The Tale of The Fairy GodBoyfriend

This week over at the Waterworld Mermaids site, we’ve been telling love stories.

Today is my day to contribute, and so I have offered up to the world the (very abridged) story of Princess Alethea and The Fairy GodBoyfriend.

You’ve all wanted to know how we met? Well, here it is.

But you have to click over to the WM site to read it! (Comments are off here — please comment there.)

The roses are still fresh — hope you’re all still having a lovely week! xox

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Cooking with Beer

There’s a place in the mall near our apartment called Cookology. It’s a nifty little space dedicated to cooking classes of all shapes and sizes. There are huge picture windows, so that any given time, you can see what’s going on, who’s screwing up, and what’s for dinner.

Joe decided it would be a good idea to splurge and try out a class. They fill up quickly, and the only one with space at the time we looked was one called “Cooking with Beer.”

Now, I love to cook with alcohol (remember, my Campari-braised pear salad won the appetizer course in the Iron Chef Pear with Iron Chef Mary Robinette Kowal), so I was pretty darned interested in this particular class.

Overall, unfortunately, I have to say I was pretty underwhelmed by the experience. It was a great idea, but honestly…Joe and I are already pretty darned good cooks. We know our way around a kitchen, and aren’t afraid of experimenting. While I do need to work on my knife skills, and I will never beat Chef Anne Burrell at, oh, anything except maybe having better hair, I wonder if maybe our high level of competency contributed to our general ennui.

I also wasn’t that thrilled with the beer as an ingredient. In the main, it is bitter at its base, and a little goes a long way. (In hindsight I definitely would not have added the too-powerful braising sauce to the plate, as shown here.) I enjoyed the technique of wrapping the vegetables in paper to steam them with beer in the oven…but I’ve achieved far more flavorful and successful outcomes using a saucepan. And everything was far too over-spiced. It’s a crime to get hand-fed, organic Nebraskan USDA choice meat and then cover it in, well, anything but a sear.

I will say, the Moelleux au Chocolate we made for dessert was divine — and I’m not such a huge fan of chocolate — but I was so starving by the time we sat down that I inhaled my less-than-stellar entree, and then ate FAR too much of the chocolate dessert…which I later regretted.

The other regret was that the chef did not sit down to dine with us, instead leaving us to our own devices at a table with 16 other perfect strangers so he could go home and “have a Lunchable and go to bed.” I understand if he had no desire to “eat his work,” as he put it, but I felt like I’d just been given the brush-off. It’s just not the way I was raised. Heaven knows I give Joe and the girls enough crap when *they* leave the dinner table early. It’s just not done in our family. I don’t care what excuse you have.

If this class taught me anything, it was 1.) stick to the liquors and wines for cooking and 2.) Joe and I just need to find more crazy things on the internet and try them out ourselves.

Last night’s Iron Chef America rerun was the Maple Syrup Battle. The Vermont girl in me says we go for it.

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Lucky Birthdays

Many customs say that it is lucky for a child to be born close to a parent’s birthday. This is a good thing, for my birthday is only three days after my fathers, and Soteria’s is four days after my mother’s.

Fourteen years ago, Fairy Goddaughter Ariell missed her father’s birthday by a mere seven minutes and seven seconds…so she must be the luckiest one of them all!

We celebrated to the nines yesterday, starting off the day with a delicious breakfast that included homemade blueberry pancakes and a present-opening ceremony that rivaled Christmas. (Around here, everybody gets presents!)

As Joe was cleaning up to take a birthday picture with Ariell in their new (and signed!) Collins River Logging t-shirts (if you haven’t seen Ax Men, you won’t know what this is), Joe Collins Himself gave my Joe a ring to wish him a Happy Birthday. It was so wonderful to hear his unmistakable voice on the phone, and such a joy to see Joe’s and Ariell’s smiles as they laughed and chatted. (Joe Collins is an incredibly nice guy. And I am the best girlfriend EVER.)

The last present of the day was a card for Ariell, in which I wrote some silly business and then signed it with the address to her new website…which is the geeky intarwebz equivalent of giving a girl a new car. Please pop by yourself and see the gorgeous design, her bio and publishing credits, and all the silly comments from her friends.

We bought glow-in-the-dark bracelets and Kassidy put together a playlist for the midnight dance party (the goal was to stay up until 12:07 and ring in Ariell’s birthday like the New Year) — but it was a very long day full of lots of shopping and even more fun and sleep beckoned. I wasn’t the only one losing consciousness, and to everyone’s grumpy chagrin, we went to bed. Kassidy says we should have had more coffee. She’s probably right.

But none of that changes the fact that yesterday was a wonderful day full of smiles, and today Ariell is one year older. Joe turned 41 yesterday and Ariell’s 14 today…it’s going to be a fabulous (and lucky) palindrome year!

I hope you are all having a similarly amazing weekend. xox

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