Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rest in Peace

I went to parochial school; class sizes are usually smaller than in public schools, but my class was exceptionally tiny. I graduated 8th grade with 13 other students! Last year we celebrated our 20th grade school reunion at the school's alumni luncheon. We had a respectable turn out and it made for a wonderful way to reconnect with each other. Many of us had lost touch after college. I will credit Facebook with being instrumental in finding as many people as we did.
The bizarre thing about our little group was that of those who attended the reunion, 8 of us had lost a parent or sibling. My best friend since 3rd grade, Mrs. H had lost both her sister and her father. Three deaths had occurred in the months leading up to the reunion. We were only 33-34 years old last year, how could we have suffered so much loss already? Aren't our 20s supposed to be about weddings and our 30s about breeding? Last week we lost one of the 5 boys from our graduating class.
I feel like I am living under a cloud of death. In the year that my father died I attended, or should have attended, 8 funerals. And the crazy thing was that this wasn't just older people dying. Nearly each decade of life was represented, from a teenager to an octogenarian. The next calendar year wasn't much easier, there were more funerals for me to attend, including that of my parish priest. Only two of my closest freinds can relate to this. Most people my age don't go to as many funerals as I do. I realize that I'm in the Altar Society and that predisposes me to a higher likelihood of funerals, but it is much more than that. In the 9 years that I have known my husband he has only had 3 deaths that I can think of. Isn't that wonderful? I could only wish for 1 year to be that light! It is only March 21st and yet already this year I have been to two funerals, both of whom were Central Catholic boys. What is going on?
My classmate struggled with addiction for over a decade. It began with an injury to his back that allowed for doctors to prescribe pain medication to him. The funeral, at the same church where we received ourearly sacraments, performed Christmas programs, graduated, and for many of us later received the sacrament of Holy Matrimony, was heartbreaking. Seeing the pain of his sisters, who acted as his pall bearers, was difficult. Seeing his father in tears reminded me of my own father and I could feel his loss of his only son. Seeing his mother being supported down the aisle was more heartbreaking than one could imagine. We aren't supposed to bury our children. As a mother you instantly place yourself in another mother's shoes; I cannot begin to imagine how devastated she is. When you think of all you go through to get pregnant, carry the baby, nurse him, comfort and teach him and then to lose him at 35? It's not right. No matter how much pain he has been in all these years it is hard for me to get to the place where I would think at least he is at peace now.
Which is dumb, because that is exactly what I was thinking in January when my Uncle died, having lost his battle with cancer. Of course he is gone too soon, but now he IS at peace. He can stop fighting his demons. I regret that he was unable to be in a place where he wanted to join us at our reunion last year. I don't have any false hopes that somehow, we could have saved him. It is obvious that his family was working their asses off to save him. There is a plan for the life of Mr. S. I hope that his family finds comfort in that. Sometimes it isn't readily obvious, but for me I know that his passing has opened up my eyes to how serious our problem with prescription drug addiction is and how susceptible we all are to it.
Rest in Peace, Mr. S.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

