Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cody Baloney Mascarpone

A bummer of a Thanksgiving as our friend whom we normally celebrate the holiday with was in CA visiting his mom who had to be rushed to the hospital at the start of the week and likely will not live to see the end of the week. His wife flew out on Thanksgiving day to be with them. Not a happy time for them.

This left Jonny and me to fend for ourselves since the house was in no condition for last minute dinner guests. Of course this didn't stop Jonny from asking a friend inside who was walking the next door neighbor's dog at 8 am. I'm still in my jammies like a common Boulder trust funder. Do you know what usually goes down in this house on a workday before 8 am? I'll give you a hint, a lot. But there I am in a pair of pink fleece jammy bottoms with reindeer on them and an ancient sweatshirt, can't recall if I've brushed my hair yet, definitely haven't brushed my teeth yet and when was the last time I showered? The house is in an equal state of dishevelment and confusion and a bit fuzzy around the edges. Of course this friend has a beautiful perfect house in the mountains that looks like something out of a magazine with all fancy appliances and cabinets and floors and furniture not covered in dog hair even though she has a dog. And she always looks perfect too, perfect hair and fashionable clothes, never the crazy dog lady look even though she walks dogs for a living. Thankfully she is very nice and says, well, she would be in her jammies too if she didn't have to work. Jonny gives her coffee, good coffee, and where else is she going to get good coffee at 8 am on Thanksgiving morning so I think she's happy enough for that and never mind the dog fuzz and my frightful appearance.

It goes without saying that Jonny will do the cooking because he's an excellent cook and I can make frozen pizza. Usually. Last time I was cooking something, and by cooking I mean boiling up water for pasta and opening up a jar of pasta sauce, Jonny had to pop out to the store for a few minutes and leave me unattended at the stove, which I'm pretty sure is a violation of our home owner's insurance, and his final words to me were, 'Please don't set anything on fire.' But for some reason I can bake and baking's not Jonny's thing so I decide to make 'Chocolate Truffle Tart with Vanilla Mascarpone Topping'. Also known as 'Chocolate Crack Pie'. The fumes from the melting chocolate, butter and sugar mixture for the filling alone are enough to put you in a diabetic coma, never mind the evil topping. You don't want to know what's in the topping. You just eat it and never mind the sugar fits.

The other fun thing about this dessert is that it sounds fancy pants and snooty and difficult to make but it's so easy a monkey could do it. You can even make it while in your underwear, a pair of green smartwool hiking socks, clogs and a grubby sweatshirt while shaking your bumpy to Dag Nasty's 'All Ages Show' played at full volume. The other fun thing is that I get to use both the Cuisinart and the fancy electric stand mixer that my grandmother bought me. I'm still trying to figure out what the big hook attachment that came with the mixer is for. I use it for playing practical jokes on my husband but I suppose that's not the traditional use for it.

Now I'm not saying there were no victims here. Strummer ended up covered in graham cracker crumbs in the morning and later that night had a fair bit of mascarpone in his fuzz but we have plenty of spare dogs to clean him up. I also very nearly did start a fire but that was in the process of boiling water for tea and Jonny saved the day so all was good.

Not the most appetizing photo but you get the idea.

We had a nice Quorn roast (I can't tolerate soy all that well so no Tofurkey in our house) a green bean/brussels sprouts casserole, some stuffing, nothing too fancy or extreme. Neither of us are into making a big fuss, we'd rather spend the day off relaxing.

Friday we took a little trip up to Rocky Mountain National Park for a hike up to Lake Haiyaha. I was surprised to be greeted with 5" of snow on the trail at the very start. I figured we might find a dusting on the upper portions of the trail but didn't think we'd be sliding on snow and ice right from the get go. If only I'd thought to bring my Yax Trax. Still, it was a beautiful day, not too cold and no wind. It started out with gorgeous blue sunny skies and ended with a fairly good amount of snow falling. The trail starts out with a steepy steep climb up to Nymph Lake where you get a short break then it's back to huffing and puffing up to Dream Lake which is as far as most of the tourists go. Today we had to the lake to ourselves, a rarity. Then it's some more steep climbing through the woods the the trail opens up to some exposed areas that offer both a breathtaking view of the valley below and a steep drop-off from the narrow trail, especially harrowing when the narrow trail is snowy and icy. 2 1/4 miles or so later you end up at Lake Haiyaha where the wind is howling and the snow is whirling and you don't want to spend too much time taking photos or your hands will freeze solid.

This was the only place on the entire hike where I was cold.

Here's what Dream Lake looks like in summer. And here's what it looked like on Friday.

Do I look 'sporty' or 'crazy dog lady'? Could go either way if you ask me.

There were flecks of snow whirling around in the air even when the skies above were bright blue. It was like being in a snow globe. Then it started to snow for real, so beautiful. What a great way to work off the crack chocolate pie, which is gone as of Saturday afternoon. Anybody got a spare bottle of insulin?


  1. You could have made my Thanksgiving dinner-no recipes, just throw stuff in pots and frying pans with butter! And/or brown sugar! There was chopping with a knife involved though, not sure if you are allowed to do that? Maybe cuisinart can do chopping? I believe I was wearing pants though to make mine. Underwear probably best saved for pie baking.

  2. Butter is good, so is brown sugar but I'm supposing there were other things involved and that's where I get confused. Baking is easy-'1/4 cup of sugar', no problem, I can do that. Cooking is hard, especially with no recipes. 'Season to taste'-ummm, what seasonings and who's taste? Too much ambiguity and I have no common sense when it comes to food. A banana and a jar of peanut butter sounds like a pretty good lunch to me.

    Jonny has been to culinary college so we leave the cooking to him. Or the Thai restaurant down the street. He tried to give me a lesson in knife chopping once and I made it through without a trip to the ER but only just.

  3. Sounds like a lovely Thanksgiving, and a wonderful hike. And thanks for the laughs as always in your stories.