Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sam + Mitch= Sammitch

I think this was the last of my sandwich materials...specifcally the rolls and meat. I added a fancy whole foods cheese, the name of which I will try to remember at a later point in time.

Bucks County Brekkers

L. was already up when I came downstairs, it was a quiet morning. I made some coffee (which was a novelty) and we sat as the rest of A.'s (who I forgot I decided to discuss by his childhood moniker of 'Mr. Ass') family surfaced (really just his mother and father/dogs). A few other party attendees also appeared and Mr. Ass' mother was kind enough to make us pancakes...cinnamon, apple, oatmeal pancakes...from scratch...they were very, very good. After a slight amount of helping put everything back where it belonged I got in my car and headed back south. It was a very nice less than 24 hour retreat.

Bucks County Morning

I awoke a little earlier than I really wanted to, but to this view. So I found my camera, took a photograph (not centered etc) and then went back to sleep for a bit.
When I really did get out of bed, I was greeted by this view as I went down the stairs.
I really think there is something generally holistic about beauty being your backdrop in life. My parents' house in Sewanee has this in a different form, woods instead of fields...and I can think of a number of other places I've stayed/lived in my life and how these window vignettes really impact and inform the way I start my day.
Of course, the company may also have something to do with it.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Last Saturday A., and a few of his close friends, threw an event. It was one part theater, one part dinner, one part sing-along, one part dance party for around 100+ people. I have tried to explain it, but it may be one of those 'you had to be there' type things. That, or I need to get a larger vocabulary and a better flair for language. The festivities were held on a cold November night in Bucks County, specifically in an old airplane hanger.
There was a first course of grilled green peppers and olives, and very tasty cider.
There was a master of ceremonies of sorts (the guy to the left) and A. was, well I'm not sure what he was...the consummate host? The brigadier general? The Saturnalian Guild's guiding light? He could probably tell you, he might have told us at the time.
There was a soup course. Cauliflower soup, yummy.
Saturnalian explorers came back and told elaborate stories and had this giant snake.
There was handmade/stuffed sausage. You read that correctly, handmade/stuffed sausage...for all of us.
A treasure chest of cookies.
A late arrival to the party.

These two take a metaphorical bow (everyone was standing up and applauding).
Another prop was 100 soft pretzels...I brought these from Philly and felt very useful. Not pictured, by the by, are a number of original songs sung by A. and, at times, all those in attendance...I have a few short videos.
L. and I went to high school together, and were roommates our junior year. In this picture we both have crazy eyes, but it's the best out of a series of five. The last few times I've seen her it's been a relatively quick affair or it's been somehow busier. It was nice to take a moment and reminisce about some of our favorite cohabitation moments (though I refuse to believe that we threw Dr. Pepper cans out the window...though I also have to believe it).
E.,to the right, was a year below us in high school. When she came to look at the school I was her host. I think she saw me change clothes like ten times...I could never decide what 'look' I wanted and since I lived at school, I'd have one for classes, one for study hall and one for that magical half hour in between study hall and check-in. I must have seemed like a crazy person. Now, I go the other extreme and have given up all attempts at style. It's a relief...except not really. Anyways, I hadn't seen E. since before I went to grad school, so that was pretty exciting.
There was a fair amount of dancing after the dinner and show, we pushed tables back and that was that.
J. is another high school compatriot whom I have not seen in quite some time. I enjoyed our forays out of the hanger for chats and catch up.

A. spun L. around briefly.
It was a truly special and lovely time. And I thank A., his band of brothers and his parents for all the effort they made.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Remember when I turned 24 and ate shrimp, oysters, lobster and key lime pie?
Or, remember when I turned 25 and ate paté, duck liver mousse, escargots, salad, moules frites and creme brulee?
And then, do you remember when I turned 26 and ate stone crab, savory 'lolliopops', crazy good steak, sorbet and cake? Oh yes, and then wooed a snifter of Courvoisier?
Strange thing, getting older.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Farmer's Market & An Ongoing Love Of Sandwiches

Last Thursday I made another delicious sandwich. This time it had left over chicken, salami, chipotle peppers, mayo, salami and lettuce and cheese. Did i mention that it was delicious? It was.
Then a coworker posse was formed and we went to the second to last farmer's market of the season (tomorrow will be the last), and I bought a bunch of beautiful radishes.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Made Myself an Awesome Salad

It was an awesome salad: soft boiled egg (I was too lazy to properly poach an egg), roasted beet, cherry tomato, butter lettuce, and artichoke hearts with cracked pepper, olive oil and a little Balsamic vinegar.
Break that yolk for salad magic!

Beautiful Sandwich

Last week was a week of glorious sandwiches...made by myself. This was the first: hard salami, smoked turkey, cracked pepper, tomatoes, hot pepper rings and butter lettuce...oh and mayonnaise and provolone cheese as well.
The dragon fell over, it was so happy. I was too.

