Sunday, December 21, 2008

'Twas the Saturday Before Christmas...

And not one of us went shopping!

Instead we bundled everyone in the car (that would mean myself, Leo and Truffles), and headed 65 miles north of Long Beach to Lancaster. It's in the Antelope Valley and a few days ago, while L.A. was inundated by much-needed rain, the Antelope Valley received snow!

The 14 freeway had to be shut down for about a day and drivers escorted down the road by police vehicles, while most other vehicles had to stop right before the treacherous part of freeway and just wait till the roads would be clear and safe.

"Are we there yet?"

My friend Lolita emailed pictures of snow outside the house, and we in the L.A. area were grateful for the rain. SoCal so needs it right now, and after all the rain, the mountains just west of us were blanketed with snow. It was beautiful! But because I was headed to take my finals at school as I was ooh-ing and aah-ing over the view, I neglected to take my camera.

So this weekend, we started our Saturday in the car, driving and admiring the view. Then there was a huge lechon (roast pig Filipino-style) waiting for us, as well as some awesome pancit (noodles), bulalo (beef marrow soup that's totally artery-clogging you simply have to close your eyes and just enjoy it and know that this is a rare treat!), macaroni salad and so much more!

This is just one reason why it's rare to find Filipino vegetarians...

Dessert included a delicious chocolate mousse cake from Victor Benes, and wonderful mango cake from Red Ribbon Bakery. This was no two-to-three hour visit. We weren't staying overnight like we did last year (which was such a production), but we had planned this to be an all-day event. Then we'd roll our way out of the house, back into our respective homes so we could percolate in private.

In between meals, we worked out (or tried to - I think I only burned 3 calories on the lateral climber and my brother burned 7 on the treadmill), watched some NCAA games on the telly, took turns on the couch to nap (the guest bed was too tempting and occupants may stay longer than planned), and I even got to spin some sample romney on my Spindlewood drop spindle as cousin-in-law Joe asked tons of questions ("So is that how it looks like, coming straight from the sheep?" "Is this the natural color?" "Wow! So that's how yarn is made!"), Mike1 (Lolita's dh) curious but deathly afraid of the wool because he is allergic to wool, and Mike2 (Mike's bestest friend) remarking, "Wow! Cool top!"

Even Ann, who I had gifted with a prayer shawl last year and who told me last night that she finally got to use it in Las Vegas last week, asked me how long it would take for me to make a shawl or scarf from scrath, sheep-to-shawl-style. Hmmm...if I didn't have to work, cook, clean the house, and surf the net, maybe three weeks minimum? Or am I being delusionary. I told her, reasonably for someone with a job and a family, maybe three months. Which means I probably would need to give it a try...

This was actually the first time I'd ever brought a drop spindle to a gathering and spin in public! What an accomplishment, eh?

But I wasn't the only one willing to "perform" in public. Mike2 took out his guitar and other music-making-paraphernalia and played a few songs on his guitar. One was his own composition, inspired while reading Memoirs of a Geisha (read the book first before seeing the movie!), entitled For Sayuri.

It's only a brief clip but it was a beautiful song. Now if each of us practiced on an instrument for the next year (work on that F, Lolita!), next Christmas, we may just have a full-fledged band! He then surpried us again with postcards we could choose from (I admit, we took more than we were supposed to. His pictures are great!) as Christmas presents! I just love it that people unfold before your eyes the longer you get to know them...just like how a cut diamond bears so many facets that give it a totally different look with each turn of your hand to view it!

Before the night was over, the lechon had to be divvied up and Leo, Ann and Joe had their moment of Andrew Zimmern's Bizzare Foods when they each took a bite of lechon brains. Um, I did take a look at the brain to identify the corpus callosum (flashback from anatomy 150), but no, I'm not that brave to try pig brain - no matter how much you tell me it's "good".

And oh, on the knitting front, I hurried up and finished a striped gray hat for Leo, which he loves above all the hats I've made him (so much for knitting him wool hats...the guy's so low maintenance, he prefers an acrylic blend over wool...maybe for now. He finds Lamb's Pride pretty itchy) and now he wants me to make Truffles a matching sweater.

Sunday is another Christmas pig out at Todai in Huntington Beach, but we're gonna be late for that. Even Truffles is constipated from all the feasting yesterday...


The Gravelcat said...

Somebody got the skin on that lechon right...


Velvet said...

You betcha!!!! That lechon was soooo perfectly done! And I don't even eat lechon as much as I prefer to make the paksiw afterwards.

But this one was just done perfect! Sarap!