Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Brief Return to Bachelorhood

A few weeks ago Leann's parents came up to visit and then when they left they took Leann and Lilli with them. They were in Texas for two weeks, but I had to stay in Madison for work. Here are some of the things I did while they were gone (and when I wasn't working).

I am a scout leader for 11-year-old Scouts and the same day Leann and Lilli left I travelled to Ontario, Wisconsin to do some camping with them (as well as the older Scouts). Most of the 11-year-olds were in a tent together by themselves and they decided to get up at 5:30 am to chop wood so they could start a fire (yes, you read that right). They had a hard time getting the fire going since it had been raining all night and all the wood was wet. At 6:00 am I gave up on going back to sleep, got up, went out, and showed them how to start a fire with wet wood.

Later that morning we climbed into some canoes and floated down the Kickapoo River. The river was lazy and the scenery was pretty astonishing. I didn't dare take my camera with me on the river (two of the Scouts, and their fathers, ended up in the drink so this wasn't an idle concern) so I don't have any pictures of the awesome stone formations we passed on our way downstream. A few days after I got back I found a deer tick in my leg.

One evening I went to a restaurant near the Wisconsin State Capitol Building, called the Tornado Steakhouse because they had some things on the menu that I wanted to try: escargot (bottom, left) and rabbit (bottom, right). First, they brought out a bunch of veggies in a cup with some ice (top). I wasn't sure whether this was a centerpiece or an appetizer, so I left it alone. They also brought me several types of bread (middle, left) and a carrot ginger soup (middle, right). The soup was interesting, but not spectacular. The escargot isn't as terrifying as people imagine it to be—it's not that different from eating clams. The rabbit was covered in bacon, which was all I could taste, and the kale that came with it was a little too charred for my taste. To this point the meal was generally pleasant if not notable. But then I tried the Yorkshire pudding that came with the rabbit. Blech! I think it was made with sheep milk and after a few bites I had to stop eating it. There are sheep cheeses that I like, but this was just disgusting.

I also took advantage of Leann's absence to eat some of the foods that I enjoy, but she doesn't. This included fish sticks, chèvre [1], and prosciutto.[2] I also made myself the ridiculous-looking dessert in the photograph above. My family calls a simpler version of this (two layers of chocolate pudding with one layer of whipped topping in between) a buried treasure. The extravagant variation depicted above has three layers of instant pudding (butterscotch, pistacchio, and chocolate) and three layers of whipped topping. It was delicious. I also tried my hand at making beef pinwheels and French onion dip.[3]

Aside from that, I worked on a few distribution maps [4], I finished watching seasons 4 and 5 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars [5], and I watched a couple movies from RedBox.[6]


[1] Read my review of Shepherd's chèvre here.

[2] Read my review of Fiorucci prosciutto here.

[3] If I manage to perfect my recipes I'll eventually post them. But for now we'll just say 'forthcoming'.

[4] Review forthcoming.

[5] Read my reviews here and here.

[6] They were The Bourne Legacy (review forthcoming) and the new Total Recall (review forthcoming).

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