St. Joseph's Day

Last year I celebrated the solemnity of St. Joseph for the first time. I had found several recipes and an introduction to the traditional celebrations in Italian Holiday Cooking by Michele Scicolone. I wanted to put together a St. Joseph's altar too. I made the St. Joseph's Day soup and my first attempt at pretzels.
This year I had bigger plans for the menu. I prepared the soup again which is meatless and full of lentils and legumes. I also decided to try out the stuffed artichoke recipe since it is also vegan. A Friday dinner can have a few more courses, right? And even though it isn't vegan, I decided I had to have cannoli for dessert this year. It is a traditional item for St. Joseph's Day and since it is a feast a little dairy wouldn't be frowned upon. I knew better than to try to make them myself though. I had visions of way to many leftovers ruining my Lenten quest to be good. Mr. W checked online and read that Di Prima Dolci bakery in Overlook has the best cannoli in the city. They had 3 options and I decided to get each kind.
The Virtual St. Joseph's Altar provided all the instruction for me last year when putting together my own altar. Some of the key items are breads, flowers, fava beans, fruits, fish, pastries, wine, and an image of St. Joseph. In my own interpretations I include photographs of our own father's since St. Joseph was the stepfather of Jesus and the patron of fathers.A bread shaped like a staff would be ideal, but I have yet to tackle this project. Instead I have been purchasing loaves from local bakeries and also some breadsticks. My daffodils have not been great this year so I purchased some hot house tulips and added in some of my own Lenten roses.
The soup calls for fava beans. Last year I was able to find a canned variety, this year my search at two markets turned up unsuccessful. The great thing about this recipe is that there are so many lentils and beans in it, the idea being that it is the end of the season and you could use up the last stocks from your pantry, which is probably running rather low.The stuffed artichokes have anchovies in the mix, I am generally not a fan of this fish, but it was a very mild flavor. I was very please with the artichokes, if I do this recipe again I'll remember that two people could easily split one artichoke...these ones were enormous!For pastries we have the cannoli offering from Di Prima Dolc: pistachios, chocolate chips, or cherries.
My sister brought a very nice French wine. It is called Saint Joseph so she felt she couldn't pass it up for our dinner party.When I was little my grandmother would purchase statues of the saints for me when I received my sacraments. I loved going to The Grotto with her to pick them out. This St. Joseph statue makes a perfect centerpiece to my altar.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The memorial of St. Patrick

St. Patrick's Day has forever been my island in the sea of Lent. In my twenties when I consistently gave up drinking for Lent I'd participate in the secular St. Patrick's Day bar hopping. Now my big thrill is enjoying Guinness beef stew at home. I got this recipe from my Mother; I'm not sure which one of her Irish cookbooks is the source. Since my father was Irish American, and my Mother is Catholic they had annual St. Patrick's Day parties for as long as I can remember.
In recent years I have been going to the All Ireland Cultural Society's celebration. It is a family friendly party with pipe bands, live music, and ceili dancing. When I was young I did Irish dancing. In those day's we wore our own hair and our dresses were hand made and hand embroidered. My mother, grandmother and aunt made my dress. When he gets a little older I'd like to sign up the littlest W to continue that tradition.
But this year I decided I'd rather stay home and make dinner. I planned to make Irish soda bread in addition to the Guinness Stew, but my mom had a loaf of Irish potato bread with caraway seeds leftover from her party. I started the stew early in the day so it would be nice and incorporated by dinner time.I set the table with an Irish linen tablecloth in the chrysanthemum pattern, a Belleek bowl and an oxalis plant. Since stew is hearty I felt my green everyday dishes would be appropriate. In these photos you can see that we finally hung one of the antique stained and leaded glass windows from my father's collection. This hung in his shop for years and I had intended to commission him to make a window for our tv room using this as inspiration. Things did not work out exactly as I had hoped. In any event the Macintosh roses of this panel work with the roses in the dining room's wallpaper, lace curtains and the portiere. My hope is that the rose motif is subtle and not overwhelming.Our friends the Fs joined us for dinner and we followed up our meal with a few rounds of Mah Jongg. Not exactly an Irish American tradition, but anytime is a good time to Jongg in my opinion!
The littlest W took a longer nap than anticipated yesterday, so I didn't get to have a St. Patrick's Day tea with him. We'll do that today instead.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Firefighters' Memorial Park

I read a post on the AHC blog that there are plans to relocated the firefighters' park from W. Burnside to the east end of the Morrison bridge. There is concern that much of the historic fountain will be lost. I'm always looking our for opportunities to take the littlest W on a bus ride so we went down to take some photos of our own.
This newer bell enclosure certainly isn't historically significant. My understanding is that they use this bell during their memorial ceremonies for those brave firefighters who have died in the line of duty.The bell is quite nice.The lanterns would be moved but not their pedestals I'd imagine.
Lantern with the new Civic condominium Tower in the background.The fountain, designed by E.F. Tucker and Paul Philipe Cret and built in 1927.

