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pigtown pigout

ramblings on what i am eating when i am out.

Updated: 2018-03-06T06:29:51.149-05:00


The Maryland Club


This post virtually guarantees that I will never be able to become a member of the Maryland Club, as does my gender, but here goes… The Baltimore Architecture Foundation’s Groundhog Day party was held last night at The Maryland Club, despite the unexpected six inches of snow we got yesterday. We spend the day doing last minute things to get ready for the party including rolling a $995 chair carrying two Kohler faucets through the snow to the Club. The moment you enter The Maryland Club (MC), you are assaulted by whispers of old money, old traditions and a nearly extinct way of life, as well as nearly extinct animals. The walls on the first floor of the MC are essentially papered with trophy animals, including a fully intact mountain goat. Now, I don’t want to hear from any PETA people, because I didn’t shoot these animals, I am just showing them. It is a but un-nerving to round a corner and see a nine-foot bear standing by the window! However, what is most incredible about this building is the sheer amount of workmanship that has gone into it. The building had a serious fire in 1996 and has been rebuilt and upgraded since that time. That it was rebuilt at all is a testimony to the membership and their traditions. The main corridors are a series of enfiladed rooms, stretching the length of the building. Funnily enough, they are not symmetrical, but slightly off-center. We were greeted by a roaring fire last night, very welcome, as it was still snowing.  The fireplace, and the moose above it, are both massive, and with my firebug tendencies, I longed to be able to poke at it with the huge iron tools next to it! The ceilings on the first two floors are about 14 feet, which makes for a massive grand space. The windows all have wood shutters, which both keep the cold air out and the sun from coming in. When I swung open one of the shutters, I could feel the bitter cold air! (It was 15F last night.)Each room has a large fireplace, many of them still in working condition. They are all faced in stone, most likely Maryland stone, and large wood mantelpieces. There is a huge staircase, not a long and graceful one, but a solid masculine one. Following the staircase up to the third floor is an amazing detail – a huge stenciled and gold-leafed painting. At the very top of the staircase, there are a number of significant flags, including the Maryland State flag, the Baltimore City flag and the club’s flag, amongst others.  Behind them is a huge stained glass window with the state motto in Latin, translating as “manly deeds, womanly words”. The Governor’s Room, on the third floor of the Club was one of the most beautiful rooms. Although it didn’t have the grand proportions as other rooms, it was stunning. The ceilings were detailed with a quatrefoil pattern and there were lovely fireplaces at either end. There was a row of chandeliers down the center of the room, and at either end there were china cabinets behind leaded glass doors.  While most of the other rooms had dark wood, in this room, all of the wood was painted a pale cream. It made the room more feminine. Three of the rooms, all adjacent to each other, were the Hunting Room, the Maritime Room and the Duck Room. I loved the hunting room, as it referred to fox hunting, not the big game hunting. The Maritime Room had lots of pictures of ships and ship models, as well as the most incredible window-seat. The Duck Room had numerous duck-types mounted on the wall. At the end of the evening, three of us snuck into one of the gentlemen’s rooms, and were stunned to find walls of the most beautiful Beaver Dam marble on the walls and stalls. Rumour has it that the MC puts ice cubes in th[...]

Shooting Your Dinner


There’s an excellent article in today’s New York Times (here) about bloggers and others taking pictures of the food that they eat. I do it sometimes, when the food is especially nicely presented, but many others document every single thing they eat.(image) Do you do that?

I Don’t Think So!


I would really have to think twice before going here to shop!(image)


I’d like a little more green and a little less –ish!

