It is the third day of October and I'm still so excited about that (and all that is to come this month) that I could bake a cake. And I might! I'm listening to the rain gently tapping against the side of my home and giving thanks that it held off through all of today's festivities - it literally started within ten minutes of Mister locking our door behind him.
I got up first, which is a little unusual on Sundays - even if I wake up, I usually lie in bed and wait for Mister to gain consciousness. However, this Sunday I awoke to the awful clamor of our alarm clock, which I had set before retiring so I would have time to re-color my hair before the wedding. I dyed it a couple of weeks ago because I had well over an inch of 25% grey roots showing and because the color had almost completely left the bleached sections of my hair which had two affects: on one hand, it simply gave the impression that my whole head of hair was a bit lighter than it was which annoys me - dark hair colors suit me better. On the other hand, it's not like these sections completely drained of color, leaving me with pleasant little blonde streaks - no, they maintained just enough pinkish color to just look dirty and unkempt. However, the Garnier Nutrisse that I used looked great for a couple of days and immediately abandoned my hair with each subsequent washing... permanent hair color, my eye.
I would like to take this opportunity to plug for Feria hair color. I'm relatively sure that by putting that out there, I will find a comment within the next couple of days telling me of the dozens of horrible things they do to animals or our environment or something. I really hope that doesn't happen, because I LOVE their line of hair color. Every time I use Feria, I wonder why my dumb butt ever tried anything else. The reason is always the same - price, but honestly, I'll pay the extra $4 to have hair as brilliant and vibrantly colored as my hair is right now. I used Ruby Rush, one of their "Power Reds." It enhanced the black in my hair and turned the bleached bits a vivacious true red and I am completely in love with my hair color right now.
Anyway, we got in our [shared] Audi A4 and zoomed out to Lancaster County. Holy cow, that car is fun to drive! It accelerates effortlessly and drives so smoothly a person could easily go 90-100 mph without even realizing it. No, Mom, I did not go 100 mph... but I got nothin' to say about 90. Most of the time I was responsible, but there are a lot of open roads between here and the winery, and I haven't driven a car that fun to drive since Mister and I rented a Mustang for our first Tahoe trip in 2003.
The wedding was beautiful - we hadn't met the bride until today, but from the way her whole face was taken up by her smile and the way her personality showed through even when she was trying to be solemn and serious saying her vows, I could tell she was perfect for our friend. He looked very happy and they had the most exciting "You may kiss the bride" moment I've witnessed! It was great to see some friends we hadn't seen in a while, including one who came all the way from St. Louis for the joyous occasion.
I would like to take an opportunity to do an anti-plug. Lancaster County Winery is a lovely setting for a wedding (even though a week of rainy days makes it very difficult for women wearing high heels to walk across the grass to the outdoor seating). There is a delightful mural in the banquet room with multicolored birds of paradise that look very much like our friend's tattoos. There is a lot of neat antique farm equipment and winery-things to look at while milling around the somewhat pitiful food and drink offerings. This is in no way a reflection on our friend or what a great time we had at his wedding, but the caterers are pretty awful, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. Perhaps they were going for a French influence with their portion sizes. However, considering that the only things there that I could eat were butternut soup and cubed fruit, I would have appreciated slightly more than four spoonfuls of soup in my tiny little bowl. After Mister and I made our way back to our table with our meager plates, another couple came back and the female half had a hummus wrap. About 5 minutes later, Mister and I went back out to where the "food" was, and I asked about the hummus wraps and was told "Oh, I'm sorry, we gave those to the two vegetarians."
Wow. Apparently, there are only two vegetarians in all of Lancaster County and they are not us. What is with this weird perspective flesh-eaters have that makes them think that only vegetarians would be interested in not glutting themselves on a rotting corpse? If an omnivore eats a "vegetarian" dish (weird stuff, you know, like pasta, or a PB&J, or cereal), will they shriek and melt like a witch in the rain? Why would you go through the effort of making only 2 hummus wraps? What if there are more than two vegetarians but only two of them bothered to check ahead (ahem, that was US)? What if one of the obese Lancaster natives decided to try to lose half of herself and didn't want to gorge herself on swedish meatballs, chicken cordon bleu BALLS (think breaded and deep-fried...welcome to Pennsyltucky), or crab-stuffed mushrooms? What if people would actually like to eat something more substantial than hors d'oeuvres and would be happy for a wrap even if it didn't have mutilated flesh on it.
So, boo on you, Enck Catering. Talk about cooking in a bubble. Did it strike any of you as odd how quickly your fruit plates were being depleted?
After zooming home in the happy Audi and parking the car in its reserved spot, Mister and I went inside to change our clothes and shoes and then headed back out into the crisp Autumn evening to visit the brand-new and much anticipated Blackbird Pizzeria. Blackbird opened this week in the spot which was previously occupied by Gianna's Grille and it appears they're off to a great start! The place was pretty packed when we got there, around 7ish and we had to wait in line behind two other couples, with more people falling into line behind us. They had 4 pies out and ready to serve, but also made pies to order. There are a few sandwiches and they're just getting started. There are hand-cut fries and four drool-worthy cakes. Best of all? Everything is vegan. A common complaint about Gianna's was that it "swung both ways," which could (and sometimes did) result in vegans getting cow's cheese on their food and you couldn't trust that the grill was cleaned off between cow steaks and seitan.
Mark Mebus, the owner, was previously a chef at our beloved Horizons and the customer two people ahead of us is a current chef there. I felt like asking for autographs and I knew we were in good company. It smelled so good in there and I hadn't eaten anything substantial since breakfast, so by the time we ordered, my stomach was trying to eat me and I wanted a cheese steak and a pizza and fries and a piece of cake. Fortunately, I know me, so I just got a seitan steak and fries to split with Mister. It was not the best seitan steak I've had, but like I've mentioned, the Basic 4 Veg. Snack Bar in Reading Terminal Market is going to be tough to beat. They were good, substantial and belly-filling after starving for a couple of hours. The seitan was thinly sliced, which gave it a whole other look and mouth-feel than other vegan steaks. Mushrooms, peppers, and onions come standard, but I asked for no onions (we didn't know about the mushrooms) and they delivered. Mister and I had mixed reactions to the cheese - it's Daiya, which I used in my fail casserole. I'm still forming an opinion, although at the moment, I can't say I would become addicted to it and I'm a bit suspicious of people who say they are. Mister, on the other hand, is not a fan at all.
The people were friendly and helpful. Their cakes make me want to buy a new wardrobe of larger sizes and elastic waistbands. They serve the full line of Virgil's soft drinks. The fries were tasty and crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside. I have already secured Mister's promise that we'll return and try the pizza...and cake.