Open Air/Return of the Mantis

Sunday, SUNDAY, Sunday! we went to the 5th annual Wadsworth Mansion Open Air Market & Festival with Bethany and Rebecca. There were some goats...


...some banjo...

Banjo player (East Coast Ramblers)

...and sweet mercy, Cato Corner cheese...

Cato Corner Cheese

We bought some cheese, and some other great things, and then headed off to lunch at ION downtown, where I tried a sorghum beer, which is brought to you by Anheuser-Busch. Better than a Bud, I gotta say.


After lunch we walked over to Vecchitto's Lemon Ice for dessert. I had a root beer ice, and it tasted just like a float.



When we got home...RETURN OF THE MANTIS!




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Hot damn! Hot dog!

Doogie's Dogs

Ethan and I went to Doogie's today and ate hot dogs. They were pretty awesome.

On our way to Doogie's, we went to the Olympia Diner (as seen here) for breakfast. Hash and cheese omelette for me...

Olympia Diner Hash & Cheese Omelet

...fried egg sammich with sausage for Ethan. Also a side of hash.

Olympia Fried Egg Sammich, w/sausage

From there we went to Bob's Farm Market and got beverages.

Hosmer Lemon & Lime

Then, the new Stew Leonard's that just opened.

Stew Leonard's

There we saw this sign, which was strangely sunbaked, yet even more strangely still decipherable.


From there, we ended up at a thrift store in Meriden, full of organs, facials, dirty hippies, and the RCMP.



Dirty Hippie


There were a few other little stops thrown in, the used videos, the pawn shop that was actually closed due to owner death ("Everything's in probate!"), but we made it to Doogie's and enjoyed some fine hot dogs and tasty beverages.

Ethan @ Doogie's

Stay tuned for more adventures...

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Birthday, suspended

Last night we enjoyed a belated birthday dinner at Tuscany Grill, right down the street. Belated due to

1) having diner dinner plans on my actual birthday, the 24th
2) the restaurant being closed on the 26th, due to a liquor license suspension for serving a minor alcohol. You can't serve a minor booze here in CT of course, but for the time being you can still hand your friend a beer when you pick them up at the airport.


Third time's the charm, as they say. I was graciuosly gifted a gift certificate to Tuscany Grill from Mrs. Cupcake's parents. Mrs. Cupcakes had the puttanesca, and I enjoyed the frutti di mare. For you non-link clickers, both dishes are delicious, but with names that mean "prostitute" and "fruit of the sea", respectively.

Earlier this week, we went to Priya for chaat night. Chaat as in Indian snack foods, not internet or small talk or whathaveyou. The buffet was great, but I ate way too much, finished off with this dessert...


...which was all very sweet and delicious, but looked very odd, like rice noodles cooked with a highlighter, and tapioca pearls that had somehow had black sesame seeds inserted into each of them. The ping pong ball is a sweet, honey-soaked orb of some dairy-related composition.

Today it was 55 here, so I cracked open one of these.

Hitachino Nest White Ale

It's a very summertime beer. Sadly, I only bought one, and just for the label. Oh, and also the bottlecap.

Hitachino Nest White Ale


I like owls.

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Mushroom soup, approx. a 2 hour recipe from the Daily Soup cookbook.

Delicious? Yes. Laborious? Yes! Worth it? ...?

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Salmon, pears, that pretty much sums up my poaching experiences. But it's so easy, and the results are so tasty, everyone should poach.

The salmon poach used for that last post was from Cook's Country magazine, with my modifications for missing ingredients.

2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 cup vermouth (called for 1.5 c white wine)
liberal sprinklings of dried dill (called for 4 sprigs fresh dill, plus 1 T chopped)
1 lemon, sliced
6 c water

and for the sauce

1/2 c yogurt
1 T drained capers, chopped
1 T + red wine vinegar (called for 1 T lemon juice)

and approx. 1 1/2 lbs salmon filet (or filets), skin on (so it doesn't fall apart in the poach)

First list goes in the pot, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer for 15 minutes. While simmering is happening, combine sauce list in small bowl + salt & pepper to taste. Set aside. After 15 minute simmer, add salmon(s) to pot and cook until salmon is opaque, 8 to 10 minutes. Any and all veggies in the poach can be served alongside, OR combined with other side dish.

