October 3, 2007

Here are some things I’d like to be cooking in my new kitchen right now: molasses cookies, Swistle’s Chocolate Mint Brownies, creamy butternut squash soup, chicken noodle soup, apple pie, cranberry-sausage stuffing. It’s fall, dammit, and the colder weather and scarlet-tipped leaves demand that a certain amount of comfort food be produced on a daily—if not hourly—basis.

Too bad the contractors still need to do the flooring, finish painting, install all the appliances and lighting, and oh, I don’t know, GET THE FUCK OUT OF OUR HOUSE.

Not that I’m growing impatient or anything.

It’s just that nothing short of a catastrophic natural disaster should be the blocker on a critical path between a pregnant woman and a freshly baked pan of brownies, you know? Also, I’m veering dangerously into nesting territory, and not only can I not cook food (and provide sustenance for my family! Um, in the form of baked goods I shovel into my own mouth), I can’t set up Riley’s new bedroom or move him into his (gulp) big-kid’s bed or do any preparations for this baby that’s apparently going to show up in a few months, regardless of whether we’re still living in plaster dust or not.

In happier news, our Tofino vacation is next week. I feel like I’ve been looking forward to it for so long, and now it’s finally almost here. I hadn’t quite realized what a long trip it will be to get there (we have a few travel choices to consider: take a ferry to Victoria [from Port Angeles or Anacortes] and drive from there, or drive from Seattle to Vancouver, take a ferry to Nanaimo, and continue driving—either option will be around 8-9 hours long), but who cares, we’re leaving the kid at home with the grandparents! Driving without a toddler sounds like an exotic and lovely experience, really. You mean I can look out the window instead of craning my neck around in order to hand various items to a loud and demanding 3-ft-tall dictator? I can eat a snack without sharing with someone who takes a bite and spits it back out, saying “NO LIKE IT”? I can close my eyes for five seconds without a small boy yelling “WAKE UP MOMMY! WAKE UUUUUP”? Bliss.

Our choice of Tofino is thanks to a suggestion from my smart and lovely friend, who also happens to be one of my all-time favorite web writers, who also happens to be up and running again after a long blogging haitus. You should bookmark her site right now, because she is wonderful.


45 Responses to “Dreaming of squash, O Canada”

  1. hello insomnia on October 3rd, 2007 9:08 am

    Tofino sounds like fun. Any morning that I am spared my son’s Clockwork Orange-like attempt to open my eyes would be heaven.

  2. eileen on October 3rd, 2007 9:18 am

    My recommendation is take the ferry from Seattle to Victoria – then drive from there. With the Truck Crossing at the border still hosed up, the Peace Arch Crossing is busy 24/7.

    You’re going to love Tofino (especially if a storm comes in while you’re there). It’s a truly beautiful place – and the perfect place to relax and get away from life.



  3. Amy M. on October 3rd, 2007 9:24 am

    I’m jealous – your trip sounds fantastic. I took that ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria & sat, spacey, in the room with all the other Dramamine victims. It was gorgeous up there, though! Have a great trip!

    And now I desperately want chocolate mint brownies & butternut squash soup. (Seperately, not together. Although…)

  4. Trina on October 3rd, 2007 9:37 am

    Yay for an adult vacation! We took one of those in March. It was WONDERFUL!!! But, by about day 4 I was really missing the kid and when we got on the IM webcam with her I started crying.

  5. Michael on October 3rd, 2007 9:38 am

    You’re welcome to come over to our house and cook…

  6. Kristin on October 3rd, 2007 9:43 am

    I hope the rain eases up a little while you’re there — and I hope you love it as much as I do. I’m with Eileen – the drive from Victoria to Tofino is lenthy but astonishingly beautiful.

    Also: thanks for the super nice words. Coming from you, they mean the world.

  7. Audrey on October 3rd, 2007 9:45 am

    Maybe if you bribe the contractors with promises of brownies they’ll finish sooner?

