Ten questions from OvenMitt for Panda about their trip to Nice so far

Right now, Panda and OvenMitt are in Nice, France on vacation. At first, Panda was unwilling to submit to an interview, but after some goading and prying, OvenMitt was finally able to get Panda to answer some questions about her experiences on the trip so far.

1. What has been your favorite thing you have done so far?

“I have to look at my pictures. I don’t know– what have we done? WAZO Brunch? ”

“That was your favorite thing?”

“No– getting your hair cut.”

2. What has been the most surprising thing about the trip so far?

“Everything’s closed in the afternoon!”
(Specifically in Ventimiglia, Italy)

3. What has been the worst thing you have eaten on the trip?

“The egg-thingy on the plane?”

4. What has been the best thing you have eaten on this trip?

“The pizza? The pizza!”

“Care to elaborate?”

Shakes head

5. What’s one thing we have done that you wish we hadn’t done?

“I wish we didn’t go sit at that one place while we were looking for breakfast… The server wasn’t that nice. And the breakfast didn’t look like anything that special for the price.”

6. Who has been your favorite person we have met so far on the trip?

“The adorable twins at the park sitting on a bench”

7. Who has been the most annoying person we have met on the trip?

“The server?” (See above)

8. What’s your favorite thing we have watched on television?

“I don’t know– uh, Super Talent…That’s the only thing that I remember.”

9. What do you wish you had brought with you that you did not?

“My scarf…because it’s cold.”

10. What have you missed the most about North America?

“Restaurants that are open all day every day…no, can I change that? I miss my routine.”

“What do you mean by ‘I miss my routine’?”

“I didn’t really have to think that much about what to do for my day.”

13 Ways of Looking at Panda and OvenMitt’s Recent Trip to Chicago

img_1935

1.

It’s not every day

a Panda and OvenMitt

fly to Chicago.

2.

Weeks ago this trip

was just an absurd notion—

now it’s happening.

3.

Who knew idle talk

could become a weekend trip?

Next stop Chicago!

null_2

4.

OvenMitt has one

big question for this plane flight—

will eyebrows stay on?

5.

One highlight of the

trip—seeing Test Kangaroo,

OvenMitt’s old friend.

fullsizerender

6.

A daily question

for Panda and OvenMitt—

where should they eat brunch?

7.

The pillows in the

hotel room in Chicago

were comfortable.

8.

Job for OvenMitt

on this trip—rubbing Panda’s

sore back and shoulder

9.

Hard to believe they

traveled all that way just to

see Montreal lose.

 null_1

10.

The hAbs would have won

if Price had been in the net—

all Therrien’s fault

 null_3

11.

Searched all weekend for

anti-Donald Trump protests—

never could find them.

12.

Wasn’t all fun, though—

hAbs loss, Cubs gear everywhere,

parking brake mishap

 img_4584

13.

Despite ups and downs

the trip was fun, and the first

of many to come.

 null

Top Ten List #1: Things OvenMitt Misses About Panda When They Are Not Together

panda-and-ovenmitt-together-1

Panda lives in Vancouver, BC; OvenMitt lives in Seattle, WA. Not only are they several hours drive apart from each other, but there is also the USA-Canada international border between them. Their visits, therefore, happen only on the weekends, when they take turns driving up or down to see each other. Because of the miracles of modern technology (text/phone/email), Panda and OvenMitt are easily able to keep in contact wherever they may be, but some things just are not the same over the phone/tablet/computer as they are in person. It’s been almost two weeks since they’ve been together, and OvenMitt misses many things about Panda. So here is OvenMitt’s list of the top ten things he misses doing with and about Panda when they are not lucky enough to be in the same country together–

10. Eating brunch

9. Going to Tim Hortons for an Iced Capp and hockey cards

8. Watching hockey documentaries

7. How Panda frequently asks OvenMitt if he needs anything

6. That awkward moment when they are talking in the elevator in Panda’s building and someone else gets on

5. Rubbing Panda’s sore shoulder

4. How Panda gets a little more animated and talkative whenever she gets a little drunk

3. How warm Panda is when she is sleeping (even though the window right above their heads is open and it’s sometimes a bit chilly)

2. Watching sports on television

1. Eating biscuits in bed together in the morning

Luckily for OvenMitt, this upcoming weekend, he will be driving up to see Panda, so they can do all of these things (and more) together– check back soon for updates about their weekend!

map-of-route

Above– the driving route from Seattle to Vancouver. The 2 hr 32 min estimate must be for some speedy driver who doesn’t have to wait at the border– in real life, the drive takes at least three hours.