Bronze work by Avard Fairbanks

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Lenten Projects

"In these days of Lenten journey..."
Everyone knows that one is supposed to make sacrifices during Lent, but there has been a recent push for people to do good works too during Lent. I decided to add in doing something this year. Probably not the typical or most generous things, but something to help me deal with my infertility in the hopes that I can find some peace in my journey, where ever it may lead.
I know that God isn't this petty, but during some of my moments of despair I have wondered what is going on (or not going on) in my life that would lead God to believe I'm not yet ready for another child? Am I not focusing enough on the child I have now? Can I not handle the terrible twos and pregnancy simultaneously? Do I have too many unfinished projects? Would a pregnancy make me too backed up with things that I'd never be able to catch up? I don't know what God has in store for me or why, but I knew it would make me feel better, like I had some control, if I added two special Lenten projects to allow for a clean slate with a future pregnancy.
I made a baby quilt for my godsons, who turned 6 this month. My mom and I miscalculated the fabric needed so I ended up with enough left over to make another quilt. I finally finished piecing it before Lent started and I have been hand quilting it in the evenings while I watch television. Here is the top:
And the bottom fabric. When I made the original quilt I used a fabric nearly identical to this, but it was more Americana with children waving flags. This one is more cowboy than I'd like, but still cute.The other unfinished project was a baby album. I am hesitant to use the word scrapbook as it has become something totally crazy in the last decade or so. When I was a child Mrs. Y, the mother my best friend since 3rd grade, made scrapbooks for us. She saved everything and used her own "scraps". Nothing was store bought. Now scrapbook has become a verb rather than a noun. I am working on a scrapbook, I am not scrapbooking!
I ordered 2 personalized red leather photo albums from Exposures after our son was born. That is as far as I got with the project. Most of our photos are digital which I had been organizing on our website (thank goodness!) A few weeks before Ash Wednesday I went through all the old photos so I could place an order for prints. It was bittersweet; I miss the baby experience and long to do it again!
Now that all the photos are here I have been arranging them in the album with a few little scraps here and there. I have completely taken over the dining room table. How lucky the ladies who have a home large enough to have a dedicated craft room!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It didn't work.

I was feeling very confident on Thursday; my temps were remaining high and my skin had cleared up. I was so convinced that I was pregnant that I was planning out how I'd spend my Friday stopping by my mom's work to tell her our news, then going to my grandparents' house to let them know too. We discussed how we could skype his family on Saturday, how the baby would be due around his birthday. I was so eager to pee on a stick that I wasn't sure if I'd ever be able to fall asleep. As soon as I woke up I took my temperature. 97.5. It had fallen almost a full point. Not a tenth of a point, but a full point. I was devastated. There was obviously no need to POAS now; I knew what the result would be. So I cried instead. It wasn't immediate, but when it came it lasted for quite awhile.
I spent most of the day weepy, although I did take the littlest W to Yuen Lui for an Easter photo shoot with live bunnies. That made me feel better, but knowing that the only reason I was doing the bunny session was because I have to use up two more sessions before they expire in September stung. When I signed up for this photo package I expected I'd be long past pregnant by now and would have another baby who'd be using up his or her own sessions. Infertility makes it so hard to prepare for things!
Two sets of friends closed on their new houses and we helped one of the families move today. It was during this time that I started my cycle. I went from being fine and in a relatively good mood to knowing that I had to get home and away from people in an instant. I've been holed up on the sofa for the remainder of the day. Can I mention that being vegan while menstruating is its own special type of penance? All I want is fatty comfort food. Mr. W made me a nice menestra de verduras (from The Vegetarian Epicure Book Two by Anna Thomas) and poached pears for dessert. It was nice, but not the same a cheeseburger and chocolate milkshake.
We move on to radical infertility treatments this month. I didn't think I'd be here and it's possible that I vowed I wouldn't be doing this. It just goes to show that I shouldn't be casting judgment on things until I have experienced them first. Earlier this week we went to the RE's office to learn how to administer the gonadotropin shots. We had hoped at the time that we wouldn't need that information. I'm sure in a few days I'll get excited, and nervous, about the injectables, but today I am just moopey.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Firwood Lake