April Food Day 2010


Today is APRIL FOOD DAY!Feeding America has provided April Food Day with a special link that will track the giving, and so we will know what an impact it’s had.Here are some facts to use in writing about April Food Day:• Feeding America is annually providing food to 37 million Americans, including 14 million children. This is an increase of 46 percent over 2006, when we were feeding 25 million Americans, including 9 million children, each year. • That means one in eight Americans now rely on Feeding America for food and groceries. • Feeding America's nationwide network of food banks is feeding 1 million more Americans each week than we did in 2006. • Thirty-six percent of the households served have at least one person working. • More than one-third of client households report having to choose between food and other basic necessities, such as rent, utilities and medical care. • The number of children the Feeding America network serves has increased by 50 percent since 2006. • Feeding America food banks provide food and groceries to 33,500 food pantries, 4,500 soup kitchens and 3,600 emergency shelters.• 68 percent of pantries, 42 percent of soup kitchens, and 15 percent of emergency shelters rely solely on volunteers and have no paid staff.• 55 percent, are faith-based agencies affiliated with churches, mosques, synagogues and other religious organizations; 33 percent are other types of non-profit organizations.There are several important links to include:• Feeding America’s website: • The link to the April Food Day donation page: Thanks for your support![...]

Woodberry Kitchen Brunch


Fellow blogger and market-goer, Kitchenography and I usually do a “big” brunch on the last day of the Farmers’ Market, but since the last market day was cancelled due to the snow, we also cancelled our brunch plans. It took another couple of weeks to make up this date, and when we decided a destination, Julie picked Woodberry Kitchen, since she’d not been there. We were joined by her husband, who’s also a lot of fun and a great eater. Woodberry Kitchen just started serving brunch a few months ago, and I knew if the brunch was anywhere as interesting as dinners, it would be excellent. Although it was bitter cold outside, the inside of WK was bright and warm, and the hot air wafting towards our table from the wood-burning oven was welcome.We started with coffee in personal cafetière, or French Press coffee maker, which came with a small hourglass so you could time exactly when to press the plunger and pour your coffee. Since I’ve been using a cafetière for about 25+ years, I knew what to do with it, but for others, it might not have been as obvious. Julie got a mimosa, which was garnished with a beautifully spiraled orange peel speared as a garnish. I got french toast with a honey-cinnamon butter, along with some house-made sage sausage. The sausage was a little more dense than I like, and it seemed to need more fat to give it a better mouth-feel. Julie got Eggs Benedict, but instead of ham, it had two crabcakes and Julie had it without the eggs.  Mike got shirred eggs with crab, served in a cast iron ramekin, which he said were “interesting”. I thought that shirred eggs were softer than his appeared to be. The best thing about Woodberry today was that it was not the mob scene that it usually is. You are generally packed into the restaurant like sardines, and it was a welcome change to have a little elbow room. I love the way the sun is lighting this image. [...]

Smith Island Cake


I was charged with bringing a dessert to a family party on Sunday and wanted to make something that would make an impression. As I thought about what to bring, I remembered recently seeing an article about Smith Island Cakes. I spent a lot of time on Smith Island when I was working at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation many years ago and have a lot of fond memories of these islands located in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay.(image) As I mentioned in the previous post, I looked for a recipe on Epicurious, but it was an epic fail. I searched a little more and found a recipe on Saveur’s website. It seemed pretty similar to the others I had seen, so I used that one. (image)

Their recipe said to use Duncan Hines cake mix, but to change it to use a stick of butter, a can of evaporated milk and some additional flour. It also called for chopped peanut butter/chocolate cups, but that seemed to be too much. Instead, I used crushed peppermint candy canes on top. (image)

The main problem with the recipe is that they say ice the cake five minutes after you cook the icing. Of course, it all just slides off the top of the cake and puddles around the bottom. Luckily, I was using a high-sided plate, so it didn’t matter. As we served the pieces of cake, we just scooped the extra icing on to it.(image) It seemed to be a big hit with everyone and there were just two small pieces left, so they went home with two siblings.

Epicurious Fail


I am thinking of making a Smith Island Cake for a family party on Sunday because I spent a lot of time on Smith Island when I worked at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. When I checked for a recipe, here’s what they came up with:(image) I can’t imagine how they came up with Thai Chicken Pasta as a recipe for Smith Island Cake!

