Saturday, February 25, 2006

Vacation - Making a Start

Having identified some of the things that make a good vacation --- Let me reflect on our experience and see if we were able to include any of the elements – Good food, adventure, change of pace, something different, something new:

--- Actually I had to return my new camera so had to make a trip into Manhattan before we could even get underway. I was delighted to discover the people at B & H Camera were helpful and even sympathetic --- they were able to solve my problem in less than an hour.

We spent the night on Staten Island. The next morning our “adventure” began. We drove down to a new market that my daughter and daughter-in-law have been raving over. Toward the end of 2005, Cindy and Simon Chang opened a large asian foods super market, K. M. Food International, 2040 Forest Ave., Mariners Harbor, Staten Island, NY. As we enter there is a huge produce section with lots of exotic fruit and vegetables. We were after some dumplings that we wanted to take with us on our trip. Of course we got caught up in exploring all the fascinating items on the shelves and came back with several bags of groceries. We found the dumplings and a sauce for them, some vegetarian duck rolls and some vegetarian chicken rolls. Hope to have these for dinner this evening. I also saw some Pineapple rolls, bean curd rolls and Pineapple/bean curd rolls; got one of each and thought we could share so we each could have a taste of the different rolls. Yummy.

C bought lots of exotic things at the market and we have been trying them out one at a time: dried sweet olives – which say they are just olives and salt but they taste like there is lemon in them – quite tasty. I think one or two is the quota but we all like them. Dried plum – good at first but so-o-o-o-o-o salty when we got into the plum and they set us off to coughing. Pickled papaya which actually tastes like sweet gherkin pickles. Again, tasty but only part of a piece at a time. I think I might enjoy it with a rice or noodle dish. Some kind of a green tea candy that begins to taste like bees wax and alfalfa but changes flavor as you are eating it; quite an gastronomic experience. Preserved mandarins C’s comments: “the most interesting one so far. --- Looks like we are going to have to find thirty people to give a sample to. --- oddly enough, it grows on you, at least it does on me, -- I think it is addictive.” - The taste is salt, sour, bitter, sweet, and then the mandarin comes through. C’s comment; “there are only five servings per container – so someone hasn’t eaten their share.” (Dried plum, sugar, potassium, sorbic, sodium, saccharine, f d and c red.) Wow these are potent… I think one taste may be enough to satisfy my curiosity.

About three thirty we arrived at College Town Inn, a bed and breakfast in Massachusetts where we stay a number of times every year. Charlotte and Jack left a note on the front door with a key and a message telling us to go in and which rooms we could choose from. They gave us some wonderful options. It turns out that because of the expected snowstorm, we are the only new guests arriving today so we have a pick of rooms. We picked one of the suites where we have a kitchen.

When our hosts, Jack and Charlotte, returned they invited us to have dinner with them, but I had already started our meal so we switched the invitation. One of those synchronicities --- the food came packaged for six. Guess how many people were scheduled for dinner… We put together a true gastronomical adventure from our purchases at the K & M Food on Staten Island. Some very new tastes but it turned out well.


Blogger tess said...

That sounds like a wonderful trip! As a vegetarian, I took some vicarious pleasure in your culinary adventure. The Asian market definitely sounds rave-worthy, and your bed and breakfast looked like a comfy spot. I had the same reaction with the dried plum. They are unbelieveably salty! Hope the transition to being back home goes smoothly. Looks like I may be going to back to AZ next week, this time to stay for long while. Much to prepare, but I think I'll be happy once I get there.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Fran aka Redondowriter said...

Welcome back. It sounds like your vacation exceeded your expectations and the photos you've posted so far have been worth waiting for. I guess you were traveling during the Gawd-awful snow storm. Yes?

I'll be checking in more often now. Are you in still in a de-briefing period? Your entry about what a good vacation consists of was also good food for thought.

6:08 PM  

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