Sunday, September 28, 2008

forgot to tell you...

The most beautiful salad in the world...

I ate the most beautiful salad in the world the other day. P and I picked up the best bag-o-salad one could hope for at the Union Square farmers market.

Feast your eyes...

Only a few weeks of market left. Eat up...


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Saturday, September 27, 2008

rainy day girl

Some thoughts on fall.

After that initial back-to-school feeling of early September wears off, I'm ready to immerse myself in fall, and hunker down for the winter. Living in Massachusetts affords me milder, longer autumns than the NoCo did growing up, and I've slowly learned that I can savor this season a bit, as it is not necessarily going to snow in September (although, it very well could).

The past two days have been dark and rainy. Just the kind of day I despise in March and April (and May, June, July, August), but today I have been enjoying the onset of new pleasures that come with the change of season.

I wore my favorite black cashmere turtleneck for the first time yesterday. I slept in plaid, flannel pajamas. I have started making large batches of chili, spaghetti sauce and meatballs, and drinking big warm red wines. There is a whole new season of produce to explore. I curled up on the couch to watch PBS, and will watch Casablanca tonight while sipping a gin martini. Fleece pants, new episodes of television, fall candles, apple picking, pumpkins, new chocolate brown sheets, down blankets with the windows still open a crack, knee-high boots, fuzzy socks, mulled cider, Halloween, my mother's birthday, crunchy leaves, the smell of wood stoves, scarves, and hot tea are all in season.

Off to simmer my sauce....


C&L re-live their (younger) youth...

C&L re-live their youth...

At long last, it is time to post a quick update on my wonderful weekend visit from C. The above photo is swiped from the lovely DA's facebook page and is from a night on the town to celebrate D's birthday. It was one of those nights where you plan to go out, but you're having so much fun hanging out at someone's apartment, that by the time you are ready to actually do the going out part, the number of places you can actually get into has gone down drastically. This does not happen to me often as I: A) do not go out late at night, and B) usually only do so in the summer (a.k.a. "Leah Season").

As a result, we ended up out on "just out of college row" at a place called Lir. When I first moved to Boston it was called McCarthy's, which always reminded me of eating cinnamon buns in Canton rather than drinking beer in a meat market. Better than that, we set up court in the basement, which was "more mellow," which meant that there was space available for drunk hoochies to swirl around in circles to remixes of Umbrella, and no top-shelf liquor was served. Wow, I swear that was never me. Being, ahem, almost 30 made me feel pretty good about myself at that moment. BUT - it was still really fun to hang out with friends old and new, and observe the ancient mating rituals of white, east-coast early-20 somethings...

Last time I was out in this area I remember:

  1. Ending up in the cross-fire of a fratboy bar fight.
  2. Being at a place that had one of those machines where you manipulate a claw to get a prize, and in this case the prizes were live lobsters...

Luckily, C and I had offset this experience by spending a very refined afternoon sipping champagne and drinking tea, and being very glad that our friends are not like the loud, drunk and possibly loud, drunk AND pregnant ladies that were next to us. I'm a lucky gal to have such great friends...

Looking forward to visiting you in VA soon, C!

Friday, September 19, 2008

something familiar, something peculiar...

I know I have many lovely things to write about, including C's fantastic visit last weekend, but until I can muster the energy to properly post about that, just thought I'd share a little refelction on, well, the way that CVS smells.

I went to CVS this morning on the way to work. That CVS smells like every other CVS I've ever been in. I can't really identify the components of the smell -- it's not particularly good, not particularly bad, but somehow has just become so familiar that is has a bit of a calming effect on me. I am immediately grounded in the "now" of "I have entered CVS," as opposed to lost in all the millions of things that are usually going on all at once up there.

Maybe CVS pumps in their CVS fragrance the way that Cinnabon and McDonald's do. Maybe it's just me...?

