Monday, September 21, 2009

Candy Blog

As a study break I have decided to surf the blog-o-sphere, something that I don't get to do often enough. But today, I found this really neat blog called, very simply, Candy Blog. Yes, you guessed it, its a blog about CANDY. Not just any blog about candy, but a one told by someone passionate about the subject, yet able to maintain a critical distance for proper analysis. If you are looking for a fun pastime, I suggest giving it a once over as the Halloween merchandise begins to invade drug store shelves.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Charleston, S.C. part II

At long last, part two of our South Carolina adventure. The first thing we noticed when we rolled into Charleston were the palm trees, palmettos to be exact, the state tree of SC. They were everywhere, lining the streets, nestled in parks and brought us a real sense of Southern flair. We didn't realize how much we missed palm trees in Arlington. After a quick drive down King street, we decided to park it and walk around downtown. Here's a shot of one of the beautiful fountains/wading pools on the river front. It's just the thing for hot tired feet on a steamy day in August.

The next day, we visited the beach on Sullivan's Island with Brendan, Angela and Jacob for some surfside R & R. After a good long morning of sunning ourselves and riding the waves, we were ready for some lunch at Poe's Tavern. The tavern offers appropriately themed eats like the Tell-Tale Heart, Amontillado and Gold-bug burgers. The food was really top-notch and the service is fast and friendly. The fish tacos are also exceptional (and I have these just about everywhere). I also found their logo especially clever, but that may just be the English major in me talking.

With some time to kill before the wedding, we strolled around Charleston and marveled at how relaxing it is to attend someone else's wedding (as opposed to being at your own!) This is a picture of the French Huguenot Church in downton Charleston where our friends tied the knot and below is their lovely wedding cake at the Charleston Country Club.

And as no visit to the Low-country would be complete without shrimp 'n grits, we brunched at High Thyme where they do up their version with spicy chorizo and scallions.

Charleston is a great city to visit for history, beaches, a laid-back atmosphere and world class dining with a Southern flair! (one more Charleston post to come about our visit to Cru Cafe.)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Oysters at Old Ebbitt Grill

Here's a shot of our oyster dinner, or what's left of it, at Old Ebbitt. We had pacific something or others and they were absolutely delicious. As you know, I recently got over my oyster-squeamishness, and I just can't get enough of them now. At Old Ebbitt, they have so many types of oysters that they give you a little description of each on a menu, kind of like a wine list. Well, I thought an oyster, was an oyster, was an oyster, but when we got our batch, I was surprised to see that the description was right on: smooth and sweet with a mild briny finish. It makes me want to go back and order one oyster of each so I can taste the difference!

On an aesthetic note, aren't the oyster shells beautiful? I love their irregular shapes and pearly insides with pewter accents. No wonder Edouard Manet used them in his still lifes! Plus, then he got to eat them!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Peaches Three Ways

There is nothing like walking in the shade of the orchard with the heady smell of peaches all around you. The fruit hangs off of the branches tantalizingly within reach and just begging to be taken home and baked into a cobbler. But first you will have to grab one and take a bite, then you realize that there is nothing better than a ripe, sun-warmed peach eaten in the middle of the orchard. Of course, when you are intoxicated by this delicious taste, you will over-fill your bucket with peaches, realizing a few days later that you have a lot of peach eating to do!

Case in point, we had some that were about to go and some bananas to match so I threw them together in the Williams-Sonoma banana bread recipe I made a while back with chocolate chips. The banana peach bread came out great, just the right amount of sweetness from the bananas balanced by the tartness of the peaches.

We also tried making a peach cobbler, but this didn't turn out quite as well. Turns out that when you use fresh peaches instead of canned in heavy syrup, you need to add a lot of sugar to get it right. Using bisquick, as a short-cut was probably a travesty on these Battleview gems. Oh well, live and learn. We can't wait until next year when these babies are back in season.