So today I decided to do something a bit different and do another 'Picture Blog'. These are, for the most part, some photos from the 2nd Annual Drive Way Food War that took place a few months ago. The turnout wasn't what we thought it was going to be which was a bit of a letdown, however I'll take quality over quantity almost every time. Well except when it comes to buffets. Anyways, the method of warfare this time was grilled Pizza. Your own little slice of fabulous, that would be me, was victorious. It wasn't an easy triumph because ALL parties involved really put out some outstanding food. So without further ado, pictures!
Next up is a close up of Gus Gus, my nephew. This the progeny of my sister-in-law La La and her husband Lee. He is a burly little baby full of muscle and throw up. He's also one of the quietiest and most laid back babies ever. He hung out outside for the vast majority of the Pizza War even though he was teething. What a trooper.
David's. Yes that's right the man who thought of children as 'Tiny Hitlers' is dating a woman with an 11 year old daughter. The thing you have to remember is that it is a really amazing lady he's dating and her daughter is equally awesome. This alone would be enough to melt 'Dervid's' heart, but throw in the fact that Dark Dave is beyond smitten and you have what is now being called the 'Ahhhhh For Cute' romance. It is a beautiful thing, just like my wife.
Dark Dave & Joltin' Jen getting ready to get David's entry on the grill. Here is the thing, Dave hates cheese. HE LOATHES IT! So he went way out of the box and did a four cheese pizza. It was damn good, however he went heavy handed with the oregano and it cost him chance at winning. AHHHHH FOR CUTE!
We had another 'Little Person' in our midst as well during the Pizza War. That would be the scion of Mary & Christina, the AMAZING Mason. Cassandra and I were babysitting the little guy for the weekend while his Moms where off going to three weddings in less than 48 hours. There was a LOT of trepedation about doing this as he's only a bit over two and we don't see him that often. However it went awesome. He was a joy to have around and seemed to even have a good time.
There is my brother-in-law Lee. He's stoicly trying to stave off some serious back pain after catching a couch falling down a flight of stairs the week previously. He's also trying to stare down my grill. He's trying to intimidate it into not performing up to it's capability. This tactic failed. Lee made one of the best BBQ Chicken pizzas I'd ever tasted for the competition. It was so good that even though it was smothered in cheese Dave devoured it with gusto. If I remember correctly, Lee came in second. Oh and look how good that lawn looks!
David doing his best Pizza Kilroy impersonation in front of one of his pizzas. It's almost as if he's wearing a pizza for a moustache.
This is the first up close look we get at some of the completed products. The traditional triangles are the work of David and the heavy squares are Lee's. I have to admit when I tasted both of those pizzas as I waited my turn to use the grill I was worried. Both of their pizzas were very tasty and I'd eat them any time. It just turns out they weren't as good as mine. Humble Brag!
Jen put out a great pizza with feta cheese on it. If I remember correctly, and it has been a few months and MANY pizzas since, it had fresh tomatoes and olives on it as well. It had sort of a Greek vibe to it. I really enjoyed it. Oh and she kept that rolling pin close in case she had to club David into submission.
This is a strange view of my wife. A bit of a cleavage shot, even though they are effectively covered, that I didn't even take. Now I'm curious who did. Anyways, Cassandra made a garlic oil for her crust and then used two cheeses, salami, and prosciutto. I think what hurt her is the lack of a sauce. A white cream sauce might have put her in position to win. Her pizza was VERY good, it was just missing something.
How about a strange size comparison. In the bottom right foreground you have the tiny two year old titan, Mason. On the left you have the man-sized minister of mirth David. In the middle you have this bumbling behemoth. I have a hard time recognizing just how big I am, then I see a photo and there it is. My calf looks to be the same size as David's thigh. I'm not sure if that is cool or very sad.
My gorgeous wife cuts her tasty vittles down into bite sized bits. Look at that concentration, the will to win, the heart of a competitor! Either that or she is REALLY hungry, and who wouldn't be while staring those slices of joy in the eye? I am a lucky man, and not just because she's an incredible cook.
Ah, halved grapes, is there much better? I thought not. Ok, that is one cute kid that Mary & Christina have. Not to mention he's funny, and for age two, very smart. I can not state enough just how much fun it was to have him for that day and a half and how well behaved he was. Although I think after those couple of days I don't need to watch another Disney movie for at least another month or so. Oh and that little inn table thing right there that's my 'outside chair' which Mason was determined to take from me every chance he got.
Here we have The Hailey-nator standing in front of her Super Hawaiian Pizza. I'm used to having a lot of Canadian Bacon on my Hawaiian Pizzas, well not this one. Instead this one was laden with a lot of fresh veggies and pineapple. I was not looking forward to it. Suffice to say I was wrong, it was delicious and my favorite pizza of the day. Let me also say a little something about this little lady, most kids when confronted with a bunch of new people, especially adults, would most likely either be obnoxious or extremely shy. Hailey was/is neither. She's just a damn good kid, I can see why Dave is so fond of her.
