Some food-related (mostly) things we enjoyed this past week:
Last Friday night we enjoyed a fun night out at the track. It was a work-related event for summer interns and everyone had a great time with good food, drinks, conversation, and of course, betting on the horses. We don’t play the ponies that often (lucky for our bank account), but when we do we always have a ball and vow to go more often. We didn’t win a lot (I really expected more from the horse that I bet on solely due to his/her awesome name: “Caberneigh”), but we won enough to justify the expense of an entertaining evening. You gotta pay to play, right?
With tomato season in full swing in our garden, we came up with a new way to use up a bunch of them at once — roasting them to make salsa. We used this recipe for roasting the tomatoes (but left out the herbs) and my mom’s recipe for the salsa. It turned out to be one of our best batches of salsa yet, and if our tomato plants continue to yield many more than we know what to do with, it certainly won’t be our last batch of homemade, home-grown salsa of the summer.
Some exciting travel going on this week — Dan traveled to Asia for work! It was too expensive for me to tag along and he has client meetings the whole time, but he’s had a successful trip so far. It’s not easy to get there for sure (about 24 hours total from here to Taipei, via layover in Seoul), and the time difference (13 hours) has been interesting in terms of communicating, but he’s enjoying the adventure. I enjoyed electronically following his flight from here to there, watching the little plane inch across the screen between continents, very very slowly.
In preparation for his trip, Dan and I watched the Taipei episode of Anthony Bourdain’s show “The Layover” (as well as the Seoul episode of his show “No Reservations”.) After watching Bourdain go crazy for the soup dumplings in Taipei, we knew that eating those would be one of the must-do items on Dan’s itinerary. Dan’s colleague took him to the world-famous dumpling place called Din Tai Fung. They had to wait about 45 minutes to get their food, but would have waited even longer, the dumplings were so good. Dan says the dumplings are impossible to describe with any justice. The thin outer skin is very delicate and expertly shaped and folded into the dumpling, which contains a really flavorful broth and filling (usually pork.) The way to eat the dumplings is to carefully place each dumpling on a big spoon, take a tiny bite from the corner of the dumpling, then scoop the whole thing into your mouth as the broth begins to flow out of the dumpling. Bourdain (aptly) referred to the experience as “dumpling porn.”
Whenever Dan travels, I like to do projects around the house to keep busy. We have a running joke that if he’s gone long enough, I will paint stuff (walls, furniture, etc.), rearrange rooms and redecorate so much that the house will be completely unrecognizable by the time he gets home. One of my projects this week was to clean out and organize our pantry. We are blessed with a wonderful walk-in pantry, which provides enough storage to enable us to over-purchase lots of food and kitchen-related things just because we have a place to store them. That place most often ends up being the floor of our pantry, once all the shelves and bins are filled up. We still have too much stuff, but three big trash bags of recycling and two bags of trash later, the pantry floor is visible and the shelves and bins contain things we actually use and consume. And somewhere in our house, there is a coat of paint drying as I type this. Better come home soon, Daniel!