Eggplant Stew: Making no one happy

This has been such a busy week!  Mike and I took last Friday off, which was great but also left me feeling behind this week.

Since Mike and I are planning to start our P90X workout plan this coming Monday, we’re getting a headstart on getting our eating healthier before we start the program.  For me, this means more grass-fed meats.  For Mike, this means more vegetables.  To this end (and to the end that I had an eggplant to use up, I made eggplant stew over the weekend.  The idea was that both Mike and I would eat it, and it would give me some protein and iron through the ground beef and it would give Mike some veggies with all the eggplant.  The end result, as I feared, is that Mike basically thought it would have been pretty good without the eggplant, I thought it would have been pretty good without the ground beef, and thus neither of us really cared for it.  It took Mike three pieces of toast to get through one bowl, and I’ve only been reluctantly eating it, where usually I eat homemade veggie soup like crazy until it’s gone.  So there you go.  A classic example of trying to make everyone happy and actually making no one happy!

Today I get to pick up more vegetable produce from the CSA.  I did pretty well using up produce last week.  I still have one eggplant that I’m planning to use to make Indian Eggplant and I still have a few beets to use up in smoothies, but that’s about it.

Mike and I went to see Dougie MacLean on Thursday night.  I made us dinner reservations for 5:45pm, and the venue was five blocks away from the restaurant at 7:30pm.  It seemed as though we had plenty of time, but Mike got stuck in traffic on the way home and so we didn’t leave our house until 5:30pm.  Then we got stuck in traffic AGAIN driving the five miles from our apartment to the downtown area.  It may sound like 15min is plenty of time to go five miles, but that’s not true in Seattle during rush hour.  We got stuck on I-99 for such a long time that I called the restaurant apologetically and changed our reservation to 6pm.  At 6pm we were finally off of I-99 but still had to weave through the downtown streets to find parking.  I called the restaurant again (even more apologetically this time) and changed our reservation to 6:15pm.  We got the car parked and walked quickly to the Purple Cafe and Wine Bar to avoid having to call them a THIRD time even more apologetically to reschedule again.  (Incidentally I calculated later that we went about five miles in 45 minutes, which is actually slower than my average running pace.  So driving in Seattle really can be a liability!)  Purple was a restaurant we had walked by in the past and thought looked intriguing.  Once inside, it was an amazing atmosphere!  There was a giant conical-shaped tower containing wine bottles in the center of the restaurant that went all the way up to the high ceiling.  A circular staircase wound around the tower so that a waiter could walk around the wine up to the ceiling to pull any bottle of wine that had been requested from the shelf.  (While Mike and I were there we saw a waiter walk to the very top and pull a wine bottle from the top shelf… we figured that must be a pretty expensive bottle of wine!).  Our waitress was very prompt but we still didn’t manage to leave until ten minutes before the concert started because the atmosphere was so relaxing and amazing at Purple.  Then we quickly walked over to the Triple Door where we were seeing the concert and arrived just as the lights were dimming and Dougie MacLean was coming out.  Great timing!  We relaxed into the surprisingly soft and comfy seats.  The show was SO fun!  Dougie interacted with the audience really well, told stories about the songs he wrote, and invited the audience to sing with him during the choruses of all his songs.  Since I (and apparently most of the people in the audience) knew most of his songs there was lots of audience participation!  I sang along on every chorus and Mike leaned over at one point to whisper to me “Do you know the lyrics to every one of his songs??”.  The answer would be “yes”.  🙂

Dougie MacLean!

Dougie MacLean!

Although he’s much better known in Scotland than he is in the U.S., he wrote the theme song for the movie The Last of the Mohicans so maybe some of you know his music from that if nothing else.  Celtic music isn’t generally Mike’s genre of choice, but he actually seemed to enjoy himself.  Celtic music is definitely relaxing, and Mike observed that his lyrics were insightful (which is one of the things I love about him).  Plus with all of Dougie’s stories and jokes, he was entertaining even when he wasn’t singing.  It reminded me very strongly of attending folk arts concerts with my dad when we used to volunteer together at the Grand River Folk Arts Society.  A very fun evening!  🙂

If Thursday evening was devoted to my entertainment of choice, on Saturday it was Mike’s turn to choose our entertainment.  That’s how we ended up at the Boeing museum of flight in Tukwila.  It was pretty interesting!  It would have been much more interesting if Mike and I knew anything at all about planes because it seemed to be a veritable historical treasure trove of planes.  One floor of the building was devoted to WWI planes; another was devoted to WWII planes.

