Wasn't there some kind of drinking holiday on Saturday?
Yes, I knew it was St. Patrick's Day -- but it was cold and wet and blustery, and all our family wanted to do was hunker up at home. As I'm the only member of the family who likes corned beef and cabbage, that classic dish was not on the menu. Instead, I slow-cooked a beef stew for Megan and me and Gareth's favorite vegan chickpea stew for him.
No Irish whiskey, so I made do by uncorking a nice bottle of Pinot Noir (actually, 3/4 of that went into the beef stew, so I had a good excuse for drinking the rest). I spent the rest of the day catching up with season 1 of Downton Abbey.
I would have watched the second series of Downton on Sunday, if only it was available for streaming on Netflix. Instead, I went along with my husband to walk the dog in the local park (something we usually do together in the evening).
The rain had made our usual trail muddy (which I hate - I know, I'm awful) -- so I stayed on the paved main trail while Gareth took Mac up by the hillside. About halfway through the walk, they cut across the green.
"He was really agitated that we weren't together," my husband said. "He kept whining and pulling toward you , so we just had to come."
After two years of dog ownership, Mac and I have a funny relationship. I really do think I'm more of a cat person, and bringing a dog into our family has been really difficult on our cats. That is not Mac's fault. But he may sense a bit of remorse on my end. I am convinced that I am his least favorite family member -- and that the only reason he puts up with me is that I am usually the one to feed him.
But that was very sweet. I gave the big boy a hug.
Soon after our return, I left again: I needed to do some shopping (something that seems impossible during the week these days, when I'm hard pressed to step away from the computer). I picked up some odds and ends for family members at our local mall, grabbed some lunch, and then headed to Topanga Plaza for more odds and ends.
Of course, it would have been nice to do all my errands at just one shopping center, but I needed to hit stores that were exclusive to each of those malls. Besides, I found myself enjoying the time alone in the car, with the radio tuned to music I like (as opposed to what my daughter wants to listen to).
It was still kind of chilly out, but not rainy - so everything felt crisp and clear and clean.
I had an urge to roast a chicken, and I had long ago concluded that the best tasting chickens are the ones from Rosie and Rocky -- which I have only been able to find at Gelson's. (And as I whined a couple of weeks ago, I no longer have a local Gelson's to shop at). Topanga isn't that far from Calabasas, so I did some grocery shopping there.
The Calabasas Gelson's was built around the same time as the one in Northridge, and is laid out in similar fashion -- only it's way larger. The company had said that the Northridge employees would be reassigned to other stores, and I was happy to see some familiar faces there.
I was out of the house for about three hours, and was feeling good.
So was the roast chicken dinner. I use the Jamie Oliver recipe, which calls for adding potatoes to roast halfway through the cooking time -- you toss the potatoes in the chicken fat, which makes them taste unbelievably good. I roasted a separate pan of red potatoes for the vegan husband, and also baked some Gardein "stuffed turkey" for his meal.
Everybody was happy.
After the meal, my husband remarked upon what a nice weekend it had been. I told him the only thing lacking was Irish whiskey on St. Patrick's Day. He was surprised we didn't have any. Before we went to bed, he broke out a bottle of Lagavulin and poured us each a shot.
It was the perfect end to a really good weekend.