Saturday, July 23, 2011

Vacation and other randomness

The first of two summer vacations starts with an early morning with a flight to Tampa. Alarm clocks should not be able to go off at 5 AM. It's just wrong. Once we get to Tampa, we are getting on a boat (that is apparently as long as the street we live on and more than 12 stories tall) and hitting some spots in the western Caribbean. We have some snorkeling planned, a trip to a Mayan pyramid (really want to see that), and an island tour featuring big turtles. Try explaining to a 5 year old that we won't have a kitchen or fridge but can get food whenever we want. "Even after bedtime?" Her eyes lit up when I told her there was a 24 hour pizza place. "Even in the middle of the night?" I can be prone to answering questions with a questions, "Why are you worried about eating in your sleep?" Although according to the cruise brochure, calories consumed at late night buffets don't count. This morning I was down almost 20 pounds from my starting weight, hopefully the cruise won't set me back too far.

When we get back, I've got a pate or terrine to make for Charcutepalooza. Not sure which direction I'll go with this one. There is a recipe for a grilled vegetable terrine that sounds really good, but I have always been a sucker for pate. I need to get back to a farmer's market too. Haven't had a chance on weekends lately.

And since it is so hot this week, here's a temperature related kid quote from the same girl that wants to go on a 4 AM pizza bender. Whenever Casey's legs get hot, she says "my knee pits are sweaty."

I went to The Book Barn in Latham to pick up a few paperbacks for the trip. The clerk was very helpful and pointed out a few selections the wife and I might like. Sadly, I don't think I have read a book that isn't food or work related in a year or too. Got a few super spy espionage type books. I'd give you more details, but they are packed and I don't remember the names. The kids picked out a few books too. A few years ago, I picked up "Roasting" by Barbara Kafka for $5. This time around I spied "The Art of Charcuterie" by Jane Grigson published in 1968. It is interesting to flip through. The recipes would need a little updating (the cures often call for "A pinch of saltpeter.") I paid $5.95 for it. Back in 1968 when there was no, the list price was $7.95. If you find yourself in the area and like books, the shop is worth stopping by. I got this cookbook, two barely read paperbacks, and 5 kids books for just under $18. The address is 200 Troy-Schenectady Road, right across the street from the K-mart.


  1. I don't expect you still can but fifteen years ago you could buy saltpeter over the counter at the pharmacy. That plus sugar makes a pretty good smoke bomb.

  2. Can't speak for smoke bombs, but I think you can still get saltpeter. I would guess it would be fine for something that is brined like a corned beef, but I'm going to stick with curing salts. Shouldn't be a hard calculation to figure out how much is needed.