Richmond seemed a lot closer (to Baltimore) before we got stuck in traffic headed south on I-95. But, we eventually made it to our hotel (which had two extremely small elevators, not pictured, and a boom box for our convienence, also not pictured.)
To back up slightly, we (George, Sheena–which you may recall from here, and I) had planned this quick trip to Richmond around a solo-Mike Cooley show at The Capital Ale House back in June. As with any trip, I did a little poking around and ask for suggestions on places to go and eat. I had said list in hand that included restaurants, historical sites, outdoor activities (my notion of what can be completed in 24 hrs was a bit overreaching) but quickly realized the trip would be closer to a montage of quick stops then a photo essay on Richmond’s rich offerings.
As shown above clockwise from top left: Starting off at 11:38, a bit later then planned. Traffic. Buzz and Ned’s BBQ (I ordered beef, Sheena ordered pork and we split them, both were good, but we leaned more towards the pork. Coleslaw and Mac and Cheese were both great. George got a meal on his own, and it came with two sides and garlic bread, which I thought was a bit odd (cornbread is the way to go, hands down.) The stage at The Captial Ale House (the show was great). My first Angry Orchard Apple Ginger, which was great, But even greater was the cool ice block that was inset into the bar and used instead of coasters. And finally, as our morning farewell to the city we barely saw, chicken fried steak and eggs at Weezies.
For the past few years George has been talking about brewing iced tea, he doesn’t drink any caffeine so when the warmer weather rolls around and iced tea becomes more and more inviting the subject always comes up. I was feeling particularly creatively inspired a few weeks ago (look for another post revealing the fruits of that creative burst in the next few weeks) and brewed up a few variations, mint, raspberry mint, and chamomile. I knew there was a reason I was saving all those glass bottles).
Pretty easy to do, but here’s our method:-Add 2 cups of boiling water to 5 teabags (we use caffeine free herbal varieties)
-Add a few tablespoons of sweetener (or not, I add a bit more then George does, sometimes I don’t think he adds any)
-Let tea steep
Once steeped and slightly cooled add 3 cups of cold water, shake it up to mix and refrigerate.
I mark the bottles with rubber bands that correspond to the flavor—it validates the fact that I have been saving grocery store rubber bands for 3+ years and have rarely had occasion to use them.
I shared my limited canning experience a while back, if you don’t recall, it was not what one would call successful. I decided to give it another go, but this time I took a stab at pickles. Back in February I ate some pickled onions off George’s plate, I think they were supposed to be a garnish. They stuck with me and I was determined to recreate them. I found a few recipes online and most did not require canning or heated pickling liquid, but that’s no fun! After hoarding a few weeks worth of golden beets from our CSA, a few red onions, some cucumbers, I sterilized my jars.
I had a little trouble getting the seals to pop on some of them, but in the end they all seem properly sealed. I also learned that when they say: Pack jars, they mean pack those jars! With my cucumbers I think I could have gotten a bit more in each, see them floating around up there? I’m a little nervous because I didn’t weigh my produce so I’m not sure my ratios were correct when making my pickling liquids–I’m going to need to pop some open and give them a try.
A few weeks back we took a trip over the bridge to the wonderfulness that is the Eastern Shore of Maryland, here are a few highlights:
I’m hoping to get back over that way again soon (4th of July falls on a Wednesday, and you know what happens on Wednesdays on the Eastern Shore!) but will be busy until then working on some custom work as well as getting new work (prints!) ready for the First Sunday Art Festival in Annapolis on July 1.
On our second visit to the JFX farmer’s market in lovely Baltimore, George said to me: Do you want to get falafel again? Meaning: I don’t want to get falafel. I agreed, although I would have happily got it again, and after picking up our chicken we started looping around the food vendors. We settled on the lamb sausage sandwiches:
At 5 bucks, I will say, I was initially a little put off that my sandwich consisted of a single sausage and a folded piece of potato bread. but once I recovered from that first bite (where you get all the hot juices squirting out) I was convinced that it would have been a disservice to serve this tasty sausage in anything other then a slice of potato bread.
The sausage came from Springfield Farms in Rock Hall, MD, and they also had lamb meat for sale as well as wool blankets. There website is a little short on info about the farm, so we will have to chat them up next week to find out a little more info, but it does say that they have Romney and Lincoln ewes (both breeds originated from England). I was tempted to purchase one of the blankets–it was a beautiful green plaid pattern, but with an unfinished quilt sitting around I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
They also had hearts for sale at what seemed to be a reasonable price, if I remember correctly it was 3 something a pound. A few days earlier I had finished reading the offal section of The River Cottage Meat Book and decided that we should start eating more organs….now what do you do with heart?
One week into our no meat from the grocery store pledge (we’re also including anything else we can get direct), George and I headed out for an early-morning trip to the Baltimore farmer’s market.
We got off on a slight rough patch, the lovely gentleman we met up in Harford County at KCC farm mentioned Sonar when explaining where his stand was at the market. Seeing a sign on Sonar that said ‘Sunday Flea Market 7:30,” we followed a guy in, and a few turns down a dark hallway led us to the men’s bathroom…so we about faced and continued our search outside. We never did find out if they had vendors hidden in the men’s room, but I’m guessing not.
After finding KCC and getting some chicken and eggs, we wandered back to the main area where I circled a few times until I found, mushrooms, onions, and a baguette. We grabbed two falafel sandwiches and had a non-argument about not eating meat out (unless the source is satisfactory, such as the Crosstown Burger at Hamilton Tavern made from Rosada Farms beef) and headed towards the car.
The falafel was delicious and had a few surprise ingredients that worked really well; asparagus spears, apple, beets, and I believe–red cabbage. We did have to stop at the grocery store for toliet paper and gruyere–if anyone has any suggestions for alternate sources of toilet paper, I’m all ears.
The gruyere was a must for what I planned to end the day with:
My version of Dangerously Delicious Pies’ Steak, Mushroom, Gruyere pie. I had tasted it before the no-meat-out pledge so the only way I could have it again was to replicate it. While not exact, it was pretty close and incredibly good. I can’t believe I have gone 30+ years only having the occasional chicken pot pie as my only meat pie experience.
I posted the first from this series a little while back, and today give you the remaining two. Below is the whole series: The Black-eyed Susan, the Raven, and the Blue Crab–three things about Baltimore that I love.
Another thing about Baltimore that I love is Patterson Park (hereinafter “the park”). I dragged George and Gus over to the park to shoot some pics for the forthcoming Peacock Press website and had a sudden craving for a caramel apple. Luckily this year’s Halloween Lantern parade was rescheduled for today due to weather. We headed over to the food stands, but to our dismay there were no caramel apples–which seemed wrong, being a Halloween fair. We did come upon some very nice people selling Fudge Puppies. I had never had one before so I took the vendor’s advice and went for the ‘original’, which is a fudge dipped Belgian waffle on a stick with whipped cream and sprinkles. After that first bite I couldn’t even remember what a caramel apple was.