Monday, August 26, 2013

the past few weeks in food

i was originally going to do a mega-post about all of these recent happenings, but i decided that since most of them involved food (with the exception of the rob sheffield karaoke party last weekend), i'd focus on that!

clam chowder - saloon, somerville ma

i stopped in here a few weeks ago for an after-work drink with my old neighbor, nicole. the place is a modern speakeasy, and embarrassingly hard to find -- at least for me -- as the only sign is a small lamp, wayyyy up high on the side of the building. once i made my way through the dark doors and down into the basement, i was  digging the vibe. after my frisco sour (well-made and potent), i decided that i was in the mood for a bite. they have a limited food menu, but the clam chowder was rich, creamy, and perfect. and how cute are those dang potatoes?!

PEI mussels, braised short rib, and concord grape gelato - upstairs on the square, cambridge ma

i went here with a friend for restaurant week, and was certainly not disappointed in the food nor the decor. it looked like an alice in wonderland acid trip, as you can see from the picture of the wall that i snapped. this was one of many zebras prancing alongside us as we dined. anywho, the mussels and short rib were awesome, but i really just want to talk about this gelato. sorry, it was too dark to fully capture its deliciousness, but they put one of those vanilla pizzelle things in it and some peanut butter on the bottom of the bowl and it was like a gourmet, deconstructed PB & J. whoa.

chicken enchiladas - la casa de pedro, watertown ma

i've been on many a patio this summer, and this one takes the cake. my friend and former roommate, kari, is moving this week, so we decided to meet up here and have some sangria and yummy latin food. i always order chicken enchiladas anywhere, but these ones were especially fabulous. and they came with fried plaintains and yucca. hello! but seriously, the patio. you would never believe it was in the middle of an office park!

salad with crabmeat, avocado, heirloom tomatoes, capers & asparagus - rowes wharf sea grille, boston 

my dear mom came down to visit last weekend, and joined me for my absolute favorite summer activity in boston - movies by moonlight at the harbor hotel. i think it actually may be called something different now but SO WHAT, WHO CARES. it'll always be movies by moonlight to me. basically, you show up super early to score a seat on their terrace, and then you eat and drink and chat until dusk. then, they show a classic/old movie on their inflatable screen, with the ocean as the background. it don't get better than that. anyways, after the meals of the week, i wanted to get something on the lighter side, and opted for the house entree salad. it was surprisingly filling and tasty, especially when i threw some of the leftover guac from our appetizer in there. probably ate the equivalent of 2 avocados. i don't hate it!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

the tampon-ic plague

while i may be a grown-ass woman, there are certain things that i still just can’t bring myself to do. chief among them is buying tampons when there’s a male cashier. he could be a sweet 75 year-old, a fugly 22 year-old, or a hot 30-something. he could be ron jeremy, he could be ryan gosling; none of this matters in the slightest. well, actually, buying tampons from ryan gosling would probably be the worst thing that could ever happen to me ... ever. even thinking about it makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and eat macaroni and cheese until the embarrassment subsides. 

i get that we’re all human. everybody poops. dudes know that we ladyfolk are visited by a two-bit whore of a frenemy every single month. however, there’s just something deeply unsettling, socially mortifying, and downright weird about obtaining supplies intended for my hoo-ha from a complete (male) stranger. like, i might as well just stroll into walgreen’s, hijack the intercom, and scream, “i'm bleedin’, y’all!”. 

please believe me when i tell you that i’m not a squeamish person in the slightest. i’ve endured many a brazilian wax. i’ve eaten sea urchin. hell, I’ve even used the restrooms at hampton beach. but put me in a line with some tampax in my hand and a man at the register, and i literally just fall apart. i sweat. i shake. tears form in my eyes. i contemplate shoplifting, and then imagine my face on the front of the boston herald, along with the the headline, “local woman faces prison sentence for stealing feminine hygiene products.” at this point, one of of two things usually happens: i put the box back on the shelf and go on a pharmacy-crawl until i find some dour old lady to ring me up, or i pile insane amounts of candy, gum, and gossip mags into my basket to distract from the glaring awkwardness of my purchase. 

the latter tactic never helps much -- there’s always that 30 seconds of pain and suffering, during which the employee and i desperately try to avoid eye contact, and he asks me if i’m a rewards member. 

honey, getting through this transaction was reward enough.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

delusions of anthropologie

I pull the fluffy, multicolored patchwork duvet cover off of the moss green pillows, and imagine how much sweeter my dreams would be if I were snuggled comfortably in that that antique brass display bed, clad in a whimsical cream-and-pink striped nightgown. Before I drift off to sleep, I page through Barbara Ireland’s 36 Hours: 125 Weekends in Europe, and plan an overseas getaway with my adoring, slightly scruffy boyfriend.

