Another Full Weekend – Robyn

Sorry I haven’t posted in a couple weeks. I have been trying to be better about posting, and the Mini has definitely helped with giving me things to actually talk about. I haven’t posted in the past couple weeks because we have been so busy.

It seems like we have been on the go constantly since getting the Mini on Labor Day. Probably because we have! The weekend after MiniPalooza involved me working Saturday and then going up to Hickory on Sunday to get a spare set of wheels for the Mini (Sean has autocross dreams). After Hickory we went down to Charlotte to pick up some things from Ikea that wouldn’t fit in the car the week before.

Then, this past weekend, we had yet another busy one. Saturday we got up early so that we could finally make it to the North Hills farmer market. We wanted to go out there ever since we learned Edible Earthscapes sold their produce there, but we just haven’t had time.

I was pleasantly surprised with the farmer’s market. I knew it would be small, so I hadn’t expected much out of it. Although, it looks like we might have found a new Saturday breakfast spot! There is a German baker that sells goods there, all sorts of tasty little treats that are excellent when paired with the Starbucks that is in the middle of the market. There were some nice finds, and I am looking forward to going back next Saturday when we have more time. There were plenty of people selling meat, fresh bread, eggs, goat cheese, and some other things. We ended up leaving with some curry chevre, daikon, shishito peppers, shiitake mushrooms, sweet potatoes, grits, and salsa. It feels like I must be forgetting something else because we had a full bag.

After a quick stop to drop our loot at home we headed to Brier Creek for a Mini Scavenger Hunt. There were only six Mini participants, but it was pretty fun. We were given two sheets of clues, both printed front and back. The clues spanned Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, but we only had about 2.5 hours to compete. We ended up sticking with just Raleigh, not having time to go to the other locations.

The hunt itself was pretty fun, although there were so many items listed it was hard to keep it straight. If we do this again I swear I am going to ask for two copies of the clues, and I will bring a clip board and an array of highlighters. Yes, I am a nerd. Anyhow, the way it worked was that you had to take a photo of a location or bring some items back, the majority of the items being photos. Sorting out which things required a photo with the Mini, a team member, both team members, or the Mini and the team members was another challenge.

The part that wasn’t as fun was the tallying up of the scores. As I mentioned, there were a lot of clues. And while there were only six teams, it took forever to go through it all. At least it went a little faster once the host pulled out her laptop and just searched for the points rather than skimming the list. But, as it was, we spent over an hour just standing in the parking lot waiting. In the end we came in third place and won some organizational items for the car. Not bad for first timers, I think.

We were pretty wiped out after about 8 hours on the go, but there is no rest for the weary! Sean had found a chili recipe in one of our new cast iron cookbooks, and we wanted to try it out. This required grocery shopping. So, after tooling around the house for a bit, we moved our usual Sunday shopping trip up a day and headed to Meat House in Cary. It was 6pm before we got there, and we were starving after having only eaten a bit of German pastry breakfast and a hasty McDonald’s lunch on the go. Oh, that is another thing to bring for the next scavenger hunt: food!

When we arrived at Meat House, we found that a pizza place had just opened next to it. They were handing out menus at the door, trying to drum up some business. They seemed like friendly people, but we had shopping to do. While we were waiting for our 4lb chuck roast to be cut into cubes (I love you, Meat House!) we contemplated the pizza place next door. Our stomachs won out.

We went next door and told them we wanted to eat there, but we had a bag full of meat. They were happy to put it in the cooler for us, so it all worked out. If you are in Cary, give Marilyn’s Pizza a try. They have lots of dough, sauce, and topping options. Even gluten free! They seem like a nice little shop, and we will be glad to give them some more business when we are in the area.

So, all this lead to us not starting the chili until about 8pm. The chili takes 2 hours, not counting prep time. This means we didn’t get to sample it until about 10:30. By this point we were both exhausted from a long day, but we still had to wait for the chili to cool enough to stash it in the fridge. By the time we got to bed, I was bone tired and I think I fell asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow!

The chili was worth it though! We ate it the rest of the weekend and Sean even took it to work a few days. If anyone wants a recipe for some great chili that doesn’t include tomatoes, let me know. It is spicy though!