Ever had a weekend that left you exhausted?
Friday I headed to Syracuse to pick up Mr.W from the airport and enjoy a day of leisure. Syracuse is a fun little city, with a great mall, my beloved Christmas Tree Shop and the nearest Moe's. It is also home to my favorite little italian import store, Vince's.
One of my most favorite things to do in Syracuse, too, is stop by a particular store in the mall called Around the World. They sell a fantastic assortment of imported candy that is SO FUN to eat. Dave got a Yorkie, because it's not for girls.
I agree with the packaging. It's one. chunky. candybar. Just thick blocks chocolate. That's it. Very butch, indeed.
I got a kinder egg. My dear friend Nalinee turned me on to this treat in South Africa and I grab them whenever I can. Yum!
We arrive home to unload our many packages. Amid the confusion of bags of amaretti cookies and lady fingers, christmas gifts (yes, we've started already), baking products and seasonings, some wonderful pomegranate juice and some magazines we just can't get locally, Thundercat escaped.
Quick as lightening, she dashed right out the door.
There's something about a cat going outside on Halloween that bothers me. It's not a good night for small pets.
We went outside calling her name periodically. And when I say we, I mean me. She's gotten out occasionally in the past--Thundercat just loves the great outdoors--and normally stays close to the house, climbs a tree, chases a bunny (sorry, Michele!) and comes home. This time, however, she didn't. Come home, I mean.
Saturday night was a friend's annual Halloween party. I brought some goodies: mini mummy dogs (lil smokies wrapped in strips of refrigerated crescent roll dough, dotted with nigella seed 'eyes') and a pumpkin ale fondue that, though yummy, seized up. I think I was a little too anxious to get it out and ready. Someone with fondue experience must share with me this particular kitchen secret. Fondue dippers included roasted potato chunks, slices of chorizo and pepperoni, apple slices and grapes. And the mummy dogs--they were good doused in cheese, too!
Last, but certainly not least, I brought a selection of pretzel rod fingers in a sleeved vase. They were a real hit!
Sunday was another fast & furious day--we had to pack up my Sunday School because we're moving to another building. Fortunately I keep things relatively organized so it didn't take too long.
By Sunday afternoon I was in full distress mode. All that activity and lack of sleep looking for Thundercat. We walked the neighborhood. We called out day and night.
Evening fell and Mr.W ran an errand. He returned home with much activity and, even with the tv on full-blast, I heard something outside. Was it a meow? "Mute the tv!" I yelled as I ran for the kitchen door.
In dashed Thundercat, her coat full of leaves and burdocks, collar still on and none the worse for wear. She's been a lovey-dovey purrbox ever since. I can't tell you how relieved I am. Now I can rest.
Pumpkin Ale Fondue
- 1 cup shredded swiss cheese
- 2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
- 2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup pumpkin ale (I used Dogfish Head's "Punkin Ale" as recommended by a local shopkeeper. The label says, "A full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg." It was GOOD. And I don't even like beer.)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
Toss cheeses with flour; set aside.
In a saucepan, bring ale with whole garlic clove to a gentle simmer. Reduce heat to low setting. Add cheese, a handful at a time, until melted, stirring often. (This is where my impatience came in.)
Transfer cheese to a fondue pot and keep warm. Enjoy with assorted dippers.