Archive for April, 2010

Home again, home again, jiggity jig

April 13, 2010

Back from a week and a half of East Coast family, friends and all around hecticness. Totally avoided getting my geek on, other than the occasional Facebook check in. A week and a half without WoW = …no big deal, apparently. Time, weather, season and inclination equated to no fishing, so I had to get the food thing going. Lots of food memories from our time in Lancaster, PA, when we hit Central Market for a ton of goodies on Tuesday AM.

The food overload began on arrival, however, as we detoured off the Interstate from Philly to Nesquehoning so that we could catch a Gelati at Rita’s. I opted for the Georgia Peach with vanilla custard, while the GeekWife had Black Cherry/Chocolate and the Geeklet had Root Beer/Vanilla. Upon arrival at “Base Camp,” aka the in-law’s, we were greeted by enough meatballs, sausage, pasta and chicken to feed an army. Possibly two armies. Ahhh, the joys of Italian family!

Easter dinner saw a conglomeration of friends and family gathering for potatoes, yams, ham, meatballs, sausage, chicken cacciatore and a plethora of other goodies to be enjoyed. Sadly, traditional Italian meat pie was deferred in the face of already groaning tables worth of food. We had already sampled from the cornucopia that is Turkey Hill Mini-Mart, grabbing a couple of “half gallons” of ice cream for the week and the “Oh my goddess, this is so sugary I can’t believe I ever drank it (for breakfast)” iced tea.

A Monday evening dinner at Cafe East in Lancaster was good, if standard, Chinese fare. The surprise of the night was Muay Thai Chicken, a chicken stir-fry with standard veggies, but served up in a gloriously spicy, sweet, and earthy mix of red curry sauce and peanut butter. Incredible flavor combination.

Tuesday was my foodie glory day, as we fell, like ravening locusts, upon the splendor of Central Market. I had the decided joy and benefit of being able to do most of my main grocery shopping here for several years, and it is sorely missed. We immediately popped over to a local dairy stand for a pint of fresh chocolate milk. We were touring the market jointly with our friend Christina, previously of Nick’s Pizza in Lancaster, and her twin sons. We intermingled among the stalls, reflecting on this smell or that taste, waving hello to vendors long unseen, but not forgotten.

We finally stopped at the S. Clyde Weaver stand to visit with Anna, an older Mennonite lady who has been working the stand since before our arrival in Lancaster 10+ years ago. Between conversation we managed to round up some sweet bologna roll ups, garlic ring bologna, sweet bologna, farmer’s cheese and fresh ricotta (the ricotta sadly going south before I could do something with it). We visited the Turkey Lady for some Sun-Dried Tomato and basil and Sicilian sausages, and procured a couple of lovely eggplants, destined for Parmaggiana. Wilbur Bud chocolates, whoopie pies, and my personal addiction, red beet eggs, rounded out the shopping trip. I also grabbed up some fresh whipping cream, parsley and button and baby bell mushrooms, in order to make Ali’s Toasted Mushroom Pasta later in the week. A detour to Forry’s Country Market landed us some Pot Pie noodles, dried fruits (including cantaloupe!), shoo fly pie and other bits of yumminess.

A visit to the GeekWife’s grandmother’s house had a lovely afternoon of catching up and shared time complemented with a tasty lasagna (not bad for a born and bred Dutch-German Pennsylvanian) and her incredible Eclair Cake. An overnight escape to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for the GeekWife and I included a trip to Phillip’s Seafood, where they were kind enough to replace the lobsters in our “Clam Bake for Two” with additional crab, shrimp, clams, and mussels. It was all delicious in it’s big shiny silver pot, and the meal started with some mediocre calamari with two well balanced dipping sauces, a pineapple chili pepper sauce and a green curry sauce.

We wrapped up the trip with a visit to our friends Jeanine and Sue, who got shanghaied into taking us out to gather mass quantities of Tasty Kakes to “smuggle” home. Sadly, finding small bottles of A-treat clear birch beer in the Philly area proved too difficult, and we returned home birch beer-less.

Many friends visited, many foods eaten, and many miles traveled. While it’s always sad to leave, it feels right to get home.