Here’s what it looks like in real life.(image) I will have to let you know how it turned out!

Stir-Up Sunday


For as long as I can remember, my father made Christmas Cake the third Sunday in November. It’s called Stir-Up Sunday for a verse in the Book of Common Prayer which begins “Stir up our hearts O Lord…”. My father would bring out the huge yellow-ware bowls he and my mother had collected over the years and begin making the cake. Here are my two sisters taking their turns stirring. Each person is supposed to give the cake a stir for luck.As you can see by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's recipe below, it isn’t too complicated to make, although the ingredients can take some time to find and assemble. I’ve converted the grams to cups to make it a little easier. The measures are close approximations, but should be fine.Christmas cakeMakes one cake. 200g sultanas (7/8 cup)200g currants (7/8 cup)150g dried apricots, finely diced (2/3 cup)150g prunes, diced (2/3 cup)150g raisins (2/3 cup)60g candied peel (¼ cup)60g dried cherries or cranberries (¼ cup)Grated zest and juice of 1 orangeGrated zest of 1 lemon200ml apple brandy (7/8 cup)110g hazelnuts, roasted, papery skins removed and roughly chopped (1/2 cup)200g unsalted butter (7/8 cup)100g light muscovado brown sugar (1/2 cup)80g dark muscovado brown sugar (1/3 cup)4 eggs, lightly beaten250g plain flour (1 1/4 cup)1 heaped tsp mixed spice¼ of a nutmeg, grated¼ tsp salt90g stem ginger, finely chopped (1/3 cup)To decorate300g whole dried fruits, such as figs, apricots, apple slices, cherries (1 1/3 cup)120g nuts, such as hazelnuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds (1/2 cup)150g warm apricot jam, strained (2/3 cup)Put the first nine ingredients in a bowl, add the brandy, stir, cover and leave for 48 hours. Preheat the oven to 275F. Grease a round 22-24cm x 9cm, loose-bottomed cake tin, and line with parchment to come 4cm above the sides. Pulse half the hazelnuts until very fine, add a quarter of the boozy fruit and blend to a thick purée. Beat the butter and sugars till fluffy, then beat in the eggs one by one (if it begins to curdle, add a little flour). Sieve the flour, spices and salt, then stir gently into the batter. Fold in the purée, nuts, soaked fruit and ginger, spoon into the tin, smooth and bake for two to two and a quarter hours, until a skewer comes out clean. (If it browns before it's done, cover with parchment.) Leave to cool in the tin, then remove and wrap in a double layer of foil. Store in a cool, dry place, feeding it with a slug of brandy every two weeks.A day or so before the big day, brush with warm apricot glaze, lay the fruit and nuts on top, and glaze again. If you have time, cover in marzipan and icing instead.Store in an airtight container. [...]

