Monday, 22 October 2012

My Berfday Weekend

Well, I did it.  I turned 40 and now I'm one year more fabulous!!  Surprisingly, it wasn't that painful nor, sadly, was it overly exciting.  Even though it was my fete our crazy family schedule trucked along as normal.  Brad and the boys had a big all-sections Scouting camp planned months before so they headed out around supper time on Friday and wouldn't be home until Sunday afternoon.  Would I miss my menfolk?  Yes.  Was I a little miffed that they were leaving on my big birthday?  Perhaps a wee bit, if I'm being honest.  BUT, I was really looking forward to a very rare weekend alone with Missy Moo. 

The men weren't gone more than 15 minutes when us ladies jumped in the car and booted it to the food store to stock up on contraband treats.  Ya, I'm talking President's Choice  Peanut Butter and Chocolate Ice Cream (the contraband being the peanut since Boy 1 has a serious allergy.  All precautions were taken whilst eating said contraband to ensure that we didn't slather life-threatening peanuts all over our home) as well as the requisite chips and Helluva Good Dip. Mmmm.  I was blissfully picturing fat pants in my near future.  Let the weekend begin!

See, Missy Moo and I love to eat ... and craft ... and do all things girly.  Don't get me wrong.  I still wanted to make this a big "Hey! I just had my 40th birthday!" kind of weekend so I wanted to do something special.  Saturday morning, after Missy Moo and I had gone to her knitting class (for girls ages 8 to ... um, 40 apparently), we jumped in the car and headed out on a girly freedom ride to the huge metropolis of .... Stratford, Ontario.  OK, so it's not so much of a 'metropolis' as a small town known for its wicked-awesome theatre (we're talking the star power of Christopher Plummer, Hume Cronyn, Megan Follows, Eric McCormack, William Shatner and the fabulous Dame Maggie Smith have all performed numerous times there.  Oh ya, it's that good!).  Anyhoo, Missy Moo and I (while being big theatre buffs) weren't headed to Stratford for the the-a-tre.  We were following our stomachs because Momma wanted poutine on her berfday weekend!!  And not just any old poutine either! 

See, a few months ago Brad and I were watching "You Gotta Eat Here!" on the Food Network.  If you've seen "Drive-ins, Diners and Dives" with Guy Fieri this is the Canadian version.  On one episode, host John Catucci went to Stratford to check out Boomers Gourmet Fries.  The proprietor, Sue, showed him some of her famous poutine flavours.  After seeing her black bean chili fries, Italian poutine and ... wait for it .... Goat Cheese (with fresh Basil Oil) Poutine I knew that I had to add it to my gastronomical bucket list.

Well,  let me tell you that it was worth the drive.  You start with a rather large bowl of homemade, double cooked fries which are then topped with a big old dollop of creamy goaty goodness followed by homemade basil oil and Sue's famous 'from scratch' gravy.  Oh, m'gravy!  Soooo good!  Missy Moo, she of the timid tummy, opted for a cuppa plain fries.  I'll work on her gastronomical adventurous spirit later.  Mine rocked.  Totally and utterly.  My only problem?  My stomach wasn't big enough to try one of her burgers ... or another bowl of poutine (namely her Hickory Sticks Poutine or her Poutini Martini).  It's a pretty good day when your biggest problem is picking which poutine to eat.  You can check out Boomer's website HERE to peruse their menu. 

Boomer's is a very small hole-in-the-wall restaurant.  Boomer's ain't fancy and it's quite small -- it seats only 10-12 people at one large table. But, the service was stellar and very friendly, it's wonderfully casual and, well, the food is awesome.  

On a geeky side note -- I will admit to getting a little starstruck seeing Sue in person.  I mean, I had just saw her on TV and here I am in her restaurant munchin' on the food that I saw her making on the show!  I'm such a foodie geek. 

My point to all of this?  If you're in the Stratford area, give Boomer's Gourmet Fries a try. Your tummy will thank you.

Note: this rather unprofessional picture was taken on my iPhone from the car.  It had started raining (hence the rain speckles on my windshield).  I could have stepped out of the car but A) I'd look like a lame tourist, B) I'm made of sugar and the rain would make me melt and C) I'm lazy.

So after getting our fill of poutine and walking around the downtown for a bit I wanted to make one more stop.  I knew that I needed to return a sweater that I had received as a gift which didn't fit.  So off we went to the 'mall' (Stratford's version anyway).  I honestly intended to just return the sweater and get a replacement.  But ... it was my birthday and Missy Moo is quite convincing as a fashion guru.  She had me trying on all sorts of tops, pants and scarves.  So I went into the store to return something (ie. no money spent) and left spending $120.  But I saved $35 because so many things were on sale so really by shopping I was saving money.  Is it any wonder why I always had trouble with math word problems as a child?!?

In this store there was a beautiful cape-type sweater that I oogled but they didn't have my size.  Their other store which was on my way home had a few.  Call it happenstance, serendipitous or even fortuitous but this gal isn't one to pass up an opportunity for an awesome top!  So, Missy Moo and I stopped in at the other store ... and spent another $120.  I know what you're thinking, "Laurie has no will power!"  And you're right.  But, I looked really good in the sweater and armed with my ability to justify my purchases using my totally warped understanding of basic math, I left the store with even more clothing.  With new purchases and a bounce in my step, Missy Moo and I headed home for a night of girly movies and treats.   Ahhhh, bliss. 

Truly it was a fabulous weekend with my favourite girl.  A culinary day trip, unexpected shopping, knitting, snacking on forbidden munchies and lounging in fat pants.  Gotta love weekends like that!

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