Monday, February 21, 2011

Birthday Weekend and Beer Brewing

We spent this past weekend doing the natural thing - celebrating Nathan's 30th birthday the whole time. Yes, we do birthdays right.

We started after work on Friday by meeting a bunch of our friends at Auntie Pasta's, the only really "nice" restaurant in Nacogdoches. I had expected about 10 people to show up, and was pleasantly surprised to see nearly twice that many of our friends. Everyone loves birthdays! After eating and drinking, some of us went to another friend's home for more drinking, a dance party and the best cake I've ever made. (Carrot - recipe coming soon, mostly because I want to bake it again ASAP!)

The next morning, Nathan and I got up bright and early. I had played the role of designated driver and felt rested and chipper. Nathan was not quite so lucky. Nevertheless, we dropped the dogs off at Amy's for a day of playing in their huge yard with their three dogs and then drove on to Houston. Our first stop was Delfalco's Home Wine and Beer Supplies

We've been wanting to get into beer brewing for years now - it's made an appearance on at least three of my New Year's resolutions lists, and it's always the thing that we put off for another month or another year. This weekend, we finally bit the bullet and purchased a deluxe starter kit - all the equipment we need to brew to our hearts' content! I can't wait to start. I love cooking, I love crafting, and I love beer - I'm pretty that beer brewing and I are soul mates.

I'm also excited to document a new project on The New Me - beer brewing for beginners! Stay tuned for tales of our adventures and mishaps as we attempt to craft the perfect beverage.

Besides beer supplies, our other main goal for our Houston trip was two fold: see a play and eat dinner. We chose to see August: Osage County at the Alley Theatre. The play was about a dysfunctional family and was described over and over as quintessentially "American" in it's subject matter and style. While I have a hard time with anything described as "American" - how can you sum up the experience of a country that is so diverse and varied, with countless stories to tell? - I did enjoy the play. It was dark and funny and sad, and live theater done well is always a magical experience.

You can see Nathan and me in the reflection of the glass.

I wish I could have taken photos of the set - it was amazing! - but alas. No photos allowed.

After the play, we had dinner with our friend Vicki at Van Loc, another Houston favorite, and we got some sweet outdoor gear at REI, which I'm sure I'll blog about in more detail later. Overall, it was a great time and even though our trip to Houston only took a day, it felt like a week.

How as your weekend? Any fun trips, adventures in the kitchen, or races run? Link them up in the comments! I could use some reading material for the long week ahead.