I haven’t been in the kitchen too much these past few weeks. My days have been filled with work, travel, and being present for the ones I love.
That doesn’t mean I haven’t eaten good food, though.
There are a few dishes that have held rich flavors and have brought together good conversation.
The first one being this Chinese food when my Love and I were in Madison, Indiana, last weekend. We drove down to the little river city city for a couple of days to get some R&R post- and pre-busy weeks. We stayed at the lovely new hotel called Fairfield, that was constructed in Madison’s Historic Eagle Cotton Mill. It was right by the river, with a beautiful view of the waterfront and the bridge that connects Indiana to Kentucky. Saturday night, we decided to order take-out and bring it back to the hotel to enjoy the view. And I’m so glad we did, because the food and the view was better than any sit-down returned we could have chosen. We got Chinese taken-out from Hong Kong Kitchen. It was the richest, most delectable Chinese food I’ve ever eaten. I got the Orange Chicken, a favorite of mine. But instead of being a fast-food like glazed, nuggets of fatty chicken, this was chunks of white meat with a thick sauce that was flavored with real orange peels and zest. I also got the fried rice, which wasn’t to oily or yellow. I could tell it was freshly cooked and fried.
My Love and I enjoyed the view while the sunset. We also got a little bit of (overpriced but delish) wine from the hotel’s little kiosk. We delved into good conversation and questions for each other the rest of the night. It was exactly what we needed between bouts of busy life. I can’t wait to go back to Madison again soon. For the food, the views, and more rest and good conversation.
Another place where I’ve had good food is in my Love’s new apartment. After a big day of moving, we sat down around his dinning room table and had Greek’s meatlovers pizza. The pizza crust was delightfully fully and thick (my favorite kind of pizza crust) and, being the Midwestern I am of course, I dipped in it ranch sauce. It was the perfect moving day feast. Earlier that day, I also got the chance to make a wonderful salad, which included chopped Roman lettuce and kale, quinoa, a few grape tomatoes, roasted chickpeas coated in lemon, cumin, sesame seeds, and a lemon dressing.
And finally, Easter. My family had our traditional celebration a few weeks back, because we couldn’t all be together today. We cooked family recipes and enjoyed a lovely easy spring celebration. I contributed two things to the meal: deviled eggs and hot cross buns. Deviled eggs are a holiday staple that we make for almost ever major holiday, but this was the first year I baked hot cross buns. I used a traditional English recipe, but instead of sultanas (I couldn’t find them at any local grocer) I used chocolate chips (because I don’t like raisins). These little buns where warm and decadent. I used an apricot glaze on them, which gave them a wonderful little sheen and melted nicely with with the warmth of the cinnamon and allspice. They were rose to perfection, opening up to be nice and fluffy inside, which made be giddy. I’ve always had trouble proofing bread. Overall, I think my first time making hot cross buns was a success.
I’d also like to mention that my mom made these lovely little confetti cupcakes that just made me so happen when I bit into them. They even had little rainbow sprinkles on top.
For the actual celebration of Easter today, my siblings and Love got together and had a little feast, which one of my siblings provided the food, I brought one dish: deviled eggs. If I could only bring one dish of a family holiday gathering, it would be deviled eggs — forever and always. Although next year, I want to attempt dying the eggs pink first and then deviling them, like this.
Even though I haven’t been in my kitchen much because of busy week on top of busy week, with little a R&R vacay in between, I’m glad to capture these little moments where food had brought together good conversation and memories.
This spring, I’m looking forward to writing more about the local foods I’m picking up as they start to become available. Along with that I want to start a mini garden in my apartment and learning about preserving and pickling, something that I have been wanting to experiment with for a long while.