  8. Thursday on October 3rd, 2007 9:47 am

    I already know she’s blogging again and she’s bookmarked already.

  9. jen on October 3rd, 2007 10:06 am

    hrm since you can drive 8-9 hours i suppose i can. we are in nyc and canada seems SO far away. we will have to get up there again sometime, im guessing a long holiday weekend. sucks for me since the bf doesnt drive. ah!! hope you guys have a blast!

  10. Eric's Mommy on October 3rd, 2007 10:10 am

    Tofino looks nice.

    I’m also all about the comfort food in the fall and winter.

  11. Joanne on October 3rd, 2007 10:26 am

    Oh that kitchen would be driving me mad, but I looked at some of the pics of the countertops and stuff and I’m sure it will be worth it. I’m also sure reassurances like that are not that reassuring while you’re in it. I’m going to make that soup just as soon as it cools the hell off here in the midwest, where we are still having annoyingly high temperatures. I hope your trip is fun and that you can enjoy time without Riley and before Son Number Two comes along. My husband and I went to NYC for a long weekend in August since I figure after January we will never go anywhere again. Have fun!

  12. Christy on October 3rd, 2007 10:28 am

    Until you have an oven again, I have a solution for you: Sara Lee Chocolate Covered Frozen Cheesecake Bites. They’re in the frozen pie/cake section of my local supermarket. In fact, you may never need to cook again, because if you’re anything like me, you won’t want to eat anything else. Ever. :o)

  13. Kate on October 3rd, 2007 10:30 am

    You will love the results when they are done and aren’t you glad your not doing it yourself?

    (Happy de-lurking day)

  14. Lola on October 3rd, 2007 10:41 am

    Hey Linda,

    We did they BC trip two weeks ago…we went to Campbell River which ii in the same general direction as you are going. We took the ferry from Port Angeles going up and the ferry from Nanaimo coming back. I would recommend driving to Vancouver, taking the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo (Departure Bay) and driving from there. Reserve your spot on the ferry or you may have to wait for a couple of sailings. On the ferry we went on, there was a whole kids play zone (slide, climbing structure) plus a full cafe etc. The ferry ride was about 90 minutes and thoroughly pleasant. The Port Angeles route was lovely, but it seemed like the drive took forever to get there, and then the drive up to Nanaimo seemed to take forever too.

    My two cents.


  15. Colleen on October 3rd, 2007 10:51 am

    I have to say you’ve made me so hungry with your list of foods. Yum!

  16. andrea on October 3rd, 2007 10:53 am

    When you get to cooking will you drop one of each of the items you mentioned off for me? I might have to go make the soup right now, it sounds de-lish!

    My vote would be Seattle-Victoria and drive from there. The border has been a cluster fuck the last few times we’ve gone through. Even without a toddler in the car I am not sure I would want to wait 2-3 hours.

    Regardless of how you get there, have a great time!

  17. Bethiclaus on October 3rd, 2007 10:56 am

    I hope for your sake that your contractors get on the ball. I can’t imagine what I’d do if I couldn’t eat baked goods. The baby NEEDS baked goods!

  18. Lola on October 3rd, 2007 10:56 am

    Hey! I skipped the part about no toddler! Go whichever damn way suits your fancy sweetheart!

  19. Danielle on October 3rd, 2007 11:20 am

    Hang in there, the payoff of the work will be so worth it :)
    Thanks for the link to Better now, I have missed her!
    Happy Vacation!

  20. Elizabeth on October 3rd, 2007 11:33 am

    Ah, Port Angeles. I still wish I had back those eight hours. We waited for hours to drive our car onto the ferry and then they cut off the line when it got to us. So we had to hang around Port Angeles for another six hours waiting for the next ferry. Fun times, fun times. I still have pictures of thirteen year old me pointing at the sawed off timeline tree stump thingee that tells you when famous shit happened in tree rings. Anyway. Have fun on your vacation. Good luck with the ferry AND the contractors.

