November 9, 2011

Four days weekends, Alyssa style

I feel like have been absent, disconnected.  I had that blissful four day weekend, running around crazy.  I thought it would stop when I went back to work, but here were are three days in and I'm finally sitting down to write.  So let me begin.

I took my camera with me everywhere, but took very few pictures.  Friday morning, the day after our snowy walk in Manning Park, I stayed in baking for Natasha.  I did a bunch of jam deliveries (cranberry for November) and brought the food to my mom's who would be leaving to visit her the following morning.  I fished the bran muffins I had made for her a few weeks earlier from the freezer and set them to thaw.  I had had the insight to freeze cookie dough for cranberry-white chocolate cookies, so I baked those as well.  I made my spice cookies and our family's cinnamon bread recipe and stuck them in bags.  Finally I made a cranberry-walnut bar, a recipe I've had bookmarked for over a year.  Since I'm not eating sugar at the present time (another story) I couldn't even taste them.  They sounded wonderful to me, I hope they tasted that way too.  Along with the baked goods I sent up oodles of jams and chutneys.  If I were the recipient I would have been very happy with that hull!

The following day was Saturday, it was a beautiful cool November day solely dedicated to my uncle and brand new aunt.  They had a beautiful ceremony at a church down the road from my house, so beautiful I wanted to cry.  It might surprise you to know that this was only the second full wedding I had been to, I'm usually the baby-sitter!  My two sisters who could make it and I had coffee at my favourite place down the street and did a little window shopping before driving to the reception.  It was a beautiful evening, we got to catch up with far-flung family and joke with the ones we see all the time.  The food was good, the decor was beautiful and the couple were celebrated.
A chocolate truffle bonchaz
Sunday I rose dark-and-early.  I strapped on my running shoes and tied Butter to my waist.  We went for a run, it ended up being a fairly substantial 13.5 kilometers.  As you can imagine I felt good once that was done.  By mid morning I was on the highway, driving to Vancouver.  I spent all of a cold and bright Sunday with my best friend  Erin in Vancouver.  We visited Bonchaz for some...bonchaz, which we found were nothing special.  We walked to Yaletown Brewing Company and had an awesome lunch.  Beers from the brewery, the best buttermilk fried chicken wings I've ever had (!) and pizza.  Hows that for a Sunday lunch?

We walked and shopped after that, until we were exhausted.  We tried on clothes, felt frumpy in what we were wearing, (even though we felt good when we left the house) picked up my pictures (50 5x7 for $5!) and looked for bathing suits.  We spent a long time in the bookstore (we always do!) before we drove to Granville Island.  For those that don't know, Granville Island is a market and collection of shops underneath the Granville Street Bridge. It is a wonderful, eclectic, exciting place and I never feel like I have enough time or money to truly explore it.  We bought coffee, ate Lee's doughnuts (my absolute favourite!) and a cappuccino nanaimo bar I had heard so much about (mine are better, way better.)  I spent a lot of money buying spices (we stock up when we are here) cheese and meat, freshly-caught fish and delicious breads.

Finally, to cap off the night Erin and I decided to tour a few restaurants for dinner.  Considering I've lived in Vancouver and not tried the many ethnic cuisines it's known for, we figured it was time.  We started at a South Indian restaurant for the famed dosa (sorry no pictures! I kept forgetting my camera!)  It was a large thin crispy bread with four different condiments.  It was very, very good, I want to come back here to try all the other food sometime very soon.  There were a large mix of people in the restaurant, including some Indian, which is always a good sign.

Our next restaurant was authentically Chinese.  We walked through the door and into a line, waiting for tables.  On a Sunday night we figured this was a great sign.  We watched little tiny lone Chinese ladies and young Chinese families eating their food in silence.  We waited for a table and as soon as we were sat ordered the curry cutting noodles.  At this establishment the noodles are stretched, pulled, and rolled to order.  The dish was fantastic, so authentic forks weren't even an option, it had to be chopsticks (and rightfully so!)  We loved this place too!

Finally, though it nearly killed us to do so, we stopped at one more place for El Salvadorian papusas.  We each had a cheese and bean papusa and ordered one for our respective partners to take home.  The papusas were good, but I enjoyed all the food we had eaten earlier more.  I'm very glad we ate this way, but by the end my stomach was in turmoil.  (TMI maybe, but it seems that dairy, gluten, sugar and I don't get along!)

And that folks, is one awesome weekend!

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