 

 

In the Kitchen with Panda and OvenMitt: Grape Nuts Peanut Butter Toast Surprise

img_4376

Sometimes the story behind a recipe is as interesting as the recipe itself. Some recipes are handed down with great ceremony from one generation to another, while others come from hours of painstaking research looking through old obscure cookbooks or careful sessions of trial-and-error in the kitchen spent working out the perfect balance of ingredients and techniques. If you’ve ever been the recipient of your mother’s lasagna recipe or found a seemingly obsolete yet delicious German potato salad recipe, you know what we mean.

Some recipes, however, come in a moment of inspiration like a bolt from the blue– one second, you’ve never even thought of the idea, and the next, it’s the most obvious thing in the world. Grape Nuts Peanut Butter Toast Surprise is one such recipe, one that, once you’ve tried it, you will be eating and feeding your family for years!

The other morning, as they often do, Panda and OvenMitt were texting each other– she from Vancouver and he from Seattle. (In any relationship, but especially a long-distance one across an international border, it’s always important to find little ways to let each other know that you’re thinking of them– a good morning text is a great way to do that!) It was a typical morning exchange, filled with “How did you sleep?” and “Did you dream about me?”, when suddenly the subject switched, as it sometimes does, to breakfast. (OvenMitt is in blue; Panda is the grey)

img_4367

And suddenly, from a tiny miscommunication, a great idea was born! Grape Nuts and peanut butter on toast– what could be better than that?! OvenMitt has made this a breakfast staple ever since– and when you see how easy and delicious it can be, we’re certain that you will want to, also.

img_4378

Grape Nuts Peanut Butter Toast Surprise

Ingredients

1 cup peanut butter (preferably crunchy)

1/2 cup Grape Nuts cereal (+a sprinkle for the top)

Bread for toasting as needed

In a mixing bowl using a rubber spatula, carefully mix the peanut butter and 1/2 cup of the Grape Nuts. Meanwhile, toast the bread in the toaster– make sure it’s crisp but not burnt! When the toast is ready, use a knife to spread the Grape Nuts Peanut Butter spread carefully on. Sprinkle a few more Grape Nuts on top and enjoy!

Note: Leftovers will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator in a sealed glass or plastic container.

img_4375

Bon appetit, everybody!

Hockey Card Album

img_4287

Back in the spring of 1991, Panda had to travel to Toronto to do her EEG practicum at Sick Kids (aka the Hospital for Sick Children). While she was in Toronto, Panda lived in a dorm-like residence with her own room but a shared bathroom. Panda did not know anybody in Toronto, so, when she wasn’t working, wandering around Yonge Street, or going to the mall to buy a now-long-lost silver bunny bracelet, she would go to the sports cards shop to buy Upper Deck hockey cards. Panda would always buy a pack or two at a time, and, even though there was no bubble gum with these cards, she would still be excited to open and then carefully place them in a blue hockey card album (pictured above). At the time, Panda made the decision to organize the cards alphabetically by team name (rather than by city name– a decision she is still happy with today) starting with the Blackhawks (Jeremy Roenick) and ending with the Whalers (Dean Evason).

img_4288

Above: end of the Bruins pages and start of the Canadiens

Whenever she got a card, rather than playing those games that kids play with them, Panda would carefully figure out where they went in the binder and put them there.

Below: Rod Brind’Amour!

img_4269

Eventually Panda finished her EEG practicum and left Toronto, and the album went into into Panda’s mom’s bookcase in her dusty British Columbia basement. There the cards sat for decades until finally Panda met OvenMitt. Shortly after meeting OvenMitt, Panda found out that they had a shared interest in ice hockey and knew that OvenMitt would want to see the hockey cards, so she went to her mother’s house and found them. And now last weekend, after a long week of waiting for OvenMitt to drive up in his truck to Vancouver from Seattle, the two of them finally got to look at the hockey cards together.

null

What could be more fun than that on a rainy Saturday night? And what other hockey-related memorabilia could Panda possibly have to show OvenMitt?

null_1

Sidenote– While looking through the hockey card album, Panda and OvenMitt also took a trip down memory lane watching postgame coverage of this year’s NHL Heritage Classic. Look– it’s Gretzky and Hawerchuk on the television screen!

img_4272