I always manage to unwittingly learn a lesson when I least expect it. This weekend's lesson? It comes in three parts:
Part one: I am slowly learning that I am terribly, and perhaps even incorrigibly, un-punctual. I was half an hour late to Jaimy's brunch date, and its not like I had anything keeping me from leaving on time. I just somehow manage to stuff too many events into too small a timeslot, and it results in my being late to everything.
Part two: I always forget to factor in my fantastic ability to get lost. Which, as one might imagine, negatively reacts with #1 above, and suddenly I've left you sitting at a table alone, drinking your fourth cup of coffee, wondering if I stood you up, when really, I missed the turn because there was a Big Sign! And it read Free Mulch! And it distracted me from the course at hand and then I started thinking about how badly I need to get my garden started and how on earth am I going to get someone to build me a raised garden bed, and then all of a sudden I'm in Clarendon instead of Shirlington.
But then comes Part Three of the lesson, in which I learn that I really ought to spend more time hanging out with friends, because I have such a delightful time when I finally get out of my house and find them, wherever they've hidden themselves.
Look! Its Jaimy! I actually made it! (And we are color-coordinated!)
Jaimy's back after a jaunt in Colorado, where she managed to learn much more about tax law than I will ever, ever know, and now she's even scored a sweet side gig as a restaurant reviewer. To bide the time before her food critic career skyrockets, Jaimy intends to land a sweet tax gig around these here parts, too, so for all of you tax lawyers reading this, hire this girl up because she is fabulous.
No, seriously. Do it now. Don't make us come after you. We are fierce.
After brunch at Luna Grill (wherein I had a version of Eggs Benedict, only with spinach instead of ham, and after too much coffee, I frightened the waiter into taking the above picture of us... ("Hi,areyoubusyOkgreattakethispicturerealquick")), I coerced Jaimy into driving all over the countryside -- first to her apartment, so that I could get the grand tour (since I flaked out on the housewarming party), and then to Penzey's Spices in Falls Church!
It was a mecca. A haven.
Walls and walls of fantastic spices and mixes and stocks.
I wanted one of everything. But I especially wanted one of their pepper grinders. (Don't worry, I have notified Steven accordingly. I like to keep him advised of birthday present ideas as they occur to me. Sporadic, yes, but I think he finds it helpful.)
(PS - Dear? Here's a picture, for your reference. Only I want the darker wood one.)
They have these huge gift boxes of different spice combinations, which I loved. This one was a "Baker's Box," and it had things like Dutch Process Cocoa, Mulling Spices, Vanilla Sugar, and Pure Almond Extract.
Clearly, I need to own this.
You will be impressed with my level of purchase restraint. I think it all goes back to wanting a nice dining room table before a 20 oz. jar of Star Anise.
Here's what I got:
Tuscan Sunset sounded like something Steven would enjoy -- and I figured it wasn't too risky of a purchase. We're always having pasta, pizza, or some other random Italian food, so it seemed like a good fit.
I used the pepper in our potato soup for dinner tonight. Delish, although only slightly different than what I've previously used. A bit stronger bite to it, maybe.
And I also got:
I first saw this stuff in my cousin Becky's house, and it resulted in a batch of extremely delicious chocolate chip cookies. Cookie making around this place will be commencing, post-haste.
I must go back to that place. I must.
Jaimy? You game? I swear to show up at least within the hour we planned to meet. . . .