A Bit Weird

This summer was quite fun. Weather-wise it was one of the best in recent years, mostly sunny and mild, punctuated by a streak of humid spells. I don’t mind +30 deg C humid days as long as they don’t last for weeks. It keeps the pool warm but makes playing golf an ordeal. Sadly, summer is winding down, leaves are starting to fall and the sweaters are out of the closet. I had fun this summer – the reason why I hibernated from blogging for 2 months. Here’s a couple of interesting places I visited this summer.

AMERICAN GIRL DOLL STORE, Chicago

It’s my little girl’s version of heaven on earth but for me it was like watching a game where you have no clue how it is being played and scored, much like cricket. The end result ? Boredom to the max 😦 The mission was to bring my daughter’s American Girl doll Nicole to a complete makeover – new clothes, new earrings, possibly a hair job. Frankly, I could only muster enough gusto to hang around the place for half an hour. I never thought the store had a washroom for men πŸ™‚ Anything longer than half an hour was an ordeal, akin to jail time but I had to stick around for my little girl and the wifey ( who expectedly morphed to a little girl again) let alone sticking my wallet out for the financial damage πŸ˜‰

Nicole came into my daughter’s life a few winters ago, when Santa supposedly ( unbeknown to my little girl, she came by Express post days earlier πŸ˜‰ ) delivered her by the fireplace on Christmas day. Santa also brought along a pair of pants and shirt identical to what Nicole was wearing but much bigger in size, for my little girl. The two had a picture by the Christmas tree together wearing identical clothes. It was at this point when Daddy quipped ” Looks like this darn doll is heavy maintenance ” πŸ™‚

FISH BOIL, Door County , Wisconsin

The next time I have to feed a bunch of people, I could learn from how the Scandinavian settlers of Wisconsin did it in the early days of the settlement – the fish boil way. It looked exceedingly simple – throw the fish fillets, onions, potatoes, salt in a large cauldron to boil until they’re done. In minutes, you’d come up with a healthy meal of protein and carbs – no chemical additives. Simple eh ? Not quite. There’s a fine trick to it. The fire needs to be hot enough to allow the fish oils to rise to the surface. A can of oil or kerosene is then added to the fire to intensify the heat and engulf the entire pot, burning the fish oils that floats at the surface. It could be labor-intensive, depending on how many people you need to feed. I thought precise timing was critical to come up with a perfectly cooked dish.

Here’s somephotos from our dining experience at a fish boil restaurant in Fish Creek, Wisconsin. It was unique as patrons had to watch the entire cooking spectacle at the backyard before huddling into their tables for the dining part. How was the taste ? For a dish with only salt as seasoning, it was suprisingly tasty. I thought the burning of the fish oils had given it a smoky taste and likewise the onions and potatoes added flavor to the fish.

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28 Responses

  1. a doll hospital ? LOL. Welcome to extreme consumerism. Funny when you said you never though there was a men’s washroom in that store πŸ™‚

    That’s one heck of a cookout. I’d like to do this when I go camping !

    • The doll hospital is for dolls that are injured, i.e., lost a finger or broke an arm or leg πŸ™‚ Yes, there was a men’s washroom and btw, the women’s washroom as special place for dolls πŸ˜‰

      I guess you can do a boil over during camping – why not. It would be ideal I think

  2. an example of American consumerism. How much money do people spend on these toys ? too much it seems.

    the fish boil is interesting. Was this lunch or dinner ?

    • you can say it is extreme consumerism but as long as people are happy, good for them I guess.

      Dinner only – no lunch. It was the dead of summer so the sun sets at 9pm.

  3. whoa, i didn’t know that dolls can be that high maintenance, maybe it will also be the next thing here in Pinas after the pets thing. πŸ™‚

  4. the doll place sounds scary πŸ˜† i’m glad you had a blast for the summer. i am not the biggest fan of summer. i like rain. go typhoon season! but of course i do not like the devastation that comes with storms. rains lang naman ang gusto ko, not storms. hehe.

    • scary for the wallet indeed πŸ™‚

      Aha.. ayaw mong mangitim ha .. lol.. but I can tell you that if you only have 3 months of not wearing a sweater in a year you’d be an instant fan of summer πŸ™‚

      • bet not. di talaga ako fan ng summer. gusto ko nga mag suot ng sweater most times of the year πŸ˜† kaso maginaw naman yung ibig mong sabihin diba? ang gusto ko lang rain talaga.

