Life in Philly
Spring has not been behaving. It’s been mostly cold, then hot, then cold, and it’s been raining on and off. Where are the nice days in the 70s?!
Overall, though, despite the weather, we’ve had a nice month in Philly. We took a South Street West walking tour via Jane’s Walk, led by our friend Marcus. We learned a few new things and enjoyed the company of our neighbors. We also went to our local neighborhood street festival, Plazapalooza. We even made it to our local beer garden twice this month!
It’s been a great month at the farmers’ markets, with asparagus and strawberries just about every weekend. We had to go 2 weekends without the Rittenhouse farmers’ market, which was a great excuse to go to Headhouse and get all the extra goodies there.
We’ve been able to keep up with a lot of home cooking this month. Here were some of our favorite new recipes:
- no-fry Italian fried chicken
- pasta w/preserved lemons, pine nuts, & feta
- apple cider chicken marsala
- roasted asparagus & mushroom carbonara
- spring asparagus beef stir fry
- pasta w/fried lemon & chili flakes
- shaved asparagus pizza
- asparagus “poutine” (asparagus “fries” with Birchrun Hills cheese curds)
- blackened swordfish
- guam-style chicken & red rice
- salmon with za’atar salsa verde
- asparagus huevos rancheros
- roasted salmon & quinoa from The Indian Family Kitchen
- shrimp scampi
- spring vegetable pad thai
- improvised Spanish-style scallops & orzo
We’ve continued to try recipes from my friend’s food blog, A Good Carrot, though no longer in official recipe testing capacity. These were all delicious:
We’ve been out a few times this month, mostly local favorites in the neighborhood, not much in the way of new places.
At the beginning of the month, we had a fun time at a Basque wine class at Jet Wine Bar.
We had an enjoyable date night one night at Sawatdee.
Finally, on Memorial Day, since we had the day off, we tried Butcher Bar for the first time, thinking we were in the mood for some meat in lieu of BBQing ourselves. Afterwards we treated ourselves to a drink at Village Whiskey.
We made a few things this month, starting with a new batch of homemade mustard. I tried a recipe for asparagus preserved in oil from Preserving Italy; it came out pretty well (though still not photogenic) compared to other preserved asparagus recipes I’ve tried, so I might try making another batch before asparagus season is over.
I haven’t really been keeping up with the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge, but a few months late I did finally make a shrub for the first time, with strawberries and black pepper. It came out very nice, but I’m not sure how much I’ll use it.
Tom got back into bread-making, this time with homemade biscuits. We enjoyed them with some fresh strawberries & cream.
Toward the end of the month I was itching to start fermenting again, so I got some early tomatoes from the farmers’ market to make some salsa, and I also started a batch of fermented escabeche (Mexican-style pickled carrots, onion & jalepeño).
I started the month by finishing Midnight Taxi Tango, the second book in Daniel Jose Older’s Bone Street Rumba series. It was fine, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first book. I don’t remember what inspired me to do so, but I decided to re-read John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War, which I had first read in 2009. It was as good as I remembered it, and I continued with the second book in that series, The Ghost Brigades, which I had never read before and also enjoyed. Then, finally (!), Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Fate came out, which is the last book of the Fitz and the Fool series and which I had been waiting for for a long time. It was a very satisfying end to a series that I was very invested in, and neatly wrapped up many storylines. However, I would have to say that it was a bit too obvious; it has less emotional impact because nothing was particularly unexpected, and I basically predicted the ending 2 years ago on a Robin Hobb forum. Anyway, that didn’t prevent me from re-reading it right away. Once I got through that, I picked back up with Old Man’s War and re-read The Last Colony and Zoe’s Tale (both tell the same story but from different POVs). Tom had told me about a cheap book on Kindle, DIY Fermentation, from which I got some interesting ideas for future projects.
I got a Stitch Fix for the first time in awhile. It was a good feeling, I definitely missed it (too bad I can’t afford to do it more often). I kept a beautiful skirt and a red top, and sent back a red purse, a white top, and a blue cardigan. We didn’t get a chance to take pictures, but I’ll try to take some next month. In the meantime here are some screenshots:
Last Month’s Update