Posts Tagged ‘cake’

home again home again

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Yes, this is my third post of the night. I apologize if you’re reading this in an RSS feed and are like DUDE, EMMA, LET SOMEONE ELSE TALK.

Last Friday (yeah, I’m still back there – that’s why three posts in one night but this is totally the last one probably unless Crockett comes over here with some wine and then I may just keep going you never know) we woke up in Mackinaw City, Michigan, with a mid-afternoon arrival planned for Mio, Michigan.

 

That trip was never going to happen without adequate sustenance. Three hours of driving takes it’s toll, yo.

The Mackinaw City Pancake Chef had limited choices, but I managed to put together a good plate.

I had a whole pile of melon salad, a few strawberries, and two bites each of scrambled eggs, grits with syrup, hash browns with ketchup, sausage, and french toast with cherries hiding underneath.

I killed this plate while the people at our table who didn’t go for the buffet waited for their food, and then twiddled my thumbs. Downside of the buffet.

Upside of the restuarant?

You mention that there are a couple of birthdays in the group and they bust out two whole freaking cakes.

After breakfast Crockett and I walked back to our motel, to burn off a little breakfast.

Crockett went old school.

Doesn’t this look just like the picture on the Pancake Chef menu? I’m such a good photographer I sometimes don’t even know what to do with myself.

I asked Crockett to take a picture of me in front of the bridge, and then right when he pushed the button I realized we were standing in front of a lighthouse.

A LIGHTHOUSE.

I love lighthouses. I find them romantic. Probably because I was never a lighthouse keeper.

After the lighthouse, I was pretty much done with Mackinaw, so we headed down to Mio.

The Mio reunion was Crockett’s mom’s family (everything prior was Crockett’s dad’s family), and it was much more structured. They reserved space at the Mio park and set up a tent and had meals planned and all sorts of magical magic.

The camp came with lots of space to play, which the kids of the fam took full advantage of.

I’m not going to lie. Crockett’s mom’s family is enormous. I’m still not sure I knew some of the names that I thought I knew. They’re also super nice.

We celebrated the birthdays again. (Yes, these are the same two kids celebrating. Yes, this is the third time we’re having cake. Yes, they are kids after my own heart.)

We also had the grown up camper’s equivalent of birthday cake: Cheetos and red wine (Big House Red – surprisingly delicious even in a Super 8 cup). There were two full tables of food – pulled pork, sloppy joes, ten million kinds of chips, brownies, candy, and salads? Oh my god salads. Tuna salads, pasta salads, fruit salads, ambrosia salads, potato salads, vegetable salads… no plain salad salad, but basically anything else you can think of that ends in salad? Yeah, they had that salad.

Then, sadly, we ran into some Mother Nature shaped issues.

In this case, Mother Nature was shaped like a whole lot of raindrops. For a whole long time.

I was borrowing sweatshirts and wiggling into my pants in the backseat of the car. From my position here in my 70 degree Colorado evening, I’m having a hard time remembering the cold, but I know it was there.

The family was cool enough that being under the tent was pretty slick, so we survived the rain.

Two days later, we started the drive home.

P.S. I would have included pictures of Pioneer General (aka Am-Depot), but I was too busy buying Amish knives and Amish candy and wondering if I could pull off and Amish straw hat to remember to take any. Sad, I know. The knives are badass, though.

 

bye-bye beach

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

It’s Tuesday.

    These pictures are from last Wednesday, because last Wednesday is that last time I had internet access.

    That’s how the Upper Peninsula of Michigan rolls.

    There are four things one can do while on vacation without violating Emma’s Law of Vacay.

    • Eat.
    • Rest (this includes sleeping at night, napping during the day, and laying around staring at the water).
    • Talk (loved ones, strangers, everyone in between – go for it).
    • Read.

    On Wednesday I had a day packed full of all of the above. Every single relative of Crockett’s, on meeting me, shoved books into my hands. I left the house last week with three, read two in the airports and planes, and arrived home with 10 – the original three, two from his grandparents, one from his dad, two from his uncle, and two from his aunt.

    That’s a lotta books.

    Oh, I forgot something you’re allowed to do on vacation: CELEBRATE! Crockett has two nieces and three nephews, and two of the five have the same birthday. (Is this a really number heavy post? It’s all those books.)

    When we visited the Escanaba park, I zoomed over to the stand I’d seen while running the day before.

    Gram’s Pasties in the Park.

    PASTIES in the PARK, people.

    This? This is a pasty. Pasties are all over the damn place in Michigan. Like, ALL over. I actually knew what one was, theoretically. My understanding was that pasties were essentially meat turnovers for British working people – an old school Lunchable, basically. A traditional Cornish pasty is made from beef, swede (a sweet root), potatoes, and onions. In the UP, the swede is replaced by rutabaga, and you can order your pasty with or without said rutabaga.

    Everyone said use a LOT of ketchup…

    And then sat around watching me take a bite.

    I didn’t adore it. It was a tasty vehicle for the ketchup, but that’s about it. However, the local experts told me that it wasn’t a good sample – I really needed to wait until the church ladies did their thing. Hopefully when that happens, Crockett’s grandma (behind me offering lots of advice on the eating) will mail me one?

    Fortunately we had pizza:

    (Domino’s Pizza started in Michigan, so this totally counts as eating local).

    I had a slice of buffalo chicken pizza that may have permanently altered how I think about Dominos. It was that good, people.

    Also? Cake:

    I didn’t get a picture before it was sliced, but since it was for a birthday boy and a birthday girl who were three years apart in age, they went with the adorable and always relevant surfing Mickey and Minnie. So cute. Soooo much frosting.

