The bearded giant and I had an wonderful relaxing weekend. Saturday, we ventured down to Southern Pines and Pinehurst and tooled around a bit down there. Sunday, we relaxed at home and did a little shopping. And Monday, we went to cook-outs - him at his friend's house and me at my neighbors. And here we are on Tuesday, and it's pouring rain and I'm wishing I could rewind to the long weekend.
In addition to the rest and relaxation this weekend, I also cleaned my house with a fervor that I haven't had in forever. I did BBQ spare ribs on the grill. I made the bearded giant take care of a couple hundred ants that have been taking over my yard and house. And last, but not least, I baked!
Saturday morning, before the giant was awake, I started working on my baking projects. I am a test baker for a cookbook. My first project was Coconut Macaroons. It was exciting and different - I've never made anything like them before. Lots of egg and coconut, no flour, VERY fluffy. I also had to pipe them through a pastry bag, which never ends well for me. In fact, as I write this, I'm noticing chunks of coconut are still on the kitchen table.
And after that, still before the giant woke up (there's a couple hour lag time there since I get up before 7 with the dog), I made an amazing coffee cake. Banana Coffee Cake with Walnuts and Coconut. If you look at the recipe, you can see that I took a few liberties with it. It turned out incredibly well, and I have been enjoying it for breakfast every morning since.
The best part of the weekend's baking endeavors was that I got to use the new KitchenAid mixer, Gustav.
And then there were the ribs. Early Saturday morning, I headed to the grocery store to stock up on food for the weekend. I got a 5 lb rack of spare ribs. After a full day out and about in Southern Pines and Pinehurst, the giant had to run up to this great little wine shop in North Raleigh - Uncorked! We'd been up there on Friday night, so, I didn't feel the need to go too. He dropped me off at home and I got busy working on making the ribs. They'd been marinating in a BBQ sauce mixture all day long. So, when Saturday evening rolled around, I was ready to grill...albeit with very little idea what I was doing and no supervision. Thankfully, a high school friend directed me by way of Facebook status comments and I ended up with some really tender and delicious ribs. They weren't that hard to do at all - and since they are done on the grill over low heat for several hours, it allows one to do other thing...like clean.
I'll be heading to Chicago for work tomorrow morning, and I like to make sure my house is clean and well-kempt [sic] for me to come home to. While those ribs were a-grilling, I swept, mopped, vacuumed, dusted, tidied and even did laundry. Thank goodness for ribs.
I hope that everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend and that they took time to appreciate the freedom that those in the military provide us.