Thursday, May 28, 2009

Time Flies?

Listen, I know I've been neglecting my blog, but I had no idea that four months had passed since my last post. When a blogger doesn't post for four months, do people think "wow, she must be busy", or "I wonder if she disappeared off the face of the earth", or do they just think "loser". I'm afraid I know the answer to that!

So, to get back on track, here's a brief flashback of the last four months. I made some more bread, some of which I donated to my in-laws as a house warming gift. That was a bit nerve-wracking, because my father-in-law is only the world's most prolific and talented bread maker ever, at least until he retired from bread-making. And, although the oatmeal bread was a bit flat (baker's error), both that and the honey-wheat tasted great. Phew. As a bonus, since they were moving into a much smaller place, they graciously gave me all their bread making ingredients (literally pounds and pounds of flours, mixes, grains, etc.), but also a bread machine! I was leery of the bread machine, but finally broke it out just the other day. My conclusion: fast, EASY, and quite good. It was a double-cheat, because not only did I use the bread machine, I used a packaged mix too. I don't care - I was just in it for the bread!

My wonderful husband and I went on vacation in April to Shenandoah National Park, where we did lots of hiking, and lots of eating. Some of the food was quite good (barbeque), and some of it was simply amazing. That would be the Tapas restauarant "Mas" in Charlottesville. We were blown away. It's a good thing, because we waited over an hour for a table. Apparently, there was some Slow Food oyster tasting event going on, and people were really taking their time (maybe becasue it was slow food!). The restaurant did ply us with plenty of free oysters, so that made the wait bearable. It was a west coast oyster vs. east coast oyster battle, and honestly, I thought the west coast oysters were better. I would have eaten a dozen of either variety, but I just preferred the ones from the west coast. If you're ever in Charlottesville, don't miss this place. Everything we ate was delicious. The bacon-wrapped dates were to-die-for. The shrimp was fantastic. The duck was sublime. I think you get the idea! We also ate at a Thai restaurant in Harrisonburg that was very good. The waitress made fun of us because we didn't leave a scrap of food on the plates. Almost everyone else had leftovers. Hey - we had been working hard all week, hiking all over Shenandoah - we were hungry!

On the homefront, we haven't been cooking much. Any excuse will do. Lots of veggie burgers, hot dogs, Chinese food (delivered), and the occasional homemade pizza. We did join a new Community Supported Garden, and got our first load of veggies last week, so maybe that will compel us to be a little more creative. We did manage to pull off a home cooked meal for Mother's Day, sort of a Mexican fiesta - flank steak, quesadillas, pulled pork, rice, and a corn and black bean salad. And a big thanks to my Mom for bringing those fabulous shrimp, and dessert. My mom makes it look so easy!

Last week, I was in Las Vegas for a business conference, and am a little disappointed to report that the food was nothing to crow about. One night, we went to "The Buffet" at The Bellagio, and they had all my favorites - King crab legs, Snow crab legs, sushi, shrimp, etc., but the quality was only so-so. I guess it's all about the quantity (and I was okay with that!). I wanted to try Bobby Flay's restaurant, but didn't get there. We did attend a reception one night that was catered by a Mexican restaurant in Henderson, and that was fantastic. Some of the best guacamole I've ever had!

I think that about catches me up - I'll try to be better about posting, but no promises. Life has a way of taking over, it seems.

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