Post #530 A Brand New Beginning — Again

June 9, 2017 at 5:22 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

If anyone has kept up with the blog over the last five years (!) (and happy birthday blog!), they’ve watched us go through a couple of major home moves.  I started the blog while we were still living in Oklahoma, then we moved to Tucson.  After a couple of years, the east coast was calling so we moved back to our old stomping grounds, but to an area we’d never been before, the Delmarva Peninsula, or Maryland’s Eastern Shore, as it’s known.  It’s called the Eastern Shore because it’s the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay which is the largest estuary in the world.  We were quite happy with rural small town life, but Partner/Spouse’s job had other plans for him to make use of his PhD.  When an opening to expand their business into the New England area popped up out of the blue, they offered him a promotion and massive raise to be the “liaison” of the new venture.  He came up and reviewed the hospital(s) they were partnering with, and to talk with the other company’s people and decided to take the offer.

We had two and a half weeks to get the move done.  That being said, his company bent over backwards for us to get the move accomplished.  They have us temporary housing until we found a place of our own; they assisted with getting us into the place we selected; they hired a moving company to get our stuff from Maryland to here where it is now in storage.  And we’re in this new place trying to acclimate to a new environment.

And we switched Buddy over from a collar to a harness and he refused to poop for two days because he hated it.  He’s getting used to now, and to the every-other-daily walks we take along the riverfront park across the street.  It’s life.

So we got here and stayed in the smallest efficiency I’ve ever seen.  But after just two weeks, we got into the apartment we wanted.  We switched up this time and opted for an apartment rather than a house.  We wanted the convenience of apartment living.  No snow to shovel, no yard to maintain, no plumbing to fix.  But what a place we got!

First, we wanted to live in a small town again because we like the ambience of small town life.  Next, we wanted a place with history, charm, and character.  We ended up in an old factory conversion loft apartment.  Here’s some pics, with what little furniture we have at the moment.

First, a long hallway to the living room and kitchen:

To the left is the bathroom and the spiral metal stairs going to the loft.  The bathroom is also the laundry room, hence the pile of clothes.  I’m constantly doing laundry since most of our clothes are still packed.

Once you’re out of the hallway, the kitchen is on the left.  It’s actually not a bad set up.  It’s very efficient and has more space than you’d think.  Just not enough space for two people to be working at once.

On the opposite side of the counter is our dining area.

We decided to get a new table since it fit with the overall look and got a pub style glass top cuz the sound of a wine bottle being set on a glass table is unique and pleasant, similar to the sound of it being set on a granite top.  Pub style is a medium height, slightly higher than a regular table and slightly lower than a bar table.  Here’s another view:

And then there’s the loft.  It runs the entire length of the apartment except for the living room and it’s completely open.  We already have our desks and main computers up there.  Mine is the one on the right.

So we’re settling in, but there’s lots more to do.  And we’ve done a lot of walking since we’ve been here.  We’ve already found three of our favorite restaurants which I’ll be posting about in more detail later.  But for now, there’s a pizza joint about a block down the road.  There’s a wine/spirits store about 600 feet from the front of our complex.  There’s a GREAT diner at the other end of the village, about a half mile.  There’s a “store” of sorts at the gas station.  Our post office is about a mile in the other direction in another village.  We’ve already found our local butcher and bakery but those require a trip in a car.  Oh, and we found our local hardware store.  There are a couple of antique stores nearby, too, but when they see us come in they double their prices for some reason.

Cute story.  Our local dry cleaner is near the diner at the other end of the village.  We’ve been there twice now.  I needed to drop off some work pants and a new lab coat for Partner/Spouse.  The coat only needed pressing.  When the guy took everything, he wrote down the prices for the pants but didn’t know the price for the pressing.  We assumed it would be free since A) it was on the receipt, and B) it was a simple press job.  When I went to pick it up, I had enough for the regular cleaning, but not for the pressing.  But when I started searching my pockets, I couldn’t find the money I’d brought with me.  I’d made several stops in my walking journey that day (total of about two miles and less than an hour) so the old guy, the owner, said to take the cleaning and bring the money later.  While he was saying that, I found my money, but didn’t have enough.  He laughed and told me to bring back the rest another day.  So I brought it back the next day and he didn’t even remember.  I had to convince him to take it.

So what to expect in the upcoming posts?  More restaurant reviews because around here, local restaurants and venues outshine the chains.  I’ll be posting more of this area’s regional cooking which tends to run to seafood, and about local events, things like fairs, public picnics and celebrations, musicals.  I’ll be taking forays into the “big city” since Boston is only an hour and a half away, and NYC only an hour more than that.  And with any luck, more funny stories.

So, here’s a recipe I made last week from the current Milk Street magazine.  I made some changes due to our personal tastes and requirements but it still tasted great.

Thai Beef Salad –

  • 1/2 pound lean steak per person (I used sirloin)
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and sliced thin
  • 3 limes, juiced and zested
  • 2 tablespoons lite soy sauce (fish sauce can be used for a more authentic taste)
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 bunch scallions cleaned and cut into half inch lengths
  • 1/2 cup each of various vegetables to your tastes
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch of mint chopped roughly
  • 1 bunch of cilantro chopped roughly

In a large bowl, combine the lime juice and shallots and let soak for 30 minutes.  Slice the steak into very thin, bite-sized pieces and place in a large zip lock bag.  Combine brown sugar, pepper, and kosher salt thoroughly then add to steak.  Close bag tightly and shake, rattle, and roll until well coated.  Set aside.  Chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces.  This salad is perfect with just the scallions and tomatoes.  We added celery, cucumber, radishes, and asparagus.  Set the veggies aside.  When thirty minutes is up, add heat one tablespoon of canola oil in a skillet.  Add the soy sauce and pepper flakes to the shallots and lime and stir.  When the oil is hot, fry the steak in batches until seared on the outside but red on the inside.  This will be quick.  Set the steak on a plate to cool as it is done searing.  Add all the vegetables, mint, and cilantro to the lime dressing and shake to coat evenly.  When the steak is done and slightly above room temperature add it to the salad along with any juices that have collected.  Combine thoroughly, serve at room temp, or chill.  Store leftovers in an air tight container in the fridge.  Also very good the next day.

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