Follow the culinary adventures and misadventures of the Cooking Agents (Ray and Katie). Watch as we eat/cook our way into adulthood.
Katie, Ivy, and Ray — three very full traveling companions, at the famous Chinese Theatre
Guess what? We’re alive and posting from California!
This trip has been a long time in the making. After finally passing my last CPA exam this past February, I was able to make the executive decision to inject more fun into my life. Why not round out my first summer of freedom with a foodie fueled west coast adventure with old college friends I haven’t seen for years. Yes, you read that correctly. YEARS.
Our timing couldn’t have been more perfect. By a stroke of luck neither Ray nor I typically experience, we were able to fly safely out of Logan Airport Saturday morning right before Irene hit Boston. We were greeted by a very friendly and familiar face, Ivy who flew into LAX from Palo Alto.
Once we got our big bear hugs out of the way, we headed out to Roscoe’s for some rib sticking chicken and waffles. Having never experienced this before, I was more than ready to fill my quota of true “soul” food.
We each ordered southern style fried chicken (dark meat obviously!) with waffles. In a total gratuitous act of fatness, we ordered a large plate of chicken chili cheese fries. Let it be known, we’ve made a lot of decisions like this one since the first day.
What arrived was a plate full of crispy fried chicken (disappointingly, a breast and a drumstick — seriously, white meat puts the BOO in boob), two golden waffles, a heaping ice cream scoop of butter and a small cup of syrup. Whether or not it was pure maple was debatable.
After I took it all in, I found myself in a conundrum. Is this finger food/knife and fork food/a mixture of both? My comrades took different approaches as Ivy started eating her drumstick with her fingers (a girl after my own heart) and Ray went in with his utensils. I did some kind of unassertive mix of both. Am I supposed to have a bite of waffle and then a separate bite of chicken? Do I put the chicken on the waffle and let some of the grease fill up the nooks and crannies? Should I sandwich the chicken between the two waffles and risk exposing my true barbaric eating habits to the regular patrons? Am I supposed to be this boggled by soul food?
Once I decided to stick to utensils and take a bite of everything all at once, the myriad of flavors exploded in my mouth. This reminded me of one of my staple favorites, bacon doused in maple syrup and not just drizzled, but poured with a very heavy hand. Savory and sweet, not battling, but dancing together in frenetic excitement.
The chicken chili cheese fries were a sad plate of not surprisingly very soggy french fries. Though the additional pieces of chicken thigh dotting the dish were fun, I have nothing further to say about these.
This was my first experience with chicken and waffles and though I’m sure this particular experience is not going to set the golden standard for me, it certainly was eye opening. I think of all of the food out there that has not crossed my path and realize the new experiences are really endless. I’m just lucky that I have food companions that are more than willing to take on the new adventures with me.
This past weekend, Ray mentioned we went to Hampton Beach in NH on the way back from Portland. Living in Boston makes me realize how much I miss the accessible beaches of Long Island — private to LI natives for the most part (silly city folk), clean, and fine sand. Desperate for a cold thirst quencher – I’m pretty sure it was 90+ on Sunday, I saw a small stand near the local arcade selling Hawaiian Shave Ice. Note, there is no D in shave ice.
This is what I got — shaveD ice… as in with the D for hot mess Disaster.
Back in 2008, I graduated from BU and spent a nice chunk of my summer in Hawaii. Looking back, I could have been studying for the CPA exam, but I figured I’ll save that for my official adult life. It’s a good thing too! If I hadn’t gone to Hawaii, I would have missed the true shave ice experience (and the absolutely gorgeous beaches and hot surfers).
Shave ice is a sort of treasure. It’s like finding colored snow without the unsaid fear that a dog might have just marked its territory. The flavored syrup absorbs into the snow, so you’re not left with the typical thick syrup soup at the bottom. Unlike our normal mainland snow cones, this ice is like real snow. This is achieved by literally shaving a huge blocks of ice, rather than throwing it in an ice crusher. The latter just screams crunchy, granular ice. That ish is poho (slang for nonsense or waste of time). Go ahead, tell me you’re impressed with my seamless integration of Hawaiian slang.
Already, you can see the difference. The shave ice is much finer. You can also tell that the snow holds onto the flavor, unlike the first picture above where you can see the ice on top is beginning to lose its color. You may have also noticed the white in the picture directly above. That shave ice is covered with a drizzle of condensed milk, a typical condiment for this cold treat. I thought it added just the right about of richness without being too heavy. Mmmmm. I ate that baby three years ago, but I remember it so vividly. I would go back to Hawaii right now for a good shave ice.
Or maybe this.
The NY Times article I read a few years back first put Portland, Maine on my radar as a dining destination, but back then, I already moved out of Boston and was adjusting to the more French and Southern inspired DC dining scene. When I moved back this winter, I made a goal to take a trip out with Katie and Krissie and as of this past weekend, I could cross it off my list. Sadly, we did not make it to any of the restaurants mentioned in the list, although Duckfat was by the same people who created Hugo’s.
There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea. – Henry James
During my sabbatical, my mom thought it would be a nice treat for the girls of my family to go to afternoon tea and have a little chit chat catchup at the Garden City Hotel on Long Island. Having never been to tea before, I was pretty excited and the first thing I thought was what does one wear to something like this? Excuse me while I go find my pink powdered wig.
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