carolinainmymind

can't you see the sunshine….

At last, Wegmans

Today’s the day. To much fanfare the store opened at 7:00 AM this morning. Did I say much fanfare….

Above the fold, front page of Saturday’s paper. Feature segments on many local news stations. Rented signs on the highways leading to the store advising of traffic delays. A food ad in Wednesday’s paper

And they have mailed coupons….So excited! We won’t be going until the end if the week. After last week of traveling to my high school reunion I have had my fill of moving Ben about and in crowds.

When we were considering where to land as we planned our move back here, Wegmans coming to Raleigh helped tip the balance. I am glad that it is finally here.

Advertisements
1 Comment »

Tomato Tart

Well, I gave in. All signs seemed to be pointing towards tomato tarts. David Lebovitz wrote about it. https://www.davidlebovitz.com/tomato-tart-recipe-fresh-herbs/ . Carol at Paris Breakfasts wrote about hers. http://parisbreakfasts.blogspot.com/2019/08/august-paris-letter.html . I was reading a cookbook from Poole’s Diner where we celebrated Ben’s birthday with a recipe in it, for what else, a tomato tart. And of course Southern Living had one too. So, a couple of Sundays ago I decided to make one. It more or less took all day!

Required a lot of untensiles and dirtied up the whole kitchen.



It was very pretty. And made a nice slice

I used the Southern Living part for the crust which was excellent. The Poole’s Diner part for the filling, which was not as good. Maybe too much horseradish???? We ate it, but I won’t make it again.

3 Comments »

Wegmans is coming! Wegmans is coming!

Can you tell I’m excited! I have been waiting for this since before we moved back to Raleigh from Italy! Years now.

The rest of Raleigh is taking it as a big deal too.



It is regularly reported on at least two local news casts. Spoken of as “the State Fair of Grocery Stores”.

Of course they are preaching to the choir when they mail me things.





If they want us there on opening day they will have to send a limo. But we will probably be there that first week. Ohhhh, so excited!

2 Comments »

Ben’s Birthday

Ben’s birthday was July 1. We celebrated on the 30th by having brunch at Poole’s Diner in downtown Raleigh. https://ac-restaurants.com/pooles/

We were a big group so we had to wait for a table. So we had a drink while we were waiting. It was not hard to get Ben in and out of the restaurant. Food and service were good. Sorry no food pics. I felt like it was a nice size meal, without feeling stuffed and without dragging home left overs. I would certainly go back.

Leave a comment »

Finally!

Okay, I know I am writing about a very first world problem. I’ll say that right up front. But it is what I know and what I can write about……………….

BUTTER

Yes, butter. We eat butter. We have eaten it for years, years. Like Julia Childs I try to use it in moderation. That said, I appreciate good butter. Butter in Italy was CRAP! The only way I can describe it, waxy. It just wasn’t good. No matter what brand. And that is because there is such good olive oil, that many folks produced them selves. So why bother with butter.

When Ben and I visited Ireland with his sister in 2004, we rented a house. First thing, I bought several different kinds of butter. So we could taste test. (And several different types of cider too) There were some good butters there. When we used to stay in France, again, all different types of butter. Then we landed in Italy. Butter, a small disappointment. Really not good.

When you live in Italy it is easy to vacation in France. We drove. Heh, six hours away to the south of France. It dawned on me that we could buy French butter and bring it back to Italy. So for a number of years I did that. I was happy with a commercially mass produced brand, President. President made basic salted and unsalted butter and they also made a ‘sea salt’ version. That is butter with sea salt crystals incorporated in it. Discrete, taste them on your tongue salt crystals. I like salt. I will choose something salty over something sweet any day. So this butter was just the best.

After two years back in the US, I had actually forgotten about my favorite butter. Then I was reading a French blog online and reminded of it all over again. I thought longingly of that butter. Looked on the President web site to see if it was sold anywhere nearby. Well, basic butter is the sea salt crystal, no. So it was pushed to the forgotten corners of my mind. Then….

I was in the Harris-Teeter looking for President butter. IT WAS GONE! DISAPPEARED off the shelf. Of course I had to discuss this with the dairy products guy. He seemed to think it was a warehouse issue, not a discontinued forever issue. (Good for him, because my reply will soon be ‘Well, you might well just drive me to Wegmans’ which will be open in the fall) Anyway, I found Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter. Heh, give it a try. It sat in the fridge for two days before it occurred to me to try it.

OH MY!!!!!!

BUTTER WITH SEA SALT CRYSTALS IN IT!

DISCRETE, SEA SALT CRYSTALS THAT DANCE ON YOUR TONGUE

I almost cried. Really, I am so happy I have found this butter. This is the butter to put on a warm croissant. To put in hot baked potato. To melt and pour over popcorn. And the best of all, a hot ear of corn on the cob.

So tonight, we watch the ACC final and eat baked potatoes, I’ll have mine with the Vermont Creamery Sea Salt Butter thank you.

 

 

Leave a comment »

We did something

Why is this a big deal…because we rarely go out and do anything. By that I mean, go to a movie or an exhibit or a play or concert. We just don’t do those things. It is not because of Ben’s lack of mobility. We never did. I can’t recall a concert that we have ever been to together. We have probably seen more movies in the last two years than we have before. That is only because Ben was winning tickets from the newspaper. I guess it is good that we are both very happy to stay in our house and amuse ourselves. But every now and then something comes along and I get us organized and we do something.

Chef Vivian Howard was being honored at my college, Meredith. The tickets were very affordable and included heavy hors d’oeuvre at the alumnae house before hand. How could we refuse.

