Friday, April 28, 2006

Como se dice "BLOG"?

Although it has been nearly 24 hours since we left the beautiful Yucatan penninsula, I have not stopped trying to speak in my poor, broken Spanish. To ward off the onset of post-mexico depression that I feel coming with the end of vacation, depleted finances, the reality of returning to work, and the sad knowlege that yes, my tan will fade, I am contemplating the idea of a siesta during which I hope to dream of mexico. But first, I will leave you with an itinerary highlight and the promise of a flicker set with more photos of our 8 days spent discovering the Yucatan, than you could ever hope for.

Just a few of the things we did in Mexico:

Day 1: Driving through the smoke of slash and burn farming on our way to visit the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza.


Day 2: Being escorted through the market in Merida to shop for our cooking class with David Sterling of Los Dos.



Day 3: Aside from our 1st wedding anniversary. Flamingos, mangroves and a celebratory dinner at the hippest, and possibly tastiest, spot in Merida.


Day 4: Mas pueblos and beautiful churches as we logged more miles crossing the peninsula. For the first time we feared Montezuma's Revenge but I forgot about it when we were greated by friends and cold cervezas on the beach in Tulum.



Day 5: Ahhhhh, la playa. And a refreshing snorkle trip to a cenote.


Day 6: Biking (and sweating) around the ruins of Coba. We climbed the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan and visited los cocodrilos before attending a great wedding.


Day 7: Como se dice "sea sick"? The deep sea fishing trip we went on was NOT a highlight. I spent three of the four hours that we trolled the ocean hugging the boat with my head hanging over the side. But sitting down to a table of twenty, drunk on the biggest margarita I have ever been served, to feast on the fresh tuna and mahi mahi we caught, all but made up for my earlier discomfort.


Day 8: Massages and papaya wraps, lounging on the beach in the shade of a palapa, and a double dinner date at an amazing beachside restaurant in the jungle made for a marvelous day. The food was so delicious at Hechizo I didn't even mind the insects that joined us on the table. And as if this wasn't a most satisying day in Mexico . . .



Day 9: We partied into the early hours of day 9 with tequilla, limbo and - no Mexican vacation would be complete without it - skinnydipping.


Hasta luego con mas fotos, mis amigos!!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Time Flies

This Friday, April 21st, marks the very first anniversary of Brad and I getting married. How quickly the year has passed us by. So much has happened , yet it seems like not so long ago we were embarking on what came to be known as the wedding tour - the ceremony in Santa Fe, NM, the celebrations in Colorado Springs, CO and our final shindig in Mendham, NJ.


For more photos, if you haven't already seen,
click here.

***
Tomorrow morning we are off to Mexico, were we will first travel to Merida to take a cooking class and celebrate our anniversary. Then, on to Tulum for some lounging on the beach and the wedding of our friends Reid and Maria. Check back for photos and stories upon our return next week.

Adios!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Untraditions

One of the nicest things about being newly wed, is creating newly traditions that we intend to carry thoughout our time being wed. For example, during our Christmases together Brad and I have created our own little tradition of going out to a big restaurant meal on Christmas Eve, prior to the start of a series of family dinners - the inaugural of which was a huge Christmas Eve Sushi dinner!

In that spirit, today Brad and I hosted The Great American Barbeque Easter Dinner for my parents and our good friends Josh, his sister and Megan. In lieu of the traditional ham, we opted to recreate an elaborate menu of barbeque dishes that Brad learned during the
cooking class that he recently attended at The New School.

The menu included the following dishes, which we made from scratch - sauces, spices and all, and was a feast in every sense of the word. But what better than an easter spent with family and friends, when everyone goes home with not only a full belly, but a goody bag of yummy home-cooked BBQ for days to come?


The Great American Barbeque Easter Dinner Menu:
Spicy Boiled Shrimp with Red Remoulade
Soft BBQ Dinner Rolls (the interactive fun is when you have your dinner guests help you roll the fresh biscuit dough :)

Wilted Slaw Salad

Oven-Barbequed Brisket (hours and hours in the works my freiends, and worth every minute!)

Scalloped Tomatoes

Souffle├ęd Cheese Grits (by far, the CHEESIEST)

'Real' BBQ Spare Ribs (spice rubbed and served with special rib sauce, mmmmmmm. . .)


Dessert:

I wish I could give Megan's creation more due credit, but it involed lemon meringue, almond flour cake, whipped cream and fresh rasberries - and I think everybody licked their bowl!

***


The weather Gods graced us with a warm afternoon to drink and enjoy those shrimp on the patio, and the perfect setting for an after dinner walk in the park.


And of course, of all days, I forgot to take pictures . . . But here are some photos of the booty, when we returned home from the grocery store, more than 24 hours before the meal, and started cooking!



Thursday, April 06, 2006

Socializing In Our New Community

Yesterday Brad and I joined the Park Slope Food Coop (pronounced co-op). Ever since we found our new apartment, the Coop and it's proximity to us has been mentioned as a huge bonus in the neighborhood from sources as varied as one of my creatve directors to our broker. I had also seen some chatter about it on another food blog that helped pique my curiosity.

After wandering around and finding the various, nearby food markets to be dissapointing and inferior in both price and quality to my beloved Williamburg huant, Tops on the Waterfront, I decided it was time to investigate. Late last week I walked into the Food Coop to find out how to get a membership. As the ladies working instructed me to take this pamphlet and that and plan to attend a workshop, another woman popped up behind me and asked if I wanted a tour. Why not?

