Posted by: crispygoldenflaky | October 6, 2010

a taste of New England

Oops – I wrote this Sunday and meant to post it then but never got around to doing it!

I’m sitting here on my patio with thick little slices of melting camembert on my English muffin, coffee in a cozy mug, and water in my mason jar (something about drinking water out of a mason jar just makes the water way more delicious, I think) contemplating various package ideas and daydreaming about cheese.  Yesterday I had the day off but Sam and I still ended up in New Haven because he was doing a couple of the paid studies at my lab so I took the hour and a half he was busy to wander around New Haven a little more.  Chapel St. has several cute boutiques, odds-and-ends shops, and craft stores that are very comparable to those on Ninth St. in Durham, but I think the personality and ambience of these stores is pretty different from those on Ninth.  There is a Ten Thousand Villages stores on Chapel St., which you could compare to One World Market, but it seemed to be run by two snooty old men who were too busy with their own lives to engage in a conversation with me.  And that makes their product less appealing to me.  I miss Laura and Rosemary at One World Market with their stories behind each of their fair trade products!  And then I went to “Wave” which is similar to “Zola” because it carries a lot of the same card and book brands and is essentially a craft place.  The woman was nice but there was a franticness in her demeanor that made me want to hurry up and get out of there.  I sampled a couple of their truffles, and these were quite good.  The salted caramel truffle (with pink Himalayan sea salt) was a little bit on the salty side, but that’s exactly how I like it.  I just miss the awkwardly quiet, but incredibly warm people who worked behind the counter at Zola.

Afterwards, we left to go back home and stopped by the cheese shop.  Since seeing the Caseus cheese truck at the local farmer’s market, I wanted SO badly to go to their main store/bistro area and we had the time so it was perfect… except unfortunately… the bistro was closed until dins!  But don’t worry, we sampled a couple cheeses at the shop and left with a hunk of pradera (an aged gouda with hints of caramel and nuts… so complex!) and a cabot clothbound cheddar from vermont (so creamy!).  It was so bad that Sam and to drive my car back so I could eat the cheese on the way home.
And then we stopped at Stop & Shop to pick up some Camembert.  Jeez, I could eat cheese until I die.

So, recent salad experiments:

We have a lot of turkey bacon sitting around, so we did a cobbesque one with avocado (yumcado as Sam likes to call it, because slimcados are disgusting), blue cheese, bacon, tomatoes, some peppers, and hard boiled eggs.  This made for a delicious “big salad” din.

bacon curling up
extra crispy please
like our ikea salad tossers?
close up

We also had a can of artichoke hearts that needed to be yummified so I drizzled some balsamic vinagrette and S+Ped them and then roasted them for a bit before throwing them (+ bacon pieces, tomatoes, and goat cheese crumbles) over greens for Sam to take to work!  La-la-laaaaaa.

goat cheese crumbles are so photogenic
goat cheese crumble and roasted artichoke heart snug!

The last time I went to the orchards, I parked on the side of the road and went to a couple different areas to take enough pictures for people to get a feel for it.  The crispyness of fall air and warm coloring looks good in orchard.  I got a lil’ punkin for home and headed on over to the Apple Barrel store to get some inspiration and things I’ve never tried.  I left with a horseradish cheese spread, a hunk of apple pie cheddar cheese (there I go again with the cheese…), raspberry peach preserves, and some pretzel thins (my favorite kind of pretzel)!  The horseradish cheese is exactly what it sounds like – white cheese spread with quite the sinus-clearing kick.  I’ve found that it goes nicely in a sandwich with some Canadian bacon if you want to jazz up the standard ham-n-cheese.  The raspberry peach preserves were not peachy enough for me, but that worked out okay because I love plain raspberry preserves a LOT.  The apple pie cheddar tastes like a very soft, mild cheddar and I have NO idea why they would call it apple pie cheddar?  I detected no apple pieage in there.  Harrumph.  Liars.

a ribbon of orange
pumpkins hanging out on a beautiful saturday morning
pear trees.  bartlett!  west wing!
hey!  I snatched one up
lyman orchards
not really apple pie cheddar
horseradish cheese spread?  weird!

BUTTTTTT…. more IMPORTANTLY SAM SURPRISED ME with AN exciting trip to the Big E, which is this huge New Englandy Six-state fair!  New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.  They had replicas of each of the state houses with local cuisine and goodies… Vermont had maple syrupy things (ANNE I THOUGHT OF YOU… can’t wait for the cupcake shop), Maine had lobster rolls, New Hampshire had flannel, and Connecticut… had Legoes and Pez?  Weird.  Anyway, the weather was perfect!  I’m also secretly but not so secretly obsessed with yummy fair food.  Which is mostly fried and good because I only have it once a year or so.  I tried fried oreos for the first time, and I think they are SO delicious in a doughnuty way.  The ones we got were coated in about an inch of powdered sugar.  Which was definitely a plus.  But I think part of the appeal of oreos is the crunchiness of the chocolate wafers.  And all of the crunchiness was just soft chocolate crumbles.  Hmmmm…  What else… doughnut burgers, giant turkey legs, kabobs, soft serve cones, bumper cars, horses, and a Yankee Candle store?  What a day.

Onto the pictures…

ready for the parade
donut burger
baked taters
extra longggg dog
greek pita pocket friend
kabob for me please
om nom nom
standard fair activities
i used to hate the waxy taste of sprinkles but now i think that soft serve without it is a crime
wait, why didn’t we get this?
FUDGE and fudge apples
whoopie pies
in the vermont state house
maybe maine?  … bears.
nh kettle korn man
fried oreos
powdered sugar overload
parade!  amuuurrricaa
budweiser clydesdales

It was a coworker’s birthday last week, so I had other people snoop around and figure out what her favorite cakes were.  My designated spy came back with caramel cake and red velvet cake.  Jeez louise.  A girl after my own heart.  So I tried a new red velvet recipe – with more cocoa and sour cream (instead of the typical buttermilk and vinegar combo… because we had sour cream in the fridge to use up).  This resulted in a cake color that was a little less Hot Tamales and a little more Vtech.  AND THEY WERE SO VELVETY.  Oh my.  New holy grail recipe.  These were topped with a cream cheese frosting and colored sugar, which looked like pieces of shattered bits of crystalized rainbow.

rich batter – you do NOT want to know how much butter went in there
in the oven they go
all different sizes – oops
a peculiar orgy of naked red velvet
all done up
in containers

Sam and I also tried to make a new bar.  A pumpkin spice bar!  This guy was similar to the previous granola bars we tried, but used pumpkin puree instead of applesauce, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin seeds.  They were okay – we could’ve probably made them a bit sweeter to balance out the overwhelming flavor of the pumpkin seeds.

packaging the bars
bar tower

ONE last thing…

Milk heated in a saucepan + concentrated coffee + pumpkin pie spice = YUM

all together
ready for my closeup



  1. I love you and miss you. Please send me baked goods. Box 95542.

  2. Sooooo….Apple Pie Cheddar is so named because lots of folks (not me, a la mode, please) like apple pie with a slice of cheddar—NOT because it’s supposed to taste like apple pie! Silly sweet girl! Love the pics! But did you ride the Ferris Wheel?

    • oops… that would make a whole lot more sense! Too much sense for me.

  3. SO MANY THINGS i love about this post. CHEESE, extra crispy bacon, farb’s yumcados, CHEESE, josiah bartlett pears, josh lyman orchards?!, more cheese, vermont maple syrup!!!!!, you on the slide soaking up the world (though), velvety red velvits! and you, obvs. love you both!!

  4. oh and more cheese

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