Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tea time

With the weather getting cooler, it's time to switch from iced tea to hot tea.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sunday at the Bethlehem Celtic Classic

We had a bit of rain yesterday at the Celtic Classic in Bethlehem, PA.  This is standing back stage, under the tent.  We were finally evacuated by the local police and fire department.

The weather did not bother some.  Once you're wet, what difference does it make how wet you are?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Secrets of the Chefs - DuPont Country Club, September 2008

The Secrets of the Chefs session held this month was called "Bringing the Restaurant Home."  It was held at the Brantwyn Estate at the DuPont Country Club.

The chef for this event was Rob Jester.  Rob is the Executive Chef of the Harbor House Restaurant in Chestertown, Maryland.  Rob's parents own the Harbor House.  Rob also works as a chef for the DuPont Country Club.

The first dish we had was the Harbor House Tomato and Crab Chowder.  What can I say but yum, yum, yum!  It was rich and creamy and will be something to look forward to making this fall / winter.
Next up was the "Twisted" Vegetables - a mixture of chopped zucchini, yellow squash and onion in a tempura batter, fried and served with a Soy Aioli and an Orange Ginger Dipping Sauce.  I'm not a big zucchini and squash fan but this was quite tasty and different.
The main course was Tomato Fondu Tart with seared salmon and a Corn and Citrus Salad served with a Scallion Oil.   The first picture of this dish is the one Chef Rob prepared for the demo.  The second photo of this dish is what was served to us.   

The salmon - yum, love salmon.  The corn and citrus salad was tasty and different.  Not sure I liked the tomato fondu and the tart piece.  The tart piece was a flattened piece of puff pastry.  It looked like a piece of matzo but was actually puff pastry.  The tomato fondu made the tart a bit soggy.

Dessert was Root Beer Float Creme Brulee.  I just adore creme brulee.  The root beer float portion of this dessert is root beer soda left out to go flat then spun in an ice cream maker to make a sorbet or ice.  I didn't feel it added anything to the creme brulee.  I ate it quickly to get it out of the way so I could enjoy the creme brulee as it should be enjoyed.

Chef Rob also used fine sugar for the carmelization of the creme brulee.  I was taught to use the turbinado (or raw)  sugar.  The fine sugar made a thin carmelization where the raw sugar makes a thicker carmelization.  Not sure which one I prefer.  I'll have to give it some thought as there are pluses and minuses to each. 
All in all, it was a fine presentation and meal.  I give it 4 forks.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A rose by any other name . . .

Bob recently presented me with a lovely bunch of roses for our anniversary.   They are pretty and smell lovely.

Friday, September 26, 2008

What's eating my carrots?

I grew carrots in two different ways this summer.  These carrots (small as they may be) were grown in a large pot of good potting soil that was sunk into my garden plot.

The other batch of carrots were just grown in the regular garden bed / soil.  As you can see they are infested with little white bugs that at first I thought were aphids but I'm not certain and need to investigate further.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Boston, Charles River

Our hotel, during our recent trip to Boston, overlooked the Charles River.  Every morning people would be walking and biking along the trail or rowing in the river.    It was nice.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Boston - Old North Church - crypt

Part of our behind-the-scenes tour of the Old North Church took us into the crypt that is in the basement of the church.  They are not sure just how many people are buried in the basement of the church - could be hundreds, could be a thousand.

Each vault could hold about 30 coffins.  Here are some of the headstones for those crypts.
Notice how some have the guidelines marked on them for the carver.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Boston - headstones

Loved looking at the carvings on the old headstones.   

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Boston - Misc. shots

Breakfast one morning was at Au Bon Pain.  Here I was amazed to see (and smell) a homeless person taking advantage of WiFi to use his laptop.  So, many unanswered questions.

Breakfast sandwich.

Saw this guy pulling change out of one of the fountains in Boston.  On first glance, he didn't appear to be a homeless person maybe just a recylcer as his bags are full of cans and bottles.  Maybe he just wanted to recycle the change in the fountain.
This is always fun to watch.  I should've videotaped it instead of just taking a photograph.  It's trash at the end of the escalator - in constant motion like waves upon the shoreline.
This is shot from the market.  Amongst all the empty cartons and crates are bags and bags of corn.  Does that mean all of that corn is trash??  I'm confused.  Very confused.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Boston - Feast of St. Anthony

While in Boston, we were there for the Feast of St. Anthony.  Not being Catholic and not being Italian, this was all new to me.  

There was a little shrine in what looked like it was, at one point, someone's living room.  Here there were two women who would help you pin your money on the saint.  Looking over this photo, I saw lots of ones and fives but was amazed to see that someone had pinned a $100. bill on the statue. 

This is the statue that they parade around the streets for ten hours.  It does take time to walk the streets when you have to stop every few feet to allow parishioners and others to pin their money on the saint.  Where does the money go?  How do you know all the money gets to where it is supposed to go?  I guess one has to have faith.
These people where waiting for the statue to pass by their home.  Some people were throwing confetti from their second and third floor windows.  Some of the windows had streamers with money pinned to it dangling down.  I thought, maybe, when the statue passed by they would throw down their streamers to be attached to the saint but that didn't happen.
There were all sorts of foods to buy and eat at the feast.  These are called rice balls.  I had no idea what they were so I asked.  Supposedly they are stuffed with meat or sausage.  I'm not sure how you eat them.  If I ever go back, I'll have to try one.
What I did try was a cannoli.  A fresh, stuffed, chocolate chip cannoli.  Bob and I were sharing it but then he walked away to take some photos and when he came back, I had finished it.  What can I say?  He walked away.  I wasn't going to stand there and hold it all day waiting for him to come back.  Ya snooze, ya lose.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Boston - The "T"

The way to get around in Boston is to ride the "T." 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Boston - signs

Ok, so I guest the cannoli, pastries, bread and cakes but lobster tail??  I don't get that at all.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Boston - Copley Square

These are photos around an old church we saw in Copley Square. 

This is an interesting covered stairway.