Shabbos was blissfully quiet. Seth left for Farpoint straight from work, so when I came home it was just me, myself, and me. I tried to pick Julian up, but he was still napping, so I went back to my house and made snickerdoodles. I love snickerdoodles. They are quick, they are simple, and they are yummy. Unfortunately, they taste weird with margarine, but they couldn't be Dairy because I was bringing them to someone's house whose son is allergic to dairy. Bleh.
Anyway, eventually Julian woke up and I went and got him. We came home, I fed him dinner, I talked to Seth briefly before Shabbos started. I lit shabbos candles. Then Julian and I played with blocks and read books until he fell asleep at 6:15. I ate a small dinner and then curled up on the couch with a book. I was asleep by 9 pm. Oh bliss!
Julian got out of bed around 8am. BLISS! Normally he's up by 6 or 6:30. We didn't try to go up to shul because he was cranky and in need of a nap. He refused to take a nap, though, so whatever. He fell asleep 15 minutes before we had to leave for lunch at Alex & Amy's house. Whoops. Oh well. I woke him up, which I usually am quite opposed to doing, but it's not like I could send Seth down there to tell them I was running late. So I woke Julian up and had a lovely lunch with A&A and their son, Moshe. I brought snickerdoodles and fruit salad. Amy served a delicious salad, cholent, sandwiches and rice. I hate cholent with a passion and I must say, that was absolutely DELICIOUS cholent. I have to ask her how she does it! Mmmmmmm Mmmmmmmm. Seriously, I'm not kidding. I despise cholent. This was delish! We had a lovely lunch and were all far too stuffed to have snickerdoodles or fruit salad. So in the end I didn't need to have brought dessert, but that's okay. Amy apparently loved the cookies despite their margarine disability. I promised her I'd make her some REAL snickerdoodles soon and sneak her one when her son isn't looking.
We got home from lunch around 2pm and Julian fell fast asleep until 5:30. Unbelievable. Had he slept one minute longer I would have woken him up. He was still in bed by 6:45 that night. This kid is extremely predictable when it comes to bedtime, just not predictable when it comes to nap time. Meanwhile, I was thinking about what to do after Shabbos was over (around 6:30pm). Gee, I thought, wouldn't it be fun to surprise Seth and show up at Farpoint? He'd certainly never expect THAT! But as appealing as it was to drive an hour each way to spend maybe an hour there was (NOT), there was a babysitter issue. Even if I COULD have found a babysitter who could come right after shabbos (a long shot, but not impossible), I would have to get them home once I got back which would have meant taking Julian with us, which would have required waking him up, and that's just silly. Okay, so I could get a babysitter who was willing to stay the night, but that would have required getting a female babysitter because with Seth not home, it would have been inappropriate for a male babysitter to be in the house alone with me overnight. Logistically it was turning into a nightmare. So no dice, right? WRONG! I had a flash of brilliance around 5pm. MOMMY! Heck, my mother never sleeps anyway. And if she was tired, she could always spend the night at my house. And I could stay out later with her there because she never sleeps anyway (see above). Hah! So as soon as Shabbos ended  I called her and asked her if she'd come over and she was over within the hour. Rock on. I promised I'd be home by 11 and she said, "I thought you said you were going to be out late! I thought you meant 3am!" What does she think I am, 19? Hah! I can't stay out until 3am anymore! I'm ancient! Okay, so I modified and told her I'd be home by midnight and that I'd call if it would be later. Fair enough. That meant an hour driving each way for two hours in Hunt Valley, which was slightly more appealing than 2 hours of driving and only 1 hour with my sweetie.
 It occurs to me now that it's probably rather inappropriate to be concentrating so hard on motzei shabbos plans before shabbos is out, but by then I was somewhat stir-crazy. Not a good excuse, but that's the only explanation I have.
While I was waiting for my mother to arrive, I called psujedi and caryabend to give them a heads up that I was planning to come up and surprise Seth. No problem, they both said. They'd probably be at the masquerade when I arrived and they told me where to find it. Jo bought me a ticket to make sure I'd be able to get in (though by the time I got there, security was nil, so I didn't technically need it). They probably both thought I was a little crazy for doing the trip, but both of them were too polite to say so. I did talk to Seth to say "Shavua Tov," but I didn't tell him I was coming up. My mother was under instructions if he called to simply tell him I was "out."
Hunt Valley, Maryland is about an hour from my home. Mapquest told me it would take 52 minutes. It took almost exactly 52 minutes. Not bad at all. When I arrived, I called Seth's cell phone and asked where he was. He said he was down in the ballroom (at the masquerade). "Really?" I said, "that's interesting because I'm walking into the lobby right now!" Seth didn't actually sound surprised, but he said he was, so I'm vaguely curious whether he'd already figured out I was coming up or if a certain Abenson let slip that I might show up. But I'm assuming that Seth was just so stunned that he could hardly react. :) Anyway, I had a good time, spent a couple hours there, hung out, got so tired I didn't know how I was going to make it home and left. I got home at 11:48 and my mother was still wide-awake. I thanked her and then passed out immediately after she left. Not bad at all, and I'm glad I went.
Sunday I woke up bright and early thanks to the monster, er, munchkin, with a splitting migraine that I'd been nursing the night before. Argh. I killed a couple hours until I thought it was safe to call Seth and told him that he absolutely had to be home on the early side because my head was pounding and Julian needed more attention than I could give him, plus the house needed some cleaning and we were having spookylu and gwiii over for dinner, so I really needed his help. To his credit, he didn't complain a bit and came home promptly.
Lots of cleaning and lots of cooking got done with thanks to Seth for most of the cleaning. I made Margherita Pizza (with some modifications) and a plain pizza, spinach and artichoke dip, and a delicious salad. Yummeroonies. We had a fabulous time with Jim and Karynya, and we're so glad they made the trek down from Simian Hill. We'll have to go up and visit them soon. They brought lots of fun goodies for Julian including an orangutan that Julian just *adores*. So yay. Anywho, I believe a good time was had by all and I'm glad of that.
Basic pizza dough recipe rolled out onto a pizza stone.
Brush the dough with extra virgin olive oil and the spread a clove or two of garlic (minced) over the dough.
Sprinkle kosher salt on the dough.
Add caramelized onions (LOTS!)
Line with plum tomato slices
Sprinkle fresh chopped basil leaves over the tomatoes
Sprinkle some diced artichoke hearts (I used artichoke bottoms actually)
Sprinkle with cheese
Drop a few spoonfuls of tomato sauce evenly over pizza, but not much!
Cook at 400F until, well, you know, until it looks like cooked pizza!
Spinach and Artichoke Dip (I might get this wrong):
3 cans artichoke hearts drained and finely chopped
1 ½ cups Mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup Mozzarella Cheese
1 cup shredded (not grated) Parmesan Cheese
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed with excess water squeezed out
Mix all ingredients together and bake in a baking dish for 45 minutes at 350F. YUM
Mixed Field Greens
Cucumbers and Tomatoes
Marinated artichoke hearts, cut into smaller pieces.
Capers (optional…I didn’t have any, but it would have been yummy)
Diced fresh avocado
For dressing, pour liquid from marinated artichoke hearts over salad, add salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss and serve immediately. MAJOR YUM.
Anywho, that's enough for now. More later, including an update on the Great Chia Contest.