halloween and hurricane sandy

well, it’s been a whirlwind week. literally. hurricane sandy struck – and our hearts and prayers go out to all those people who have been (and still are) affected by this devastating storm. culinary school classes were canceled all week; for me that just means two days missed… but i really hope everyone at NGI is doing okay and that they are safe and sound. my day job – teaching at a community college in NJ – is also taking an extended vacation, as the school has been closed since monday. fortunately, here in philly, things were relatively unaffected. which is shocking, considering how atlantic city was so badly hit as well as other parts of new jersey that aren’t all that far away… and then NYC, too. it’s just so strange how our little neck of the center city woods didn’t really feel the effects. we had a lot of filtered water stocked in our fridge and a bathtub full of water (i can’t remember why…) and to be sure, we had our strong winds and downpour of rain, but we didn’t lose power, and nothing fell on the car. we are extremely grateful for our safety and for our family and friends’ safety – plenty of dear ones are still dealing with the aftermath. 7 5last weekend – which now feels like an eternity ago – was actually filled up with exciting philly events. first with the walk for farm animals (which i mentioned before) and then with our neighborhood’s version of trick-or-treating…  for dogs. they call it howl-o-ween. this hood is seriously obsessed with its dogs. dog parks. free doggie poo pags on every other corner. a giant oil painting of a beagle in the gallery window next door. and now, shops passing out dog treats to all the cute pups in costume. obsessed. and we love it.

{written november 1, 2012… posted ages later.}

Advertisements

the night market

so, last night we walked just a few blocks over to Philly’s annual Chinatown night market. as we approached, i could smell all the great food – both from popular food trucks and restaurants around the city that had come to set up shop in the streets. we started the night off right by scoring some pumpkin habanero BBQ sauce from Square Peg (they were selling fried chicken, but graciously hooked us up with their sauce and we enjoyed it with tempura veggies). it was delicious! i would love to try my hand at recreating that. later, we had an excellent lentil-kale soup from Good Spoon – who we see at our farmer’s market at Headhouse Square every sunday. the feast didn’t end there… we also had an amazing trio of dishes from the Birds of Paradise food truck: “Paradise” salad with mango, pineapple, & fresh coconut; black jollof rice; and a smoky baba ganoush. then, we grabbed a “double” from The Mini Trini truck – Trinidadian street food made with split-pea dough bread and filled with curried chickpeas, pumpkin, & mango. and the night ended at Jimmies Cupcake Company. with one of the best cupcakes i’ve ever had: banana with vanilla cream frosting and cute sprinkles. the base tasted just like delicious banana bread. perfect density and crumb. i’ve had a lot of vegan cupcakes… many of which are excellent, but this was definitely in the “best of” category. all around, it was a super fun night with lots of great local food and community-building. looking forward to next year!

       

thanks to The Food Trust and Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation

[all photos from my instagram]


car(t) shopping

is it weird that i am THIS excited about getting one of those old school grocery carts? you know, the ones that you can walk to the store or corner market and tote all your goods home in and look awesome while doing it? and everyone will look at you and just know that you must be a city-dweller? to me, those fold-up push carts are the epitome of urban life. while searching for one to buy, this brand definitely stood apart… and people, be warned. this is not your typical granny cart:

did anyone else get that feeling like they were watching that spinning Will Ferrell clip in Zoolander (“relax..relax..”) or was that just me? anyway, this video totally won me over on the Go Up cart. and the demonstration video in Dutch sealed the deal, too. after seeing the price tag, husband Jeff raised the question that “wasn’t walking our groceries home supposed to save us money?” but… alas, this just might be the cost of looking metropolitan. that and, of course, helping us to not break our backs if (when) we get carried away at the grocery store. we don’t want to be those hobbling “young people” in the video with “heavy grocery bags” pulling them down. that’d be uncool.