Mark Bittman’s 101 For the Fall


Once again, the brilliant Mark Bittman of the New York Times has come up with 101 simple ideas for fall foods. The easy recipes are heavy on squash, apples and other seasonal goodies. FOR cooks, most Thanksgiving problems are brought about by the sheer number of dishes competing for the stove: It’s not easy to roast a turkey and sweet potatoes for 20 at the same time. The best solution is to make food in advance, like one of the dishes that follow. Unlike my earlier 101 compendiums, this one has some recipes that take an hour or more. Still, most are pretty quick. Almost all can be served at room temperature, although the soups should be reheated. Salting to taste is always a given. And if I don’t specify a temperature, “roast” or “bake” means a 375-degree oven. RELISHES, CHUTNEYS AND JAMS 1. Onion-Pumpkinseed Relish: Roast thick slices of red onion with olive oil until softened and nicely browned. Chop, then toss with minced chives, toasted pumpkinseeds and a little more olive oil. 2. Apricot-Tomato Chutney: Combine chunks of dried apricot and fresh tomato, a splash of apple cider, brown sugar, ginger, cloves and a touch of curry powder; bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes. 3. Red Onion Jam with Red Wine and Rosemary: Thinly slice red onions and cook them in olive oil until very soft. Add chopped rosemary and red wine, and cook until the jam thickens. 4. Onion Jam with Bacon and Bourbon: Thinly slice red onions and cook in olive oil with chopped bacon until soft. Add a little bourbon and brown sugar to taste and cook until the jam thickens. 5. Apple Chutney: Cook big chunks of peeled, cored apple with a little apple cider, Dijon or whole-grain mustard and chopped sage until the chutney thickens. Don’t cook it until it becomes apple sauce unless you want to. 6. Cranberry-Corn Sauce: Cook a bag of fresh cranberries with about a cup of corn kernels, some chopped scallions, 1/4 cup brown sugar (or to taste) and a splash of water, just until thick. 7. Cranberry-Orange Sauce: Cook a bag of fresh cranberries with orange and lemon zest, cut up (peeled) orange segments, 1/4 cup sugar (or to taste) and a bit of minced jalapeño or chipotle. 8. Cranberry-Beet Sauce: Put equal amounts shredded beets and fresh cranberries in a saucepan with a small splash of orange juice, orange zest and honey or maple syrup to taste. Cook until thick. 9. Prune Relish: Put pitted prunes, fresh mango, a little cider vinegar and sugar to taste in a saucepan. Cook for 30 minutes, adding chopped fresh ginger to taste about halfway through. 10. Ginger-Apricot Chutney: Put dried apricots in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Add lemon juice, minced fresh chili, grated ginger, a couple of cloves and a pinch of cayenne. Cook until thick. 11. Tomato-Corn Jam: In a saucepan, cook roughly chopped Roma or cherry tomatoes with fresh or frozen corn kernels, a minced chili and some sugar and lime juice to taste, until the jam thickens. 12. Garlic-Rosemary Figs: Soak dried figs, stems removed, in warm water until plump; drain and halve. Heat lightly smashed (and peeled) garlic with olive oil on medium-low heat, until softened. Add figs, along with some fresh orange juice. Cook until saucy. SOUPS 13. Sauté sliced shallots in olive oil, then add chunks of butternut squash, some rosemary and chicken stock or water to cover. As the soup simmers, bake strips of prosciutto until crisp. Purée the soup, swirl in some cream if you like and serve topped with crumbled prosciutto. 14. Steam or poach 2 cups of pumpkin cubes until tender. Meanwhile, sauté 1 cup sliced shiitake mushroom caps in vegetable oil with a few drops of sesame oil. Boil 4 cups water and whisk some of it with 1/3 to 1/2 cup of miso. Stir miso mixture, pumpkin and mushrooms into water and heat everything throug[...]

Caffe Falai in NYC


Fellow food blogger, Kitchenography (Julie) and I, went to NYC to meet up with an ex-Baltimore food blogger, Raspberry Eggplant (Roopa) for lunch. Roopa suggested Caffe Falai for lunch, since it was just a short jaunt from her office at City Hall and it was easily accessible by the subway. It was an inspired choice! For starters, we all had salads, with Julie and Roopa having an avocado salad (avocado with mixed greens, radicchio, and black truffle dressing) and I had Spinach e Fragole (baby spinach, strawberries, sliced almonds ,reduced balsamic with mozzarella pearls). Isn’t that a beautiful salad? For mains, we all had different things. Julie got Gnudi, spinach and  ricotta balls and a sage-infused brown butter sauce, but instead of the sauce, it had a foam on top. Roopa had Pappardelle Alle Mandelore, an almond flour flat pasta with mushrooms, cauliflower and parmigiano sauce, which was just gorgeous. I had a panini with fresh figs and gorgonzola. It was an incredible mélange of flavours. It was just great fun to see Roopa again, and to hear all about her recent wedding and appearance on Jeopardy.   After lunch, Julie and I walked through Little Italy and Chinatown. We saw a store with loads of fresh durian on display. They were cutting them open and selling them. I asked for a tiny taste, but was turned down. Durian fruits are very forbidding in a lot of ways. Their skin is hard and spiky. Their smell is incredibly offensive to the point of being forbidden on public transport in Southeast Asia. But the taste is reportedly smooth, custardy and quite good. So I was very curious to try a bit, if only to say I’d eaten some.The vendor was opening the durian and scooping out the flesh, which was a creamy yellow. There seemed to be five sections, as well as a seed, and the pulp came out in one piece. A couple buying a durian told us that durian are high in protein and are useful in healing after surgery. The box with the dollar bill is to tip the vendor after he’s cut and boxed the durian for you. [...]