We wandered the aisles while she pointed out the food and other wares for sale, adding a bit of Coop trivia and philosphy here and there. All was very nice until we reached the checkout area at which point she said to me, "Well, if you'd like to join you should plan on attending an orientation. But uh, I'm going to have to escort you to the door now and you'll have to leave. You see, this is a member-based organization and I can't let you just wander around unsupervised . . ." An akward silence followed as all my plans for running feveroushly through the aisles stuffing my pants with low-priced organic meats and vegetables then forcing a cashier via headlock to let me pay for them without a membership card went down the drain. "OK." I said, "Well, thanks."

So, yesterday morning Brad and I woke up bright and early to attend the 10am mandatory member orientation where we learned the Park Slope Food Coop's moto, "Good Food at Low Prices." We also learned about the other costs of this good food, including a membership fee (per household member, therefor x2), a financial "investment" (also per household member, but refundable should you leave the Coop) and most importantly, a work shift. That's right, it's a cooperative so we have to work, but they tell us that also makes us owners who bear the right to attend meetings and voice our opinions as well as request new products to be stocked and propose new policies and procedures (like a much needed debit or credit card pay system that is supposedly in the works).

I realize that this all might sound silly at this point, which it is, but it is also cool. The Coop's policy is a fixed 21% mark-up on prices from wholesale as opposed to the 90%-100% mark-up in grocery stores (I learned this during the slide show). And as well as carrying a lot of organic and natural items, with 12,000 members shopping the turnaround is fast and the food is fresh. So after the presentation, tour and Q&A session, we joined. We had pictures taken and we signed up for our work shifts. Brad (the lucky dog) will be wearing a crossing gaurd vest and walking members to their cars or homes (within a three block radius) and returning their carts for 2.5 hours every fourth Wednesday afternoon. I however, not being able to predict a regular available weekday, was subjected to the bottom of the ladder options for evenings and weekends and will be working as a cashier for 2.5 hours during every fourth, Monday night closing shift.

After our eventful morning of orientating followed by shopping
(and yes, we got some good stuff), we headed around the corner from our house to a Mediteranean restaurant where we had some delicious merguez sandwiches for lunch. Over our baba ganoush appetizer Brad said to me, "I'm going to have some coversation with my Dad when I tell him we joined a socialist super market."

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Farewell and Hello

10 +1 things I will miss about living on Jackson Street in Williamsburg:

  1. The pool and the new astroturf field at McCarren park.
  2. The I-talians. Fuhgetaboutit.
  3. Settepani - and the yummiest canollis I have ever had.
  4. The sweet italian sausages from our local butcher.
  5. All our friends that were in walking distance and the frequent dinner parties with the greenpoint bunch.
  6. Spacial and my other Bedford Avenue faves being just a short stroll through the park away.
  7. Easy street parking.
  8. Hana Foods - the best health food store meets 24 hour convenience, EVER.
  9. Tops - the most perfect independently owned grocery market I have ever shopped in.
  10. All our favorite local restaurants and Pete's Candy Store.
  11. The Dine's farm vendor and the Greenpoint Farmers market in McCarren Park.
*I could probably also list 10 things I won't miss, mainly about our building on Jackson street, as well. But hey, let's keep things positive here.

10 Things I already love about living on Lincoln Place in Park Slope:
  1. Our apartment. You'll see . . . and the view from our bedroom window into our garden of a backyard.
  2. The luxury of doing laundry at home.
  3. Dog walks in Prospect Park.
  4. The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music is our neighbor and the Brooklyn Museum and Botanical Garden are just a few blocks away.
  5. Local coffee shops, many of them.
  6. Cousin John's bakery - where we experienced the most delicious lunches and brunches, always involving fresh baked croissants. Did I mention it's around the corner?
  7. The Grand Army Plaza Farmer's market.
  8. Living a stone's throw off of 7th Avenue and not too far from 5th. We have MANY new shops and restaurants to explore.
  9. Going to movies at a neighborhood movie theater.
  10. Having closets.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

An Introduction

Eight days ago, Brad and I moved from our apartment in Williamsburg to our new home on Lincoln Place in Park Slope. One week before that we came in and painted the place from one end to the other for three grueling days - that might be the last time you heard from me. I had planned to blog through the course of the painting, packing, moving and unpacking - but there just wasn't any spare time and for the past week my computer has sat unpluggled in a corner of the new apartment. But I'm up and running now, connected to the internet and all.

That said, welcome!


I know there are some readers of this blog who have been anxious to get a peep of the new apartment. I had actually taken some pictures after the painting to share, but couldn't get to the computer to post them. However, I have since decided that rather than ruin the surprise, I'll wait to share the rooms until we finish them.

You might not be surprised to learn that the first room in our new apartment that we can truly call done is the kitchen - and I love it! Brad chose the color and we put up all sorts of smart hanging rails and racks to keep our many kitchen tools organized. It is a small but highly functional space, and so far it has been a lot of fun to cook in.





There you have it! A taste, and there is plenty more to come, hopefully in the near future.

If anyone ever tells you that moving is easy, they are lying. Don't listen to them. Moving is hard, and exhausting, and in our case seemingly never ending. . .