Thursday, April 30, 2009

Vacation Foods

As you know, I was away for ten and a half days last month, visiting family and going to a conference. I don't have pictures of everything I ate, but I do have some. Here's a rundown:


The first day was a family reunion / block party at my cousin’s house, and happened to be Pie Day (3.14). I was exhausted from travelling, but there just happened to be pie there: chocolate-banana cream and oreo cookie. The only picture I have is this one, of my pregnant cuz eating pie for two. Note how happy she looks.

There was also pizza, steamed cauliflower, roast chicken, Jones Soda (whose rootbeer I do not like, I learned), pasta salad, water melon and cantaloupe, and probably other things I can’t remember. The cauliflower was especially good, steamed just enough to be perfectly tender, but not enough to be mushy at all. A little salt, pepper and butter, and it’s good enough for a meal in itself.


A day or so later, my aunt made a really delicious roast ham with a brownsugar glaze. The pineapple alone was enough to make the meat worth it, but the ham was amazing, and the rest of the plate…


… included these huge potatoes that were good enough to be a meal by themselves, and hardly needed more than salt, pepper and butter.

At the conference, we ate out mostly, because the in-hotel food was too expensive. I had something chickeny at Tony Roma’s and wasn’t all that impressed—it was good, but it was expensive, and it wasn’t terribly different than any other chain line, with the same combos of flavors at, say, Chili’s or Fridays or Ruby Tuesdays or any of a number of those same sorts of things. I don’t even remember what it was called.

There was Chili’s after that, with something small and forgettable; I think I had a side or an appetizer. I’m really not that impressed with chain places in general, and it wasn’t terribly different than my home one, nor terribly better. The strawberry mojito was pretty good though, sweet and thick and perfectly balanced so that you didn’t taste the vast quantities of rum at all. It was two-for-one happy hour. That was dangerous.

We had lunch at Fridays after that, and I had the tiny hamburgers (my newest favorite way to eat beef); there were three of them on something like mini cibata breads, and they were pretty good—bacon and cheese and not too greasy. But the best part of that meal was the drink: a berry-passionfruit-guava mojito that just blew me away. They bring it out in a shaker, and it results in about four glasses of a sweet-tart-musky-tropical and very refreshing boozy drink that I drank all of. It’s my new fav drink. I need to figure out how to make it at home.

The first banquet had salmon and chicken, and I didn’t eat my lovely favorite salmon because it wasn’t in season yet.

The second banquet had this:


Lots of pink wine beforehand (I prefer rose, but no one ever has rose, so it was white zin, and not a terribly smooth one, though not burning-awful either; next year, I think I’ll bring my own Rosa from the San Sebastian Winery. I can get a whole bottle for the cost of one cup at the bar, anyway) and during. Breadsticks as an experiment (rolls were banned a few years ago as someone started a breadfight with them), garden salad with a pretty decent Italian dressing, pesto tortellini that somehow managed to be bland with all the most flavorful things in Italian cooking in it, baked ziti that was pretty good, grilled swordfish which I ate part of because I’d never had swordfish before, and then stopped because it wasn’t in season and the wine started getting to me, and a really yummy white-bean and bacon stew. Dessert was a divine tiramisu and canoli. And then much more drinking.

All in all, a pretty good round of vacation eating!

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