Finally–Some Good News!

After going for a gentle afternoon jog, I popped a rice pudding in the oven before popping myself into a frothy bubble bath. As I scrubbed and exfoliated, the house slowly filled with a warm milky scent that brought back yummy childhood memories.

For those not following the saga of my quest for perfect rice pudding, this is attempt number three, and it worked! Well–almost. It was a little runny and I did lose some rice down the sink during the initial rinsing stage. (For some reason, this step remains challenging.) Oh, and the crust on top, delicate and wispy on my mom’s rice pudding, was dark and thick as roast turkey skin on mine. But progress is being made.

The cause of my (near) success: Italian Arborio rice! I had no idea they grew rice in “the hilly regions of northern Italy.” I thought it all came from Asia. My advice for anyone else looking for specialty ingredients like short grain rice: try an actual grocery store instead of the food aisle at Walmart.

Now that I’ve (sort of) mastered rice pudding, I may attempt another sweet favourite–creme brulee.

I think I have everything I need excpet a blow torch to burn the sugar on top and I KNOW I can get that at Walmart.

Girls’ Weekend!

026014D came over from the mainland for a girls’ weekend.

We drove straight to Sooke after I picked her up at the ferry on Friday. Sooke’s a pretty village just outside Victoria. My Sailor and I are considering a move there. D had never been and I wanted to show it off. On the way I gushed about Sooke’s precious small town feel, its stunning ocean views and best of all–the friendliness of the locals. You just don’t get that in the big city.

We arrived at the height of rush hour. Caught in bumper to bumper traffic as all eight local cars hit the narrow road at once, I inched forward unaware I’d blocked an unmarked parking lot entrance until an enormous white pick-up truck almost T-boned my car when it surged towards the exit. With a mighty screech of his huge tires, the driver yelled, honked and made extremely rude gestures at me until the light changed and I could move forward off the stretch of public highway apparently owned by him.

So maybe super friendly locals aren’t one of the top three reasons to move to Sooke.

A delicious dinner at a lovely ocean front resort smoothed over the rough edges of surly men in pick-up trucks and restored my faith in Sooke as a great community.

On Saturday we shopped till D dropped, ending our fab girls’ day out with the curry buffet at the Bengal Lounge.

My Sailor and I have had a couple of hot date nights there so I have special memories of the Lounge–like the night we left our boy with his uncle and got a room upstairs for the night. Why don’t we do stuff like that more often?

Mid-way through our second helpings, a wedding party came in for photos in front of the fireplace. The newlyweds were radiant with happiness and hope. Seeing a freshly-married bride and groom is almost as rare as glimpsing a pod of orcas when you’re on the ferry. Both sightings are likely to bring good luck.

When it goes well, marriage is the ultimate connection between two individuals. It can be the closest we get to paradise on Earth. When it goes bad, it can be very bad, quickly morphing into a living hell. I hope this couple remembers what brought them together in the first place and keeps the magic.

The happy discovery that the Bengal Lounge has expanded its desert buffet was literally the icing on the cake. Mmmm–chai tea creme brulee and cardamom apple tarts!

I see a date here with my Sailor when he gets home!