In April of 2008 a representative from Portland Parks and Recreation came to a SNA meeting to inform us of their plan to combat the toxic algae bloom at Firwood Lake, the pond in Laurelhurst Park. The pond was developed in the teens when the neighborhood was being constructed. It was originally ~20 feet deep. So much sediment has grown during the last 8+ decades that the pond is as shallow as 18" in some areas. The Parks plan was to use microbes to eat up the organic matter in the hopes that they could avoid dredging the pond which would disrupt the eco- system, in addition to being costly. While that sounds like an ideal approach, my initial reaction was that since the pond had never been dredged since its inception, it wasn't unreasonable to have the pond dredged once in 80 years. It still seems like low maintenance considering we have nearly a century of moldy white bread and duck droppings creating such a thick layer of sediment. They estimated that there would be about 2000 cubic yards that would need to be removed.
PP&R went the microbe route of treatment for around a year and while there was some progress made, the color seemed to improve, they weren't able to see the progress they were hoping to see. The decision has been made to "mechanically remove the sediment" with work projected to begin in April.
We went for a walk on a crisp, sunny January day and took some photos of the algae bloom in Firwood Lake.When the sun is shining you can see how neon green the waters are.
The boys don't seem to mind though, any opportunity to go duck watching is exciting for them.
We NEVER take human food to feed to the ducks. While Franz bread may be good for us, it is a horrible diet for water fowl; I beleive there is an analogy of it being similar to feeding them cake. Human food being throw into the pond to feed the birds contributes to our toxic algae problem. It is my hope that once the pond has been restored, Portlanders heed the warning signs requesting that people refrain from feeding the ducks.
I saw my first camellia of the season on our walk that day.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lenten Roses

It has been spring in our garden for for a few weeks now. I thought I'd practice using the new zoom lens Mr. W ordered for his fancy new camera. It's fun, but as you can see on this crocus, I still have some kinks to work out.
I don't remember having hellebores when I was growing up, but several years ago I saw Martha do a feature on them and she said that they were also called Lenten Roses. I liked that idea right away! It seems that so many flowers were given a religious name if they were in bloom around the time of a feast day. What better way to decorate for a feast day than to be able to bring in cuttings from your own yard? So I have been gradually building my Scripture Garden. It needs a lot of work, but so does everything in an old house.
I have really fallen for Lenten roses. They are purple, which is my favorite color. They love the shade, and most of our garden is shaded. They are evergreen thus, unlike all the bulbs I have planted, I can avoid holes in the beds and create some winter interest. And they flower early! I have several varieties. I used my Christmas money to buy 6 of them 4 years ago. I have lost two since then.Recently my mother bought me two more that are beautiful!Primrose, or Lady's frills, will winter over in Portland. I put in a few of these annuals 2 years ago and they have come back each year since.While February in Portland is a month for crocus, camelia, forsythia, and hellebores, March has always meant daffodils. Yellow is not my favorite color, but daffodills are such a cheery flower! I have been adding different varieties to our garden. I'm hoping they naturalize a little bit more so that I can have some cuttings to bring into the house. Since I took these photos in February, this was the first daffodil to erupt, his outer petals hadn't emerged yet so he was all trumpet. These little guys were just beginning to open, they are a fun pom pom shape rather than the traditional trumpet.
The ranunculus I planted last year returned!

