This is a story about walking, eating raw things, car crashes, and murder. Children, be ware.
Once upon a time in a beautiful city called San Diego, there was a fun-loving couple who enjoyed food. For this couple, eating dinner at restaurants was a fun and special treat, as they were trying to stick to a not so fun-loving budget. On top of food and eating out, this couple enjoyed spending time with family and friends, and experiencing new foods with said groups of people.
One sunny Sunday afternoon, after the Chargers had been stomped on once again, the fun-loving couple decided it was a good night for sushi. Wanting to spend time with people they loved, they thought it would be a great idea to invite the husband's parents to come along. Slightly nervous at the thought of sushi, but eager to spend time out on the town with their youngest child and favorite daughter in law, the parents said "YES! We would love to!"
Now the fun-loving young wife had heard of a great new cupcake shop in the downtown area and was eager to try it out. It was decided that the two couples would drive downtown together, stop by the cupcake shop to pick up dessert to go, and then get sushi at a lovely, inexpensive spot in Hillcrest called Sushi Deli.
As they drove downtown, getting closer and closer to the cupcake shop, the anticipation was rising. Too excited to contain herself, the fun-loving young wife hopped out of the car while the rest of the crew found parking. She ran up to the cupcake shop, threw open the door, breathed in the sweet smells of chocolate and vanilla, and noticed there were no cupcakes sitting out. The friendly shop owner informed the fun-loving young wife that they had just ran out and were closing up for the day. NOOOOO! The fun-loving young wife's heart broke just a tiny bit, but it was ok because at least she had sushi to look forward to.
On they drove until they reached Sushi Deli. The group decided to park about a block away, as there were plenty of spots there and not many right in front of the restaurant. They then proceeded to the front door and put their name on the list, anxious to eat as they were all very hungry. 20 minutes passed and nothing... they noticed there were a lot of people standing around who had been there even longer than they had. Inquiring as to how long each different group had been waiting to be seated, they learned the wait was going to be an hour. Too hungry to be able to wrap their minds around standing on the streets of Hillcrest for an hour, the fun-loving young couple and their fun-loving parents/in-laws thought it best to walk down the street to find a new place to eat.
Down, down, down they went - and nothing was found other than a super cute Italian place that was significantly out of their price range but should still be visited at some point. So back up, up, up the hill the two couples walked, passing by Sushi Deli on the way only to notice the wait had now been increased by 10 minutes, so they were no closer to being seated than they had originally been. Down, down, down the other side of the street the two couples walked. They passed a moderately priced Chinese restaurant but decided that was not the way to go tonight. They walked back toward Sushi Deli, passing Jack In The Box and debating Jumbo Jack's and Ultimate Cheeseburgers for dinner as that was sounding mighty fine at this point in the evening. When they reached Sushi Deli for the third time, their name was next on the list.
"It's a miracle!" the two fun-loving couples exclaimed. Truth be told, it was no miracle, they had simply been walking for an hour instead of waiting in line for an hour. Excited at the realization that they would be eating sushi after all, the couples ordered a handful of rolls, a noodle dish, miso soup, and plum wine. And by 'the couples' I mean the fun-loving young wife. The rest just looked on and trusted her judgement. Good call since she was very hungry and not to be messed with.
Dinner was delicious and oh so fun. A new experience for the in laws/parents and a great time for the fun-loving young couple. Arm in arm and laughing, the foursome left Sushi Deli and noticed a policeman circling their car. Being extremely strong and manly, the two husbands ran ahead to see what the problem was. "Your car was hit by a drunk driver." stated the police-man. "He was driving erratically, ran the red light, smacked into your car, and kept driving. Some good citizens noticed what was going on and followed him back to his residence, calling the police on their drive. We now have this man in custody, and it looks like the only damage done was to the back left side of the car."
Crazy! The car was hit, the sushi was still settling, the policeman had victoriously captured an evil law breaker, and they hadn't even decided on dessert yet. Energized from the adrenaline rush, the two couples decided they needed to go somewhere fun and new for dessert, too. "Extraordinary Desserts it is!" they laughed as they hopped into the slightly bent up but still working car and headed a few blocks away.
