Fun February

by Renee on February 9, 2011

February, in spite of the bitter cold temperatures and more snow piling on what we already have–has been fun, and it’s just getting started. We had a great time at Paul’s surprise 50th birthday party, and then had friends over for chili and beer on Superbowl Sunday. While I was happy with the Green Bay win, my PA-born-and-raised husband and his childhood friend Joe were sorry to see the Steelers lose.

Then on Monday night, Paul and I took a sausage making class, which was much more enjoyable than I imagined it would be! I bought the class at the Loretta Paganini School of Cooking for Paul for Christmas, knowing he would really love it. But what’s not to love about a hands-on class grinding meat and making soul-warming dishes to go with the finished product!? We made an Italian sausage, and stuffed peppers with it; then bratwurst, and served with cabbage and spaetzle; and also andouille sausage, which we had in gumbo. Delicious! Apparently sausage making parties were something that Jack also really liked to do back in the day–and more than half the fun was the double entendres that come with the preparation of the sausages. An old friend of Jack’s sent me a great photo of him having a good time mixing some up.

Tuesday night I had the pleasure of enjoying a Victory Beer happy hour at the Greenhouse Tavern with fellow Cleveland beer blogger, Brad Gillette. His blog, Cleveland Food and Brews, offers great reviews of not only beer, but local restaurants as well. Chef Jonathon Sawyer and his team served up a variety of amazing food and beer pairings, including some homemade sausages–something I really appreciated after Monday’s class!

But as I said, this month is really just getting started, and there’s much more to look forward to in what can often be the bleakest month of the year on the North Coast. Monday is Valentine’s Day, and Paul and I have reservations at Morton’s Steak House for two. And later that week, Ali and I are heading to Savannah and warmer climes over the long President’s Day weekend, to look at colleges and celebrate my friend Debi’s 45th birthday. (She celebrates all of February, and thus we’ve dubbed this month “Debruary.”) While we’re there, I’m really looking forward to checking out some of the city’s fine brewing establishments, such as Moon River Brewing. It’s also the city of my first tattoo last year–will I get another? Stay tuned!

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