Sunday, September 20, 2009

Elephant Day At Silk Elephant

SP has to work today (Sunday). It's because of the G20. If he wants to avoid going to work next Friday, he needs to work today. Of course, he still has to work Wednesday & Thursday - ? I'm a little puzzled by his company's G20 policies, I'm not sure how 1 day off out of 2 or 3 possible bad days is helpful, but... On Wednesday & Thursday he'll still have to deal with the 'rolling closures' of the Parkway West (this is one time I'm not loving living between the airport and city) and he'll still have to drive near town to get to work, although, thankfully, he work is more towards Oakland then the convention center. I'm still worried, though. This blog is supposed to be about happy things like yummy foods and good movies and pretty cross-stitch, not things like G20, but these protest people have me worried. I don't want this amazing city destroyed for no reason other than a bunch of idiots solely interested in chaos and violence.

The point is, G20 gave us a one-day weekend so everything - fun, chores, errands - had to get packed into one day. To kick off our one day weekend, on Friday night we went to Walmart. Whoo hoo do we know how to have fun! Unfortunately, reality is that Walmart is a good place to pick up tea, english muffins, some of my yogurts, shampoo, etc., at lower prices than at grocery stores/drug stores. We try our best to amuse ourselves at Walmart and laugh at stuff to make the experience less horrible. In addition to spotting a candidate for People of Walmart (high black boots with fuzzy tassels, short shorts, tiny tee, and a long scarf billowing about), we did find this:I just can't imagine cannoli from a kit in Walmart being tasty. It's an insult to cannolis everywhere. Cannolis are one of my 'more favorite' desserts and this just seems wrong!

Yesterday we were out almost all day - a whirlwind of appointments, shopping, errands, and chores. I visited with my friend L at Panera while SP was getting his hair cut. I sampled the cherry-vanilla bagel - yum! It's almost, but not quite, good enough to replace my usual asiago cheese bagel. After SP had his bagel and some soup, we set off on errands. We went to Michaels, where we picked out mats and a frame for my finished cross-stitch (the Tuscany & wine bottle & cheese one). It will be ready for pick up in October. I also got a stand to hold my cross-stitch patterns upright and a little clip-on light to help me see better since I finally picked up the 'Mighty Samurai' again and it's tiny, tiny cross-stitches and I need bright light to see what I'm doing!!

We also exchanged our broken pizzelle maker for a new one & we stopped at Portman Farms for tasty Boar's Head lunch meat & cheese. We love the Boar's Head deli stuff but Giant Eagle doesn't carry it, so whenever we are out in Peters, we stop at Portman's on the way home so we can have a week of extra tasty lunch meat/cheese. The Cracked Pepper Mill Turkey lunch meat - ohhhh sooo good. Here's a photo of it: Lunch is going to be sooo good this week!!!!

We also managed to do 3 loads of laundry, sweep the deck, fix the grill (it wasn't staying lit and wasn't getting hot - at last, we can again grill), and observe that some critter knocked over the palm tree in the driveway and presumably the same critter not only munched all the leaves on our 4-5 hosta plants out front (which amazes me because they were the scraggliest, brownest things) but also actually dug up one of the hosta - in the area we just paid someone to pretty up and freshly mulch. So our pretty new mulch is wrecked and out plant uprooted. Grrrrr. Critters stink. Here's the tipped over palm tree - looks like some critter head-butted it out of the pot:SP also made pizza dough for tonight's dinner. He made it in the bread machine and now it is my duty to get it out of the refrigerator right around when the Steelers game starts today. Mmmm homemade pizza dough.

Finally last night we got to the fun part of the one day weekend. September 22 is Elephant Appreciation Day. I really like elephants. I really like Silk Elephant on Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill. So SP and I celebrated Elephant Appreciation Day early by dining at Silk Elephant last night. We've been to Silk Elephant several times, but this is our first trip there since I started this blog.

We got there right around 6, maybe a little later, and were seated right away. First thing I always notice: the silverware. The ends of each piece are elephant trunks!! It's very cute and appropriate, my only complaint is that it makes the silverware a bit heavy on that end - I seem to have a bit of trouble using my silverware because of the weight on the ends!!!!

To celebrate, we each ordered a drink. SP chose the Lychee wine. I chose a glass of Arrogant Frog Viognier/Chardonnay. I like frogs, too, so that influenced my decision, plus Viognier is one of my favorite wines, so it seemed to make sense! SP liked his Lychee wine; I didn't like it. Way too sweet for me. I liked my Arrogant Frog wine though it seemed more Chardonnay than Viognier and I am not a fan of Chardonnay. The Lychee wine is in the small glass. Silk Elephant is a very good place for us to dine. There are many BE-friendly tapas while SP can happily indulge his desires for spicy curries and coconut/chili/garlic flavors. To start, we shared 2 tapas: Silk Elephant Rice Wrapper Rolls (cucumber, lettuce, carrots, cream cheese, crabmeat in a rice paper wrap served with a sweet chili sauce) and Chicken Kabobs (chicken, onion, carrot, green pepper on a skewer served with sticky rice and a sweet & spicy dipping sauce). We both love these 2 tapas. I don't dip in the dipping sauces, but SP does. The chicken kabobs remind me of yakitori in Japan. Yum!!For dinner, I ordered 3 more tapas: Thai Crab Crowns (crab rangoon), Steamed Shrimp & Crabmeat Dumplings, and Shrimp & Pork Toast. I always get the same tapas when I am there. These are my favorites. The crab crowns are not too greasy and the cream cheese-crab interior is so deliciously smooth. The shrimp & pork toast is covered with sesame seeds - yum! And the dumplings have a lovely sesame-soy-ginger dipping sauce.Last night SE offered a special tapas: crispy eggplant. We ordered the crispy eggplant the last time we were there and it was delicious. Sort of like fried zucchini, only eggplant strips!

SP ordered a curry for dinner. I don't remember which one - I do remember that on the menu, every curry had a little red chili pepper next to it, so I skipped the curry section! He ordered coconut rice, too. He really enjoyed his curry & rice and said it definitely had a kick to it, the kind of kick that builds over time. He drank a lot of water, including my water!!!

Our server was very good. Friendly but not too friendly and attentive but not too attentive (or not attentive enough!). This is one of our favorite places to eat, so we'll definitely be going back.

For an after dinner treat, we walked a few blocks to Te Cafe. I've already raved about Te Cafe on this blog. It was pleasantly not-too-crowded and as usual the tea people were very friendly & helpful. SP had a pot of Cherry Rose tea. I chose Cream Earl Grey plus a cinnamon biscotti. I love cinnamon biscotti!!! We sat and relaxed and sipped tea and talked for awhile - very nice.

After we got home, we checked the college football scores (Pitt won!), watched a bit of WVU-Auburn (Auburn won - yea!!!), and watched some recorded TV. Then it was bedtime and before I knew it, SP was waking me up, kissing me good-bye, and departing for work.

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