  21. Alex on October 3rd, 2007 11:39 am

    OMG, KRISTEN IS BACK! I have missed her so. Thank you for linking to her, I am grateful.

    Enjoy your vacation.

  22. Jennie on October 3rd, 2007 11:44 am

    I’ve recently found her site, and I love it.

    Have a great vacation and although I no longer lurk around here, here’s to de-lurking in general :)

  23. oregoncoastgirl on October 3rd, 2007 11:54 am

    Stoked to find out K is back! Take the trip there through Port Angeles, the drive is beautiful. Come back through Vancouver.

  24. Heather on October 3rd, 2007 12:09 pm

    We honeymooned in Tofino. The place we stayed was called The Inn at Tuff City. The couple that ran it we’re totally awesome.. Reading your entry makes me sad we aren’t going there again soon. :)

  25. Swistle on October 3rd, 2007 1:13 pm

    I went to your smart and lovely friend’s site, and it sounds as if there is a long and interesting backstory there.

    Someone in your area needs to BAKE YOU THOSE BROWNIES. Get a gallon of milk ready.

  26. serror on October 3rd, 2007 1:14 pm

    I would go the Port Angeles Ferry. You can make reservations (online or by phone) for your car and avoid a long wait for it. It is about the same time to drive to as Anacortes if there is any traffic, but less busy than the Anacortes terminal. And you avoid the border crossing line completely, which is crazy busy right now. Also, how can you not travel with a company that is called Black Ball Transport?

    And just to note: you can’t take a car on the Clipper, which runs from Seattle to Victoria, which is the fastest way, but since you have to drive on to Tofino, not a great option for ya’ll.

  27. Jen on October 3rd, 2007 1:22 pm

    I’m from the west coast of BC and grew up near Tofino and am now in the Lower Mainland. The drive is really lovely, so I would recommend crossing the border – I think Peace Arch is the closest) and then heading over to Tsawwassen ferry (you avoid icky Vancouver traffic for the most part that way) and taking the the ferry to Duke Point – it is just south of Nanaimo and will put you right onto the Island Parkway and you can bypass all the downtown Nanaimo traffic and head up-island with less stress and irritation. Just take your time on the drive from Port Alberni to Tofino – lots of windy curves and often trees down.

  28. Marivic on October 3rd, 2007 1:55 pm

    Lovely, another blog to bookmark/fight mild addiction to.


  29. Marilyn on October 3rd, 2007 2:06 pm

    Delurking! That vacation sounds marvelous. I’m quite literally seething with jealousy over here. Sure, I love my children, but doesn’t absence make the heart grow fonder?

  30. Jhianna on October 3rd, 2007 3:29 pm

    Your vacation sounds wonderful!

    Delurking for The Great Mofo Delurk 2007 http://www.schmutzie.com/2007/09/814-great-mofo-delurk-2007.html

  31. Alexa on October 3rd, 2007 3:47 pm

    Check out both the schedules for Tsawwassen & Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo. We got to the Tsawwassen ferry on a Friday in time for the 8pm (the times have changed) and low and behold its the magic “lets pile on every truck in the universe” ferry and we didn’t get on. . .talk about the bitterness. Thus we ended up on the last ferry of the evening which ended up being the party ferry that arrived at 1am.

    Tsawwassen at least has food and a Starbucks available. But if you’re close on time I’d say drive up to Horseshoe Bay.

    Oh and if you get on the new ferry they now have ice. . .its festive. . .or something.