I wake in the morning and sip my French pressed coffee from a monogrammed ceramic mug, as I gaze out of my brownstone window at the bustling city block below. After a shower, where I try out my new cedar wood-scented goat’s milk soap, I slide open the bedroom closet to reveal a collection of dresses, sweaters, a-line skirts, and flowing blouses -- all in jewel tones and organized by color. It’s pretty brisk today, so I select a plum shift dress and goldenrod cardigan, accessorizing with a gray scarf, silver charm bracelet, and feather drop earrings. I lace up my ankle boots and take one last glance in the mirror, slathering some rosebud salve on my lips and throwing a soft chestnut leather satchel over one shoulder. 

The farmers market is abuzz this morning, and the delicious smells of fresh fruit and flowers mingle in the air with just-popped kettle corn and hazelnut lattes. I pull a piece of stationery -- replete with printed pastel birds -- out of my bag, and survey the list for tonight’s dinner party. A baguette to slice and spread thick with truffle butter, organic mushrooms for the ragout that will accompany the beef tenderloin, and five Granny Smiths for apple crisp a la mode. Once all of the ingredients are purchased, they go straight into the basket of my vintage bike, and along for the ride to a nearby park. I nestle under a shady oak, and spend the next few hours journaling in my Moleskine.

Upon my return home, I discover that my boyfriend has already started preparing dinner, and he gets up from the tufted teal settee to greet me. I inhale deeply, trying to identify each savory spice. While the beef is roasting, I uncork a bottle of pinot noir and pour two glasses. We slice apples into a copper pot as I pore over the crisp recipe, dog-eared in my gluten-free dessert cookbook. We share a brief, impromptu slow dance in the kitchen when Paolo Nutini’s “Loving You” begins playing from my laptop, before we’re interrupted by the familiar beep of the timer. 

The crisp is in the oven, the candles are lit, and our farmhouse table is set with hand-painted dishes, antique flatware, and paisley cloth napkins. It’s just about time to change into my lace cocktail dress, break in my slingback heels, and apply some lipstick. I’m in a muted mauve mood tonight. 

I slide off the sweater and dress, pull on my t-shirt, and button up my jeans. “Thanks,” I say, handing the garments back to the fitting room attendant, “but I need a little more time to think about this.”

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

5 things i love right now

1. this song, "chloe," by emblem3 

so, i've been hearing this song for weeks but never really paid attention to who was singing it until i saw a segment on the local news about how hundreds of tweens and teens showed up to the square one mall in saugus last weekend to see some boy band named emblem3 (lolz). so, because i'm super old, i looked these fellows up and realized that a) i vaguely remembered them from the last season of x factor, and b) i loved this song! then, on about sunday, it fiercely overtook me and i was annoying everyone by randomly shouting "CHLOOOOOE!" i love it even more after reading that it's loosely based on khloe kardashian. heh!

2. root beer floats

TODAY IS NATIONAL ROOT BEER FLOAT DAY!! i found this out today at work because we had make-your-own root beer floats. which is ironic, because i've been randomly obsessing about root beer floats for the past two weeks and finally broke down and made my own this past weekend. prior, i think i'd only had one in my entire life. they're my new thing. nostalgic, yummy, refreshing, and perfect for summer.

3. this song, "jump into the fog," by the wombats

this song is about spending the night with a hooker. but it's so glorious!

4. the 77 bus

when i used to live in boston proper, i was strictly a t (subway) girl. then, when i moved to melrose, i would drive to the t station and park. now, in arlington, i could not resist the intrigue of the 77 bus, which literally picks up right outside of my building. sure, i fell down when i got onto the bus the first time, and got off at the wrong stop, but i'm learning and becoming one of the bus people. i can get to davis, harvard, and porter squares without having to worry about massholes getting all up in my grill OR parking. love it! and there was a cute baby on my last ride that everyone was making faces at. the bus brings people together.

5. this blog (strawberry fields whatever)

my friend gleni introduced me to this great little blog some time last year via a post about dazed and confused, so naturally i fell in love. three girls write about pop culture, music, food, and whimsical fun stuff. they post playlists and cool pictures and it's really just a wonderful read when you want to feel inspired and happy.