The key lime pie vacation

Last year Mr. Food and I took a trip to the sunny land of Captiva Island, Florida.  We did nothing all week but walk on the beach, sit in or by the pool, and eat key lime pie.  What follows is our chronological record of our eating accomplishments, including notes taken at the time and only just now properly transcribed…

first day, first pie, from here. not limey enough. too condensed milky. no whipped topping. ($5.95) [view from our balcony– Gulf of Mexico]

second day, pie number two, from here. mushy, bland, pale crust. filling was nice and lime-y. not cloying. liked the topping. ($1.49)

second day, pie three, from here.  finally a graham cracker crust! but crust was too thin and filling too thick, gooey, and plentiful. bad green (apple?) syrup on top, overshadowing lime flavor. ($4.95)

third day, pie four, from here. four pies in and on day three of our trip, I proclaimed this the best slice so far.  crust is ideal. nice topping, lime-y filling. one complaint– too chiffon-y, could be custard-ier. ($5)

fourth day, the fifth pie, from here. with the name key lime in the name, it’s no surprise that this rated better than the slice just above– though just a bit. crust was crunchier and more substantial.  filling rated close to perfect by one of us and not light enough by the other. great and attractive topping.  but spider web of sauce only detracted from the lime flavor of the pie. ($8)

fourth day, sixth pie, from here.  just as good as the fifth. crust crunchy and laced with coconut. filling thick but could be limier. topping was tasty though on the side. ($7)

seventh day, the seventh and last pie, from here. this is mr. food’s second favorite, after the fourth. crust was ideal and filling was thick and lime-y.  very smooth. only complaint is lack of topping. ($4.95)

The pie summary: In a unanimous second place finish, pie number seven! We both liked this one for its traditional ingredients and lime-y filling.  And we have a tie for first place with both pie number four and number five (minus the awful tasting plate decoration) claiming the top honors– the former nominated by Mr. Food and the latter by me and my taste buds.  Hearty thanks to all the pies who participated.

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The giant noodle at Quincy Market

“please do not climb, stand, or slide down noodle.”

We need more public art like this one.

Cherries in Minnesota!

Who knew?

From my in-laws’ backyard.  Lucky.

Everything on a stick

Looking at my photos, I can already see that the title of the post is a misnomer.  I apologize for that, but the fact remains that I still think of the food at the Minnesota State Fair as being a case of everything-served-on-a-stick-even-if-it-usually-isn’t.  Corn dogs are of course served on sticks.  Fried alligator on sticks.  Ice cream on sticks.  Deep fried twinkies on sticks.  Even the fairground maps are on (popsicle) sticks.

But they also have cheese curds!

and giant deep fried onions!

and my personal favorite stickless-food: mini donuts!  Here seen in production. (Not shown: next picture in series, me watching with mouth agape)

So much food imagery at the state fair– sister L even got herself wedged into a kiddie ride shaped like an apple. (not shown).

Favorite. Bag. Ever.

And you understand that for me this is saying a lot.  I have a whole drawer full of bags.  I also have a whole huge tupperware-ish bin full of bags. I have bags hanging out on hooks in the bedroom, porch, and guest room.  Some ladies have shoes; I have bags.  I admit it is a little out of control.  But this is my favorite bag.  No coincidence that it is awesomely red and has cherries on it.  I saw it hanging high above me in a shop that smelled like hippie incense (the bag did as well for a month after its release) and I knew there was no way that even I would want to spend as much for a bag as this fantastic bag should cost.  After long minutes of pretending to look at other things I requested to see it and my fears were unfounded… I walked out into the chilly rain swinging my new favorite bag, all for less than the cost of a good lunch.  Mmmm.

Everything tastes better with bacon

That’s right. Everything. Try me. Scallops? Check. Wrap ’em and bake them until the bacon is just crispy. Pasta? Yup. Start your veggies sauteeing in bacon grease and add to pasta with liberal shavings of Parm. Stir fry? Chili? Corn chowder? Same idea. But most of all, camping. Not only does the smell make your neighbors jealous when you cook strips on the campfire as the sun comes up but you practically need them at every meal. Bacon is the perfect portable source of cooking fat and you can have it as an appetizer while the hot dogs, burgers, corn on the cob, chicken, or veggie skewers are sizzling in tasty bacon juices. Win win.

Eating with the Smiths

Mr. Food and I have been sharing meals with some new friends recently.  In order to assure the anonymity of our innocent bystanders, let’s just call them “the Smiths.”

One of our first meals together was at a new place in town (supplanting the less preferable restaurant of the same chef).  I can’t remember exactly what I ate, but I remember liking it, even if only vaguely.  I did enjoy the fiddleheads– must have just caught those in the right season.  Mr. Food will remember the rest, he always does.  Next stop for eating out is here… when it finally opens!

Mrs. Smith and I made dinner the other night and this is the only surviving picture.  Roasted veggies (most importantly artichoke!) that went with, I think, pork roast and white wine…

More recently we hosted a breakfast at our place.  Even little S and littler GG were there.  (and as a result the cats were basically not)   Mr. Food did the cooking and the rest of us sat around and watched.  There were Italian sweet sausages from our new CSA membership (they were amaaaazing, but note to those curious: the waiting list is quite long, it may be another year before you’d get your hands on any), and bacon cooked up mostly to feed little S.

Also fruit salad and Mr. Food’s famous orange-y French toast with challah from Mamadou’s (note to intrepid blog reader– some of the photos on that site actually came from my camera!).

The meal was followed by an impromptu concert by Mr. Smith and little S on the drum pads accompanied by Mrs. Smith and GG as back-up dancers.

(breakfast picture credits go to Mrs. Smith)