Monthly Archives: November 2009

Last week in Elderland was all about movies and modest money saving meals. Since it took almost the entire week to settle nicely back into normalcy after our separate adventures to the foreign lands of Tennessee and Texas, we certainly did not have motivation or energy to shop for groceries and plan dinners, let alone actually conjure our kitchen creativity. Also, with our pending Thanksgiving adventure which will take us to far away places like Valdosta, GA and Palmetto, FL, we did our best to put to use our well developed skills in frugality. Sifting through the pantry dregs we managed to throw together pasta for Tuesday, had leftovers Wednesday, and pulled out the ol’ breakfast for dinner trick on Thursday (blueberry pancakes are yumtastic no matter what time of day you eat them). Friday brought a spontaneous trip to the our local Mexicali fave La Fiesta with our pals the Martinies, on Saturday mom bought us pizza (thanks, Ma!!), and Sunday night was burgers at the Brouwers (with local ground beef from Smith Angus Farm bestowed upon Sarah by her buddy at the South Estes Farmers’ Market). Of course there were a few random trips to the store for essentials like peanut butter, but all in all we’d say our week of scrimpage was successful. Now we just have to make it through two more days and then it’s road trippin’ time!

And about those movies. We love movies. All kinds of movies. We’re also rather picky, which is not to say we won’t give most anything a chance, but we have many a time turned a movie off after as little as 10 minutes, and several of the flicks we make it all the way through go down on the crap list. With our unorthodox dinner deal came some extra TV time, so in place of catching up on episodes of our fave shows (The Office, Glee, 30 Rock, Community to name a few) we watched not one, not two, but THREE movies last week.

First was an indie flick called Sex and Breakfast. This film was about two young couples facing different challenges in their sex lives and their decisions to participate in a sort of swingers program lead by a creepy old lady. Sounds brilliant, eh?! Well, it was mediocre, but intriguing enough to go all the way (pun intended). The strangest part was that one of the male leads was played by McCaulay Culkin who looks barely a year older than he did in the last installment of Home Alone and really just shouldn’t be having sex. At least not for public viewing. We gave it a C.

Next came Donnie Darko. Surprisingly neither of us had seen this cult classic and it has been sitting in the queue for at least a year. Super cast, fantastic film. A.

Finally, The Goods. Perhaps our expectations were too high for this comedy. With Jeremy Piven, who has been tickling our funny bone since PCU and is arguably the star of HBO’s Entourage, leading a kick ass line-up of comedians including Ed Helms, who with The Hangover proved his worth well beyond The Office (as if that wasn’t enough), we thought for sure at least a solid laugh fest was to come, and would gladly have taken that over a solid plot. Sadly no. Mostly lame, with a few abbreviated giggles. C-.

Today is Monday and it’s raining in central NC once again. Blerg. But it’s a short week and with Thursday comes the joys of gluttony and 24/7 family! Hooray!

t-minus 9 hours…

The last time we saw each other was early Wednesday morning. Sadly, Pete’s grandfather “Big Daddy” passed away on Saturday the 7th. Pete was close with Big Daddy and has a wealth of wonderful memories of him, some of which he has shared with Sarah who unfortunately never got to meet him. Pete visited Big Daddy back in May and spent some great quality time with him just hanging out at his house and talking. The funeral was Thursday evening. It was not only a good-bye to Big Daddy but also a rare opportunity for many of the members of Pete’s family on mom’s side to get together and catch up on each other’s lives. Tears and laughter were shared by all and promises made to reunite sooner rather than later. Rest in peace William Humbert Robertson.

Due to a previously planned trip to San Antonio to visit dad and James, Sarah was unable to attend the funeral. We had a lovely breakfast at home on Wednesday, said our good-byes and headed in our separate directions. Sarah left early Friday morning and Pete returned to Mebane Friday evening. Prior to now, there has been only one other time that we’ve been apart this long and that was less than a year after we started dating: 2002! Needless to say, we are VERY excited to see each other tonight. And then promptly head to bed as it will be close to 11 pm and 6 am Tuesday will come all too fast. Four day weeks after two days off are generally chaotic. And of course next week brings a gobbletastic trip to Florida for family Thanksgiving and a much anticipated introduction to our adorable new nephew Grayson (touching birth story here). Tis that time of too little time and teeming tasks. Whee.

DJ Chop presents…

Recipe mash-up! Do you ever find yourself facing the dinner hour without a plan at which point your husband (or wife) unknowingly inquires about tonight’s menu sending a spasm of worry (and quite likely irritation) through your body as you rack your brain and scan your kitchen for inspiration? Fear not! You too can master the art of recipe mash-up! In these instances you surely do not have all the proper ingredients to complete one recipe (unless of course the term recipe is defined in your house as “what they put on the back of the hamburger helper box.” we’re not saying there’s anything wrong with that. even though there clearly is. we’re just not the ones who said it.) Stop your dinner distress dead in its tracks by finding not one, but two or maybe even three (CRAZY) recipes. Take bits and bites from each one based on the ingredients you have on hand and surprise yourself with an all new concoction of great culinary caliber. This takes a bit of practice, and may not always have a happy ending, but those times when it does are well worth the fun. Note from Captain Obvious: recipes should probably share a theme i.e. Asian or Southern. A mash-up of Indian spiced chickpeas and Shrimp and Grits would perhaps be a bad idea.