Fall Sidewalk, Roasted Chicken & Chipotle Soup

On Saturday I went grocery shopping. The sidewalks looked like this.
At the grocery store I bought the necessary ingredients for this soup. Then I went home and made it. My one change to the recipe was instead of 10 cups water, I did 5 cups water, 5 cups chicken stock.
On Sunday I roasted a chicken. And watched a movie, I think. What movie? Oh yes, Forgetting Sarah Marshall...that movie made me chuckle. The chicken was not as good as chickens I have roasted in the past. I used a different mix of herbs and butter instead of my standard cilantro butter magic.

Over the course of the last week I ate the soup and chicken in different combinations. I put some left over chicken into a bowl of soup and added cheddar cheese, that was a successful combination. I plan on making the soup again. I'm thinking I might add a secondary bean, and maybe corn or coconut milk or magic?

Shin Diggereedoo

After dinner at Monk's N. and I parted ways, I then regrouped and made my way to my coworker C.'s party. There I played Egyptian Rat Screw, and watched many kneel down and receive benediction in the form of peppermint schnapps and Hershey's syrup. I may have also knelt down. But maybe I didn't. Okay, I did. It was weird. I don't like schnapps. Doesn't this picture look like it could be taken at a revival? Maybe?

It was a rainy, foggy night in Philly.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dinner c/o Monk's Cafe

Last Friday I met up with N. at Monk's Cafe. We patiently stood by the crowded bar for a pretty good bit of time, like 20 minutes maybe longer? N. got there first and I'm pretty sure his wait beat mine by an extra 20. I don't know. Monk's is known for its beer and its burgers. I had both. I tried to wit, or white, beers while munching on my Burger Antwerp (burger+truffle cheese+shitaki mushrooms). We also shared a basket of fries. The burger was so rich and satisfying, I couldn't quite finish it though I really, really wanted to. The mushroom element was not really my scene, I thought about asking them not to put them on the burger in the first place but I thought I'd try it their time I'd ask for the cheese and the cheese alone. N. either had the Monk's (carmalized leeks and blue cheese) topping or the Brussels (cheddar and bacon), I don't know which.
It was worth the wait, and tasty.

Pizza Sandwich

Two weeks, one week?, back, I had a desire for a pizza sandwich. What this really meant was that I wanted pizza. I eventually broke down and ordered one from a new place: Luigi's Pizza Fresca. It had chopped tomatoes (not as diced ad I had hoped), black olives and pepperoni. It hit the spot. And was my lunch/dinner for the next few days.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Finals, Says I-sles

I was surprised to get an invitation to the scrabble finals after my less than ideal games in the semi-finals. But I was happy to attend. The event was held in the lobby of the Free Library by Logan Circle/Square. There were relatively decent sandwiches.
The vegetarian option (the old standby of mozzarella, pesto, and roasted red peppers) was especially decent. The meat sandwiches less so.

In my first game I started with 'awaited' for 80 points and proceeded to pretty much kick my opponent's ass (by 166 points). I was not at all braggy about it at the time, but now I feel like I can be because it was a pretty definitive win...that and I got lucky, of course.
My luck ended there, however, because in the second round I faced a guy who had also trounced his previous opponent....and knew far more words than me (seems he's one of those memorization/anagram types). He beat me by 116 points. So I lost. But he won. If it were a different game that would have meant that I was second, but in Scrabble tournaments it's about your 'spread' ie by how much did you win or lose. So my spread, between the two games, ended up being, what, like 10? That's not good. I don't exactly understand it. It made me, not for the first time, want to participate in Scrabble tournaments: all day affairs with seven games played in a single day!
Panniers is what got me, it was a bingo...and I lost a turn challenging it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


So the busy season has un-busied itself for the time being, the result of which is group lunch at work. We bring our own lunch, but we sit together and try to think of new and exciting things to tell each other...not an easy task when you see each other five days a week (and sometimes more). About half an hour before these gatherings, a IM is circulated about the time we will break. At this point I suddenly desire a sandwich. Often enough I fight this urge through necessity (no money or no sandwich fixings) but sometimes it can't be fought. This happened last week when L. suggested that she was ready for her first Wawa experience. I suggested that I was ready for my first Spring Garden Deli experience and L. acquiesced and came along. The place is special...half convenience store half diner, it doesn't seem to really use its space very well. We went up to the counter to order take out, a woman placed a plate of cheese fries in front of a man sitting at a nearby table-they looked good. I had an Italian hoagie. I forget what L. ordered. The place doesn't take credit cards. Oh, and it makes really bland hoagies. This we realized once back at the office. Eh. I might go back for cheese fries, but not their deli offerings.