  32. Emily on October 3rd, 2007 5:04 pm

    Ohhhh Tofino. I am so excited for you!!! I’d suggest going through Victoria but I’m biased because that’s where I live. The ferry ride is like a cruise, so so pretty!
    When you’re in Tofino I HIGHLY recommend going to Sobo for dinner. It’s in the Tofino Botanical Gardens (1/2 way between Chesterman Beach [where the Wickanninish is] and downtown Tofino) and they have the most unbelievable food there in the most unpretentious way. Their prices are decent compared to other restaurants but their food is unparalleled. Check them out at http://www.sobo.ca/ – I have no connection whatsoever to the restaurant other than the fact that I love their food :)

  33. babs on October 3rd, 2007 5:59 pm

    Yes, thank you so much for linking to Better Now. I really missed her, too!

  34. velocibadgergirl on October 3rd, 2007 6:06 pm

    Have a great time on your trip!

  35. Sue on October 3rd, 2007 6:47 pm

    So happy to see that K is back! Thank you so much for the link!
    No hint on the name yet huh? ;)

  36. shy Victoria on October 3rd, 2007 8:43 pm

    Hey, wave on your way by eh?

    And enjoy : )

  37. Jennifer on October 3rd, 2007 11:28 pm

    We’ve had friends visit Tofino from places far away and they’ve all loved it.

    The border crossing at Blaine going INTO Canada should be no problem, but the one coming back into the US has supposedly been squashed down into 2 lanes so you may want to choose a different way back. I wish you great weather for your trip, lately it’s been pretty cold/rainy up here in B’Ham.

  38. thejunebug on October 4th, 2007 12:05 am

    “Mommy”? Awwww! My heart just melted a little.

  39. stan on October 4th, 2007 2:42 am

    Have a good holiday! I’m remembering back almost 25 years ago when my wife and I visited my brother and his family in Seattle (he was working there on an exchange programme for a year) and we took a trip on the ferry to Victoria. We travelled up to Nanaimo to visit a cousin and enjoyed two or three days there. I have just heard this morning that my brother’s wife’s sister (who we visited in Langley, BC on that holiday) has died. So I’m just in the mood for reminiscing about that time!!

    P.S. Make sure you take plenty of photos

  40. Keaton on October 4th, 2007 8:52 am

    Oh, how delicious those things sound. Too bad I’m in Japan, where I eat eel for breakfast (YUM!) and tempura for dinner. To top it all off, they don’t have pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks in this country! Good Lord! =P But alas, your food mentionings have left me feeling homesick.

  41. emily on October 4th, 2007 10:43 am

    Good for you and JB, adult vacations are so important (we just got back from Seatte in fact) where I let the first two days be consumed with guilt – don’t do that, BTW. I don’t comment enough probably (figure you could give a rat’s ass about my opinion) but I want to say that you and Kristin are the only two blogs I read (again, I am sure you could give a rats ass) – but anyways, you two rock! Thanks for the link back to her, and thanks for sharing your raw emotions. I wish I could.

  42. megan on October 4th, 2007 1:04 pm

    Thrilled that Kristin is back…I’ve missed her!

    And I second the need for comfort food. But sadly, the weather has been ridiculous lately and in the 80s. There is something incredibly wrong with it being October and being mid-80s. Although I thumbed my nose at the warmth last night and made 4-cheese mac&cheese and it rocked. Even if I had to sit in the living room and drink ice water to combat the flush the heat from the stove gave me.

    I love making baked acorn squash – cut it in half and bake it, and its topped off with a mixture of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. yummmmm.

  43. Tammy on October 4th, 2007 1:59 pm

    I was looking at that squash soup recipe and I wondered if it might be easier to bake the squash and then scoop it out? Then you wouldn’t have to go through the trouble of peeling it. I hope you have your kitchen back soon and I’m sorry you don’t live closer. I bake yummy brownies.
    Have fun on your trip!

  44. Robin on October 5th, 2007 11:06 am

    This has nothing to do with today’s post, but OMG! I thought of you and your cravings when I saw this: http://www.hersheys.com/reeses/elvis/

  45. Karla on October 9th, 2007 11:11 am

    Ooooh. Tofino. That is on my list of places to go before I die. Have a fabulous time!

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