Monday, May 25, 2009

Do the clam!

Michael and I watched a bit of Girl Happy this weekend, and it inspired me to show Ananda and Zoe how to do "the clam" while we were at the beach on Saturday. I'm not sure that I got it right, so I thought I'd set the record straight here. You'll really be doing yourself a favour by watching this video in its entirety. In addition to adding some great dance moves to your repetoire, you'll see couples jumping out of the bushes, where they were up to who knows what. You'll see grown men rolling another man up in carpet in order to let Elvis make his move on a pretty lady. Oh, and you'll see young Elvis. What a babe!

Friday, May 22, 2009


So! Coconut Records! It's the musical solo project by Jason Schwartzman. The latest album, Davy, was released in January, and I like it. Instead of posting a video though, let's just have a look at the best Rushmore clip ever (that's Schwartzman with the braces):

Want to look at something else? There's a pretty juicy post over at Things Worth Making and some newish photos of the wedding from my sister on Flickr. Now go enjoy the sun.

Making punch

You heard about our time-line project, and now you get to hear about the punch that we served at our reception. It was so popular I thought I should share the recipe here. Besides, it's fun to record some of these little wedding projects for future reflection.

We always knew that we would serve wine (made by my dad) and beer (made by Phillips Beer), but we also wanted a signature cocktail. The process of finding an easy-to-make, crowd-pleasing drink became a little frustrating, and we almost bailed, but then Jen emphasized the importance of having a hard liquor option for those that don't drink wine and beer. I'm glad she said something, because it forced me to admit that, like Jen, Michael and I are those people; we always opt for a good cocktail. I'm also glad because the punch was one of the most popular treats at the wedding, and it made for some entertaining dance moves.

Then there's the fact that Jen's penchant for hard liquor identified her as the perfect candidate for cocktail-making duties, which she took on with enthusiasm (check out the apron!). It was Jen's idea to simplify the task by making a bowl of punch. Thanks for your help, friend!

After our enthusiasm for a cocktail was renewed, I contacted Chris Johns, a friend with some serious food and drink knowledge, for some ideas. One of his suggestions, red Dubonnet served with a high quality sparkling lemonaid over ice, was especially appealing. Dubonnet is sweet aromatic French red or white wine used chiefly as an aperitif. We did some research, and we found out that the late Queen Mom preferred her Dubonnet like this: 30% gin and 70% Dubonnet served with a slice of lemon under the ice.

I was always leaning towards a gin drink anyway, so this is what I wanted to hear. We experimented with a few different combos, and this is what we came up with:

Michael and Erin's Punch Drunk Love (makes one drink)

Gin 1 oz (30 ml)
Dubonnet 1/2 oz (15 ml)
Tonic 5 oz (150 ml)
Lime juice 1/3 oz (10 ml)
Lime to garnish

Let me know if you have other Dubonnet suggestions; we still have some in the liquor cabinet.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Something to look forward to

Shannon & Chris gave us a gift certificate to the Madonna Inn for our wedding gift. Perhaps not surprisingly, the gift certificate came wrapped in a pink box with gold lettering and lots of tissue paper. I'm so excited for our future trip to San Luis Obispo and this hotel. Just knowing that it exists makes me happy too.

Another thing that makes me happy is a long weekend. Even better, a long weekend without any plans. Well, there are a couple of tentative ones, as always, but nothing is set in stone.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Turning 30

This is what I look like when I'm celebrating my 30th birthday. The photo was taken while we were waiting for some buddies on the dock at Red Fish Blue Fish, and once they arrived I relaxed a little. Watching Elephant Island while eating dessert at The Superior helped too.

Making Rebar Hummus

Jen & Marc made hummus last week, which inspired me to do the same I wanted a snack, and I needed an excuse to try our new hand blender (a wedding gift). I decided to try the recipe from my trusty Rebar cookbook, and oh my. The mint! It's unbelievable. Here's the recipe.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Credit Unions or bust

Last September I fulfilled a tentative plan by switching to a credit union. I promised to write about it. I tried writing about it. I didn't publish what I wrote because I was worried that I sounded preachy.

I think I got the sharing tone down this time around.

Michael and I often talked about changing banks, but procrastinated and said we'd do it once we were done with university (the same reasoning we followed regarding marriage). In the end, we were motivated to act after receiving poor service from our former bank, the Royal Bank of Canada. Michael had difficulty accessing money while we were traveling in Europe in August, and when RBC tried to fix the problem, it inadvertently caused several cheques, including a rent cheque, to bounce. This resulted in an eviction notice. Sure, the notice was a formality that was resolved when we returned, but it wasn't the welcome we were hoping for after a transatlantic flight.

In addition to those service quibbles, RBC is the only bank that doesn't offer complimentary online bill payments to the Victoria Car Share Co-op, which means co-op members who bank with RBC have to pay their monthly bills with cheques. So inefficient.

Aside from our RBC gripes, we were also encouraged by the positive community benefits of credit unions. While I'm no expert as to how things go down at a credit union, I recently got an email from Vancity (our credit union) that reinforced our decision to switch. It told me that every year, 30 per cent of Vancity's net profits go back to members and their communities. This year, that's over $15 million.

I think that's pretty cool.

To be clear, I'm a fan of all credit unions and I also appreciate that they work together. Check out Credit Unions of BC to see what I mean.

There's one other thing that I want to mention, just in case you're like us and are confused about financial protection during these tumultuous economic times: All credit unions that have been issued a business authorization to conduct business in British Columbia have deposit insurance for monies deposited by its members.

Oh yeah, I guess I should also mention that after eight months we have no complaints about customer service (except the fact that our branch isn't open on Saturdays).

Here's to living up to our prairie roots (where co-operatives and credit unions abound)!