Tea, coffee, chocolate deliciousness and a berry crostada topped with meringue were all these four needed to end the night right. Oh, and a story about the crazy guy that killed a man a couple of years ago at Extraordinary Desserts.
I told you there was murder in this story.
Last year Glenn and I decided to make cranberry apple preserves to give to friends and family for Christmas. We spent a day learning how to safely can and seal said preserves, tied festive bows around them, and everyone was happy. This year I wanted home made strawberry jam, as there is nothing better than freshly baked bread smothered in jam that tastes only of strawberries and sugar and was made by someone you love.
Like most adventures, the strawberry jam making day began at Costco where we saw HUGE containers full of fresh strawberries and decided we simply must have them. After sitting around for a day or two, it was time to wash and remove the stems. Sounds thrilling, I know. The exciting part came when I almost sliced my finger off trying to remove a rotten part of one of the berries. Cuh-razy.
Once the stems are removed, we had to smash the berries, one layer at a time. Off to the pot they went, an incredible amount of sugar and a little bit of pectin was added, and we waited for the fruit to boil!
Here I am checking the levels on the jars, and ladling fruit from the pot into the hot jars. Yes I am still in my running clothes from about 5 hours earlier. Yum.
Twist the cap on, and you're done!! Merry Christmas, bloggies!
Fall in San Diego is one of the best times of year. I suppose fall everywhere is nice, but here it is especially nice because we don't have the horrors of below freezing (or anywhere near freezing) winters looming. We light fires in our fireplaces, make chicken pot pie and soup in bread bowls (more on that later), and take day trips to exotic, cooler climates like Julian.
4 hours of sleep, too much caffeine, a rainy day, and a craving for apple pie were reason enough to travel to Julian with Glenn and Matt and Jessica this weekend. It may sound odd to drive through windy mountain roads for over an hour with the primary goal being apple pie, but the pie in Julian is SO good. Especially from Mom's. Mmmm, I can smell it now.
Glenn was eager to sit in the back and watch a holiday movie. His choice - The Santa Clause. I was planning on sitting back there with him, but got queasy before we turned onto Montezuma so obviously that didn't happen.
Matt drove as he has a far more comfortable car, and I don't think he trusts us SoCal crazies when it comes to driving in the rain. (wait, you're NOT supposed to slam on the breaks when it's pouring? I don't understand...)
I was just excited to no longer be at a club and ready for apple pie on a rainy day. For those wondering where Jessica was, she was asleep in the way back, but not for long.
The temperature was dropping rapidly. From 56 to 48 to 42 to... 37!!! So cold! Julian, why are you freezing? Matt, why didn't you wear real shoes? Kristin, where did you get those super cute mittens? Why Vienna, of course, thank you for asking.
Since Jessica loves cats (???? totally made this up) she made us stop by the store Cats Cats Cats! which was, yes, just as terrific as it sounds. We also found a very cute home store where they had lovely smelling things, fantastic cookbooks, cute kitchen gadgets, and a crazy lady who ran the store in tights and uggs.
Our visit was perfectly timed, as the Craft Fair was happening in Julian's town hall. Glenn found this lovely magic scarf, which, believe it or not, you can wear as a scarf, headdress, tube top, or dress!
We waited in line at Mom's for a while (totally worth it, and not as long of a line as Sprinkles, FYI) and watched the employees refill the flour and sugar bins as they prepared for the following day's pies. When in Julian, Mom's is the only place to go. Many bakeries boast Julian Apple Pie, but Mom's is simply the best. Do any other stores have mile long lines every day? I didn't think so.
One tea, two coffees, a slice of apple crumb a la mode, a slice of strawberry rhubarb a la mode, and an apple dumpling.
Jessica could barely stand how delicious it was.
Mmm, strawberry rhubarb.
Jessica ate it all! At least she was kind enough to give us a few bites...
All in all, a very productive day in Julian, and it really inspired us and put us all in the autumn/holiday spirit. A much needed break after a stressful election!