I had such a great weekend, but am sad to be back at work. Sad and tired!
I took Friday as a vacation day, and after a busy morning of homework and grocery shopping, I headed out to pick up Jen for our summerific afternoon! We headed up to Washington Park and parked at Hoyt Arboretum and then walked down to the International Rose Test Garden.
It was so beautiful. The sun was shining. The roses were blooming. The breeze was perfumed.
After hiking back up to the car (much steeper up than down, for some reason), we headed back to Jen’s and sat in her garden and drank lemonade before meeting up with Alisa for an outdoor swim at a public pool.
I have a mild paranoia about public pools, due to the large number of children and other people who may potentially be peeing in the pool. BUT, I survived. And, by the time we were done swimming, two out of three husbands had magically appeared at the pool. Unfortunately, mine was not one of them, so I hopped in the car and headed home.
The architect and I went out to dinner and then home to rest from my super exhausting day.
Saturday, I got up bright and early (10 am. Seriously. I don’t even know what happened) and got ready to run. I decided to run in Forest Park since it was so ridiculously hot already. However, I managed to pick the sunniest and steepest loop EVER! When I got back to the car after my 6 mile run, I seriously felt like there were little heat waves rising off my head. I doused myself with my water, and only then realized I hadn’t saved any to drink.
I went back home, and after a cooling off period, got started on homework and housework.
I waxed some cheeses (my parmesan wedges and my new cheddar).
And then made the architect go to Leisure with me. He’d been working hard on my beautiful tomato cages all afternoon, and I had been working hard on drinking champagne, so we totally deserved it!
Sunday morning was a bit earlier. I hopped on my bike and rode downtown with the architect to pick up my half marathon race packet, and then hopped on MAX to meet Sarah & Michael for brunch.
After returning home, I fired up the smoker, stuffed my hotdogs and waited.
While smoking the sausages, I gardened. I dug up a large circle around one of my fir trees, the better to mulch around it (and get the grass further away from the tree, thus preventing any lawnmower accidents). When I lifted the bag of mulch (which only weighs like 30 lbs or something), I did something weird and managed to hurt my left shoulder and neck. 🙁
The architect took off about 5 to head to my cousin’s house for her boyfriend’s birthday bbq (her boyfriend and the architect, in addition to being cousins-in-law, are also co-workers), and I stayed behind to monitor the hotdog situation.
I dug another tree circle (around my Japanese maples) and FINALLY, the hotdogs were done!
I hopped on my bike and rode to the party, only then realizing that I could not turn my head. Good thing I didn’t have to ride home!
We stayed for awhile, the architect played some horseshoes, and then I finally had to go home.
I woke up the next morning and was already hot. And sore. And so I did not do the half marathon. Everyone else I knew that was supposed to be running had already canceled, and I didn’t want to be the only one suffering from heatstroke and quad cramps at the party later.
So, instead I just made party preparations.
I made sangria. And guacamole. And basil lemonade (which, by the way, is a great base for a French 75; just add gin & top with champagne. DELICIOUS!). And strawberry-infused water. And burgers (beef AND turkey) and got everything ready. I took a bunch of pictures, and even brought my camera to work to download them today, but grabbed the wrong usb cord, so no pictures for us!
Except for this one:
A lot of people asked for my mojito recipe, so here it is! This was definitely inspired by Maris at In Good Taste.
I made a large batch (not pictured, but about 64 oz of mojito mix prior to adding the club soda).
25 LARGE strawberries
LARGE handful of fresh mint leaves
40 oz simple syrup (I made mint simple syrup – I just heated the water and sugar with another large handful of mint)
60 oz rum (I used Bacardi silver)
10 oz fresh lime juice (10 limes!)
Muddle the strawberries, lime rinds (after juicing) and mint leaves together. Stir in simple syrup and rum. At this point, I removed the limes, left everything else, and put out the (beautiful) jar of mojitos. I instructed everyone to fill a glass with ice, fill the glass half full with the mojito mix, and top with the chilled club soda placed conveniently nearby. I feel that this worked better than adding the club soda to the mix ahead of time, and also, I didn’t have room in my jar for such things! 🙂
It was really, really good.
After the awesome barbecue (where the architect served as grill master), we had pie! and S’Mores! and a firepit! And fireworks!
And then, all too soon, it was time to clean up and go to bed (and to try to ignore the fireworks that just kept on going for hours!).
I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth, too!