Beemer (dr_tectonic) wrote,

The Cherry Cricket, Manchego Gourgeres, and A Bonfire

Pete was in town this weekend, so on Friday night we met up with him and Ted and Dave Verdun and had dinner at the Cherry Cricket. The company was great, although the restaurant not so much. It's a popular restaurant (it was very busy that night -- maybe they were short-staffed?), but the appetizer platter we ordered never came, and drinks and some sides were slow, and the food was fine but nothing special. So I'm not sure why. Maybe part of the draw is the huge variety of toppings available for burgers? You can get just about anything on your burger, including peanut butter and jelly, but it's all a dollar for this and $1.50 for that and frankly, when confronted with tyranny of choice at that level, I just gave up and ordered a chicken sandwich instead, because that way I only had to decide among three options. But they did at least shave a decent chunk off our bill to make up for the oversights, so points for that.

Then we wandered around Cherry Creek for a bit trying to find a coffee shop that was still open. We finally settled on a Starbucks and had more hanging about (this time with a soundtrack from the '70s instead of the '80s).

And then Saturday was bonfire at Pyro & Bob's. I spent the morning feeling useless and terrible because of baseless anxiety. (I think I had some upsetting dreams that carried over into waking; I couldn't remember any details other than arguing and crying, but I think what matters is that it flooded my system with hormones and whatnot that left me feeling cruddy all morning.) But I felt better after Monkey got home.

So then I made cheese puffs (gougeres) to take to the bonfire. I used this recipe hyar, and they turned out great. I love making choux pastry because it seems so fancy but it's actually really easy. I dunno, maybe the Colorado climate helps, but I feel like it's just super-simple. You bring milk (or water), butter, and salt to a boil, dump in a bunch of flour and stir like mad until it forms a ball, then throw it in the mixer and add the eggs one at a time until it turns glossy. The hardest part is spooning it out onto the baking sheet because it's so sticky. Anyway, to make gougeres, you just mix a bunch of cheese in before you bake it. I used manchego and parmesan and was very pleased with them.

The bonfire was super-awesome. I don't have much to tell about it, because it's a bunch of guys hanging out and socializing, plus a big fire, and that (the socializing bit) is something I love but am no good at describing. I have now met enough people in that crowd that it felt like there were lots of people I knew there rather than just a few: Bob & Pyro, of course, and Adam & Channan, and Bob & Mike, and Bob & Jeff and Ben, and Jason & Gideon, and Chris & Todd, and Ted, and a second dose of Pete (yay!), and Levi (who I actually know from work, so that's new and different), and then all the folks that I've now met once or twice so I have a vague sense of who they are but keep dropping their names on the floor because I'm terrible. And we stayed quite late and the next day my feet hurt from standing so much and it was just a lovely time.

So Sunday I didn't do anything at all. And that was my weekend.

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