one of the great things about moving north is that we've gotten to catch up with a lot of friends we haven't seen in a long time - this past weekend we had rich and rachel stay with us and it was fun fun fun. if you're ella, you call them "richrachel" or finally, just "rachel" (to both of them). obviously, they were a huge hit with ella, mostly because moments after they stepped into our house we let them take care of ella while craig and i downed a bottle of sparkly, awesomy Champagne that rich brought us. yum. (actually, we all drank it. but craig and i kept looking at the clock wondering if ella&r&r would notice if we stepped out to an early movie.)
after picking them up at the tiny danbury train station, i took a chance on a place i read about on roadfood.com called amigo's, a cuban deli/grocery store. i had the feeling that when we walked in the needle might scratch across the record, but it didn't and we had a fine fine lunch of el cubano sandwiches. then we stopped at a tea shop i've been wanting to go to but never get the chance to because i'm always with ella. bull in a china shop, toddler in a tea shop - same thing. simpson and vail is located back in an old rock quarry and is a quaint little shop. every weekend they have different teas out for tasting. i bought one called "nepal supreme" that is very very good and i also bought a rooibos french vanilla because i've been wanting to try a rooibos. rachel bought one of the tasting teas as well.
back at the ranch, we exchanged funny stories and headed to the playground with ella. rich and i both forgot our cameras, otherwise i'd be posting a montage of photos of rich sliding down the twirly slide with ella. you haven't lived until you've seen this. rich took an incredible photo of ella that i've been staring at for two days. it's made me want to buy a new camera and then spend a weekend having rich teach me how to actually take a good photo.
i stuffed them both with food - iced coffee all weekend, homemade chicken pot pies on saturday night and frittata and pig candy on sunday morning. yes, pig candy. it's something i've been wanting to try and it was good - bacon coated in dark brown sugar and baked in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes can't really be bad, right? it wasn't great because i made the mistake of using trader joe's nitrate-free, organic bacon when i really needed to use plain old nitrate-laden, poorly-raised pork bacon to get really crispy, carmalized pieces. but no one complained too much because, hey, it's bacon. plus, i made them play a new game saturday night, apples to apples, promising that it was "hilarious" (which is what the box says) and with four people, it was a little less than hilarious. so i owed them some bacon, even though the game did pick up after a while.