Tuesday, March 3, 2015

I'm Still Full

 I was looking forward to to this past weekend as we had some celebratory things planned for my 55th birthday, which was Monday, including a visit from Little Helen.  Unfortunately, the bang it started with on Friday morning wasn't a good one.

I always bring a thermal cup of coffee with me to work.  Because I was busy the minute I walked in, the coffee got cold, so I took it to the microwave and heated it up.  Took it out and as I was putting the lid back on, for some reason, it tipped.  And unfortunately, it tipped on my right hand and wrist.

The pain was so incredible it was making me clench my teeth.  I went and showed it to a paramedic and he told me to take some ibuprofen to help the pain and try to keep it under cool water every time it started to burn.  He also said if it blistered I should go to the ER.  I left the office and ran to the pharmacy to get ibuprofen and also bought a burn cream - that did absolutely nothing to help it.  But after a few hours of running it under cold water every couple of minutes and taking 800 mg of ibuprofen the pain subsided.  So, I figured first degree burn.  But when I got up Saturday morning, there were tiny little blisters all over my hand. Some of them have gone away but my wrist area is pretty swollen.  I have a feeling that's going to be discolored for a while to come.

When I got home Friday night, Mr. Helen was so concerned about my burn he told me just to put my feet up and relax.  But he had also decided that the celebrations should last the weekend.

I was happy to oblige (the burn thing was quite stressful) and  I hadn't watched Downton Abbey yet so I changed into my comfy clothes began to watch that.. As I was relaxing, he brought a TV tray up to the living room and next thing I knew I had a nice appetizer plate and a glass of champagne.

It made me a little verklempt because honestly, I love champagne and that's the first time he's ever spontaneously bought me any!  He also heated up a Quiche Lorraine that he'd bought and made a nice salad. Friday ended up being pretty good after that bad start.

Saturday Little Helen came in with the plan to celebrate my birthday and do some wedding stuff.  They arrived around 12:30 and since we all needed a bit of lunch, we decided to go to the Cabin Fever Chowder Festival.  It's a fundraiser for a local food bank, held at Old Mystic Village which is a shopping area where all the buildings look like a little village.  You get 12 tickets for $10 and each ticket gets you a 2-3 oz. portion of chowder.  We had a blast going in and out of the shops sampling chowders, some of which were quite unique... Sweet Potato and Shrimp, Corn and Chicken, Oyster - so many.  Then we got to vote for our favorite.  We split our votes with Little Helen and her fiance voting for a classic creamy New England Clam chowder and Mr. Helen and I voting for a Surf and Turf chowder that had lobster and bits of steak and vegetables in a creamy tomato base.  We were laughing at the end because we figured we'd each eaten about 24 oz. of chowder! On the way out of the village we stopped at a coffee place that sources everything locally and I got a peppermint mocha.  I took a photo of the design for you Lori!

After going back home for a few hours, we headed out again for dinner at The Engine Room.  Though they have a few other things, their specialty is gourmet burgers and handcut french fries, again all locally sourced.  If you click on that link you can see the menu... we had such a hard time deciding what to get, we got too much lol!  For appetizers we tried the Avocado Half, the fried chicken on a biscuit and the cornmeal dusted oysters (not me, I don't eat those).  Then I chose the Smoked Pork Burger.  So, so yummy! I ended up cutting the burger in half and had leftovers.  But we will definitely go back, the food was delicious.  Little Helen gave me gift card to Sephora and a gorgeous scarf.

Sunday morning, we had plans for all of us to go to brunch along with some friends but the snowstorm coming in meant Little Helen had to leave early.  Bummer! (And even leaving early it took her an extra 1 1/2 hours to get home.) We went anyway because Mr. Helen normally works Sunday and can't go to brunch.  The big photo is the Open Face Smoked Turkey Eggs Benedict (that was mine!), at the bottom, left to right: Fresh Raspberry French Toast, Crab Cake Eggs Benedict, Lobster Omelette, plus a couple of shots of the buffet. As good as the food was, it was just a great time being with good friends!

As we were finishing up, the storm started and it was sticking fairly quickly so we rolled ourselves out of there and went home.  I actually ended up laying down to read while Mr. Helen watched TV and I fell sound asleep!  I haven't napped on a Sunday afternoon in forever - that was a nice treat.  Since it was snowing, we just hung out and caught up on some TV we'd wanted to watch.  At about 6 I took a load of laundry upstairs and glanced out the kitchen window to see this:

What on earth?! Mr. Helen informed me that while I napped they changed us from 3 inches and an advisory to 8 inches and a warning.  SO. OVER. IT.  I looked at him and said, "I swear, my flag pole is going to be buried and on March 21st, I am going outside and draping my Welcome Spring flag over that pile of snow!!

I made it to Monday without any cake or dessert and then there was a cake explosion.  My coworker made me a cheesecake - we had a running joke because she was supposed to make it when I turned 50 and then she had something happen and couldn't do it.  So this cheesecake was 5 years in the making.  Another coworker provided cupcakes for those who didn't care for cheesecake. 

I left work and picked up Mama Helen so she could go for dinner with us. When I got home, one of my brothers was there and he had brought me a cupcake-sized chocolate bomb.  I opened gifts and Mama Helen had made me carrot cake cupcakes and finally, Mr. Helen had bought me a chocolate torte cake, which he thought would be fun to absolutely fill with candles.

My smart alec husband also provided this balloon for entertainment...

We all left and went to one of our favorite local pubs who have been doing a Soul Food Sunday/Monday.  I had the sampler which had ribs, jerk chicken, southern fried chicken wings, macaroni and cheese, candied yams and a piece of cornbread.  So yeah, about half of that came home with me - so much food!

When we got home I had a sliver of that chocolate torte because I am a firm believer that if you like cake, you should eat cake on your own birthday!  But now, I'm freezing the rest of the cheesecake in individual pieces, sent the cupcakes to work with Mr. Helen, and kept the bomb and the torte.  Mr. Helen loves chocolate so he'll pick at that all week.

And today?  Even though I really enjoyed the break from meal prep, all the partying, and gifts (I haven't even mentioned all the nice gifts I got!), I'm ready to get back to my usual reality - which may or may not include food as I feel like I'm going to be full until next week!