Last night we took:

Spicy Peanut Noodles and Sweet Potato Thai Curry and Thai Chicken with Green Beans

and made:

Huzzah!

Hello gorgeous! Many a Mebane tree hath said good-bye to its fiery fall color and began (and in some cases finished) it’s annual sloughing in preparation for the winter hibernation. Lucky for us our oaks are a little on the slow side (shhh, not too loud, they’ll hear!). Whilst our little civic warmed it’s engine, Sarah took advantage of the crisp morning glow and snapped a couple pics of this blushing hardwood. Oh, and for all you fine folks that don’t live in Mebane, that there in the background is our cozy new old house.

Sunday is funday and absolutely our favorite day. Even when Sunday means getting our scrub on and vacuuming with a vengeance, at the very least it means breakfast and coffee together which during the crazy work week is all but impossible. After Sarah’s cold morning run we got busy in the kitchen. Cooking of course. Today’s breakfast consisted of herbed goat cheese omelets and belgian waffles with peanut butter and bananas. Peanut butter is an integral part of any breakfast in the Elder household and is enjoyed atop english muffins, toast, pancakes, and waffles. Throw on some sliced bananas and a drizzle of pure maple syrup, wash it down with strong black coffee, and like omg can it be Sunday everyday? Of course not, because then it would never be Saturday and that’s when the Gators play.

Middle Sunday is time to be productive. Pete changed the oil on both cars and rotated the Civic tires (he is stupendously handy) then rode his bicycle 42 miles, and Sarah went to Costco to buy a gallon of hummus, 48 granola bars and bulk nuts. Grocery shopping, check! That should get us through a week. And we all know what Costco on the weekend means…SAMPLES! See? Sunday = Funday.

But really. We like to eat. And we eat good. Like really good. Because our meals are made with love (and recipes). Just about two years ago our weekly menu was nothing short of monotonous and utterly uninspiring. We’ve since opened our minds (and bellys) to a whole new world of eating. That’s not to say that we were ever afraid to try new things. Just lazy. We made some great foodie friends, took an active interest in localism and started throwing a few surprises into the weekly line-up. Now we make new recipes every week and are even toeing the line between recipe followers and impromptu kitchen gurus (ok, that line’s a bit on the wide side, but we have big toes). So we think part of this blog should be about what we made for dinner. Tonight: Kale and White-Bean Stew from Food and Wine. We added chicken-apple sausage (also from Costco) and it was delightful. And the best part? The kale was grown at the Mebane Community Garden, most of it at our plot. Yep. We’re fancypants farmers. To the extent that you can be with a 16×4 plot . It’s super exciting to make meals with stuff you grew. Maybe one day the novelty will wear off, but it will always save money, always be uber local, and always taste super great.

Sleepy time.

You must be this tall…

Come one, come all to Elderland! This here is our fancy new blog. A veritable deluge of the ever fascinating minutiae that is the life of the NC Elders (not to be confused with the FL Elders who though equally fascinating are clearly not as awesome for the simple fact that they reside in FL and not NC, a fact that we will tirelessly strive to upend and rewrite despite the stolid efforts of said FL’ers to stay firmly planted ever so far from our beautiful state in that often sunny and interminably humid flatland. Loves you guys!). We know not what this messy mélange will mold into and feel confident that it could forever remain a nonsensical explosion of quotidian ramblings, but we can promise, at the very least, that our readers will learn all about who we are, what we do, where we go, and all the things we love and hate.

One thing you’ll likely notice immediately (assuming we are even remotely successful and keeping this updated) is that we are what we like to call uberdoers. An uberdoer is a person that clearly has way too much on their plate, but has become so addicted to schedule gluttony that they keep returning to the buffet because maybe they didn’t see the delightful corn-syrup laden spongy mound of sugar that is strawberry shortcake on their first trip. Multi-tasking is key. Example: while typing this post I am also cooking dinner, checking the laundry, tweaking the tunes, and texting a friend. This generally works out okay, but in certain instances (i.e. 2 minutes ago) things take a little detour from the happy land of doing and wind up in the dangerous land of disaster (I maybe failed to realize that the pot handle was hella hot from being right over the burner and maybe burned my hand.) Reader: “If you’re so busy, why are you starting a blog?” Us: “Because it tastes good.” (see buffet analogy).

Anyhoo. Here we are. We’ll do our best to stay current and keep you entertained. Drop in as often as you like, and be sure to leave comments galore. Nobody likes a lurker. Y’all come back now!