        • aha.. looks like merong kang palayan or malaking taniman kaya gusto mo rain para madilig ng maayos πŸ˜‰

          I have said all along that even in summer here, I would wish for rain during weekdays, a day or two in the evening preferably so I don’t have to water my grass – huwag lang weekends when I’m outdoors.

  5. I’m feeling a bit jealous. I can’t have that kind of makeover for myself 😦 Lucky dolls.

    The cookout looks interesting and entertaining. I’m not a fish eater but it does look really healthy.

    • yay.. kinda ironic .. we spend money for unnecessary things like these dolls but it is just a passing scene.

      Yes, it is quite healthy. Funny thing is there was a small brochure of how to de-bone the whitefish, for people like you who rarely eat fish πŸ˜‰

  6. A doll make-over saloon? They’ll think of anything, even use our children, to get to our wallet. 😦

    That boiled fish, yan ang sinasabi kong “lutong-militar”! πŸ™‚

    • You said it. The owners of the store are grinning wide seeing these gullible parents deplete their wallets for their kids.. that’s just business they say πŸ˜‰

      You bet. It is the quickest way to feed a bunch of hungry mouths.

  7. Dang! all that work and accessories for a boiled fish. Then again, to each his own. I’m a seafood lover but won’t go to that extreme.

    Doll house? Why not, kung saan ka maligaya, hehe….you should see what other people do with their pet cats and dogs, they dressed them well than a human being, mi sunglasses pa and not just ordinary shades, name brand yan. Just curious if a priest is present during burial rites a these animal cemeteries.

    The usual over 100 degrees F is over next week here in the high desert…I saw a 67 degrees F next week. Autumn is just around the corner and you’re right, bring out those sweaters and jackets. Cheers!

    • It’s not too bad bro. It’s a different way of cooking. I bet you can modify the ingredients to come up with a fancy dish. I like the concept through – burning the fish oils that rise to the top.

      hehe.. grabe na yan pag meron pang doll cemetery lol πŸ™‚

      100 deg is too much but the desert isn’t that humid which is good. I remember i was in Vegas I got burned when my skin touched a parked car 😦 here we had the highest in 30 years – 37deg C – equiv to 98 deg for one or 2 days in July. It was blazing hot and worse – very humid.

  8. so it’s like nilaga but the fish oil is burned on the surface πŸ˜›

  9. Yes dolls are high maintenance. I remember my parents had to call in a carpenter to build a special place in the wall for them to be displayed, because that’s the place I want to put them in πŸ™‚

    We had a wonderful summer here too, the usual cool temps of 70s. Then as is the norm here once Sept came the heat came as well. WE always have Indian summer. But it’s raining right now, so I’m happy.

    I’m looking forward to your usual blogging pace. Enjoy the smell of cinnaomon in the air

    • this doll store can really rip your wallet lol.. There’s just so many accessories that would entice kids to buy. I got drowsy waiting for my wife and daughter to finish shopping – in fact I dozed off on the waiting bench πŸ™‚

      The weather in northern Cal is a lot milder which makes the grapes ideal for wine making πŸ˜‰

      Yeah, I’ll try to improve my pace. I built a PC at home with a Ubuntu Linux operating system and it is much more convenient to use than a laptop.

  10. ang kulit naman ng store na yan…

    sana hindi mahilig sa dolls ung niece ko once dumating na siya sa age na yon he he he

  11. a high maintenance doll? and there’s a clinic for dolls? wow! something new. we don’t have that during my time 😦

  12. reminded me of Betty Spaghetti doll i bought for Kay when she’s little. and the Barbie dolls, complete with make up sets, and toilet bowls, and baby Barbies. oh, well..

    that boiled fish looks interesting. πŸ™‚

    • my little girl had Barbies too. But it think the American Girl dolls are more trouble to my wallet πŸ˜‰

      The boiled fish is interesting indeed.. a little tough to duplicate at home though.

  13. Hahahaha… soooo cute. Your sweet BW. πŸ™‚ And your wife turned into a little girl again. πŸ™‚

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