Monday, November 23, 2009

Oysters with C. and T. c/o Sansom Street Oyster House

The Friday before last C. was back in Philly to help her father with a project he's doing for U Penn's new music building. We made plans to meet up at Sansom Street Oyster House after they completed their work for the day, and I completed mine. Turns out that they were done a bit before I was, but held off from noshing or martini-ing (anything can be a verb!) until I arrived about half an hour later, for which I am grateful. I ordered, as I usually do, a dirty martini, which was refreshing and delicious (though I did have to ask for it to be dirtier...a running theme for me). We each ordered a dozen of the 'buck a shucks,' which were of the Great Bay variety if I recall correctly. We sat at one of the corners of the oyster bar, which gave me good enough light for photographs, and all of us a great view of the shuckers and myriad couples making out all around us. Truth: there were at least three couples at various points of the bar/evening that were really taking 'public displays of affection' quite seriously. I'm not sure I've seen such grabby, kissy nonsense since high school.

At one point, one of the women involved in the serious canoodling fell out of her chair. C.'s dad had a better view of this and said that the dude part of the couple just sort of sat there and looked at his date on the floor. Then he drew this picture (her dad, not the dude).
Then I thought it might be nice to get a photograph of C. and myself, but it didn't entirely work out. Here are the two, out of a series of many, that are the best.

It was a lovely evening. It was the second time, technically speaking, that I had met C.'s father, the first of which being the afternoon of our college graduation...but that was, I'm pretty sure, for about half of a split second in between meeting so many of my friends' parents and family members that it hardly even counts. All to say that it was quite nice to get a better sense of this father figure of C.'s, of whom I have heard so much throughout the years. Two martinis, a dozen oysters, and one beer later and I was back home by 9 pm. Thanks to both for the lovely company and evening (not to mention the oysters and booze:)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pizza and Puppy

So last week, as has become my habit, I went over to C.'s for a little laundry doing, pizza eating, wine drinking and puppy playing. This pizza looks really good. It tasted really good. I want to eat it again right now.
Brutus continues to grow.
This photograph was going to be entirely different, but then Brutus leapt in my general direction.
Thanks to C. and R. for letting me clean my clothes in their house while eating pizza and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

Apple Pie Fail

I made these two pies. Well, I didn't make the crusts. They were okay, as far as pies go...I mean, the filling was right on in taste but I think they would have done better with a pastry top, and they were too liquidy. Not a complete fail, but a substantial partial fail.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tuna, Artichoke, Olive and Caper Pasta

I haven't properly grocery shopped for myself in a little bit of time, so it was no surprise that, for dinner one night, I had to rely entirely on things in boxes, cans or jars. The title really covers the ingredients, plus a little goat cheese and parmesan. Entirely edible, but I miss eating green things (capers don't count).


It's a funny thing, knowing you've made something to eat that is entirely yummy, that even if you hadn't made it yourself you would still want to eat for days, something truly and utterly edible. Knowing that you have done something, and being able to do it again, however, are not one and the same. My return from Gettysburg was one with determination; determination to turn the 15 pounds of apples I purchased at Solebury Orchards into something other than a bag of apples. I imagined baked goods and apple sauce.

This was an apple crumble type thing that I made after making apple sauce (I got lazy after a while and blended some of the chopped apple, cinnamon, brown sugar and lemon juice concoction, instead of letting them cook down). I made no shell. Just added chunkier bits of apple to the blended variety and topped wth a mixture of flour, butter, cinnamon, sugar and, um, magic.
Turned out tasty, especially with a bit of cinnamon and vanilla whipped cream. Could have looked better, and I know I've made it taste even better in the past, but, that said? Still pretty tasty.

Little Round Top & Devil's Den

After breakfast we returned to the hotel. The relatives packed up all their stuff, we took a few photographs (none of which were with my camera, which makes it seem as if it never happened) and went our separate ways. I wanted a little more open space/tree/pretty exposure so I went to a different part of the battlefields. Strange, how the site of so much bloodshed and death can now fill my prettiness quotient.

I walked around Little Round Top.
I could definitely see the strategic advantage of this hilly area in a time of war.
All war aside, I was still happy to be out and about on such a beautiful day.
There are so many statues and memorials all over the place. Sculptors, welders and builders must have had quite the renaissance period. I wonder if new memorials are still being made?

Then I went down to Devil's Den and climbed on the rocks a little bit. There were kids exploring the insides/little cavern type spaces in the rocks, which seemed like fun, though I couldn't help but worry about snakes and twisted ankles.

And that concludes my trip to Gettysburg. On the way back I saw a lot of cats on the side of the highway and somehow zoned out at the point in my journey where I needed to get back on 76, which led to a nice drive along smaller country roads, an extra hour of NPR podcasts and a renewed commitment to paying attention to the world around me.

