April 6, 2015

Dinner at Deb's: White Wine Seafood Pasta and Chocolate Mousse

The last week has been a complete roller coaster ride with unexpected hurdles. After getting home late after work and gym, I decided to finally grill some chicken and sweet potatoes for work lunches and snacks for the weekend. I hadn't gone straight to my room in like I normally do, with the intent of being productive in the kitchen before bed. As midnight passed by, I started cleaning and made my way to my room for some much needed sleep.

**Warning, story time!**

As I stepped onto my basement room carpet, I thought I was delirious when I felt the cold, spongey ground soaking my socks. I looked around, confused, and realized nearly my entire room had flooded. It wasn't the typical flooding with water in clear sight, more so the water had completely soaked my carpet, piles of clothing and blankets on my floor. How did this happen? I've had basement flooding before in older homes I lived in, but it was always after a huge rainstorm or our sump pump malfunctioning, but no one in my family had told me there were any issues. Before I could panic, I thought of my options and laid down all the towels I could find.

After cleaning up as much as I could, I decided to sleep on the couch until morning, and talk to my landlord about my options. Turned out the pipes in my home weren't completely cleared of water (otherwise known as winterization), so the remaining water froze within the pipes over the harsh winter and cracked the pipes to cause flooding. Fortunately my family's rooms were alright (since everyone is upstairs) and decided things could have ended up so much worse.

The next morning into late afternoon was spent wet-vacuuming my room in hopes to dry out the mess, but I soon found an issue with the wet-vac spewing out water instead of containing. I went to Home Depot in hopes of a solution, and after several attempts to talk to the employees I realized no one really knew anything to help my situation. I spotted a man in the same aisle and asked him (recognizing he wasn't an HD employee) and after a half hour of thoroughly explaining the process, he offered to take a look at the damage for free.

Typically, I'm very wary of strangers or anyone showing so much kindness (cynical but reading through the barrage of horror stories scares me), but this time around with my brother at home I figured I'd be safe. He came by and kindly assessed the damage, and offered to speak to my landlord in how to proceed. To my dismay, my hours of vacuuming had gone to waste, as we had to strip the carpet in the end. After hours and hours of pulling/rolling wet carpet, cutting out the sponge-padding (my trusty x-acto's came in handy) and clearing my room with the help of my wonderful boyfriend (seriously unreal, not a single complaint or any remote indication of not wanting to help me!), we made our way to Deb's house with the sweet offer of dinner and a warm bed to sleep in. Luckily Deb and I live less than ten minutes away from each other!

Even though I was exhausted beyond belief (running on three to four hours of sleep), good friends are always the best remedy for tough times.
Bao and I got to Deb's house and per usual, there was the warm aura that always radiates from her home. With the amazing smell of a white wine sauce bubbling on the stove with an assortment of fresh clams, I immediately felt a thousand times better.
After taking the cooked clams out of the boiling pan, Deb moved the handmade pasta directly into the remaining sauce.
She already had another full pot of this (in the red dutch oven in the back) that she and Kim had made during the day. Deb is known to make a lot of food (and loves to pack leftovers for us to enjoy another delicious meal the next day).
Soon, we were ready to eat. Deb's plating skills always add that beautiful final touch to all her creations! I helped my way to seconds, and then a third helping of just the amazing clams. No shame.
In true fashion, Deb prepared a decadent dessert of dark chocolate mousse with a perfectly sweet and tangy raspberry sauce on top (courtesy of Kim!). 
A few candids :)
After the hearty meal, a few glasses and good laughs, I slowly started to feel the heavy lull of sleep coming. I think the entire week had been long for everyone, since we all started to drift off pretty soon (on the couch or floor, no less!). I distinctly remember having a few conversations with my eyes closed haha! Here's an extra "candid" that Deb caught :P
Eventually I did make it to that warm bed I was looking forward to, but this photo was so silly and shows how exhausted we all were. 

The rest of the story is much, much longer and more tiresome (Saturday was another beast to conquer), but after such a difficult weekend of labor, I realized the importance of truly good-hearted people. It's hard to appreciate the things you're used to on the daily when everything is comfortable, so I try to remind myself that these obstacles come at the right time. Interestingly enough, as I was sorting through my old college art work, I found a lithography print with the phrase "Sh*t could be worse". Finding that piece in the midst of my dread - funny how timing works - it really was a great reminder that I have much to be thankful for even in times of struggle. I ended up downsizing significantly, learned some valuable lessons about prepping my home for winter, and learned a bit of construction methods after watching the process. I'd say that's a considerable amount of good I could take away from an otherwise bad situation.

Until next time!

Stay Hungry,

No comments:

Back to Top