Sunday Market – November 8


This morning was just glorious. Upper 50’s and clear as a bell. It was a foreshadowing of the beautiful day to come. We arrived at the market and each found a great parking place, a sign that there weren’t too many people at the market yet.

We did our two laps – the looking and the buying – and had the chance to say hi to some friends.  I got apples and some smoked chicken and bacon soup for the week.(image) One of the oddest thing I saw was something called cardoon,(image) a member of the aster and daisy family! It looks like gigantic celery, but not the bright green colour of celery, more of a dark dull green of some of the winter vegetables. The flower buds can be eaten like artichokes, but it’s usually the stems which are braised and seasoned for serving. (image) After the market, we headed up to Clementine for breakfast. Clementine’s becoming one of my new favourite places. They open for breakfast at 8:00 on Sundays and had a steady stream of people coming and going. Excellent coffee from Zeke’s… a special blend called “Oh My Darling” and a delicious French Bread casserole, so big I couldn’t finish it.(image) Let me end by saying welcome back to my Sunday morning partner in all things Market, Kitchenography. She’s finally blogging again with her lovely stories and gorgeous pictures… and amazing food!



I’ve been meaning to try Clementine for a while, but the problem, and it’s a very small one, is that it’s close to my office, and not downtown. And I didn’t think that they were open for lunch. With Connor-pup, I have to go home after work, and can’t stay uptown for dinner. Anyway… the Blonde and the Redhead took me to dinner there for my birthday last night and we had an amazing and fun dinner. I was thrilled to see that they had escargot on the menu, as you rarely see them. I ordered them as my starter. They were sauteed with shitake mushrooms in a garlic cream sauce over toast points, and were fabulous!The B&R split an order of macaroni and cheese, which is similar to the mac & cheese at Sobo Cafe, where the chef at Clementine used to cook. This is made with the traditional elbow macaroni, instead of Sobo’s penne pasta, but it was every bit as good. For my main, I had the smoked pork tenderloin with smoked gouda mashed potatoes and asparagus. The Blonde had the Baltimore Grill, a lovely piece of steak, with shredded horserashish and the same mash and mixed vegetables. The Redhead had a pork chop with mash and asparagus. Two friends of ours stopped by for drinks at Clementine and sent over a piece of coconut cake with seven-minute icing, which was perfect to end the meal! Clementine specializes in charcuterie and makes their own sausages and smokes the meat on premise. They’ve just expanded from the original space into the space next door, more than doubling the size of the restaurant. It was a great place for a celebration dinner in a casual setting and I am sure it will become a new favourite for all of us! Thanks again, B&R for the lovely presents, the wonderful dinner and the exceptional friendship!!! [...]

Sunday Market – October 25


I bailed on the Market last week, since it was so rainy and dark. I know that it’s a steady downhill slide towards winter from here on out, but the time will change soon and it will be a tad lighter in the mornings. This week, Halloween is all in evidence, from the vast number of pumpkins to the vendors in costume. Seriously, how cute is this guy? His grandmother gave him and his father hats. One’s before and the other’s after! Lady Liberty made an appearance. As did the Buffalo Man… Dude!!! Pumpkins from very, very large to very, very small and every shape and size between. One of the funniest things we saw was two bees on sunflowers. It was so chilly up in the country, that the bees were basically in a suspended state and were not moving. See you next week @ The Market (if it’s not raining). [...]