Monday, March 8, 2010

The marital booty call

It has been over a week and I am still mortified. I have been trying to conceive for 17 cycles, just one cycle short of what it took to become pregnant with our son. But this time I have a diagnosis of unexplained infertility which is more frustrating because there is nothing that can be "fixed" like there was last time. I had been debating whether or not I should skip this month so that my potential due date would not fall between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I worry about a child's birthday competing with the holidays. But when one is this infertile it just doesn't make sense to put off trying for something as seemingly insignificant as a birth date. Beggar moms can't be chooser moms! After reassurance from the ladies on I accepted the logic to try to get pregnant this month. And then I realized the dilemma with my chart. My potential ovulation window would fall during Hot Dog: The Bachelor Party. Of course it would, we are seldom apart from each other overnight, Murphy's Law would dictate that the dates would coincide.
So how would this work out? Mr. W originally suggested that we meet up half way in Hood River so that I could avoid driving up to the mountain during inclement weather. This seemed logical, but the more I thought about it I wondered did he expect us to find a rent by the hour motel in Hood River? Or that I'd be so desperate after 17 cycles that I'd be willing to conceive our child in the back seat of the Sentra? And one would have to take into account that I'd be entertaining Ms. H so she and our son would have to come with me. Do we send them out for a walk around the block while we take care of things? No options were appealing to me.
Hot Dog: The Bachelor Party arrived and the men folk headed up to the mountain. By this point Mr. W decided that it made the most sense for me to come up to the HD: TBP. I crossed my fingers that I would be late to ovulate this month. I have been going through acupuncture treatments to regulate my cycle and they have been quite successful, but if ever I was to have an abnormal cycle, this would be it.
Around 5 o'clock on day two of HD: TBP I received a call from Mr. W. He was eager to hear if I had tested positive that day. Frankly, I was having such a good time eating my way across the city with Ms. H that it hadn't occurred to me to test yet that day. I told him I'd call him back. Wouldn't you know it, but the opk turned up a big smiley face right away. Normally I get very excited about positives, but that evening I was filled with dread. I'd have to go up the mountain to meet my husband. We'd try to make a baby. We'd be in the middle of a bachelor party. I called him to let him know the results and I could tell he was pleased; he was really enjoying the idea of a martial booty call. We loaded ourselves into the car, called around to my friend canceling dinner plans with the thought that we could maybe have drinks at my house later. I figured it would be about 2 hrs round trip. This was naive. I'd quickly find that nothing would go according to "plan."
1) It was Friday night around 5:30 pm and we found ourselves in the middle of rush hour traffic. When we finally got through Gresham and onto the Mt. Hood highway I had Ms H call him to let him know where we were.
2) The littlest W had not napped yet that day and I was convinced he'd sleep on the ride up. Of course he didn't! I spent a good part of the drive singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Not exactly mood music.
3) I don't drive up to the mountain often so I'm not familiar with the roads, and it was dark, so I wasn't driving fast. I was making horrible time.
4) He'd given me directions to Falcon Crest, the house they had rented. When we finally found it, and I managed to find a spot in the crowded driveway, Mr. M came out and asked me to move my car because he needed to get out to go on a beer run. The fact that he was completely nonchalant about seeing me in the driveway of HD:TBP confirmed my fear that he, and everyone else knew exactly why I was there. So embarrassing!!!! I imagine my face was bright red.
5) It turned out that they had tapped the keg on the first night so the guys wanted Mr. W to have me stop and pick up another keg for them along the way. He was smart enough to not ask me to do this when Ms. H called him earlier to give him our location.
6) Mr. W came out to meet me with the silliest grin ever. He was very pleased with the situation. I on the other hand, wanted to crawl into a hole. We went inside and set up H&G with all the toys I had brought to keep the littlest W entertained while we occupied ourselves in the next room. We were staying on the ground floor because I wanted to remain as discrete as possible. The fewer guys I ran into, the better. As I walked away our son started shrieking at the top of his lungs. This was not going to help set the mood either.
7) Mr. W was gleefully swinging a sock around like a tassel. He was having way too much fun with this. The sock was for the door knob because it is guy code for don't come in the room 'cause I'm getting busy. Was that really necessary I asked. Yes, because there was no lock on the door. Awesome.
8) I was curious how obvious our situation was, I needed him to give me reassurance first that I wasn't a laughing stock. Did everyone know? Apparently yes because he was talking up his booty call while he was in the hot tub. And good thing he was talking about it he told me, because everyone yelled at him that he better get out of the hot tub fast and go sit outside in the snow to cool things down. How helpful.
9) Miraculously we had no problems taking care of what needed to be done. I was not too keen on waiting the allotted number of minutes before I moved. I decided I was willing to risk interrupting the swimmers so I could get the heck out of there. There was a bathroom within the bedroom, but there was no door and the wall above the whirlpool tub was open to the rest of the room. While I was in there putting myself back together there was a knock at the door. We froze. Mr. W cracked the door to see Mr. N who had recently arrived and was the only one who didn't know what was going on. I could tell from his voice that he was instantly suspicious.
"What's going on?"
"Uh, nothing, what do you want?"
"Uh, I need to get my bag"
"I'll get it for you!"
10) I was so ready to get out of there! We went to get the boy and Ms H and I was ready to leave. Did I want a tour of Falcon Crest? No, I did not! The longer we stood in the hallway, the more guys happened to pass by. I was quite over being the entertainment for the night! We headed back to Portland. Surprisingly the littlest W still didn't fall asleep in the car until we were nearly home. It had been 5 hours!
The next day when we met Mrs. F for lunch I learned that already the gossip of the booty call was spreading, and HD:TBP wasn't even over yet! And since the rental house is Falcon Crest in the town of Government Camp, there are already tons of potential baby names that people are suggesting for us. How thoughtful.
Dear Lord, I'd really like to have another baby and I kind of think I've earned it this month. I hope you agree.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Eating our way across Portland

