if all goes well, I might have a healthy vegetable crop by mid-summer.

I also made time for a little Robert Downey Jr. When I found out the release date for "Iron Man 2," I did warn the puppies that while I loved them, I have loved Mr. Downey Jr. for a little longer and thus, I would be abandoning them for two hours. While it didn't happen on opening weekend for the film, this weekend, it was a priority. I'm happy to say that while "Iron Man 2" did not hold quite the entertainment of the first movie, it was still very entertaining. I think, honestly, it would have been very difficult to match the entertainment level of "Iron Man" merely because it was far deeper and far more 'fun' than most comic-book movies and that took me by surprise. This time, I expected it to be fun and, so when it was, it didn't exactly surpass expectations- if that makes sense. It was definitely a great way to start of the summer blockbuster season though.

However, on a side note, having seen a preview for "Twilight: Eclipse," I simply have to say this- did they give the entire cast downers? What's with the zombie-land, monotonal acting? Ok, so that's normal for Kristen Stewart but, well, Dakota Fanning used to...act, right? Do they issue some sort of law that actors in the Twilight movies can't have facial expressions? That if they dare let any emotion or, you know, acting show on camera they get fired? Just curious.

So, all, in all, in addition to the shopping, the movie and planting plants, the pups and I had a great weekend. I meant to do a lot today but, well, it was a cool and dreary Sunday and after I made my new batch of butternut squash ravioli, I just didn't feel like doing much of anything. In the end, Rory, Sookie and I spent much of Sunday relaxing and being lazy which, honestly, was a rather nice treat.

Now Monday looms nearer. I had a chat with my boss on Friday as to how redundant I feel at times and how I hate feeling like Harry Potter. He actually felt bad, as I knew he would. I don't know how long it'll last but I did feel like he listened.

And, so, even though it's the start of the workweek in just a few hours, I have just a little more hope than I had last week. Granted, that might not last for long but, for now, I'm going to let myself dream.

There's nothing wrong with that...right?

Happy Monday!

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