This was delicious, but if you've never poached, just try this:

Get salmon filet(s), not steaks. Place in large stove top pot, just barely covered with water. Turn heat on high, bring water to a boil. Once you hit boil, turn off heat, remove pot from burner and cover. Let sit for 10 minutes. Drain. Done. Eat.

Or chill the salmon and have it with bagels and cream cheese, or on/in a salad. Or eat some hot/warm and chill the leftovers. If you can boil water, you can prepare some of the tastiest salmon. Yes, it is boiled meat, which doesn't sound like the best idea, but it works with meat from the sea. Or the lake, river, bayou, whathaveyou.

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Dinner is served...via AMBULANCE!


What's that????

Poached salmon, yukons, & green beans

Just like the title says...

Poached salmon & veggies, w/potatoes and yogurt dill sauce

...dinner is served. Poached salmon (poached in vermouth, water, carrots, onion, dried dill, fresh parsley, salt) with green beans and Yukon gold potatoes. The sauce on the side is yogurt with minced capers, more dried dill, salt and pepper.


OK, it wasn't SERVED via ambulance. Here's the story. My new Sub wagon had it's unveiling today at work. Stephen, not a co-worker exactly, but my buddy at work, shares my enthusiasm for station wagons, but he wasn't too excited about me getting a white Subaru ("piece of junk!"). Clearly, the only way to rectify the situation was to make it a STATION WAGON AMBULANCE, which Stephen and I had previously agreed was one of the finest kinds of station wagons. Noble, virtuous, small and white, clean and bright. I asked Scott for some red vinyl crosses so that I could properly present the wagon to Stephen upon his arrival. Turned out great. Stephen warmed right up to the Sub, with the crosses. VIVA VINYL!

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Swedish sausage making

Nigh ev'ry year, 'round 'bout the season, my parents hold a Swedish sausage making party. There is lots of food and drink, and the main attraction is the sausage making in the kitchen, which was happening in that kitchen 20, 40, 60+ years ago. Maybe not ev'ry year, but since my grandparents got together back in '39, using the same recipe handed down from my great-grandmother to my grandfather to my mother.

And it goes a little something like this...

Combine in a pan 3 lbs ground pork, 3 lbs ground beef, 3 lbs potatoes.

Swedish sausage making

...rinse and prepare the sausage casings (they're pig intestines, soaked in brine), and load one on the plunger. Scoop mixture into the plunger, plunge out some sausage...

Swedish sausage making

...and sausage 'til there ain't nothing left.

Swedish sausage making

There is a yellowed, laminated newspaper clipping from December of '61 that has photos of my grandparents and my mother making Swedish sausage, up on the refrigerator every year. I usually miss the party each year, but this year it was held later than usual, so I was in town for it. TRADITION!

As I was driving around reviewing the sights of my youth, I happened upon the demolition of the old Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, which is attached to the new/old Walker Art Museum.

Guthrie Theater

They have ripped off the glass wall that was the outside of the building, and you can see the "lobby" that surrounds the theater space itself, with the double doors that lead into the space.

Guthrie Theater

I only went there for a few performances, some theatrical, some music performances, but it was extra creepy seeing it perfectly still in this half-eaten state.

Guthrie Theater

Speakin' of eatin', Xmas marks the spot! There was some food, I must admit, but I really just wanted to show you this...

Tree on Bag

My dad came home with a bag of groceries, and said there were kids decorating the bags at the store. Nice tree.

Also this...

The Cranky Spreader

A kitchen tool that I got for my mother that consists of a square piece of PVC and a cap with a crank, allowing you to load it with butter, cheese, or in this case, cream cheese, and crank out these thin ribbons of said ingredient. There are also fittings for "Star", "Strings", and "Zig-Zag", but we haven't tried those yet.

And last but not least, also this...

Black Olive Bunny and Owl

My mom learned how to turn an olive into a bunny, so I tried to turn an olive into an owl. With creepy pimento eyes. OLIVE IT! Get it? I made it out of an olive and OLIVE how it turned out.

Happy Xmas!


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