The Wedding to end all weddings falls on Labor Day weekend this year. Hot Dog: The Bachelor Party took place over the weekend. Our friends Ms. H & Mr. G came into town on Wednesday because he would be going up to Hot Dog: The Bachelor Party with Mr. W and she was going to keep me company in town.
As I've mentioned before Ms. H and I love food; we nearly minored in it in college. Although I went pesca-vegan for Lent, I knew God would want me to be a good hostess to my little atheist friend, in spit of the liturgical season. The vegan diet would just have to be put on hold for the duration of her visit.
Another of Mr. W's friends, Mr. K arrived in town before the H&Gs. After dropping the littlest W off at his great grandparents' house for a sleep over we went to Pok Pok for dinner. Shamefully we haven't been there yet for dinner in spite of it being within walking distance. I was so excited about seeing Ms. H that I actually don't remember too much about Pok Pok, but I was very surprised to discover that although we arrived after nine on a winter Wednesday, that there was a half hour wait for a table. No matter, we headed across the street to Whiskey Sour Bar until our tiny table became available. Let's just say the corner was tight. Mr. W and Mr. K were in their element here, out man-ing each other with the spicy foods. After we'd had our fill we left Mr. K at Whiskey Sour with some of the other brothers and we retrieved the H&Gs from the airport. The last time we visited the H&Gs in Tucson they took us to the Kon Tiki because they have become tiki devotees. I knew instantly where I had to take them the next time they were in Portland.
The Alibi is really a perfect match when you think about it, combining both the love of tiki and love of karaoke. Fruity drinks with umbrellas were drunk. Kenny Rogers, The Rolling Stones, and Showtunes were sung. Although we arrived to a full room, we closed the place down.
On the way home, and four drinks to the wind, we stopped by the late night food carts at SE Hawthorne and 12th Ave. We've always wanted to go, but since it doesn't open until 8 pm and that is past someone's bedtime, we've not been able to do it. I finally could try the Belgian frites. From what I remember, they were tasty. I do think I need to return under more sober circumstances though to confirm.
Miraculously Mr. W made it to work the next morning while we were barely able to drag ourselves out of bed. I managed to get my baby back and we walked to Pine State Biscuits for breakfast, although it was lunchtime for the rest of the city. I really wanted to show off the glory of The Reggie, but none of us were adventuresome. We opted instead for beverage and biscuits with honey, apple butter and marion berry jam. It took us most of the day to recover from the night out so all we could manage for dinner was to order in pizza from Rovente before the menfolk headed up to the mountain.
By Friday we were back on our game and we drove to Alberta Street and the Grilled Cheese Grill. A month ago I had another sorority sister, Ms. G in town and I took her here for lunch. I knew right away that a school bus converted into a dining room for cheesey sandwiches was exactly what Ms. H would need.
She was in heaven considering they have both savory and sweet sandwiches. She had the special of the day and followed it up with a nuttela, grilled banana on cinnamon raisin bread sandwich to go. I had the Jalapenos Popper which has roasted jalapenos, cheddar, cream cheese and corn chips. They offer optional grilled ham on it and why wouldn't you?