Happy Friday,

Monday, September 8, 2008

God bless Trader Joe's


Dear God,

I always try to send you a little mental note every time I reflect on something wonderful that you have created. I'm not being funny, but I'd really like to thank you for Trader Joe's, and especially for Trader Joe's Pork Gyoza Potstickers. They have kept me company every night since my husband went to South America. I have three bags, so I think if I pace myself they will last the rest of the trip.

They are so savory and delicious, and best of all, so easy to prepare. I like to make a soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic dipping sauce for them. The serving size is 6, but I ate 9 tonight because maybe I read the bag upside down.



I would also like to offer my sincere appreciation for Trader Joe's Lime Fruit Floes. They are delicious and a good substitute for a cocktail when I'm trying to be good. I have the Carribbean Fruit flavor lined up next, as I only have one Lime Fruit Floe left after tonight.

Thank you. Thank you for Trader Joe and for his amazing dumplings.

PS - (...and for fruit floes, frozen creme brulee with rasberries, wide selection of cheese and meat, inexpensive wine, dried chili mango slices, crystalized ginger pieces, excellent frozen emergency appetizers, garlic-stuffed olives, jambalaya in a bag, unbeatable prices, and friendly customer service)
PPS - The Fruit Floes are gluten free.

DeNiro was around somewhere

Mel Gibson's back

On Saturday, P and I found ourselves at South Station on our way to Providence, RI. It was especially difficult to maneuver around the station that day because Mel Gibson and Robert DeNiro were shooting a movie there. Ever since the teamsters reorganized (or something like that) Boston has been a popular city to film in. This one is called Edge of Darkness (as you can tell from Mel's chair).

Mel Gibson's back II

I was much more interested to see DeNiro, but couldn't spot him in the crowd. Had to make do with these mediocre shots of Mel Gibson's back, taken one-handed while munching a slice of Pizzeria Regina's Sicilian with fresh tomatoes.

UPDATE, 12:32pm: Apparently, DeNiro quit the movie! What a diva! Oh well, good for him -- like there aren't enough films about Boston cops and tortured Boston fathers of murdered daughters...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

the best way to get crabs

Damn straight...

I admit that the title of this post is not lovely, but darnit if it's not funny. I could have started off with impressionistic photos of lighthouses, but didn't want to lull my few, kind readers into complacency: believe it or not, I don't spend every minute of my life lolling in the grass wearing a poofy dress, sipping champagne (although I do that as much as possible).

Low speed film, far off lighthouse...

Pete and I were determined to make the most of this last "summer" weekend. Labor Day imparts so much pressure to get in all the summer stuff you didn't have time for in June, July, or much of August. Last week we had our Esplanade picnic, this week we went to a satifying summer blockbuster, went down town to wander the harbor and North End, ate lots and lots of seafood, and finally venuted to Boston's Harbor Islands. Spectacle and George's Islands to be exact.

I'll spare you a sunny rambling summary of tall grasses waving in the breeze, miles of trails, beautiful views, and the soft clanging of buoys in the distance and just say this: George's Island has an awesome fort, and I love me a good fort.

Pete o'er looks the ramparts...

I wish we had had more time at Fort Warren because you can almost literally go anywhere in the fort. There is nothing roped off so you can head your stupid self down tiny, twisty staircases, down dark endless stone halls, and stand precariously close to very far drops. Thrilling!

More ramparts and such

All this exploring and history learning makes a girl hungry. At first we had planned to head home to cook up some fish to stick with our nautical theme, but then realized upon setting foot on shore, that we were so close to...

I will not go in to detail besides to list everything we ate/drank:
Dark 'n' Stormy(s), Jonah Crab Claws, fried oyster po' boy, lobster roll, key lime pie.

Take that Labor Day! We kicked your summer-killing bum!



Some bad things I enjoyed this weekend:
  1. Salt
  2. Swearing
  3. Alcohol
  4. Not wearing sunscreen

Some good things I enjoyed this weekend:

  1. Oysters
  2. Sunshine
  3. Boats
  4. Ocean breezes
  5. Sleeping in
  6. Good coffee with frothy milk