For those who are not in the area, Vivian grew up in Eastern North Carolina and then left as soon as she could. She worked in NYC and married a nice man named Ben (can’t go wrong marrying a Ben). Her parents offered to help them open a restaurant as long as it was in her home town of Kinston, North Carolina. So she and Ben came back and did that. http://www.vivianhoward.com/#

Anyway, they have 2 restaurants in Kinston and one in Wilmington. She has written a book and had a very popular TV show on PBS, A Chef’s Life. When we lived in Italy, if the clouds were just right and the wind was not too strong and the internet gods were smiling I was able to watch her program. Her sweet Eastern North Carolina accent always brought me back to Carolina and helped me realize that was where we needed to be. So we went to see her.

Couldn’t take pictures during the presentation. It was just the right length. Vivian was interviewed by the President of the College. It was quiet enjoyable.

Meredith also announced a new degree program.

I am really excited for the college about this program. Had it been available when I was there I would have gotten that degree. If I still wanted to work, I would be applying. Such a good thing.

Leave a comment »

Hmmm, getting excited

Well excitment is building…..

Hiring has started for Wegmans. The excitment is building. Our Harris-Teeter is going to be remodeled. I guess they think they might have some serious competition. I’m telling you, Raleigh will soon be a great place to grocery shop. Now, if we could just get decent wine at a decent price….

1 Comment »

Happy Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year was the first full week of February this year. The year of the pig. We celebrated on the first Sunday of February by having friends over for lunch.

For Christmas my Uncle John had sent us a check so I decided to use that money to replace a few pieces of my Chinese fish china that were broken during storage or the move. I thought that would be easy to do. It is a very common pattern. Or was a very common pattern. I had to order it from Pearl River Trading Company in New York City. I was very pleased when I received all the pieces, so I was excited to be able to set a nice table.

The recumbent Dragon Fruit and the pineapple became dessert.
Also used the Asian beer glasses that came from Nice, France.

I never got around to printing up menus. But we had Hot and Sour Soup, Thai Chicken Larb on a bed of noodles, Vietnamese Eggplant Salad, Gingered Yard Long Beans, Pork Tenderloin with Chinese BBQ Sauce on a bed of Roasted Butternut Squash and Roasted Baby Bok Choy. I am lucky to have at least two well stocked Asian grocery stores.

Besides fruit for dessert, there were egg custard tarts, almond cookies and ….

There were 3 kinds of Asian beers. And of course some wine. How can you go wrong spending a Sunday with friends eating and drinking?

2 Comments »

What’s up

Well, I have finally bought a camera so maybe I will be updating this more often.  Certainly glad that Guppy is keeping up with her guest posts.  She has such a difficult life you know.  So much to complain about.  Yeah, RIGHT!

We haven’t been doing too much.  October was just one appointment after another.  I am glad that is over.  Still warm weather here.  We might, might, have a frost this coming weekend.  I went ahead and pulled flowers out the boxes and dug the elephant ear bulbs.  Quiet a lot of elephant ear bulbs.  We’ll see how many come up next spring.

IMG_0015

For next year, I am thinking of planting the large elephant ears in pots along the ugly fence and putting the darker leaf ones in the planter boxes with caladiums.

Before  one appointment we managed to eat at Mr. Dumpling in Apex.  Hmmmmm, a very good Chinese restaurant.

IMG_0033

Several different dumplings are offered.  And classic Chinese preparations

IMG_0029

Eggplant with chili garlic sauce

IMG_0028

Dried Fried Green Beans

IMG_0031

And one of my all time favs, Beef Chow Fun.  I knew we would over order.  We always do.  I was prepared for left overs which provided us with two more meals.  It was wonderful.  We will be back there this week.   I’m excited about that.

I hope November is calmer……

Leave a comment »

Good Eating

I will admit that I miss food in Italy.  Everytime I consider going to Lidl (grocery store) I remember that in Italy, we would plan our Lidl trip to include a stop at the edge of the parking lot for lunch at the seafood store.  Gosh, we miss their fried calamari.  I miss a nice piece of grilled meat.  I miss good, thin pizza.  I miss eating lunch at Menchetti.  I miss the clean, simple seasonal food of Tuscany.  So every now and then,  I break down and make something Italian.  And if I am going to cook that much we should have folks over.

DSCF3041

DSCF3042.JPG

Italian antipasta on Chinese fish china

 

DSCF3043

DSCF3047

DSCF3049

After antipasta we had an asparagus risotto, followed by braciole

What are known as braciole in the United States are called involtini in Italy.[2][3][4] Involtini can be thin slices of beef, pork, or chicken rolled with a filling of grated cheese (usually Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano), sometimes egg to give consistency and some combination of additional ingredients such as bread crumbs, other cheeses, minced prosciuttoham or Italian sausagemushroomsonionsgarlicspinachpinoli (pine nuts), etc. Involtini (diminutive form of involti) means “little bundles”. Each involtino is held together by a wooden toothpick, and the dish is usually served (in various sauces: red, white, etc.) as a second course. When cooked in tomato sauce, the sauce itself is used to toss the pasta for the first course, giving a consistent taste to the whole meal

(Thanks Wikipedia)

and sausages and salad.  Finishing with olive oil cake and strawberries.  Since we had a risotto I saw no need for a pasta.  Anyway, my picture taking stopped after getting the antipasta ready.  Our friends, Debby and Pat and Jim and BK came.  I was pleased that the table worked well for 6 people.  We could even have managed 8 around it, but I don’t have 8 plates.

Anyway, all of that combined with a few left overs satisfied my Italian food desires for a while.  Although I am considering getting a small grill to use this summer.  I do miss a properly grilled steak.

 

 

2 Comments »