While the Littlest W loves grilled cheese sandwiches, on both visits thus far he starts out his meal stealing and devouring everyone's pickle spears. Friday evening did not turn out the way I'd planned (more on that later perhaps) so we satisfied ourselves with a take out dinner from Laughing Planet.
Saturday we finally had an opportunity to meet up with Mrs. F and her son, who joined us for breakfast at the Waffle Window off Hawthorne. It was such a beautiful day and a pleasure to be eating outside. Mr. W and I have been wanting to try it out since it opened, but I think we somehow always get sidetracked by Pine State Biscuits. We positively have to go back; the waffles are so pretty!
Another child free night was in order so this time he went to his Grammy's. We did a little shopping in the Pearl and then went home to change. One of our sorority sisters, Ms. Mc lives within walking distance so we met up with her and bussed back to the Pearl for Ladies' Night. Our first stop was Vault Martini Lounge. Their martini menu is extensive, but we never made it past the first page: The Deadly Sins! We all picked our personal favorite sin which gave us Sloth, Gluttony, and Greed.
We would have liked more, but we had dinner reservations at Blue Hour. We'd read reviews online touting the bacon wrapped scallops, and for good reason! That bacon is sliced so thin it literally melts in your mouth without giving you any fatty bacon texture. Mr. W has been making sure I acquire a taste for scallops. I think it is safe to say that he has been successful in that endeavor. I did not care for my carrot soup at all; it tasted of the root cellar, but not of carrots. On the other hand it is such a bland, boring broth that it makes for a perfect Lenten food! And then there were the truffles! I had the truffle gnocchi, Ms. Mc the risotto and Ms H the fried risotto cakes with truffle salad. We were pleased.
We weren't at all prepared for dessert, instead we walked down to the Gilt Club, which online alluded to the old-timey, speak-easy feel. I can't say that I agree considering the place is floor to ceiling windows so everyone can see what is going on inside, but it is very beautiful and not at all what I would expect based on my days bus riding down Broadway on my way to high school. Ms. H promised that she'd order a drink with egg whites in true speak-easy style if they had one on the menu. They have two such drinks.
Ms. H has heard of VooDoo Donuts, but we've never had the opportunity to take her there before. Since we were in walking distance we headed over. On our walk down Burnside some 20- something, skater punks declared us MILFs. I didn't hear it, but considered it flattering. Since neither of my friends are mothers they were not pleased. At all. The line for VooDoo Donuts was outrageous so we grabbed a cab and headed home, pleased with our old ass selves for staying our so late.
After Mass the next day I took Ms. H to one last place. A tea party was in order. Since Ms. H isn't as frilly and old fashioned as I am I thought she'd be a perfect candidate for the tea room at Tao of Tea. It is very Asian inspired and has a large selection of custom blended teas and Indian and Asian snacks and sweets. It was an excellent way for me to wean myself back onto a vegan diet since my dear friend's trip was drawing to a close. I hope to visit them in a few short weeks during her spring break.