Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Spoons, spoons, spoons. We had the most eventful game of spoons this Thanksgiving, one that will surely go down in our family record books for years to come. While I don't think blood was drawn this year, we did have crazy antics of sliding across the table, bracing feet on someone's chest to tear away a spoon, and grabbing a spoon from an unsuspecting hand who was trying to stop the madness. My five-year-old niece loved watching the action from my lap for the first bit, but then it got a little wild for her and she actually decided to go to bed. (Since when does a five-year-old decide to go to bed?!) It was great times...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A couple of weeks ago I drove down to Jamestown and connected with my colonial past (yes, my uncle found a direct line in our family to Pocahontas). It was a beautiful day--blue skies, sun, vibrant fall colors, brisk air. Again... I am in love with Virginia and her trees.

I first stopped at Jamestown Settlement, a living history museum that has reconstructed the Jamestown Fort, port, and Indian village. There were people there in costume demonstrating building log boats, doing laundry, working in a blacksmith shop, skinning a deer, fixing a boat. It was all very cool.

After I left the Jamestown Settlement, I drove out past the cattails, where I stopped at Historic Jamestown--which is the actual location of the fort and New Jamestown, the town that grew out of the fort. Nothing is left of the actual fort (although they have recreated a wall along two sides), but anthropologists have been excavating and they found the foundations of the walls as well as some buildings and wells. The brakish water in the wells preserved things like leather shoes, armor, dishes, weapons. I decided that if I weren't a historian, I would be an anthropologist.

New Jamestown had brick ruins of buildings. Very cool.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Yesterday was a fall festivus of flavor, and it lasted all day long. We went to the Carlyle Grand for brunch and had this amazing eggs benedict over crab cakes. Incredible. I don't even know how to begin to describe it. You know how sometimes you are a little afraid of eggs benedict because of the runny hollandaise sauce? Everything here just sort of blended into the crab, which was so light and flaky and melted in your mouth. It was an incredible combination.

Last night we had an invitation-only event: everyone had to make something with an ingredient never before used. I have always wanted to make tomato bisque, and though I was mocked incessantly for never having used chicken stock (what can I say? I was raised with a mother who makes really good tacos and doesn't do a lot of other stuff other than your typical Relief Society casseroles and awesome dutch oven cooking), it turned out very well if I do say so myself. I sort of improvised on the recipe and added a bunch of my frozen pesto cubes as well as some balsamic vinegar. It was really good. I also tried some other amazing food: brussel sprouts with pancetta, bacon-wrapped figs, stuffing with pomegranate, parley-apple soup, etc. It was a grand evening with a lot of great people and great laughs. And tonight I must roll off to bed.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Random memory. Today my colleague and new friend Misha and I have been talking about random memories of food, and I wanted to jot this down so I don't forget it. I remember once when I was probably about nine, I went Christmas shopping with my grandmother. It was just me and GranNomi, and I felt like a million bucks. I don't remember where we went or what we bought (I'm sure it was probably ZCMI at the University Mall), but I remember going home to her house for lunch. She made me a toasted open-faced sandwich with cheese and a hot dog split down the middle in the shape of an X. It was delicious--I'd never had such a creation, and I loved it. But mostly I loved her for spending that time with me, for making me feel so important, and for teaching me to try new things out of her refrigerator. She is always so creative--using what she has. How I love her. This is a picture of her when she was in a school play in Arizona--I think she was Becky in Tom Sawyer.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I love the Potomac River. I went running this morning on the Mt. Vernon Trail, past the airport, toward Old Town. It was incredible--a perfect temperature, sunny, blue skies, with autumn clinging on for a few more days. While most leaves had fallen, I ran through patches of gold and red. It was invigorating. I later met some friends for brunch in Old Town--what a great place. I loved driving down the crowded streets.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

There is nothing like zooming down country roads with the moon roof open, the windows down, Dave Matthews band blasting, and the sun shining in a very blue sky. I felt like I was flying this morning through the trees that look like they're on fire with color. It's invigorating.