Monday, November 30, 2009

More grafiti

Cooking for Friday After Thanksgiving FAT!

Thanksgiving bonanza

We had a great trip down to Baltimore, we left late on Wednesday and truth be told traffic wasn't horrible. The fog was thick and traffic was heavy, but we left around 8 pm and after stopping for gas, and dropping off a friend in Towson we ended up getting to my sister's house at around 1am. Thursday we headed to John's mom's and had a beautiful Thanksgiving meal. We even brought my mom with us and she had a great time. It was a rowdy Thanksgiving with sporadic but funny fights about the absence of holiday staples like: french onion dip, crab melt-a-ways, and whiskey sours. All of which I believe will definitely be present at the Christmas festivities. They better be or else the drive down won't be worth it! After that we had a laid back time at John's step dad's, where we had out choice of several desserts. The fruit tart was a nice change of pace. At this point you'd think the Thanksgiving festivities would be over, but oh no...they had only just begun. Friday, or as my family named it F.A.T. day (Friday After Thanksgiving) was just gearing up. This is when my family celebrates Thanksgiving, and we began the day with a visit to the Lexington Market.

Now John and I met while we both worked at a design studio in Baltimore just a few blocks away from Lexington Market. So we were very excited to visit our old stomping grounds. And if you've never been the Lexington Market is a must. It's not fancy in the slightest, but it's got a great variety of really good, pretty inexpensive food. I fondly remember getting the hot and spicy fried chicken from one of the many fried chicken stands, and we bought a huge amount of chicken for the party. There's the Utz potato chip stand, where you can find some of the freshest potato chips, the greek gyro place, the turkey dinner place all the way in the back. Several small fruit stands and even a salad bar thrown in here and there. John LOVES the Pollock Johnny's sausage, just about any kind of food you can imagine they have it in some form. Oh and did I mention the bakeries with their mouth watering cookies and cakes. Cakes are half off on Fridays! Word of Caution: just like many places in Baltimore you have to be careful about what time you go to places, during the day especially on a weekday the Lexington Market is teeming with people who work in and around the area so it's very safe. But there are definitely people who will try to intimidate and or just beg money from you (especially if you go later in the evening)....You are in Baltimore after all. But if you are with a few people and you just ignore and talk amongst yourselves most everyone just leaves you alone. But if your concerned just don't wear your fanciest coat, dress down.

So, in addition to the Fried Chicken, we also bought a pork shoulder to cook the Lichon. The filipino style of roast pork. And then we visited the small grocery food store that anchors one end of the Market and picked up a lot of odds and ends: ice, french onion dip, chips, sodas. By the time we got home we were starved and ate a few pieces of chicken before we started doing the prep work for the day long party. We got busy making lumpia (filipinio egg rolls) this time we baked the egg rolls in the convection toaster oven instead of frying them. This not only saved calories but also spared us from the deep fry smell that usually permeates the whole house. Needless to say we had mountains of food, not only that we made but what others had brought too. And since it was more of an open house type thing many people came a little later and the party raged with kids stomping around up and down the stairs and people wandering about. The kitchen was a carousel of desserts with a huge assortment of pies, cakes, and other goodies.

I still feel full from that day. It was great to see all our families and friends, and I look forward to spending more time with everyone at Christmas, but I'm not looking forward to the drive though. Yesterday it took us nearly 8 hours to get home, and most of that was bumper to bumper. We passed probably 7 or 8 accidents, mostly fender benders from the stop and go traffic. I'm still recovering from that drive...bleh.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

belly pillow

When I walk from the studio office to the kitchen I usually find chalupa either on the couch or the club chair. The club chair is where her red pillow is and she works to stretch the oblong pillow out so that she can perch like a hen on top. Here she is resting on her fav pillow.