C. just shared this with me and I liked it so much I wanted to share it with all readers:

"True story: one time I was with my cross country team at Gettysburg, and while we were warming up we were running around the monuments and what not, and one of my teammates said, outloud, "I wonder how they were able to fight a war with so many monuments all over the place."

This makes me smile.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Trees, Mushrooms and Breakfast c/o the Lincoln Diner

The next morning we all got up in a pretty quick fashion. I took a moment to take a few pictures.

I noticed these mushrooms from the window that faced the back of the hotel and went to investigate them further. A bazillion blue jays didn't seem to like my presence all that much. I mean, if they were smarter they really could have joined forces and ran me right out of the mushroom patch.
I ordered two fried eggs over medium and sausage links at the Lincoln Diner, they were entirely satisfying. The potatoes less so, and our waitress was a little on the surly side.

OSU versus Penn State c/o Gettysburg Eddie's

After my tower climb and battlefield drive-by, I went on over to a new business in Gettysburg called Gettysburg Eddie's. It was my job to snag a table with a good television view for the OSU Penn State game that would be happening a little later (the relatives were still at the Gettysburg game). Eventually we all came together and ordered a number of extremely not-good-for-you-but-tasty appetizers. These appetizers included a spinach and artichoke dip that was mainly spinach and cheese.
Spicy fried pickles (I didn't really pick up on their spiciness but K. and my aunt L. did, so I guess there was a kick?).
And bacon and cheese loaded potato skins. We each had two beers while watching the first half of the game and eating on this food. The bill? $26. Amazing.
At half time, L. felt a headache coming on and thought it best to return to the hotel for a little rest. We all went back, watched the rest of the game and then E. K. and I went to Tommy's to see our cousin F. and his wife. K. and I shared a small pizza. I am a sucker for mushrooms, but these mushrooms were out of a can and not pleasing to me. Have you noticed that the first three places I ate in Gettysburg all had men's names in their titles? I did. I'd like to get Ernie, Eddie and Tommy together and see what they create...except that I think they're all dead.
After our dinner, we returned to the hotel (best in Gettysburg according to my well-researched forays into other options...wait, that's not true, I have been coming to this hotel since forever, and the one other hotel I stayed in was not at all superior). K. and I then went over to the on-site Appalachian Brewing Company bar and had a few pints while playing Rummy. Here is a note K. wrote me at one point. It warmed the cockles of my heart.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gettysburg is a Battlefield (Among Other Things)

After half time at the game, I thought I'd go and explore a little of the battlefields. I went toward the new visitors' center and ended up somewhere. If I was a better person I could tell you where, but I can't because I didn't actually read any of the signs...yeah, I'm a jerk. My main desire was just to see some open space and fall foliage. I was a little late for the foliage, as many trees were shedding their last leaves, but open spaces and fine weather lessened my disappointment.

There were so many boys with their fathers and walking sticks and canteens. It was really out of control. I have no photographic evidence of the masses of young not quite testosterone-ridden boys in tan and green walking about, but the one way street was littered with them.
I climbed a tower and got a better look of what was around.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Football in Gettysburg

I met up with K. and her parents at the Gettysburg college football game. Their colors were orange and blue. The game didn't really capture my interest as much as these cheerleaders throwing each other up in the air while smiling.
When the home team scored the cheerleaders, and some seemingly random shirtless dudes, did as many push-ups as the earned points. Below they were doing seven.

They were quite good at this stuff. I wonder if they could be underdogs in a Bring It On movie.

Taco Dog c/o Ernie's Texas Lunch

On Friday my cousin K. texted me a bunch of times in an effort to convince me to drive to Gettysburg and hang out with her and my aunt and uncle. They live in Ohio, but had decided that a trip to Gettysburg and a Gettysburg football game were what they wanted for a weekend getaway. The last time I saw K. was in April, and I don't think I had seen my aunt and uncle since last July, so I was game for a drive. My first stop, once in town, was Ernie's Texas Lunch. My mother's family has been going to Ernie's for years and years and years and years. When I was a kid, I wasn't drawn to hot dogs and usually ended up getting a cheeseburger or, in my older, wiser, state I am all about the dogs.
I ordered a taco dog: a hot dog, a slice of American cheese, chili, hot sauce, lettuce and tomato. I had hoped for chopped tomato and expected spicier chili/sauce, neither of which ended up being met...that said, a nice lunch...and their french fries were nice and crisp and hot. An older woman at the booth behind me asked for her fries with gravy, which seemed like a good idea, but I was already committed to the non-gravy fries.