Friday 10: Food, Fall, and Farewell to Summer

I can't believe it's almost Labor Day. I'm not sure why summer passes so quickly, but I never feel like I've squeezed all of the goodness out of it before it's gone.

This year I made a list of goals for making the  most of summer. Looking back, I actually did a little bit of everything. 

  • I read more. I especially loved Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.
  • I explored Ontario and took a great trip to Ottawa
  • I got creative and started taking Skillshare classes on calligraphy. I even made something pretty.  
From my first strokes to my first mini project making wrapping paper. I have a ton to learn but I'm loving learning, practicing, and playing. I'm still extremely proud of that one capital G next to the giant ink blob! 

From my first strokes to my first mini project making wrapping paper. I have a ton to learn but I'm loving learning, practicing, and playing. I'm still extremely proud of that one capital G next to the giant ink blob! 

Maybe I did make the most out of my summer afterall! I think I'll do another list for fall. 

So in honor of Labor Day and the unofficial end of summer, I have a list of (mostly) foodie links have been inspiring me this week. 

#1 I'm looking for something delicious to make from Food52s 27 Genius Recipes for Labor Day. Oh how I want to eat that Atlantic Beach Pie! (via Food52)

#2 New Mexico is gearing up for chile roasting season. There's nothing quite like the smell of roasting chile hanging in the air to herald the change of seasons. Not to mention the endless supply of delicious, flavorful green chile (my favorite!). I had a conversation with a hot sauce producer this week. When I told her I was from New Mexico,  her response was "Oh, I get it! You like hot but you also like flavor." Bingo! Nothing compares to or beats New Mexican green chile in my book. For the uninitiated, here's Eater's "Definitive Guide to Santa Fe Green Chile."  (via Eater)

#3 Apparently the snowball is a Baltimore, Maryland specialty. I grew up with a snowball shack just down the street and crave them all summer long. Maybe this explains why my love of snowballs/snow cones/shaved ice seems so out of place here. (via Serious Eats)

#4 After drooling over the things I can't have from places I don't live anymore, I was happy to see that one Toronto restaurant on my "must try" list, Edulis, has a $100 black truffle-covered chicken that's been called the "most succulent bird in North America." I'll have to take their word for it, but the $50 tasting menu sounds right up my alley for a special night out. How can I pass up an opportunity to have "one of the warmest fine dining experiences in North America?"  (via Eater)

#5 & 6 Upon reading the (unsurprising) news that Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte has insane amounts of sugar and no actual pumpkin, I decided to make these baked pumpkin spiced doughnuts as my first fall-flavored treat instead of the annual PSL. (Food Babe link via Self | doughnuts via Against All Grain  )

#7 & 8 Dreaming about eating my way through France thanks to my favorite food writer, David Liebovitz's Tour de France post part 1 and part 2. (via David Liebovitz)

#9 Five regional French dishes to try while attempting to eat my way through France. (via New York Times Travel)

#10 A beautiful homebase called La Maison Matelot (Homeaway link) for a French getaway in the fishing village of Port-en-Bessin, Normandy (near Caen). I've had this place in mind for over a year and remembered it while honeymoon brainstorming. The timing didn't work for our trip last year and we won't make it next year, either. But my emails with the owner were always great and I think someone should go and report back. For science! 

Bonus! Every year the Canadian National Exhibition, a giant fair in Toronto, signals a last hurrah before school starts. It started in 1879 and I stumbled upon these great archival photos while checking out tickets. 

That's it for this week! My plans for this weekend are to relax completely. I'm going dress shopping and then S and I are going to have some kind of adventure. I may even take the plunge and unplug--no phone, no computer--on Monday, which means there won't be a new post, but I'll be back. 

What about you? Any plans or Labor Day traditions? What about favorite foods for this summer/fall shoulder season?  

Enjoy your (hopefully long) weekend!

Different But the Same: My Maryland

I'm back from my trip to Maryland and thought it would be nice to do a picture post. I didn't take too many photos because the weather wasn't very good until the last couple of days of the trip.

Previously, I talked about how strange it was to travel to a place I don't call home anymore. The purpose of this trip was to help me decide whether or not I want to move back to the Annapolis area. I talked a lot with close friends about moving back. I think I'll do a separate post on my decision, though. I would rather have this post be about my old haunts and the places I loved when I lived there.

On Thursday evening, my dad, who drove down with me, and I met with one of my childhood friends and her dad for a crab dinner. We met at Mike's Crab House in Riva. It's on the South River, about five minutes from one of my old houses.

Mike's has been at this location since 1958 and the building hasn't changed a bit since I first moved there in 1991.

I have pictures of 5 year-old me crabbing on this dock. My memory is hazy, but I think we used to get bull lips or chicken necks, tie them to string, throw them in the water, and wait. When a crab latched on, we pulled the string up and dipped a net under him. I definitely remember it being great fun. I tried to find the pictures but I wasn't successful. If I stumble upon them again, I'll update the post.

Thankfully, it was a beautiful evening and we were able to sit outside on the deck. Originally, I was set on ordering steamed blue crabs. I miss the whole ritual of picking them and dipping tiny bits of meat into vinegar and Old Bay. I even miss the sting of the vinegar as it announced a tiny, inevitable cut on my finger from the shells.

When we asked about the price, however, $65 per dozen seemed crazy. It just wasn't worth it. I happily ate crab cakes instead. Luckily, the scenery and lots of freshly brewed, unsweetened iced tea (we don't have this in Canada) made up for any disappointment.

On Friday morning, I met with one of my dearest friends, who I have known since kindergarten. We had breakfast at a small café in downtown Annapolis, which is one of my favorite places to go. It was another overcast day and I got so caught up with talking that I'm afraid my pictures don't do Annapolis justice at all.

One of my favorite parts of Annapolis is Main Street. It retains its ties to the past with historic buildings and brick paving, yet interesting restaurants and boutiques mix with the usual tourist fare.

Despite the weather, it was a great morning. We had a nice breakfast and talked about everything that happened since we last saw each other. We watched locals chat outside and midshipmen from the Naval Academy running. When we walked up Main Street to do some shopping, we saw tourists buying their sailing-themed goodies and throngs of school children following guides dressed in revolutionary garb like ducklings. What I love about Annapolis is that it feels like there's a balance of tourism and "real life."

As the weather gets warmer, Ego Alley, the part of the dock that dead ends at the center of Annapolis, fills up with boats and yachts. It's for the see and be seen crowd. There's nothing quite like going down on the weekend, grabbing ice cream at a shop like Storm Bros., and taking a stroll on the dock through heavy, humid, midsummer air to people watch and marvel at the boats. It truly is a beautiful place.

I have one more post of pictures to do of a small Maryland town that is near and dear to me. It's not touristy or well-known, but I always try to find time to go there when I visit. See you soon.