Sunday, October 31, 2010

Random Ramblings

I took Stanley to the airport at 4am on Wednesday and have been recovering ever since... It was a really fantastic visit, during which we managed to break our all-time record of Consecutive Days Spent Together Without Driving One Another Crazy, but an introvert like me needs a good chunk of alone-time to recover after 3 weeks of being around people (even awesome people) all the time. Due to budget considerations, it was a pretty chill visit... Lots of sitting on the patio with a glass of scotch discussing politics and the world... a bit of me kicking Stanley's ass at Bananagrams (an awesome game Lisa and Will introduced me to)... a trip out to Cape Ann for some chowder and gorgeous views... and, of course some yummy home cooking. It had been too long since I'd had quality time with my brother, though, so I'll take a good discussion with Stanley while sipping scotch on the porch over hectic activities any day... Here are a few pictures from Cape Ann. It was an absolutely gorgeous fall day, and the water was ridiculously blue.Here's Stanley wandering down to touch the Atlantic:
One of the nice things about Stanley's budget was that it forced me to think creatively on one of his first nights here, when I was too tired for real cooking but we couldn't go with my old stand-by of "letting a nice man bring me food." I realized I had some sushi-grade tuna in the freezer along with some eel... and almost all of the ingredients needed for some homemade miso soup. Thus, with a package of tofu and the contents of my freezer and pantry, we had ourselves a sushi feast.
Our first big cooking night was spent preparing a Mexican feast (with the world's greatest margaritas and some awesome homemade flour tortillas...)
Because having family around apparently makes me cook things with the word "feast" in the title, and because Stanley is a huge fan of food from Kerala, we also cooked up a Kerala-inspired Indian feast.
With a little practice, Stanley quickly became a champion dosa-maker.
My favorite thing is probably the spicy chickpea fritters (with coconut chutney),
... although when I remember this meal, the spiced carrots are the one thing I can't forget...
Stanley loved the carrots, too, (as all reasonable people should), but his favorite was the Green Curry Tilapia. Mmm... It ain't pretty, but it's definitely delicious.
The most memorable meal of the trip, though, came when we were feeling all New England-y after coming home from Cape Ann, which inspired us to have some perfectly cooked lobster (served with toasted Brioche and a big arugula salad). We cooked the lobster Thomas Keller style (which is to say that we "steeped" it, as I did for the filling in Peas and Carrots) and (shockingly!) it was the best lobster either of us have ever had. Another great reminder that some of the best meals take 10 minutes to make...
After a hectic wine-tasting event down the street with some friends yesterday (a free tasting of 150 wines tends to pack in the people... but it was super-fun nonetheless...), I'll be back in the kitchen the next couple nights, diving into Michael Psilakis' awesome How to Roast a Lamb... Judging by the way his recipe for Gyros worked out for me, I am definitely optimistic.

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