Sunday Market – October 11


As soon as we started walking through the Market, I found my theme for the day. PURPLE! A Ravens home game, combined with some of the late season fruits and vegetables prompted this choice. I was thinking that there wouldn’t be a lot of non-clothing selections, but I was wrong! This cute little girl with her purple glasses also had on purple shoes. A fashion plate at age five! Purple flowers with someone’s purple toes.  Turnips? Rutabagas? Swede? Lovely purple and white, whatever they are…Spanish onions? They’re considered purple, no?Purple cauliflower! I am so curious how this cooks up. Anyone try it?   Aubergines. Eggplants. Whatever you call them, a deep glossy purple is gorgeous.Plums! Plummy plums. Yummy plums.  A green bug on some purple sage.Purple basil  Pet in purple. I wish I could carry my dog like this. It would never work though. He doesn’t like purple. Romanesco broccoli, with just a hint of purple. Purple paintbrushes. See you next week @ the Market! [...]

FTC: Bloggers Must Disclose Endorsements


A few months ago, I posted about a Blogger Code of Ethics in which bloggers who receive goods or services and then write about them, should disclose this fact to their readers. It’s not an unrealistic expectation because perceptions change when you know whether the writer is benefitting from what they are writing about. Objectivity may change if a blogger thinks the pipeline of goods and services might stop.

The US Federal Trade Commission has announced that bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service. If they do not, the FTC may levy a fine of up to $11,000.

Here’s more:

“The revised Guides also add new examples to illustrate the long standing principle that “material connections” (sometimes payments or free products) between advertisers and endorsers – connections that consumers would not expect – must be disclosed. These examples address what constitutes an endorsement when the message is conveyed by bloggers or other “word-of-mouth” marketers. The revised Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement.”

A link to the announcement is here.

Thanks to my friend Julie for telling me about the FTC alert.

Gourmet Magazine Closing


Another one bites the dust! In shocking news, it was announced today that Gourmet magazine is closing. Although I have a food blog, I don’t really cook at all (not that I can’t cook, I just don’t cook.)(image)

I love reading recipes and looking at all of the gorgeous pictures and I have always found great insider tips on places to visit when I am travelling.

Such a shame for everyone involved in Gourmet.

Sunday Market – October 4


Today was the Farm-to-Table {sponsored by Toyota} at the market and there were four tents scattered around with different chefs pairing with local farms to produce a taste of something they’ve created. It seemed to me to be a bit less crowded between eight and nine, when we were there. The stations at that time were manned (or womanned) by Jesse Sandlin of Abacrombie + Richfields Farms/South Mt. Creamery with a broccoli soup; Bill Crouse of Sotto Sopra + Richfields Farms with a butternut squash ravioli;  Rashad Edwards of Meli Patisserie & Bistro + Truck Patch Farms with a dressed salad; and Sandy Lawler of Feast @ 4 East + Jean-Michel Company/Gunpowder Bison/Martin Farms with bison burgers. (top image) For me, it was a little early to eat like that, but my companions and fellow bloggers tried the soup and ravioli and proclaimed them delicious! With the dramatic drop in temperatures in the last week, there are a lot more autumn fruits and vegetables on offer. Lots of pumpkins and squash. We’re careening down that slippery slope to winter. See you next week @ the market. [...]

Sunday Market - September 27


It was a miserable morning, and my family was in town, so I bailed on the market. But by the time I met up with everyone, the sun was shining. We had brunch at Donna's in Mt. Vernon and then wandered around the Book Festival, which mostly seemed to be about food.
(image) Hope to go to the Market again next week!