My GAWDS what a mess. Sometimes I forget just how much work it is to host things and how much clean up goes into. That doesn't even take into account the prep work. I do the vast majority of planning of these events and I do a bit of the prep work. However, Cassandra is the engine that makes it all go. Without her there are no Movie-A-Thons, Food Wars, Game Days, Trivia Deathmatch(es), etc. She is the person who gets our collective poop in a group and makes it happen. I just try and be a bit helpful with the clean up.
This was our only Desert Pizza and it was by La La. I thought I was going to go into Diabetic Shock while eating it and I didn't even care. It's hard enough to make a desert pizza good, it's damn near impossible to pull it off on a grill, but that's just what she did. It had a chocolate chip cookie crust with a s'more style topping. It was decadent, filling, and tasty. Good enough to be one of my favorites of the day!
Post cooking exhaustion, plain and simple. Even Mason looks like he'd rather just pass out then continuing to watch whatever Disney flick is in the DVD player. Oh and I look like a beached whale here...
Not only were we child sitting, BUT we were also dog sitting. Mary & Christina have a little ball of fur and love known as Kosmo. Let's be honest, I'm a big dog guy. I think it's because, as you can see by these telling photos, I'm a huge guy. If I had my way, which I don't for MANY reasons, I'd have a big dog. However all my life we've had small dogs; Scottish Terriers, Yorkshire Terriers, and Schnauzers. I dig small dogs, they are easy to deal with and like to chill in you lap, Kosmo is no exception. I truly enjoy any time we get to dog sit him.
Finally a picture of the WINNER! I look like a human puddle at this point. My shirt doesn't fit right, I'm post sweaty, I have crazy homeless guy hair, my facial expression doesn't help, my prize of MORE pizza making stuff in a VERY brightly colored bag, all accompanying a face that even a mother couldn't love really tell the tale. I might be a huge sack of warm turds, HOWEVER that sack is also FULL OF WIN! Eat it losers, because it's delicious.
Let's wrap our week up with a bit of the...
- DCM has restarted their Tidal Wave Kickstarter, and I think ANY of you who have ANY interest in some fantastic pre-painted, cost effective, and interesting minis for ANY game should go there right now and give them your damn money. GO!
- We close on our refinance in a few hours. I'm giddy with excitement.
- The house is about half decorated for Saturday's "Monster Mash" party. It looks really cool, in fact our dining room is a dungeon right now and I'm not sure I want it to turn back. I know the turn out might be small tomorrow, but I have HIGH hopes that it'll be the best costume party yet.
- The Vikings game was unwatchable last night.
- I've been pretty excited by what Reaper has been showing us lately regarding what we'll be recieving when our Bones arrive in March. However after seeing this;
Kickstarter may have been the single greatest mish mash of incredible miniatures in the history of ever. EVER! The box I'll be getting in March is terrifying in a magic way.
- I need to get out Sunday and rake a bit. I don't want to, but I need to.
- Perhaps Sunday I can convince my wife to play some sort of board game or skirmish game with me.
- I'm punch a baby for some pizza.
- If you are not listening to the new Witchcraft album, 'Legend', then you should be drug out into the streets, beaten with wooden paddles about the shoulders and back, and then mocked like the FOOL you are! What I'm trying to say is that it is friggin' awesome.
- Old Vincent Price horror movies based on the works of Poe are just the bee's knees.
- The day after D&D next month we are going to finally build in the gaming shelves in the office. In fact we might be ambitious enough to even try and get the new bookshelves in. The prospect of this has me VERY excited, and completely numb with fear. I am not good with skills that normal guys should be, like using a hammer in any way beyond killing Zombies. I want to learn, and I want to be able to do these things, it's just I'm bad at them and they aren't things you can afford, at least I can't, to screw up on. I'm hoping that I can gain a little knowledge, a bit of skill, and maybe even some 'man cred' in the eyes of my father-in-law with these projects. However, I'm not holding my breath.
- "Why must I be a Power Slave?"
- I really should be getting off my dead ass and getting the other three parts of 'The Perfumer's Apprentice' transferred over to a script format for the Radio Drama David and I are planning for. I've just been so busy and scatterbrained lately that this project has fallen off my immediate radar a bit. I'm hoping to give it some proper attention next week.
Ok, well I think I've bored both the three of you who actually read this and myself enough for one day.
"Beneath a dimming sun great cities moulder and decay
In brooding nights of gloom and on
Through melancholy days
In the manses of the mages great magics still hold sway
And those who dwell within are wont to say
As the sun fades from the sky
This ancient earth prepares to die
Here at the end of all time
A slow demise so saturnine
As aeons pass unheeded subtle Sorcerers parlay
Among the haunted hills strange creatures stalk unwary prey
There may come no tomorrow so all live for today
And the crimson twilight turns to grey
As the earth prepares to die
The waning sun fades from the sky
Here at the end of all time
Our slow demise becomes sublime"
* = SEE! I warned you about the awesome of Vincent Price and you doubted.