Still Stacy, still rebel...
Jude's school isn't out until June 9, but it's already feeling pretty summery around here. This whole Memorial Day Weekend was a whirlwind of fun-in-the-sun.
And nothing says fun-in-the-sun like a Hipstamatic retrospective of our weekend!
Saturday, we had our first beach day, heading out with my friend Rachel and her family. The kids built a huge and elaborate sand castle...
Jude tried to hold back the waves which threatened the hard work of his friends...
Then on Sunday, we had our usual neighborhood holiday block party. Jude and his friend A.J. played badminton, while insane gusting winds buffeted the city...
Then on Monday, we headed to my friend Lynn's house for a par-tay in the hot tub...
...Okay, that's not a very good picture of Jude and his friend Julianna, but Mama may have had a couple of refreshing BLT's (Beer, Limeade and Tequila's) by then.
My choir now has a new and WONDERFUL fundraiser! We have brought back BINGO! My aforementioned friend Lynn had been trying to talk the powers that be into letting her get a Bingo license for years, and she finally made it happen. Apparently, the church used to have a weekly Bingo game for many years, but it had somehow fallen out of favor years ago. Lynn found an ancient but still functioning Bingo light board and the whole ball/blower thingy hidden in the back of the auditorium, and managed to get it up and running again.
I got to be the caller for part of the time, and it was SO FUN! "B...12!" (the balls bounce around... one pops up...I grab it and...the tension builds...wait for it...) "O...63!"
Who knew that Bingo was so fun?! Really exciting. And people were winning hefty cash prizes! Dang, I want to play next time, not just call.
We have big plans on how to make this a huge hit money-maker. For one thing, we're going to add liquor to the mix. Because what could be more Catholic than Bingo and booze? I think we also should try to market the night not just to churchgoers and old folks, but to the whole Hollywood hipster community, I mean, there's a great kitchy/retro vibe about the whole thing.
Jimmy often does this really annoying thing to me. Okay, Jimmy often does quite a few really annoying things to me, let me be more specific.
He'll be talking on the phone, and suddenly say to the person on the line "Here's Gretchen...", then he'll hand me the phone and walk away without telling me who is on the phone. I HATE this. He does it ALL the time. I'll be stuck like an idiot, often not having a CLUE who I'm talking to. There have been times when I've chatted on and on with some person for maybe 15-20 minutes before finally piecing together enough information to ascertain who they are. It's ridiculous. I'm having to vamp my way through a conversation trying to sound like I have some clue about what's going on.
So the other day, Jimmy kind of one-upped himself. He was on the phone for quite a while, then thrust the phone at me and said "Here, talk to Charlie..." then he walked away. "Well at least he told me who it is." I thought.
"Hi Charlie" I said, "How are you doing?" "Oh Gretch...I'm holding up. I'm holding up." Charlie said in a sad, beleaguered voice. Shit. There's something wrong with Charlie, and he clearly thinks that I know what it is, but Jimmy didn't tell me, so I'm clueless. I played along. I was afraid to ask after his wife, as maybe she's the problem? Maybe they're separated or something. I was afraid to ask about his kids because maybe one of them is sick or something! "Oh, I know, I know..." I say sympathetically, though I really don't know! At some point, Charlie mentions something about not being able to go on the vacation they'd planned. Then something about his mother. It was all very cryptic.
I hemmed and hawed and clucked and comforted. But it wasn't until after I finally got off the phone, that I was able to ask Jimmy "Is something wrong with Charlie's mother?" Jimmy stared at me like I had a horn growing out of my forehead and said "Gretchen, she's dead!"
I could have killed him.
The other day, Jude and I were out somewhere, and we saw this really cute little baby in a stroller. I said something like "Oh! I remember when you were that little! You were SO sweet!" And I probably said it in a kind of goofy, oogldy-googldy way. After we'd walked away, Jude turned to me rather matter-of-factly and said "I hate to say it Mom, but sometimes? You really embarrass me."
Boo-hoo. This is just the beginning of this. Right?
I went a bit potato salad mad over the long weekend. On Saturday, my friend Maureen made this really delicious non-mayonnaise potato salad, and I ate quite a bit of it. She mentioned that she often made this version for picnics, because she didn't want to cook something with mayo in it if it was going to sit out for a while.
So, I had to make something to bring to the block party on Sunday, and I dug around in one of my Barefoot Contessa cookbooks and found the exact recipe that Maureen had made! But then I had an inspiration, and decided to make it a lemon vinaigrette instead champagne vinegar vinaigrette (because I love lemon), and add tarragon instead of basil (because I love tarragon), and...it was DELICIOUS. In fact, it turned out SO well that I made it AGAIN on Monday to take to Lynn's.
So here is my version of the potato salad. I'll call it...
Lemony-Herb Potato Salad
1 lb. small white boiling potatoes
1 lb. small red boiling potatoes
2 tbsp. dry white wine
2 tbsp. chicken stock
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. Kosher salt (if you're using regular salt, cut it down by half or so)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
10 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup minced scallions
2 tbsp. minced fresh dill
2 tbsp. minced Italian parsley
2 tbsp. minced fresh tarragon
Drop the potatoes into a large pot of boiling salted water and cook 20 to 30 minutes, until they are just cooked through. Drain in a colander and place a towel over the potatoes to allow them to steam for 10 more minutes. As soon as you can handle them, cut in half (quarters if the potatoes are larger) and place in a medium bowl. Toss gently with the wine and chicken stock. Allow the liquids to soak into the warm potatoes before proceeding.
Combine the lemon juice, mustard, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Add the vinaigrette to the potatoes. Add the scallions, dill, parsley, tarragon, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper and toss. Serve warm or at room temperature.
So far, not one person has told me they are going to BlogHer in San Diego. I can't believe that this could be true. Anybody? Anybody know anybody?
Okay, that's it for today. Go visit the intrepid Stacy.