(Update! We close on the sale of our house in two weeks and then the next round of renovations begin!)
Today I made pistachio gelato in my new favorite toy. I’m becoming really good at cranking out ice cream although my sorbet skills have yet to develop. Today’s output was definitely in the upper tier of what I have made so far, up with the butter pecan. This was the first recipe I wanted to make when I originally got the machine, but sadly we can’t find anywhere in Stevens Point that sells unshelled, unsalted pistachios. They all at least have salt, and most still have the shells. Julie ended up ordering some for me from the internet and they came today. Cue many inappropriate nut jokes!
I did get a kick out of the fact that the giant bag full of nuts (ha!) had a big warning on the back about them being produced in a factory that also handled nuts. Seems kind of obvious to me.
The overall output was awesome. The recipe didn’t make quite as much as I would have liked, but it was super creamy and had the greatest, fresh pistachio flavor of any pistachio gelato we’ve had. This was always one of our favorite treats in Seattle. Every time we ordered pizza we would tack on a pint of pistachio gelato, and this new stuff I made is even slightly better than what we used to get, which I didn’t think was possible. The only thing I left out of the recipe was the green food coloring. It just didn’t feel right to artificially color the gelato, even if it did kind of come out light soupy green.
I heard a bit of commotion outside this morning as our new fridge was being delivered. “There’s a Turkey outside!” And so there was! Somehow a turkey managed to find herself walking through downtown Stevens Point.
What in the world brought her here? Maybe meeting a friend for tea at Cafe 27? For pad thai noodles (with tofu, of course) at Green Tea? Grabbing a slice at Polito’s? Or showing her (actual) wild side with some color from Monkey Wrench Tattoo?
I hope she has enjoyed her visit into town, and finds her way safely back out again!
When we were in Houston, I scored some specialty sodas at a supermarket in The Woodlands. My favorite was Fentiman’s Curiosity Cola. Lo and behold, when we were at World Market a couple of weeks ago, they had a whole display of the stuff, including a bunch of flavors that weren’t available in Houston. World Market is one of those stores that I think has a direct tap into my brain and buys things directly for me. It can get dangerous.
They had 4 flavors – Ginger Beer, Shandy, Dandelion and Burdock, and the Curiosity Cola.
The first one I tried was the Shandy, which was just essentially a non-alcoholic beer. I’m not much of a beer drinker, so this one wasn’t my favorite. The next one I tried was the Dandelion and Burdock flavor. This one was actually not too bad, although it took a little getting used to. It had kind of a black licorice / fennel flavor that I really liked and was not overly sweet. The ginger beer tasted like GINGER. That was all it had going on. I honestly couldn’t finish it, which was disappointing since I had high hopes for that one. I fondly remembered having quite a bit of ginger beer when I was on the church trip to Bermuda in high school, but either I have a bad memory or this was much, much different. The Curiosity Cola definitely wins out as one of my favorite colas, and I would recommend staying far away from the Shandy and Ginger Beer flavor, but give the Dandelion one a try if you want something a little different.
Justin and I went to our church’s children’s musical this evening, and it was a hoot. The kids did a great job – all the lines and music were great – they obviously put a lot of time and energy into doing their best. One of the things I most enjoy about these musicals is catching the kids that might not be paying the most attention to what is actually going on. This year for my birthday Justin got me a new zoom lens, and this was the perfect opportunity to catch some of these hilarious moments. In no way do I mean to make fun of the kids – I know they worked hard and all deserve a round of applause. But some of these shots make me laugh so hard my sides hurt!
To round out our “family fun days,” we drove down to Wisconsin Dells with Justin’s parents, John and Sarah, where we met up with his brother Luke and Luke’s girlfriend Cheyanne on Monday. Justin’s parents booked a suite at The Wilderness Resort where there are two indoor water parks and a wave pool, connected by hallways and skywalks. After meeting at Damon’s for dinner (so John and Justin could get their trivia fix) we drove back to the Lodge for the evening. John, Justin, Luke and Cheyanne decided to check out the water parks while Sarah and I drove over to a nearby outlet mall to walk around.
On Tuesday morning we were up and ready to go when the parks opened. Justin and I spent the morning in the “Wild Water Dome” where the large wave pool was located. The dome was also really nice, as the roof was all glass, letting plenty of sunlight in. As John, Sarah, Luke and Cheyanne joined us, we all decided to explore the other water parks, which included quite a hike to the other end of the resort. A few tube rides and the lazy river were enjoyed, including some additional time in the wave pool, and by early afternoon we were hungry and tired (and it started to get more and more crowded with Spring Breaking families). We changed, had a relaxed lunch at Uno’s Chicago Grill, and then headed home. While we had a great time playing and swimming and sharing the time with family, we all agreed that the Kalahari in the Dells was the better of the two resorts, as the water park is larger and all in one place, and a bit easier to get around.
Thanks, John and Sarah, for this fun get-away!
On Sunday my Dad planned a surprise birthday/retirement party for my stepmom, CJ, and asked us to join them and make the cake. CJ has Celiac disease, which means she is gluten-intolerant. Rather than making a typical cake for the party that she would not be able to even have a piece of, I had been playing with several gluten-free cake recipes and products. I ended with a marble cake with dark chocolate cream cheese frosting, which was entirely gluten-free.
While it is a bit denser and heavier than a cake made with all-purpose flour, it still turned out pretty well and was almost entirely consumed at the party.
Happy Birthday and Retirement, CJ!