Friday, January 29, 2010

All That Glitters Is Not Gold.

Sometimes it is ice.

Yesterday Lubbock got crippled by some wild weather.

The morning started off with heavy rains, which then turned into ice, which then turned into snow.

By the time it was done, the streets were a mess. Tree limbs had broken off and trees uprooted from the weight of the ice.

It was treacherous driving, but the ice-encrusted trees sure looked pretty.

And just think, the day before the temps were in the mid-60s.

The Big 21

Yesterday Ariana turned 21 - a milestone birthday.

Not even the treacherous ice and snow-crusted roads could keep us away from the Texas Roadhouse, where Ariana wanted to go to celebrate her birthday.

Here's the birthday girl herself (with little Todie), enjoying her first legal drink - a strawberry margarita.

Ariana and Todie sharing a hug.

After a gut-busting meal, the birthday cake - a luscious strawberry bombe - arrived.

But before Ariana could dig into her cake, she had to sit on the Texas Roadhouse birthday saddle

while the staff shined a light on her and had the whole restaurant give her the traditional wild Texas Roadhouse birthday "Yee-Haw!"

Finally it was time for the cake.

But beforing blowing out the candles, let's think of a wish.

All the candles are out.

And let's hope the birthday wish comes true.

That was some good birthday cake.

(Here's a pic that I took, forgetting that I did not have the flash on. I thought it looked pretty cool and wanted to include it in this blog.)

It was a great meal . . .

. . . a great cake. . .

. . . and . . .

. . . a great day.

Happy Birthday, Ariana-Cookie-Pie-Sugar-Plum-Fairy-Girl-Best-Little-Girlie-In-the-Whole-Wide-Worlie!

Mollusk Mania

While doing our grocery shopping on Tuesday, Ariana insisted that we get the octopus that was sitting in the seafood case. She had very much wanted to try cooking it up for dinner.

The mollusk was quite the tenacious bugger. Even in death it gripped the butcher paper with one sticky tentacle and a bunch of fake plastic grapes with the other as the seafood clerk picked it up off its icy nest.

Weighing in at 1.29 pounds, this bugger was not about to break the bank and was a very small price to pay for culinary experimentation.

Of course we told no one of our purchase,

preferring to see the expressions on their faces

at the great unveiling.

You got to be kidding!

But kidding we were not.

Unlike most seafood, which cooks up in a matter of minutes, the Joy of Cooking said to simmer the octopus for at least 45 minutes in order to tenderize it. (It took more like an hour and a half for this mollusk.)

For something so floppy and limp, it sure puffed and curled up in the cooking pot. The water turned a deep rose pink the longer it simmered.

Here's the bottom side of the occy after it was cooked.

And here's the top.

The flesh was a bit sticky, but that was probably due to the ink. Ariana said that her fingers got stained from eating the octopus.

It was tasty.

Even Joe liked it.