Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Let's this garden started/ birthday downtown.

 I promised pictures of my garden starts quite a while ago.  Here's what looks the best:  my wheat grass.  Too bad I'm too scared to juice it.  It looks pretty, but I've got too deeply rooted memories of doing wheat grass juice shots with my mom --and struggling not to retch --to actually USE the wheat grass.  Maybe I'll pony up before it actually grows seed heads on it and attracts a threshing machine...

 Here's my real garden starts.  They were looking fantastic, but then I got a little carried away with the liquid fertilizer, and think I choked my tomato plants with the salts.  The peppers look like they love it though.  These are just the stuff I start early.  All of my squash, corn, beans, I put in later, as seeds, and the lettuce and spinach and peas, and onions, are already in!  Look at my onions !(OK --but don't look at my weedy raspberry patch next to it.)
 For my birthday my mom and Jeff asked me what I wanted, and what I really wanted was another weekend downtown.  Salt Lake City may not be the biggest, most cosmopolitan city in the world, but it's got a great deal of international influences because of the Mormon church headquarters there, and has a great feel to it.  We were going to go about a month ago, but my husband got second degree burns all over his hand trying to help a little girl last month --I'll write about that some other time --so we couldn't really go.  Anyway, my mom took the kids for us, and Jeff covered hotel as my present, and the rest we put into our date budget (yay!).

 We stayed at this beautiful Marriott.  I was pushing for the "category 5" one because they had great pictures of their weight room online, and this one only showed cardio machine city.  I know it's nerdy of me to always choose hotels based on their weight room.  But eventually I realized I was making Jeff annoyed, so gave in to the "category 4".  Guess what?  BEAUTIFUL weight room!  No free barbell, but hey, they had a Smith machine at least, and dumbbells, and and and...  I was vindicated for being nice. 
 They even upgraded us to the Vice Presidential suite which was gorgeous with a big screen TV, separate bedroom, and dining room. 
 We talked about going to a movie, but decided to go to the planetarium for a dome show because we can't do that here.  We saw Led Zeppelin (which was a little before my time musically, but U2 was sold out).  Honestly? I think these shows are where graphic artists go to practice and figure out screen savers.  BUT, we were sitting next to a group that had had a few beers, and knew all the words to all of the songs.  They kept saying "I LOVE this song" and singing in little quiet voices and cheering and they made ME have a good time!  It was like being with my friends in high school at parties where I was drinking sprite and they were a little goofy on alcohol.  Funny that I'd be nostalgic about that sort of thing.

 We also finally went to "The Melting Pot" for dinner.  I voted to skip the entree, and just share an appetizer and dessert, because why do you go there? For the cheese and chocolate of course!  Who are we kidding?  We got the Artichoke Spinach Cheese, and the Dulce de Leche and Dark Chocolate with sea salt (the iodine of which had me buzzing all night --I didn't even think about it duh!).  I highly recommend this place.  Unless you're vegan.  Then avoiding the cheese would just make you sad.  Hooray for free night!

OK, it kind of turned into free weekend, and I have the extra pound and a half to prove it.  Worth every ounce.  We went to Red Iguana the next day for lunch.  Not the prettiest place, but then, that's kind of the charm.  Think Frieda Kahlo meets Tijuana.  
The best thing --and I mean the BEST, is their selection of "Moles" (say it mo-lay.  I'm not talking about small furry animals here.)  I could eat anything with these sauces.  I could drink these sauces.  The only problem was that after I tried the sampler plate, I wanted all of them with my dinner.  The waiter broke down and weaseled me two different sauce cups --so nice of him.  We didn't box up our leftovers, but I took every drop of that stuff home to my mom as a thank you.  Kind of a wrench to give up :), but I'm going to try to recreate them at home.  They use so many cool ingredients: pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, golden raisins, pine nuts, tomatoes, chiles....

We also went to the University of Utah's Museum of Art.  I really didn't care for the Smithson exhibit  as he was "obsessed with the idea of entropy".  Really?  Entropy? There were pictures of him pouring glue down a hill, and piles of dirt on the floor as art.  Right.  I was much more interested in the Helen Levitt photographs, and the ancient Chinese dishes and vases (did you know they thought bats were beautiful decorative animals?), and the old European holy family paintings. I always love those --where they make the infant Jesus look like a tiny man instead of a baby --and sometimes there's the infant John the Baptist too carrying a cross 5 times the size of him.  Fascinating.

But yeah, I came home quite a bit more ummm-- substantial --if you will.  Silver lining?  PR on deep back squats of 115 for 5 reps when I got home! 


Deja said...

Your weekend sounds so very fun. I need to talk Sam into a weekend downtown for my birthday ...

I love that mole sampler. Best part of that whole place.

And I'm already jealous of your garden. I wish I had room for one.

Kira said...

AHHHH....weekend away....will I ever get that lucky? We love red iguana. Yummy.
Did you grow tomatillos? I need to tell Dad to make his own dang salsa with them this year :)

Terry Earley said...

Thanks again for the mole. We used them on tofu for breakfast. A little odd, but then it it is our little secret.

Oh, published here for the world. Yes, your parents are weird. Still, the mole brought back some nice memories.

Glad the weekend was memorable.