    After dinner there was a free concert in the park. Every Wednesday the town band does what, based on my experience, seems to be whole bunch of awesome cover medleys.

    Escanaba is a happening town full of happening people.

    After the show, we headed back to our beachside motel to get ready for an early start on Thurs – the start of Reunion 2.0.

     

     

    done and done

    Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

    Just kidding.

    So not done.

    The important parts are mostly organized, though. For example, my office doesn’t look half bad… and of course the cookbooks and liquor are all shiny and appropriately placed.

    Because I was on an ‘eat what I want because I’m moving damnit’ kick, I had cake for breakfast (it’s gone now – are you picturing me with a sad face? Because I have one.) and then was starving at 11 so had some steak and mushrooms and rice. Dinner was this stew that isn’t perfect. If I can make it better today with more salt and spices, I’ll hand over the recipe.

    Emma from the block

    Thursday, January 20th, 2011

    You know what the best thing about birthdays is?

    Leftover birthday cake.

    For breakfast.

    Yesterday was sort of a whirlwind of snow and… well, honestly, I don’t know what else I did yesterday. Mostly, homework sprinkled with some mild packing.

    Speaking of sprinkling:

    Snow!

    Crockett works from home about half the time, and he is less of a morning person than I am. In other words, when it’s 5 pm and I’m all ‘dude it’s time to throw in the towel on this whole ‘work’ thing’, he’s all ‘I’m just getting my groove on’.

    Oh, I did do something else yesterday. I went to the grocery store. I bought steaks, because they were on sale, and I was going to make chili, and the stew beef was more expensive than the steak, and a little old lady who was also shopping convinced me it was a good idea.

    Less good of an idea was buying dried beans at 2 pm, thinking we’d have chili at 7 or whatever. Doable? Yes. Likely? No.

    Instead Crockett salted the bejesus out of them, I made a burgundy mushroom sauce, we whipped up some brown rice, and we got our snowdinner on.

    Mmm, snowdinner.

    Also necessary for snowdinner? Neck cuddling…

    … lap cuddling…

    … and just plain cuddling.

    Why yes, it is Thursday morning and we have made a full circle, meal wise.

    I’m a fan of closure like that.

    Birthday dinner

    Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

    Last night we headed out fairly early in the evening to meet my parents for dinner. Because it was my birthday, and I wanted dinner.

    I wore my yellow high heels. It was my birthday, and I wanted heels.

    Crockett and I had a couple of stops to make prior to dinner – primarily a visit to a local electronics store where I was all ‘hey babe I should totally make jewelry out of resistors’ and he was all ‘hey babe, I love that you’re queen of the nerds and all, but can you shush while I concentrate?’. When we arrived at Southern Sun, Mom and Dad were both waiting for us.

    Very seriously waiting for us.

    Southern (and Mountain) Sun is a Boulder fixture. They brew their own delicious beer and have lots of burgers, great grilled cheese, and a lot of vegetarian options. The staff all rotates through the kitchen and the bar and the the floor, which makes for a unique experience.

    Since we had to wait for a table, Crockett ran up to the bar and got me a beer. Annapurna Amber, in this case. Barley and a little hoppy – not something I would have gotten myself. It was good. Sometimes you have to branch out, ya know? Even if it is your birthday and you don’t necessarily wanna.

    Beer for everyone.

    Yes, there were lots of healthy choices (probably). I didn’t see them, because I zoomed directly into the Junk Burger and did not pass go. Junk burger: bacon, cheese, sautéed mushrooms and onions, roasted garlic mayo on a tasty tasty burger. I got Swiss, cheese wise. I love this burger, y’all. It’s squishy where it should be squishy, crispy where it should be crispy, salty where it should be salty, and just generally everything you want in every bite.

    Dad: identical plate. We didn’t plan it this way, we just have excellent taste.

    Crockett: this was a reuben except where you might expect corned beef, you instead found turkey. Who knows. He liked it though.

    Then we retired to my dad’s place for cake.

    This cake is a tradition in my family. It was a tradition for my brother and I, but he’s vegan now, so I’m carrying on alone. My mom makes it.

    Layer 1: Chocolate cake
    Layer 2: Chocolate chips (added post baking, so they don’t get melted)
    Layer 3: Chocolate pudding
    Layer 4: Whipped cream
    Layer 5: Flaked coconut
    Layer 6: Maraschino cherries

    I look forward to it all year. Seriously. Leftovers are currently in the fridge, and I’m considering making Wednesday ‘Emma eats only chocolate cake’ day.

    well now it’s Judy’s turn to cry

    Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

    Who is Judy, you might ask?

    I was going to title this post ‘it’s my party, I can cry if I want to’, but really, who wants to cry? Nobody, that’s who. Judy’s Turn to Cry was the follow up to It’s My Party, where the heroine triumphs over that damn Judy.

    Just like I will triumph over this damn house.


    With the help of instant espresso, since my coffee maker already made the journey to Crockett’s place.

    And cake. Gigantic craggy walls of cake.

    Yes, I had coffee and cake for lunch. You wanna make something of it?

    Oh, right, I also had Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds from our trip to Trader Joe’s in Santa Fe. The Colorado state liquor rule maker folks really need to get their acts together so we can get a TJs here.

    I’m going to miss a lot of the decorating I’d figured out at my house. Like my constantly available espresso cups.

    My (previously attractive) stacks of home design and food magazines.

    Empty shelves everywhere. Depressing, but also very modern. I could totally live in an empty room.

    I just keep reminding myself that my best friends are with me and that I get to be with my favorite person ever like every day now.

    Totally worth it.

    Probably.