Another day, another restaurant. Funny. We set off to try a new place. Just something out of our ordinary. We looked up likely offerings in Berlin. And what! We ended up in a place that was somewhere we’d been this past summer. We had not planned to return. The ambience was a bit sketchy. In the dark and in the winter the place looked entirely different. The garden tables where we’d eaten were covered for the winter. Funny. A cousin told us about the place a few days later. It was his latest find. Ummm, we’ve been there too. Coincidence!
I don’t style my food photos. I do some minimal staging. And the lighting is whatever. It occurs to me that there’s a lot to be said to improve my technique. Still, it’s a good remembrance of what I have cooked though pictures hardly do justice to the taste and smell. That said, I do pay attention to light and background. It seems that I see food and extrapolate taste and smell.
We tried a novel approach to Valentine’s Day this year. We stayed in and cooked. Butternut ginger squash soup; Roast butternut squash rings; Marinated asparagus; Gnocchi with mushrooms and asparagus; Sparkling cider. Dessert was deferred.
Part II: The main meal was generously portioned. We were too full to contemplate the chocolate fondue. That course occurred a couple days later. Yes, even a candle. Chocolate! Sublime!
We went to Salisbury University. I was a commuter to NYU. So, I never set foot in the cafeteria. Hospitals are the pits. Jules had a decent cafeteria at Hamilton College. However, after a semester of cafeteria food, every kid craves outside food. So, we ate in restaurants whenever I visited her. Here we are in Salisbury listening to a warm up blue grass concert before the main even in the music hall. Wow! And the food was varied. It was Mardi Gras theme night. Wow (again), it’s nearly decent and way different than any school cafeteria I had experienced before. You pay more (tuition) now. So, I guess you eat better too. I would almost eat there again… not.
I got some gluten free gnocchi. I made the sauce. I shaved fresh Parmesan cheese over it. It was a good first try. I did not realize how much flour is involved till I made my own. That’s another story. Meanwhile, the stuff we got in the store is very good. But now that I could make my own gnocchi, the games all different. I’m waiting for summer and fresh basil. For now it’s a cream mushroom sauce.
Williamsburg. To be honest my time (years/decades) has been mostly spent in Manhattan. Dave has been there(Brooklyn) for a good long time now. His friends and girlfriend all hang out there. We met for dinner. He took us to a hole in the wall Chinese place. It was more Americanized than Asian. The food was good. Juicy buns/dumplings?! Know how they make ‘em? You bite in, the soup (hot!) pours out. Don’t get burned. It’s a gimmick. You inject the soup? Nope. You wrap the dumpling with a cube of frozen broth. Then when you steam it, the dumpling holds the hot soup inside.
Sometimes things look better than they are. I made a lime meringue pie. It was completely unintentional. We had a half box of graham cracker crumbs leftover. It was enough to make a single crust. The filling? Well, we settled upon a “found” lime pie filling mix. It would have been lemon meringue, but you get it, right? The meringue was two egg whites – whipped to stiff frothy peaks. Wow, it really came out looking rather appetizing! And indeed, it was a show stopper and disappeared rapidly at the conclusion of the pot luck supper. It looked better than it was but who’s to tell? Easy? … as pie!
It’s not a good photo. I could improve it with means. I’m not bothering. It’s okay. It’s about the story. 2014. No. 2015. Was it? Gee time passes quickly. Valentine’s Day. Get it? Don’t try. I’m being obtuse. However… we were in this same restaurant again recently. I think it’s the second time for me (in this restaurant). It’s not Valentine’s. But I am there again with the same folks; yes,… and with my very significant other. The last time it was on the eve of our buying a house in Delaware. Prior to that, I had never even been in Delaware. And the topper? I was asked, “So how do you like the neighborhood?” just as I was driving in Delaware for the first time. Oh brother! You can’t make this stuff up. So, it was nice to have a steak once again. Meanwhile, my companion has gone vegetarian since then. She ate the risotto.
We have been on a long journey to California and back. The estimate was 5500 miles point to point. The actual miles turned out to total 8200. Yeah, you never go in a straight line. This was the turn around. We spent a weekend with Jules. She can make gnocchi! I helped. It was great fun! And delicious.
There were cupcakes for dessert. I’d do it all again. In case you cared, I don’t really eat icing… too much sugar. I gotta watch my sugar. And I’ve been avoiding high fructose corn syrup too. So should you.
Hey! We got Jeff that hat in Moab. He actually wore it immediately. I usually wear my new stuff about a year later. I bet you didn’t know that either. Alas, my new jeans and new shoes had to be worn almost immediately. It’s inside info except for those who know me.
I live with folks with dietary restrictions. I don’t much like fish, but I can eat anything I want. I draw the line at bugs. Dave ate crickets once. This is my kid. This is my kid whose diet for a good long time was – pasta with garlic and oil. But, gluten free, no corn, no potato, vegetarian, and so on and so forth…. I made a meal (feast). It was thanksgiving prelude. It had all the trappings with the pressure. Family and friends. …just no turkey. We made a formal table out of old mismatched silver we had picked up a $1 a utensil.
The meals started with carrot ginger soup. We used a food mill… Salad of spinach, beets, mushrooms, and granny smith apples followed. Homemade – real – bread. Vegetarian chili – hot peppers and tofu – well, three beans, peas – actually it came out very very well. Carrot cake – from a mix – but with a couple cups of real grated carrot – and extra eggs, yeah, you can cheat Betty Crocker. And then there was the SCAW – sour cream apple walnut – pie that I reconstructed from the Little Pie Company. Yup, I did good. No one left hungry. Everyone lost their appetites. A true thanksgiving.