Tuesday, October 09, 2007

More Virginny - Spicy Fun

Once the project was done and the party over, there was more fun to be had. First Sweetie and I drove through the rolling Virginia countryside, with leaves in nearby forests just starting to turn, south west to Charlottesville where we had an enjoyable visit with his sister and her good friend John. We left Mom's early on Sunday and decided to wait to eat breakfast until we reached the small town of Culpepper. Well, it used to be small, and the downtown is still small and charming. We made sure to get off the freeway and travel into the Historic Downtown because we always prefer to eat at local restaurants, not at the fast food chains you find right off the freeways. We were rewarded for our efforts with a delicious and inexpensive breakfast at DeeDee's Cafe, right across from the Catholic church. Out side there was a metal pig...not sure why, but since pigs have sort of become the mascot of the trip somehow, I took a photo. Poor pig has seen better days!

In Charlottesville we ate at an Himalayan restaurant and had the buffet. Since we were talking up a storm with Sweetie's sis and John, I completely forgot to take any photos, but the food was good and lots of it very spicy. Does anyone have a recipe for a soupy rice pudding flavored with coconut, probably an Indian recipe? I would love to have it if you do...Sweetie really enjoyed that dessert.

On the last day before we flew home, we wanted to find a little something to take home to the dear friends who were taking care of our animals. A Penzey's spice store had just opened up 3 weeks before our visit...how handy is that?...so we bought a variety of small containers of cinnamon at Penzey's. They have sample to sniff or taste. The sniff I took of the double vanilla extract was enough to convince me that I need to mail order some, plus some vanilla bean. Didn't want to take them home on the plane, but Penzey's has a great catalog.

The last fun was a trip on Monday to Green Springs Farm Park in Arlington. The cute tea cups in the first photo are in a bed there near the old colonial brick house, but they have an amazing collection of plants and scenic beauty. I just love the lush green of a Virginia forest and the way the first fall leaves are scattered in the water in the photo below. What a perfect ending to a wonderful trip home.


  1. Those teacups! What a fun idea! I would love to do something similar in my sorry excuse for a garden but I fear with the Dutch weather they would be filled all the time (sadly enough not with tea)

  2. It's such fun to find new food shops on holiday, the vanilla sounds wonderful :)

  3. I want to plan a tea party just to have teacups up on stilts :D

  4. Those teacups look really good.

    I've had a delicious soupy coconut rice pudding. It was made by my Indian sister-in-law's mum. I'll try and get hold of the recipe and e-mail it to you.

  5. I love these stories about your family's cooking and traditions. Those teacups are great, and that pulled pork luncheon looks mouthwatering.

    You should consider sharing some of these family stories and recipes in our new blogging event - Apples & Thyme. I think you have a lot of traditions to tell us about! You can check out the event announcement on my blog.

  6. Karen,
    I love those tea cups, too. It makes such a pretty garden decoration. Lots of rain here, too, of late, so rain, not tea would be filling them if I had some.

    Kelly-Jane, The Penzey's store was such a nice surprise.

    Cynthia, we could have a virtual tea party.

    Amanda, That would be wonderful if you found the soupy coconut rice pudding recipe! Wish I knew who made those cups on stilts.

    J, I will add some memories to the event and am so sorry about the loss of your mom. The Apples & Thyme event is such a special way to remember her.

  7. Elle your trip sounds great and the pic of the little stream could have been taken from a walk through the woods where I live in Somerset England. (Not far from Glastonbury of King Arthur and Guinevere fame).

  8. A.V., I wold love to see that area sometime. So many parts of England are supposed to be really beautiful.