Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Yesterday, The Washington Post published some interesting charts of alcohol consumption by state:

Maryland is decidedly average on all counts - beer consumption, wine consumptions, spirits consumption and binge drinking. Average isn't really news but what interests me is our neighbors. DC is the biggest consumer of wine and spirits and a heavy binge drinking town, too, apparently. Delaware rises to the top for beer, spirits and binge drinking.

Both are teeny tiny, and the findings are based on per capita consumption, so that probably explains some of the discrepancy between the two locations and Maryland, which is tucked right in between.

But interesting, nonetheless.

Friday, July 25, 2014


This was taken on Monday, after stand-up paddleboarding but before Alicia and Kyle's water ballet performance, set to a group rendition of "Someone Like You" by Adele. We are multi-talented.

Our beach week is winding down - Kyle and Mary are already gone - and we are collectively preparing ourselves for real-world reentry. There's been a lot of the photo above - drinking by the pool in bathing suits. For the grown-ups, not the kids.

Also, togetherness. A lot of togetherness. It is, I think, rare to find a group of friends that can vacation together and still want to hang out by the end of the week. Was there a point this morning when we collectively agreed that next year, we'd like to bring muzzles for both the kids and the adults? Yes, there was. Am I currently in my room, alone, with the door shut, avoiding everyone? Yes, I am. But will I be sad and miss everyone when I wake up in Baltimore on Sunday morning? Totally.

More to follow on the food, bevs and festivities. It's been a great week.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Crabby Birthday

Alicia and Maggie returned from their six-week Keuka Lake sojourn just in time to celebrate her birthday...then get ready to go on vacation again (this is known among our friends as "Alicia's vacation preparing for vacation").

She came back on the 5th and on the 6th - her actual birthday - we celebrated with crabs (from Conrad's) and LBLLs and a pretty cake from Graul's.

We ended up with about eight leftover crabs, which I found in our refrigerator the next morning. I picked them (so slowly - I am the slowest crab-picker but I am very thorough) and turned them into a lovely crab and corn chowder.

I used this recipe to start, though I amped it up with fresh corn, more crab and way more salt. And it was good!

Crabs - they're the best.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Must Throw This Party

A French-themed birthday party, held outside a lovely Charleston home. Long table? Check. Tiny lights, strung high? Check. Blue and white table? Check. Inside furniture repurposed as a cheese cart? CHECK CHECK CHECK!

Seriously, this party - hosted by Eric and Christine Jablon, planned by Tara Guerard and featured in Lonny - absolutely kills me. It's so gorgeous but the elements are each simple enough to actually recreate on a budget.

I am dying over that cheese display. Dying.

Photo credit: Nickle Cutrona.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

La Dolce Vita

Can we talk about this: 

It's the setting for the Dolce and Gabbana couture show, which took place on Capri. Guests were ferried to the location on sailboats. The show was filled with fabulous dresses that, yes, look a little like tablecloths but they are very, very beautiful tablecloths. Afterwards, guests had a fabulous, locally sourced dinner of zucchini blossoms and spaghetti alla vongole, followed by fireworks and a late-night stop at a salon, via sailboat again, where they could purchase the clothes they'd just seen.

The clothes are fabulous and the dinner sounds simple but amazing. But it's the setting that kills me. Those fabrics! The pillows! The waves! Looks like the sweet life, indeed.

Photo credit: Hamish Bowles for Vogue

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Bitter Truth

Earlier this week, I asked my Facebook friends if they prefer orange or grapefruit crushes. As I explained, I like orange better but in my own life, I'm in the minority. (I mostly feel that way because Cooper and Alicia are both vocal proponents of the grapefruit variety.)

As it turns out, I'm in the minority among my crush-loving Facebook friends, too: they preferred grapefruit over orange by 16 votes to 11. The grapefruit group was also more vocal - they took an early lead with the orangeys only slightly catching up hours after I originally posted.

The preference for grapefruit seems to be part of a larger trend towards bitter flavors. Campari, amaro, cocchi - bitter or vaguely bitter Italian liqueurs, not to mention bitters, have been riding the trendy wave for several years now. (Apparently I have been writing about this for years.)

To me, bitter flavors seem more sophisticated than sweet flavors - even more real. Unfortunately, that might be because I am overly sensitive to bitter, so I don't really like things that rely on it as a predominant flavor. Negronis? No thank you. Broccoli rabe? Absolutely not. Grapefruit? Well, it's OK but I'd like it more if it was sweeter. (Just  a little sweeter - while I can drink one sticky-sweet drink, I rarely drink two.)

At any rate, the love of the bitter doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon. Which is fine. If everybody in the restaurant is drinking grapefruit, that just leaves more orange for me.

As an aside, on Facebook, I also got to do a little educating - I still don't understand why crushes aren't yet embraced nationwide. Over Memorial Day, Cail saw the drink on a menu in the Outer Banks but for the most part, it's still a Chesapeake Bay area treat. Everyplace else - especially beach towns! - really needs to get on the ball.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Happy Fourth of July!

We are up at Alicia's family's house for the Fourth of July - it's our fifth Keuka fourth!

As usual, we are celebrating with a throwdown (wings!), boat rides, swimming and lots of snacks. Here's a quick and very incomplete glimpse:

After hearing about this beer's brilliance, I bought some. It really is pretty good. And definitely not too watermelony.

Alicia, Cooper and I went to happy hour at Heron Hill winery on Wednesday night. There was music and wine and snacks - like this locally sourced meat and cheese plate.

We've been busy here, in the best way. Friends, food, drinks...if that isn't the pursuit of happiness, I don't know what is.

[Note: This was also the first blog post I've ever written from my phone. It OK experience. I couldn't easily figure out how to link to things, though. Sorry!]


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