A WWI Italian plane... how did people fly in these???  They look like tin cans with wings!

A WWI Italian plane… how did people fly in these??? They look like tin cans with wings!

We also saw the original Boeing plane factory (which was crazily small given that they were building AIRCRAFT in there!!).  We also walked through an Air Force I jet and saw the very first Boeing 737 and 747 aircraft Boeing ever manufactured.  In addition, there were some interesting aerospace/NASA relics and replicas of various space shuttles and lunar roving modules.  One of my favorite parts was a giant room FILLED with aircraft!  Some were on the ground and others were suspended at various heights from the ceiling causing you to feel like you were in the midst of a storm of planes when you walked through the room.

LOTS of planes!

LOTS of planes!

We also found some time to work on more home projects and cleaning.  Mike, the mock-up monster, decided to mock up a lamp that we’re considering buying so that he knew how it would look in our apartment before buying it.

Mike's scarily accurate mocked up lamp

Mike’s scarily accurate mocked up cardboard lamp

I told him the lamp was so good we didn’t need to bother getting a real one.  He even measured everything so that the height and dimensions of both the lamp base and shade are exactly correct.  When we came home from church on Sunday night and the lights in the apartment were dim, it seriously looked like a real lamp sitting on the end table rather than a mock up.  His mock-ups are getting more and more elaborate.  🙂

It is now officially autumn, and it’s getting colder!  Despite this, a manager at work organized a team outing to go sailing.  So this afternoon 24 people from my team (myself included) headed to Lake Washington and had a one-hour crash course in sailing and then stuffed ourselves into lifejackets, and were turned loose in the lake for an hour and a half.  It was fun, but it was COLD.   And windy.  Which is good for advanced sailors but not so good for beginners.  We all paired up and took out very small two-person sailboats which we were told by the instructors tipped over easily.  But not to worry, because the upside of that was that it was easy to right them.  Hmm.  Even with my limited knowledge of sailing that didn’t necessarily sound like a good trade-off.  When our manager saw how strong the wind was at the lake, he raised his eyebrows and turned to all of us.  “I think your odds of falling in just went up from about 20% to 33% given that wind.”  One of the guys looked around.  “So that’s one in three of us.”

Another guy turned to look at me with a grin.  “So is this like in freshman engineering where they tell you to look at the person on your left and the person on your right and then tell you that only one of the three of you will statistically graduate in engineering?”


As it turned out, two of the twelve boats tipped over which was only 16%.  So either our manager was just unnecessarily pessimistic, or else we were naturals at sailing.  Given how difficult it was for us to just to get the sailboats out of the harbor, I’m betting it wasn’t the latter.  My boat wasn’t among the 16%, but my sailing buddy and I did get temporarily caught on a log that was jutting out from the shore and I had to hop out of the boat and push us away from the shore, so I did get wet from the mid-thigh downwards.  And I now know significantly more about rigging and sailing a sailboat than I did before.  Although it is complicated.  Really too complicated to be mastered in a one-hour crash course.  Still very fun though.  🙂

In other news, Piper continues to love nestling into warm, newly dried laundry.

Are you guarding the laundry, Piper?

Are you guarding the laundry, Piper?

And I’ll leave you with a Dougie MacLean song.  🙂


1 Comment

Filed under Concerts, Cooking, CSA, Dougie MacLean, Eggplant, Food, Pictures, Planes, Sailing

One response to “Eggplant Stew: Making no one happy

  1. Lia K

    The Dougie MacLean concert sounds like a lot of fun! Loved the video you posted of his song, “Not Look Down”. Could you see all the faces hidden in the rocks, especially around the 2:20 mark? Totally amazing–Celtic music rocks!LOL

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