B&O American Brasserie


The newly opened B&O American Brasserie at the Hotel Monaco-Baltimore has a great happy hour. It’s $3 for some of their beers, white and red wines and champagne. They have a small bar menu that you can get some little plates from, as well as burgers and flat bread pizzas. Chef Cat and I both had been interested in seeing this place, so while Chef Dawg was working late, we went over. Valet parking is $5, so that’s a good start. The building is the old B&O Railroad headquarters and it’s amazing. (You can read more about it here.) We started out with a glass of champagne each and got a chicken liver pate with fig jam and brioche toast as an appetizer. There were only four tiny brioche toast fingers and so we had to ask for more. I always wonder what the kitchen is thinking when you get a lot of spread or cheese or pate and only two pieces of bread. The pate was mousse-like and very light, and the brioche fingers were buttery, but the fig jam didn’t have much flavour, which was a shame. It was sweet, but didn’t have the taste of figs. We ordered a flatbread with cheese, asparagus, arugula and a fried egg on top. It was very good and Chef Cat ate the egg. There were fava beans in there as well, but I picked them out. I don’t like beans much. We also got some meatballs, which were well-seasoned and came in a nice tomato sauce. Kinda hard to tell what they are from the picture, but they were served in a little iron pot. Since Chef Cat’s a pastry chef, we HAD to order dessert. The menu was interesting for early fall, with some non-seasonal items like a rhubarb-strawberry cobbler. There was a cheese plate, which I totally understand, but there was also a charcuterie plate, which I totally didn’t understand, especially since it wasn’t listed on the bar menu as an appetizer. Really, do you want meat for dessert? Chef ordered the rustic apple tart and I ordered the butterscotch pudding. If you know me, you know I love sweets. But the pudding was gross. It had no discernable butterscotch taste and a really odd texture. Chef Cat said it had a raw corn-starch flavour, but I didn’t even get that. It certainly wasn’t a pudding, because it didn’t seem like it had either milk or cream in it. Maybe a pastry cream? It was served in an 8-10 oz. glass with a garnish of a ginger cookie. I ate about three bites and left the rest. When Chef Cat cut into the steaming rustic apple tart, she realized that the apples weren’t cooked. So she took the pastry top off of the tart and looked at the apples. Not only weren’t they cooked, they were brown because someone didn’t know enough to put them in acidulated water to keep them fresh and white. The pastry top was not quite cooked through and was raw on the inside. While we liked the restaurant, and the service was very friendly and good (if a little slow), the desserts were a huge failing and really brought the meal down. They were basically inedible. We’ll go back for happy hour though! [...]

Sunday Market - September 20


It's been a busy last few weeks and although I've been to the market, I haven't gotten too many pictures.
(image) It's really beginning to look a lot like fall at the market with loads of varieties of apples and pumpkins and the changing light. Although I keep hearing that this has been a banner season for figs, I've yet to see any at the market. (image) Here are some of the things we saw at Sunday's Market.

(image) Pumpkins of all sorts
(image) Teeny, tiny tomatoes
(image) Lotus flower pods (image) The gang at the Hummus stall were celebrating International Talk-Like-a-Pirate Day. Ahoy, Captain Cook!
(image) See you next week!

