Weekend Update: A Rainy US Thanksgiving Holiday in Vancouver

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For the US holiday of Thanksgiving, OvenMitt was lucky enough to have five days off. Luckier still, he was able to spend them in his favourite place in the entire world– the Vancouver apartment of Panda! Here’s a day-by-day list of the time the two spent together:

Wednesday

  • Brunch at Twisted Fork
  • Ice skating at the Kitsilano Rink
  • OvenMitt went shopping for a winter coat at Hills while Panda visited her mother.
  • Grocery shopping at Safeway for mini-US Thanksgiving the next day
  • Dinner (pizza and salad) at Panda’s apartment.

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All ready to skate!

Thursday

  • Breakfast of leftovers from Twisted Fork and some delicious scrambled eggs prepared by Panda
  • A trip to McDonald’s for waffle fries and a Potato Rosti and Bacon Burger
  • OvenMitt cooked creamed spinach and warmed up the frozen scalloped potatoes while Panda picked up some chicken.
  • Mini-US Thanksgiving dinner of chicken, potatoes, spinach, and pumpkin pie.
  • Panda, in the first of her many coups of the weekend, introduced OvenMitt to the wonders of Flight of the Conchords.

Friday

  • Brunch at Lucy’s Eastside Diner
  • A semi-disastrous trip to Toys “R” Us to buy presents for Panda’s friends’ kids where forgetful, bossy clerks along with unwieldy company policies turned a simple request for separate gift receipts into a nightmare
  • A much more successful trip to Chapters to look at books and gifts
  • Dinner of leftovers from mini-US Thanksgiving dinner
  • A visit to Minami sushi bar for drinks, snacks, and a visit with OvenMitt’s teacher friend, Test Kangaroo, who was in town for the evening with her family and some friends
  • Panda, in another of her brilliant moves of the weekend, showed OvenMitt the movie What We Do in the Shadows

Saturday

  • A day spent sleeping/napping/lying around while eating leftovers and watching sports on television (Ohio State beating Michigan and the Canadiens beating the Red Wings— both in overtime)
  • Dinner with Panda’s friends the Test Kangaroos*– pizza, wine, cheesecake, pictures of the hosts’ recent trip to Vietnam and Cambodia, and delightful conversation

Sunday

  • Brunch at Parlour (sitting next to a trio of bros talking about being hungover, betting on professional sports, Juventus losing a stunner to Genoa, fighting, spending too much money at strip clubs, etc.)
  • Writing this blog post and enjoying the last few hours in each other’s company before OvenMitt returns to Seattle for a week of work before his Birthday Acknowledgement Weekend next weekend (and before Panda returns to work on Monday for the first time in six months…)

A delightful moment watching Flight of the Conchords

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*These Test Kangaroos not to be confused with the earlier Test Kangaroo

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

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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!

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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

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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)

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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.

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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.

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Bon appetit, everybody!