I make a lot of food, but precious little of it gets shared here, meaning most of what I make is for work or is so boring (toast, anyone? shrimp quesadillas? veggie burger?) it’s not acceptable. You can, as always, keep up with more of my cooking and baking via my Yankee blog, but in the meantime, I’m sharing a little slice of life today on AA with Three Things.
Last Sunday was a busy day for me — I got up at 6:30 AM so I could hit the road in my little (meaning not 4-wheel drive) car and head to Maine’s mid-coast for the annual Thompson Ice House Ice Harvest in South Bristol (believed to be the only commercial ice house on the National Historic Register to have stored naturally frozen ice harvested in the traditional way from a nearby pond) and a visit to Freeport, home of the L.L. Bean flagship store. It was a perfect winter Sunday with fresh snow (most of it plowed) and bright sunshine to combat the 20-degree temperatures.
Here are Three (very important) Things that got me through the day.
The ride to South Bristol from Manchester is a long one — nearly 3 hours each way — but other than the constant battle I wage with the road salt (I require a clean windshield at all times, even if the floor of my car is a sea of Tootsie Roll wrappers, which it is) I don’t mind the alone time. Music and podcasts (plus David Sedaris audio books, which I never tire of) are perhaps the best car company, and my favorite podcast lately is The Dinner Party Download, “a fast and funny hour of culture, food and conversation designed to help you win your weekend dinner parties.” In the most recent episode, I learned about the history of Monopoly (with a cocktail), $4 San Fransisco toast, how Jonah Hill reacted to hearing he got the role in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and the difference between movie sound mixing and editing. It’s a fun, informative, and entertaining show — exactly what I would choose if someone asked me to design my dream podcast (I know they’ll work the Golden Girls in at some point). I love it. Thank you, Brendan Francis Newnam and Rico Gagliano (and American Public Media).
I am maybe the last person to recommend beauty products, but I love (LOVE) Crabtree & Evelyn’s hand lotions. The dry winter air is brutal on my skin, and a little dab of C&E a few times a day makes my hands feel like a million bucks, and smell good, too. While the Avocado, Olive & Basil scent is my mainstay, Himalayan Blue (infused with macadamia nut oil, shea butter, and extracts of golden champaca, ginger, and tea oil) just might be my new favorite. The lingering tea scent is lovely. I’m not one for flowery lotions so these are perfect, not to mention you need so little to do the job they last forever…just like this winter. I am seriously ready to lose my mind with all of this snow. My kingdom for a crocus.
After crossing the Piscataqua River Bridge back into New Hampshire, I needed to fill up my gas tank, and it turns out, my stomach. I love almost everything from Food Should Taste Good, the awkwardly-named line of wholesome chips (both kettle and tortilla) and crackers, but my favorite (so far…there’s a lot I still haven’t tried) are the Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips. In their own words: “A hint of cane sugar enhances the natural nuttiness of the sweet potato in a chip that is a riff on a classic baked sweet potato.” Hearty, salty, sweet, and highly addictive, I was delighted to see the gas station had single-serving bags, since I have a hard time with portion control. Maybe next time, Corn Nuts! Also, hello Dr. Pepper.
I’ll be sharing my Ice Harvest experience in next year’s winter issue, but here’s a sneak peek:
It was such a fun day — it seemed like the whole community turned out (with hot dogs, horse-drawn sleigh rides, ice skating, and socializing also on the agenda) and I felt myself wishing I lived somewhere with “neighbors.”
My adventures at the L.L. Bean Flagship Store (it’s basically an IKEA-scale experience, but with taxidermied animals, hunting vests, and a whole wall of the world’s most awesome slippers) will be up as a Yankee Explore New England blog next month – have you been there? It’s crazy!
What are some of your favorite things right now? Man, I sound like Oprah…
28 days until spring!