This weekend was a nice calm stay-at-home weekend for me after last week's con-people-boston-visiting whirl. (The writeup on that one will come later)
It started with a bit of a busy-ness, as I prepped for my first Soup Swap Party
. This involved making two large pots of clam chowdah (bacon and non) and doing a whole bunch of house cleaning, taking care of stuff that had piled up over the last couple weeks. The party was a huge success!! Despite a very snowy day, people braved the roads to come deliver soups to my house. We had a fantastic variety (enough to please GF folks, vegetarians, and meat lovers) , with no overlaps, and a few very strange ones that turned out really well, as well as bread and beer and a few other snackin's.
I put my own tweak into the party, where instead of just swapping blindly, I asked everybody to bring a small amount to be heated up and eaten, then we used teeny party cups to get a few bites of each soup. This worked fabulously, IMO, as it meant I got to try things that I normally would have thought too weird, without committing to a full quart. The parsnip soup and dill pickle soup turned out to be two of my favorites! Even the swap went smoothly, with mostly the right number of people wanting what was available. My clam chowdah was super popular (either that or everybody was trying to butter up the host), which tickled me. We finished up the night with some light games, and traded recipes online. I'm looking forward to trying my hand at making some of them.
Sunday I got to wake up to a nice clean house and laze around for a while, as I had mostly no plans except to go out and plan in the snow with some friends later. Eventually I walked down to Frick Park. The snow was light and fluffy and pretty much perfect for the sledding we were doing, and the main hill was surprisingly not very busy. We ended up with six people and three sleds, all of which fit two (or three!) people each, and ended up just tossing ourselves down the hill for an hour in various fun configurations, one of which was the three sled train
. I haven't sledded like that in years and I had pretty much forgotten how much fun it could be. I took one spill while doubling with Charlie, unfortunately on the one time where I decided to try to video our trip, which meant that when we started tipping precariously, my main thought was to protect my camera and not my head, so I did a fun little slow rollover, ensuring that I'm going to be sore tomorrow. Eventually the hill started filling up with smaller kids who weren't smart enough to actually look uphill while they weren't sledding, which made things less fun for me, so after a quick detour over to the actual blue slide of Blue Slide Park (which was also good for sledding on), I invited people back to my house for snowbuilding and hot chocolate.
We didn't quite make it home before running across my neighbor who was in the process of shoveling out his front yard ice rink. Upon greeting, he offered us a spin including lending skates, so two people took him up on that while the others of us attempted to make some snow sculptures. Eventually the cold started getting to me and the hot chocolate part of the afternoon happened inside my warm house, complete with peppermint marshmallows. Exhaustion was really setting in for me, though, and after everybody else left I ended up flopping down on the couch for a short nap, until a kid bugged me about dinner. Fortunately, I apparently hadn't quite reached my soup limit yet, and had thought to prep a big crockpot of chili earlier in the day, which was delicious. I realized I was probably so exhausted because I was dehydrated, so I fixed that as well, which did help some. I'm still feeling pretty wiped out and mildly headachey. Having fun is hard work! But worth it. I was tagged in various pictures on the Book of Face for people who are on there, but they're not public so I'm not linking directly from here.
Expecting a cold and snowy week this week, and likely a snow day Tuesday, as temps drop back down to -9F around here. Brr. Fortunately, cold makes for excellent soup weather...