…the holidays, that is!
Because let me tell you, the days before Christmas were pretty swell!
First of all–I have to share with blogland because I am SO EXCITED–my two best buds got engaged. To each other. Can we get a round of “awwwww“? Yeah. I have been downright giddy since hearing this news.
Second of all, I got a pre-Christmas miracle when the Boy got to visit. Rumor has it, he hasn’t had two consecutive days off from work in about 4 months. And, at the last minute, he got 3 days off and a plane ticket! Yay! Especially since I haven’t seen him since August!
Oh, yeah, and there’s this little thing called being home, and not stuck on my lonesome in Russia. ;)
So… at the beginning of last week, we went to the Boston Pops holiday concert, a yearly family tradition. Before we got there, I was starvin’ like a Marvin, so the fam ducked into WF (!) and I finally got to try one of the Amazing Grass SuperFood protein bars. Am I the last person on earth to try these? I think so. I grabbed the Peanut Butter flavor to savor.
Overall, it was all right. I was impressed by how green the bar actually was inside. I liked the texture of it; it was chewy and dense. And it was nice and filling without sitting like a rock in my stomach. However, the peanut taste wasn’t very rich, and I would definitely have preferred it to be a stronger flavor. The taste if the bar itself was all right, it definitely tasted “green” and had a bit of sweetness that wasn’t overpowering or gross. So maybe a B-? I would try another Amazing Grass bar, but not in the peanut flavor. You can read nutritional info here.
After the concert (which was quite lovely, thanks for asking) we went to a little Vietnamese/Thai restaurant that was next door. I ordered Pho with flank steak.
The next morn, the Boy and I woke up bright and early, and I dragged him to my all-time favorite breakfast joint, the Friendly Toast. Since I occasionally have homesickness for certain foods from this restaurant (proof!), Luke was excited to finally eat there. He ordered a special, named “Tostada My Kwanzaa,” which I couldn’t resist taking a picture of. It was kind of crazy: tortillas, eggs, chorizo, corn, and some cheesy sauce. Obvi, I had to try it, and it was pretty tasty.
I tried something I’d never had or heard of before (maybe it is new to the menu??), Ole Miss. It was a piece of cayenne-cheddar toast topped with spiced, mashed sweet potatoes, scrambled eggs, and mango-sour cream goodness. With a side of homefries. Good lord was this a lot of food. Delicious, delicious food.
Then I took my gentleman friend on a tour of the Seacoast. We went all over the place, it seemed. If I’ve counted correctly, we were in 7 different towns in two states! After a while, we stopped for a classic New England activity: candlepin bowling. (It does exist!) It is a kind of bowling unique to New England and parts of Canada. Everything is much smaller–the balls are about the size of softballs, and the pins are about 1/3 the diameter of regular bowling pins. And you get to roll three times without clearing the fallen pins. It is much harder than regular bowling–no one has ever scored a perfect 300! But it is also much more fun ;)
Clearly, this was good exercise, because we worked up hearty appetites. I dragged Luke to my favorite pizza place, Flatbread Pizza Co., for dinner. We started by sharing their awesome salad, a mix of organic lettuces, chopped celery and carrots, toasted sesame seeds, seaweed, and a berry vinaigrette.
We each ordered a small flatbread. Luke got the homemade sausage, and I ordered one with chicken, corn, black beans, and fire-roasted tomatoes that was topped with a dollop of sour cream and a lime wedge. We were eatin’ good, let me tell you!
The next day, which was Luke’s last, we had to do one more New England-y thing. Hit up a genuine clam shack for some fried fish. Yup. I talked him into going all out and getting a fried clam basket. I got chicken tenders…. I am pretty sure that other than coleslaw, there was not a single vegetable listed on that menu! No salads, no sides… However, everything was fresh and homemade, which counts for something (other than a vegetable serving).
Also, rumor has it that New Englanders eat more ice cream per capita than anywhere else. So….
After I put Luke on a plane back home, it was crazy-home-times for me with the holidays. But after crazy-times come relaxing-times!
Saturday and Sunday were spent sitting next to the fire, reading, playing with the animals, and snoozing thinking deep, philosophical thoughts. (Yes, I have determined the meaning of life, why the sky is blue, and if your blue is my blue. Book and speaking tour coming soon… j/k.)
I got to enjoy one of the best parts of the holidays to the full extent–leftovers. There is a Russian saying, “ostanki–sladki,” which means that the leftovers are the sweetest part. A truth in my book.
Eating “dessert” for “breakfast” is pretty great, too.
Yes, that would be a piece of fruitcake. My stepmom made the most delicious fruitcake in the history of fruitcakes. Actually, I hesitate to even call it fruitcake, because it is so rich, and moist, and chewy, and wonderful. It does not resemble that rock-hard mass of red and green candied fruitbits in any way. It’s made with whole wheat flour and lots of medjool dates. If I can wrestle the recipe out of her, I will–I’ve got a sense it’s pretty healthy, too!
However, now it is back to real life. Running errands, tidying stuff up, going to the dentist, etc. In all honesty, I actually gotta jet to get my teeth cleaned right now… Eep!
Have a super-swell day, friendsters.
Do you like your leftovers straight-up, or do you invent new dishes with them? For me, it depends what’s left over, and how much there is! With holiday dinners, it’s special food that we only have occasionally, so I just like to reheat my favorite parts.
Bowling. Yay or Nay? Super huge YAY! Durhh. Loves it.