Sunday, February 12

Happy Pre-Valentine's Day

Yeah, I know Valentine's Day is Tuesday, but that's bowling and curling night.  Mr. Lina and I don't see each other until about 10pm.  That's not much time to celebrate, particularly the way we do.  Waaay back in university, I wanted to go to the pub with my boyfriend, he wanted chicken wings, I was looking forward to some pub staple.  I remember being pretty teary that day.  My Nana died from Alzheimer's the previous October and I was happy when she died, this was the end of her suffering.  6 months later, I was filled with grief.  So, when we got to the pub and they were only doing price fixe that was beyond what our budget was, I was pretty pissed and not really in the emotional state to deal with it like a sane person.  After that, I've refused to go out for Valentine's Day.

Mr. Lina and I have our own tradition.  We pick an ethnic theme, we do some research, we throw the grocery budget to the wind and make a 3-4 course meal for ourselves.  And we do it all together.  This year, we decided to do a Cajun theme after having such fantastic food in New Orleans.  First course was fresh oysters, second was gumbo, dinner was Pascal's Manale BBQ Shrimp and for dessert I made beignet with chicory & coffee au lait.  It was SO freaking good. 

If you google Pascal's Manale you'll find a ton of recipes trying to approximate it.  The gist of it is shrimp with tails and ideally heads (we used fresh raw zipper back) that is baked with butter/margarine/vegetable oil, a crap ton of pepper (at the restaurant my nails were black with pepper), Louisiana hot sauce (we used a bit of tabasco), Lea & Perrins and garlic.  We followed the spicing of this recipe but the process and pepper content for this recipe.  It was not the same as what we had in NOLA, but that doesn't mean it wasn't delish.

And gumbo...  We have made gumbo since coming back from NOLA.  I didn't get to eat any while we were there, celery is just too common an ingredient and I like to breathe and have a hive free vacation.  We used this recipe for a base both times.  Ours is more like this:
Make a roux with flour and olive oil (we weren't using sausage/chicken so we needed more oil than they called for)
Add garlic
Add beer, my mom's stewed tomatoes chopped up, green pepper, onion, okra (still not sure that we're treating the okra right, I've never cooked with it until now) and hot peppers (mix from our freezer - red ones from the garden, thin green ones for Indian recipes, and a habanero that Mom brought back from Florida last year), and spices (Mr. Lina did that, I'm assuming he took those from the recipe)
Let it simmer for a while.
Add double smoked pork from Starsky's and simmer a little longer
Add shrimp and simmer until they are pink.

And K-Line, this is all your fault. 

There is some modal coming my way via my parents in Florida.  Shipping will take a little longer (they should be here March 3rd) but it was only $8.  And could I stop at the modal?  No.  A little denim, some silk for a Pendrell (yeah, I bought that when Renfrew was launched), the 25 invisible zippers for $15 bundle, sigh... yes, a few more things.  But I'll post more about that when I see it.

There was a request to see my new shoes.  I am happy to address that.  In fact, both the shoes that I bought for the wedding and the new Nine Wests. 
Nine & Co - Nine West Outlet
So far so good.  I've worn them around the house a bit before taking them on a full day at work, they weren't quite right for my casual Friday outfit.  As 9 1/2 they have a little more wiggle room than the next pair.

Liz Claiborne - Winners
These shoes I bought for the wedding.  Love them.  My feet really hurt by the end of the night but they were comfortable for the first 4 hours.  They have a lovely leather sole that I'd like to protect.  They are just wonderful for dancing because they do slide.  It's probably the first time at a wedding I could actually have some technique while waltzing.
Liz C's to the left, Nine West to the right
It seems a bit silly to buy two pairs that are so similar, but I don't want to wear those leather soles outside.  I can wear boots and carry them for now, but it's not going to be boot wearing season for too much longer.  And really, $37 for the second pair, how could I say no?  Can you really have too many pairs of black shoes?


  1. OK, if you can find it within yourself to buy after my rant, you have some fortitude :-) (I can see you're having it delivered within America. Smart girl.) I hope you enjoy that modal. I'm very happy with it.

    1. The timing seemed perfect. I don't know what modal is and if you can't find it in Toronto, this was a good month for me to find out myself.

  2. It's like tencel - that kind of fabric that a lot of lounge items from Gap Body are made from. It's got very nice drape. It's very durable. Makes excellent yoga pants - but you could also make a nice dress from it.

    1. Cool. So much of fabric is about the feel of it, it's something missing from online shopping experience.

  3. Ooh, I like your new shoes and I'm a 9.5 myself! The Liz heel looks just a tad more narrow, that would make it a little dressier and -- for me anyway -- harder to wear. But I do think that several pairs of similar shoes are a good thing if you know you like the style. Otherwise, you'll wear one pair completely out in a few months.

    I am saving up for a fabric buying spree soon...I love the feel of modal, but if it's the material I'm thinking of then it's not very forgiving to lumps and bumps. I've realized in looking at my stash that I really like knit fabrics with BODY. Of course, that's out of style at the moment!

    I hear you on Valentine's. Hubs' birthday is the day after so we usually celebrate then, when the restaurants have calmed down. This year, we might have to wait until the weekend since he's working all week.

    1. Hey we could share shoes! It's not often that works out. I wore the Nine's to work today, more comfortable than I expected, mind you I don't walk further than the water cooler.

      Meh, in or out of style is what you make of it. If you look good you look good.

      So long as you don't get pegged as "the mistress". Someone on the radio today was saying the 13th is when husbands take their mistresses out for dinner. Crazy.

  4. That's such an adorable tradition. I love it. Have a great time!

    1. Hopefully it translates well into a family celebration when we have kids. I figure a good way to get them to try new foods is to feel part of the process picking a theme and helping to prepare the meal. In my imagination it's perfect. ;)


Thanks for your comments, I love to have a two way conversation. I seem to be getting a lot of spam from anonymous users and am turning off the ability to comment that way. I really would like to hear from you so if you do want to add your two cents without an OpenId, email me at seraphinalina at gmail dot com.