Not surprisingly, I am a Food Network junkie. Recently, as I was watching Food Network stars talk about the single best thing they’ve ever eaten, I was, of course, thinking about my most spectacular eating experience. I usually avoid picking a favorite food. Given my rather indiscriminate passion for food – not to mention the amount I’ve consumed, even in the past month alone – it seems a rather impossible venture. However, in this case, my mind kept wandering to a place that my family has frequented for years: Lau Fau Shan. Continue reading
– my very aptly named playlist – blared loudly from my car speakers as I made the 4 hour journey to my new home. 310 miles in 240 minutes…it seems too short an amount of time to enact so colossal a change in my life. But yes, it’s true – as of 2 days ago, I am officially a resident of Dallas, Texas! During this upcoming year off, I’ll be living with my fabulous sister, writing (hopefully a lot), working (the bare minimum), traveling (I know! Haven’t I had my fill yet?), and generally creating a ruckus. My parents, I’m sure, are absolutely thrilled. No, really, I know how extremely blessed I am to be able to take a year off, and I intend to make full use of it.
Is there a place you always visit when you go home? Perhaps a park, or a restaurant, or just a spot in town that reminds you of a special moment in time.
For me, it’s the library. I have a routine. One month before I’m scheduled to go home, I go onto the Wichita Public Library website, search for all of the books that I’ve been wanting to read, and add myself to the waiting list so that I’ll (hopefully) be at the top of the list when I arrive. Seriously.
Being incredibly indecisive, though, I do have more than one home “must-see.” Well, okay, it’s actually more like a list. And, not surprisingly, besides the Rockwell Public Library and the Barnes & Noble Booksellers, all of the places serve food. Braum’s for a chocolate soft serve or cookies n’ cream (or, better yet, both!) waffle cone. Dog n’ Shake for chicken rings and a 50/50. Freddy’s for frozen custard and fries. QuikTrip for a diet vanilla coke. Mega yum. I think I just drooled.
But anyway. It seems that I’ve also managed to develop a few favorites in Oxford, which I’ve been fortunate enough to seek out in the past couple of days. Here’s the rundown:
Number 1: Ben’s Cookies.
I like to indulge myself. Perhaps you already noticed this, as I did manage to plan an entire trip solely around eating and baking. But, just in case you haven’t, I’m freely willing to admit it: I enjoy life’s luxuries…probably more than I should. Pedicures, for instance. A perfect hour in a massage chair, warm water bubbling around my feet, flipping through magazines…you get the idea. Or, the $8 bucket of popcorn at the movie theatre with a free refill (because, really, one just isn’t enough), topped with 50 cents of real butter. One of my very favorite indulgences, though, surpassing even movie theatre popcorn, is high tea.
High tea. Ahh…even the name just sounds so posh (sorry, had to throw that word in somewhere). It conjures up images of long-plumed feathers sticking out of ostentatious hats, dainty heels and spacious gardens, and of course, the tea itself! Towers of tiny cucumber sandwiches and scones with clotted cream, pots of earl grey accompanied by sugar cubes, miniature forks for dainty fruit tarts. The truth of the matter is, though, that reality could never live up to the expectation because, well…I don’t own a fancy hat. But, not to worry, the food is just as imagined. This particular trip, in order to provide ample material for you lovely readers – and because my relatives are amazing and know my weakness for high tea – I had the opportunity to go to tea twice!
Yesterday, we went to tea at Old Bank Hotel in Oxford. The afternoon tea came with little cakes and cookies (including a macaron!), sandwiches, and my favorite, scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream!
Blackcurrant macaron, coffee éclair, sugar cookie, and a mini layered cake! The macaron wasn’t exactly my favorite (it actually took me about a minute to find the macaron flavor), but still quite enjoyable. Continue reading
When I first introduced my dad on this blog a few days ago, I mentioned his giant sweet tooth…but I left two key things out.
1) I inherited at least half of my love of food/eating prowess from him. You can take this to mean that he really, really likes food.
2) One of his favorite foods in the world is the venerated souvlaki.
Now, this last bit may not normally be relevant…but today, we arrived safely and soundly in Athens, Greece!
*Sniff, sniff* A sense of deja vu overcame me as I looked for the source of the sweet scent wafting down the street. Not overly sweet, the smell instead epitomized the familiar scent that wafts out of the oven as a cake finds its form. Or, to me, the somehow distinct scent of powdered sugar on beignets. The last time I smelled such a heavenly baking scent, I found a bread festival right across the street.
Today, though, I couldn’t figure out the source of this mysterious smell. I saw an open door down the street, and took off for…a residential building. Slightly embarrassed, but now even more determined, I continued down the street, walked quickly past a small doorway, then immediately stopped. And reversed. I definitely would’ve missed the shop had it not been for the intensity of that most lovely scent, along with the line of people streaming in like ants to an ant mound. Peering inside, I saw one of the best sights in the world: Cases and cases of delectable looking pastries.
Have you ever run out of clean underwear and worn a pair inside-out? Hey, it’s just a question. And no, of course I haven’t done it. In fact, in order to ensure that such a terrible situation would not arise, my dad and I, geniuses that we are, decided to do a load of laundry in the bathtub last night. This in itself wouldn’t be so bad…until you add the fact that it is apparently too humid here for clothes to dry quickly. Meaning, we are currently ironing our clothing in hopes of speed-drying. And as I type this, the iron has just singed a hole in a pair of underwear. Such are the joys of travel.
I’m really not complaining, though, because another joy of travel is seeing…this!
Yes, today we visited the Roman Colosseum – a historical location of bloodlust, mob mentality, and death – and, also, an absolutely magnificent structure epitomizing the warrior culture of Rome.