Flushing, Queens


Sometime blogger, Julie, and I took the Bolt Bus to NYC yesterday and then hopped on the F Train out to Flushing, Queens to do some exploring. Ever since she saw this article about this area of the city a year ago, Julie has wanted to visit. When we got off the train, along with a mass of humanity, we wandered around a little bit, getting our bearings along Roosevelt Avenue and Main Street, and figured out where we wanted to have lunch. We ended stopping at a noodle restaurant on Roosevelt, just around the corner from the train station. We sat for a while contemplating the menu with more than 200 dishes on it! Luckily, a chic young Chinese woman next to us offered us some guidance on what to get. I lucked out with a dish of crispy noodles with roast pork and bok choy with a sauce and Julie had a roast pork and wide noodle soup. Both were excellent. After lunch, and at the suggestion of our lunchmate, we headed up to Honk Kong Market, a huge store with food and kitchen items. Both of us were agog at the selection of fruits, vegetables, meats, fish and more. We were a little taken aback at the tubs with huge live hardshell and soft shell turtles and LIVE FROGS! We also had a good laugh at the labeling on some of the products, including Gourmet Powder (MSG) and Indispensible Condiment (also probably MSG). Here are some other pictures of what we saw:Dragon Fruit or PitayaSeaweed knots. I am not sure why they're knotted, but the whole bin was like this and you can find recipes for seaweed knots on the intertubes. These were some sort of dried radishes. They look like... well, I'll let you think of what they look like. Flat fried duck.Miss Bong Crab Fingers. These were 60% mackeral and 40% crab. Obviously not Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab. They were in little brown tubes. We couldn't bring ourselves to buy them. Not so sure what this is, but we thought it was funny enough to take a picture of.Conch. Tastes like rubber. Chewing rubber bands. Check my other blog for pictures of Little India. [...]

Sunday Market - August 30


Somehow, everything at the market that I wanted to photograph, just looked the same as every other week. I decided not to take pictures of the sartorial mistakes, and only shot about six pictures. Here are my two favourites.

The guy from Zeke's coffee had a portable coffee dispenser on his back. If you look at his left side, you can see the sleeve of cups, too. I guess you have to take the coffee black.(image)
I think this little guy is adorable. His stuffed bear/rabbit is almost as big as he is. He's carrying a bag of raspberries!(image) Yum.

RIP Brass Elephant


I was shattered to find out that the Brass Elephant has closed its doors. There was a good article in the Sun today, in which I am quoted, about the high-end restaurants that are shuttering in the economy. (image)  I loved the Elephant. We spent many happy times there. Here’s a little story:

Before I moved to England, my final celebration meal was at the Elephant, and when I came back to Baltimore, one of my first outings was there again. That's the one event that stands out in my mind the most.

For several years, during the lighting of the Washington Monument, Jack Elsby, the Elephant’s manager and I would serve cocoa to all the visitors in the park. It was free to everyone and we were happy to do it. It was a little pre-Christmas, small-town celebration. Then the city decided that the vendors had to charge for their food/drinks, so Jack stopped doing it. But at the lighting, I'd always stop by the restaurant for a quick hello and a drink.

Late in 2005, I had to come back to Baltimore unexpectedly, and not many people knew I was coming home. It was right before the Monument Lighting, so I met up with the Blonde and the Redhead. We watched the lighting and then headed up to the Elephant. It was crowded, as usual, and Jack was running around.

I spotted him through a crowd of people and just grinned. He looked up and saw me and he just lit up. We made our way over to each other and hugged. He told me that he'd been thinking about me all day because of our tradition of serving cocoa, and then he looked up and I was there.

It was a tiny personal moment in hundreds of happy moments that I've spent at the Elephant, and one that I will never, ever forget.

I hope that everyone associated with the Brass Elephant can find another job. RIP.

No Market....


I have in my care this week, a 10-month old puppy. We thought he was a chocolate lab, but when the DNA testing was done, it turned out he's part greyhound, part airedale and part Germand short-haired pointer. He has two speeds: zoom and zero. My dog has two speeds: slow and sleep.(image) I was scared to leave him home with my dog, so I skipped the Farmers Market.

Here's a picture from a previous market.(image)

Next week, though!

Sunday Market - August 16


The market seemed a little more crowded this week, not really sure why, but we both noticed it. I was focusing this week on tomatoes. (image) Not your "garden variety" tomatoes, but on the heirloom varities. (image) I hate the look of some of these, they're all knobby and anatomical-looking. (image) Not attractive to me at all. (image)
I should have paid more attention to the names, but here's a sampling of what I saw.(image)
Lovely orange cocktail tomatoes.
(image) Next week, I think I might take pictures of people who should have looked in a mirror before they left home... Consider yourself warned!