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Friday, September 29, 2006

Country Come to Town

The bug and I went to Atlanta, stayed overnight with her dad downtown and everything. Yesterday started at the usual 5:15 and, well, it ended a little while ago when dogs, bug, and I all went down for a nap. Happy exhaustion. The city! First thing I did (after loading up the car, dropping Cooper and Wagner at the kennel, and taking the bug in for her six-month checkup, where she didn't cry at all when she got her shots) was stop for horchata and two excellent tacos—homemade tortillas with barbacoa and al pastor—at El Rey del Taco on Buford Highway. I shopped. I put semiperishables in a cooler in the car. Here's what I got at Ranch 99:

Thai-type stuff: green curry paste, Chaokoh coconut milk (the best brand,
and I love these half-size cans!), fish sauce, chile-garlic sauce (not Thai, but I
use it in everything), palm sugar.

Chinese-type stuff: hot pickled yard-long beans and sour
mustard cabbage, two packages of each.

The first is the main ingredient in my absolute favorite Chinese dish, a Hunan (I think) stir-fry with ground pork, scallions, and hot pepper oil. The second I stir-fry with marinated very thinly sliced beef.

Here's what we got at Your Dekalb Farmer's Market:

Mormon-type stuff: coarse yellow grits, Arborio rice, steel-cut oats
(the price was excellent, and the mornings are getting awfully chilly),
jasmine rice, couscous. Yawn.

More standard foodie-type stuff: ginger, kielbasa, cave-aged Gruyère (which may be my
all-time favorite cheese), crackers, roasted unsalted cashews (the Super's favorite),
fino sherry (in which to preserve fresh ginger so it lasts forever and I always have some
in the fridge), amontillado (my all-time favorite sherry for drinking), sherry vinegar
(yes, I have a favorite vinegar).

We met Mr. Chalmers at his hotel. I set up an impromptu sleeping area for the bug, with a thick blanket and pillows, and sat down on the floor to feed her in the hopes that she'd take a nap before dinnertime. Well, they must've been goofy shots she got that morning, because she was so nutty! She just kept laughing and laughing so hard she couldn't even eat—giggles and belly laughs and screeches of delight. She was delirious. Maybe she just liked being out and about all day long, or maybe it was lack of sleep, but she and I had the best time sitting there on the floor doing nothing but laughing every time we so much as made eye contact. She didn't go to sleep until half an hour before we were to meet a friend in the hotel restaurant—Trader Vic's!—for dinner. We had to wake her, but she got to gum a big wedge of Mai Tai–infused pineapple throughout the meal.

When we got home this morning it looked like there'd been a huge storm here: lots of big branches down, cellar doors blown open, and even more pecans than usual on the ground. In the afternoons for the last week there've been virtual hailstorms of pecans coming down on the metal roof. It sounds like guns going off. Unfortunately, I don't think any of the pecans are good to eat: they're either dried up already or too green when they fall to the ground. Maybe the trees are too old.

Might not be many posts for the next few days, as I have a big rush copyediting job to work on, plus two other copyediting jobs on the docket. We want to spend some time at the Madison County Fair down the road, watch the UGA game, make something with that kielbasa . . . And Concord grapes are in so that means pie, pie, pie. And cobbler. I want to try to freeze some containers of grape pie filling, see how that works. No time to can anything this year I don't think.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

Pecans falling from trees...

My grandmother moved back to Savannah when she was 75 - she had married her 4th (wait I got to count again) husband. Anyways, they moved into his house and they had 2 giant pecan trees in the backyard. I remember standing at the base of those giant trees gazing way up into the canapy trying to see what pecans looked like on the branch without losing an eye in the process. There were chickens pecking all around my feet and the smell of biscuits coming from the back door...

My grandma died at 96, more from being forced to move back east than old age - she had outlived yet another husband...