November food

4 Dec

I can’t believe I neglected to post about the food I ate in November!  So it gets its own post.  Fitting for this blog, really.

Strangely enough, it won’t feature any of the usual food you think of when you hear the word November.  And that’s not because I didn’t have a delicious Thanksgiving.  Our Thanksgiving rocked, mostly because my sister and I have been celebrating it together enough now that we have everything figured out — what sides are necessary, what to make when, and that there’s always a danger to forget that last batch of rolls in the oven.  But I didn’t take any pictures — shocking, I know.  (I’m pretty sure my friend Rick thinks all my pictures from our trip to Rome were of food.)

IMG_6321

Manda and I decided we needed a real meal before seeing Alton Brown.  We ended up going to Silo, where we had gone last year to celebrate our birthdays.  (It’s a fun new tradition we started — the two foodies go to a new restaurant together to celebrate our days of birth, which are only 6 days apart… and a year.)  That pork chop was mine — I was amazed how thick it was and yet how perfectly cooked it was (now that Bishop Gainer has told me about sous-vide cooking, I’m less impressed — that MUST be what they did).  I ordered it almost solely based on the fact that it came with homemade herbed marshmallows.  What?!  Yes. They were awesome.  The drink on the right was Manda’s — I forget what it was called, but it looked good and much more grownup than mine. Mine was pink. But it was called Roman Holiday, so I went with it.  The top dessert was mine — apple chess pie with an oatmeal cookie, whipped cream, candy apple glaze.  Chess pie is a southern thing — I had never even heard of it before living here. I had never had a flavored chess pie other than chocolate, but it was a great fall dessert.  The bottom dessert — well, what pink Manda didn’t drink, she ate – grapefruit chiffon cake, vanilla mousse, and grapefruit sorbet.   A work of art.  The tragedy came when we realized there was a danger we’d be late — and I made Manda rush through the experience of that chiffon cake.  So, so sad.  I was hyperventilating when we rushed out of the restaurant and the valet guy wasn’t at his stand.  HELLO!  WE NEED TO LEAVE!  STAT!  We ended up sitting down in our seats at the theatre with only about 45 seconds to spare.  Whew.

IMG_6095Have you ever met someone whose talents just seem to keep coming?  For example, you know he sings, he dances, he choreographs and produces shows, oh, and sang back-up for Brenda Lee (you know, the usual). And then you find out he could also be a gourmet chef.  Sure, why not?

My friend Kevin invited me and our mutual friend Jackie over for dinner one night… and it was like no other dinner.  We started with cocktails and cheese (he brought over from Italy, of course)… and didn’t stop for a few hours.  Tomato bread soup with croutons (ah-mazing), homemade gnocchi with pesto (made with basil from Martina McBride’s garden, natch), pork tenderloin on a bed of arugula with a stuffed roasted acorn squash (I thought I was back in Italy), homemade limoncello (goodnight nurse) and a fantastic berry crostata with homemade whipped cream (which was highlighted with rum and pumpkin pie spice– brilliant).  Not only were we wined and dined, the conversation and company was the finest.  And he sent us home with leftovers!  I wish more of my pictures would have turned out, but none of them do the meal justice.  I told Kevin if it wasn’t so scandalous, I’d move in with him tomorrow.  And soon be as big as a house.  Scandalous and gluttonous.  Yikes.

IMG_6216To wrap up this November food post, I have to highlight the adorable cupcake bakery my brother-in-law took me to immediately after I deplaned in Charlottesville.  My sister had discovered the place during her many hospital stays, and it’s been a comforting side trip ever since.  On the way from the airport to the hospital, Patrick and the boys and I stopped to pick up a treat to take to Jill (it was completely altruistic, I assure you).  Cupcakes may be a passing fad, but these seemed exceptional — not too pricey and not too over-the-top.

IMG_6223It’s shocking that this wasn’t mine — I actually chose the Black-Eyed Susan, which was a mix of white and chocolate, mostly because I wanted to taste their white cake but didn’t want to be too boring.  But I had a bite of this pumpkin one, and it was fantastic.  I had heard a lot about Sweet Haus, and I was glad I got to experience it first hand.

In addition to cupcakes, Sweet Haus also has jars of candy and other delights.  The following picture was taken with the caption in mind:

IMG_6217What’s the point?

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One Response to “November food”

  1. Marc Cardaronella December 8, 2013 at 12:18 am #

    Oh my goodness Joan! You have some amazing culinary adventures! That pork chop looks incredible and that meal your friend made you…let’s just say I wouldn’t have thought to put those ingredients together in a million years. I’ve never even heard of some of them.

    Finally, of course the point of decaf espresso bean is the taste silly. Some of us are not that young anymore and can’t do that much concentrated caffeine. :-)

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