Started innocently enough with a quiet Friday night at home with a movie and a fire. Watched Bobby finally as we somehow missed it completely the first time around. Great film, great cast -- learned a lot about something I really didn't know that much about. Even though Lindsay Lohan was in it.
Saturday met the Dogs=Awesome group for a dog play in the rain. God bless the one person who actually showed up ;). Ah well, gotta walk the dog anyway right? Ran some rainy errands and took a fruitful trip to the liquor store. I've decided I want to try drinking brandy so I wanted to chat with someone who actually knows something about good brandy. With all the fires we've been making at home, it just doesn't seem complete without a giant snifter of brandy. At least, that's what I'm thinking. It could go over like a lead balloon but we'll give it a try. Got home and made up a giant slow-cooker FULL of coconut chicken and vegetable curry. Honestly, I never love my slow cooker more than I do when it's cold out. As promised on Twitter, here's the recipe:
3 potatoes, chopped
some zucchini (but don't put in until about the last hour or else they will just disintegrate)
some tomatoes (optional, I opted IN!)
1 medium onion, sliced up
a good handful of carrots sliced
2 cloves of garlic minced
5-6 chicken breasts
1 14oz can coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
curry powder to personal taste - I ended up with about 3 tsps
cumin - about 1 tsp
garam masala - 1 tsp
tumeric - 1 tsp
paprika - like 1/2 tsp
Hot pepper sauce or red pepper flakes or an actual hot pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
For right at the end:
1 package frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Place the potatoes, onion, and carrots in the bottom of the slow cooker and throw some olive oil in. Scatter the minced garlic over the carrots. The slow-cooker should be about half full.
Brown the chicken in some oil in a skillet and put aside.
Prepare the sauce by whisking the coconut milk, chicken broth, curry powder and hot sauce until smooth. Whisk in salt and pepper.
Put half the chicken on top of the veggies, pour half the sauce, put down the rest of the chicken and pour the rest of the sauce over top. Cook on high for about an hour then turn down to low and cook for another 4-5 hours. Don't touch it, don't take the lid off, don't stir it. In the last hour or so you can toss in the zucchini. In the last 30 mins, add the peas and in the 15 minutes add the yogurt. Serve it up on some yummy rice with naan bread.
Sunday began with another dog party before it started to pour rain. Then this is where it started getting strange. Driving home from the dog park, we pass by our neighbour's house and see his dog Rookie lying down in the grass in front. In the pouring rain. Strange right? Right. We turn around in the laneway and go back to confirm our fear -- the poor dog is, in fact, dead. We decide that we should ring the doorbell on the off chance our neighbour, an elderly man who lives with his ever more elderly mother, does not know poor Rookie's fate. When he answers the door sobbing uncontrollably we realize he does know. Mid-summer this neighbour lost his ancient family cat and then his OTHER old dog so losing Rookie just put him over the edge. So now, Marc and I are tearing up seeing his heartbreaking state. He says he's going to leave him there but we tell him no, we'll help him move him out of the rain and into the back of his truck so he can take him to be cremated at the vet in the morning. Rookie was actually 3/4 wolf so he was huge. Huge and beautiful. Imagine a cream coloured huskie the size of a Great Dane, very solitary and very wolf-like. The kind of dog that, if you met him at night, you'd be wary but in reality he didn't have a mean bone in his body. We roll him onto a plank of wood, our neighbour crying the whole time and stroking the dog's face. We get him into the back of the truck and our poor neighbour proceeds to fall apart, weeping over his poor dog who, we guess, must have had a heart attack on the lawn. It was just heartbreaking. Now there's 3 of us crying in the pouring rain over this poor dog. I can't imagine how lonely he feels now, losing all of his pets and only having his 95 year old mother to keep him company. Ugh.....it was just the worst and I couldn't shake the feeling all afternoon. Strangely, moving his body into the truck was the first time I ever actually got to touch Rookie because he was so solitary. Poor guy,,,
Thankfully we had a lovely dinner invite from some friends to help us shake off the sad turn of the afternoon. Last year Marc bought a bottle of Sagrantino and he and our restauranteur friend Mark (owner and sommelier at Ristorante Verdicchios) have been planning to drink it together forever. Well we finally got our schedules linked and we got together for an amazing dinner with Mark and his wife Laura and their gorgeous son Alessandro and some wild boar stew that Marc had marinating in a full bottle of red wine since Saturday morning. It. Was. Insanity in a bowl served over polenta. Delicious. Marc and Mark took it upon themselves to rev up their Sunday night and I ended up putting us in a cab, taking us home, and tending to an essentially passed out Marc. Basically he was where I was last weekend. And Marc is SO rarely like this that it was a great source of amusement for me. Oh how the mighty have fallen...
See what I mean? Strange, strange weekend for me on all fronts....