The holidays are really doing a number on my ability to make daily blog posts. I thought I would have more time once my classes were over for the semester, but I find myself having less and less time to work on the things that I really want to be doing and making more commitments for things I don’t want to do. However, I will have to admit that I’m a lot less busy than I usually am this time of year, so I guess I shouldn’t complain too much.
The week didn’t turn out exactly how I had planned but I feel like we adapted rather well. The Christmas party for work wound up being Thursday night and not Friday. Cliff claims that he knew the whole time, but I have my doubts…
Originally, the party was supposed to be held at some uptight specialty beer bar but at the last minute it got changed to…
Which, in case I haven’t mentioned, just so happens to be our favorite restaurant in the city. At first I had decided that I was just going to skip dinner because we had a rather large lunch (which I will talk about, in more detail, later in this post) but I just couldn’t take it once everyone else had ordered. I decided to try a grilled version of my favorite sandwich – the chicken cor don bleu – and was pleasantly surprised to find that it completely took care of my craving. I only had half of the sandwich and maybe 8 French fries. I stuck to Diet Coke and didn’t even partake in the Happy Hour $3 cocktail. All in all, I’m pleased with my decision, but had I realized the party was Thursday instead of Friday I probably would have had a lighter lunch (which would have proven to be unfortunate).
You see, had I eaten a lighter lunch I would have missed out on something amazing.
Cliff and I (and a few coworkers) had decided to try Toast on Market (the place Cliff took my for my birthday breakfast) for lunch. When we got there we were told that it would be a 30 minute wait – at 11:40AM on a random Thursday – so we decided against it. There was a new restaurant next door that didn’t have a wait so we thought we would try our luck, and I am so happy we did.
The restaurant’s name is Harvest and it has a farm-to-table theme. I’ve seen these types of restaurants on shows like Top Chef and loved the concept in theory, but didn’t think I would like one in reality. I’ve never really been a vegetable eater, and when I think farm food, I immediately think veggie dishes. One of my worst habits is that I always stick to my comfort zone when we go out to eat (or when I cook!). I’ve made it a goal this time around to try more new things or at least new variations of the same old stuff I’ve been eating. So even when I thought the place would center around fresh vegetables I decided to go with it anyway. I have never been so wrong about a restaurant! It never occurred to me, for whatever reason, to think about the dairy and meat aspect of farming as well.
As soon as we walked in, I was immediately in love with the décor. The walls were lined with photographs of the local farmers that supplied the food on the menu. The restaurant touts that a whopping 80% of their menu comes from within 100 miles of the city. The tables were set very simply, but still managed to feel elegant. They mixed linens with mismatched silverware and Mason jar lamps for a great pairing of southern comfort and chic style.
The extremely limited menu was a little intimidating, but I wound up feeling glad that it forced me out of my little food bubble. I decided to play a safe 50/50 and order something that I was pretty confident about as well as something on the other end of the spectrum from my normal French fries or baked potato. After much deliberation between the day’s special (which was a dished called Poutine that was made up of house cut fries, two sunny eggs, smoked chicken and pork rib meat and pork jus with cheddar and swiss) and their grilled cheese. I felt like the Poutine sounded like something that was out to clog every artery I had, so I decided to go with the grilled cheese.
I know what you’re thinking, “How is that out of your comfort zone?!” but this was unlike any grilled cheese I had ever had. It had two pieces of lightly toasted brioche smothered in white cheddar pimento cheese and cut into fourths. It was absolutely delicious and I’ve been dreaming about that sandwich for the past three days. While the sandwich stole the show, the side I chose was a very close second. Growing up I despised grits (yes, I’ve spent most of my life as an extremely picky eater) but over the past year I’ve had a change of heart. Twice before I’ve tried a bite of Cliff’s cheese grits or bacon grits at Wild Eggs and was shocked when my taste buds didn’t recoil in horror. So when I saw that they had three cheese grits on the menu I felt compelled to order them. I was not disappointed.
I’m already plotting my way to going back for lunch next week when we get back from Christmas break.
Friday night was pretty uneventful. We stayed home and took care of our responsible stuff before the trip and went to bed early. Saturday, on the other hand, was busy from half an hour before the alarm went off to long past my bedtime. I started the day by taking the dogs to their first visit to the groomers on the other side of town and in a torrential downpour. After we dropped off the dogs we went home to finish packing for our trip. I left for the salon around 9:30 and was speeding home at 1PM! I couldn’t believe I had been gone so long. We were supposed to pick the dogs up at 1:30 and there was no way I was going to make it. Luckily they were really cool about it and let us come by a little late. I picked up Cliff, packed up the car, and drove back to the other side of town and picked up the dogs. We were finally on the road at 2:30.
The drive went by fast and before I knew it we were pulling into Mom’s driveway. It was raining so hard when we got here that we had to sit in her driveway for a few minutes before we decided to swap vehicles with her and unload the car under the carport. By the time we brought in the dogs and unpacked the car I was exhausted.
Almost as exhausted as I am right now…
Not only was I exhausted but look at this horrible torture that I had to endure! My cousin, Tammy, was making candy bags for everyone at her church and she recruited us to help. This might have been the biggest test of my willpower yet. I did decide to have one Starburst and one Hershey Kiss with Almonds, but that’s it.
Today was pretty relaxed. It was Mom’s birthday so we just kind of hung out all day and then went to dinner with my grandparents. Mom said she wanted Cracker Barrel (but I think she was just saying that because I had mentioned that we could safely eat there. Mom’s heart is just huge like that). All the way there I was daydreaming about a pecan pancake (again, I blame Katie’s blog) but was sad to find out that I couldn’t order just one pancake. I wasn’t too heartbroken because after that Dad told me that he had a DQ ice cream back at the house and I knew it was in my calorie budget to have a piece. I decided on the usual – grilled chicken tenders, carrots, green beans, and hashbrown casserole – and, as usual, it was really tasty. I had the budget for a cornbread muffin and decided to try it. I normally don’t like cornbread unless it’s full of sugar, but the one I had tonight was yummy! I had Cliff snap a quick picture of all three generations on the way in and, of course, I had to take a birthday selfie of me and my Mom.
Cliff and I tried the gym here this morning and plan on going back tomorrow. We took a crack at a new machine and I’m a little nervous about how I’m going to feel tomorrow. I’ll talk more about it when I can hold my eyes open. I feel the bed calling my name. I’m sure it’ll be another early morning tomorrow and I have a ton to do. Hopefully I’ll be able to walk.
“A Mom forgives us all our faults, not to mention one or two we don’t even have.” ~ Robert Brault