Merry Christmas from Team Beers, coming to you live in CST.
I could attempt to recount the things we’ve eaten over the last week, but really, you can probably imagine it. You’ve been reading about our meals for a year. You know that before we go out of town for a few days, we try to eat down the fridge, which is what we did on Wednesday. You know that on special occasions like our anniversary or a Thursday, we like to have snacks for dinner, which is what we did for Christmas Eve Eve as we watched Love Actually and opened our gifts for each other. And you know about the holiday excess we’re trying to avoid.
We spent Christmas in Rockford with my family, including this handsome fellow who dazzled us with his crawling and his good looks:
There was the traditional Christmas Eve corn chowder, more bland than it should have been, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed with the salt shaker and the most important spice. There were dozens of cookies stashed in the cold garage: gunk bars, brownies, chocolate coconut pinwheels, and sugars.
We had German food for Christmas lunch – Mexican last year – sauerbraten and spaetzle, warm red cabbage, German potato salad, and an assortment of sausages. Somehow – perhaps thanks to the gym – we made room for Swedish pancakes at Stockholm Inn on Sunday, Beef-a-Roo, and cocktails and snacks at Garrett’s with Jenn.
And then on to Lakewood for a few non-holiday days with Shane’s family: tacos and Blizzards with his brothers, scones and excellent coffee at The Root after a visit to Trav’s funny gym:
A visit to the Cleveland Art Museum, where we saw an incredible Damien Hirst piece made entirely of butterfly wings, followed by a tasty but cold and stressful lunch at Tommy’s in Coventry – I had tempeh salad, nom nom nom. Watching the Hawks win – or at least most of the game – over beers and food with the whole family at Buckeye Beer Engine. Time with kitties, cousins, and grandpa. And a couple of remarkable hot dogs at Happy Dog before heading home:
Photo by edseloh
Among the toppings we tried were blue cheese coleslaw (me), marinated mushrooms (Orin), and habanero pickled red onions (Shane) – plus a really great chimichurri and a garlic-tomato jam for our tater tots. I wish I had photos of any of this, but despite taking the camera everywhere with us, we only managed a couple of pictures of the cats. I’ll try harder next time, promise.
How we spent our evening:
And this was in addition to the nearly 5 dozen pretzels from this morning’s bakefest (thanks for the post, Olivia)! All credit for these sweets goes to Juli – though we did contribute our sensational decorating skills. I tried my hand at flooding, Shane made creepy faces, Juli made an amazing rabbi-snowman, and Dave – well, Dave made this guy:
Photo by recursion_see_recursion
The photo above obviously isn’t Ann Arbor but I think it’s what Kerrytown was going for with Kindlefest tonight: a German holiday market, complete with carolers, lanterns, vendors, Glühwein, and weisswurst. All of these things seemed like good reasons to head downtown on a Friday night.
Photo by Djinn76
We arrived on the early end of the evening, so many of the vendors were still setting up, and the few stands with food were surrounded by an unyielding crush of people. We ended up grabbing our weisswursts and ducking into the Kerrytown shops, both for warmth and for safe eating. I don’t know that I’ve ever had weisswurst – a sausage made from veal, pork, and an assortment of spices – but I really enjoyed it, though I had terrible onion and sauerkraut breath for the rest of the evening. Shane seemed similarly pleased, though it was definitely not enough for dinner for him.
The rest of the evening involved sampling olive oils and vinegars at Fustinis, squealing over adorable things for this year’s cohort of babies, more samples (and a few presents) at Zingerman’s, and setting up our Christmas tree. All in all, a pretty festive – and definitely nice – night.
Holy crap, best Christmas present ever.
The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale of New York (via WarioTBH)
I feel like I post this every year, but it never loses its magic. My internet connection might be sporadic the next few days as I’m heading up to Canada, so I thought I’d better post this now.
Happy holidays, all.
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can’t make it all alone
I’ve built my dreams around you
I’m in Rockford for a few days, spending time with the family, eating too much, and getting too little sleep. I completed one of my resolutions last night – Finish the World Beer Tour – and can now proudly say that in the last seven years, I’ve tried approximately 110 different beers. Go me. Today’s the first day in a few without regimented activities, so I’m enjoying some quiet down time before lunch with my family, a beauty school haircut, and then activities To Be Determined this afternoon. It’s been wonderful to be here, but it will be great to be home tomorrow as well.
our christmas tree fell over last night. twice. the damn thing is big enough that it scrapes the ceiling – yet somehow either it fell over on its own – or the cat helped it – all around 2am. ugh. we both heard a crash, so i went to investigate. n helped me prop the tree back up, i tightened the screws again, and went to refill the water. as i was under the tree refilling the water – you guessed it – the tree came crashing down again. grrararrarrrr. miraculously nothing broke – including me, buried under eight glorious feet of white pine – so we’re going to redecorate and rearrange tonight. i think i should probably rewater the tree – but if it comes down on me again, i swear i’m going to kick that shit to the curb. we’ll see.