chopsticks

I wrote out an entire post, only to have it completely eaten by WordPress.  Which means, that the post will wait until tonight and I’ll leave you with a short little blurp. :mrgreen:

Have you ever eaten with chopsticks? 

It is an experience. 

A little while back, the Broccoli Hut made a post on eating with chopsticks, and how it adds to the entire dining experience.  It slows you down.  Makes you notice that you’re eating.  I completely agreed.

I am a self-proclaimed inhaler of food.  Not when I’m eating out with friends and family or at a fancy schmancy restaurant.  But at home?  Yes.  I inhale.

Which is where chopsticks come in.  Now, let’s face it, not every meal can be eaten at a slow, leisurely pace.  There are times when I’ll need to wolf down a lunch in five minutes flat, and times when dinner is something that must be fit in—somehow, some way—despite being in a rush.  But there are also times when it’s important to slow down and enjoy the food that we’re eating.  Life is too busy.  It’s important to take time out and enjoy the day, whether by ourselves or with friends and family.

I’m convinced that part of the reason why people who consume the Mediterranean Diet are so healthy, is due not only to the foods that they eat, but also due to the fact that they eat. so. slowly.  A drink of wine here.  A laugh with a friend there.  A small bite every other conversation.  It’s so relaxed. 

Chopsticks, chopsticks, chopsticks (not that people on the Mediterranean Diet eat with chopsticks, but I’ve found it’s one of the easiest ways to slow the entire dining process down :mrgreen: )

So my challenge to you is to try using chopsticks.  For a meal.  Or a day (although eating oats with chopsticks may prove to be kind of challenging 😉 ).  Most grocery stores carry the free wooden kind that you can simply pick up and mess around with before investing in a pair.  They’re super simple to use once you get the hang of it.

The How-To of chopsticks

Don’t be intimidated.  And don’t be put off by the fact that you may drop food on your shirt at first.  True Story: I have olive oil stains on my t-shirt too.  But as everyone who uses chopsticks will attest to, it gets easier with time.  You’ll be a pro before you know it. 😀

Question: Have you ever used chopsticks?

Vacationing Adventures

I love vacation, but I love the vacation mindset even more.  Relax.  Breathe.  Take your time.  Do what you love.  Enjoy.

I wouldn’t want vacation all the time—it wouldn’t feel quite as special, now would it?  But at the same time, it’s nice to think that you can always experience a little bit of vacation whenever and wherever you are.  Even if that means trying a new restaurant that you’ve never been to or taking pictures of everything—everything!!—in your very own neighborhood.  Your own backyard.  I dare you to go out and see your town through an outsiders’ eye.  I’ll bet there are a ton of treasures just waiting to be discovered.

Anyways, on to breakfast.  I simply mixed in the last of the yogurt with about a cups worth of kashi heart to heart, and topped it all off with 1/2 a banana, craisins, coconut and a dollop of teddy peanut butter.

Simple.  But very tasty and satisfying. 😀

 

 Everyone felt like walking.  Nobody felt like hiking.  Well, the idea of Mt. Washington did come up once or twice, but only in a joking, “haha” sort of way.  A nature walk sounded more appropriate for a warm, sunny afternoon. 

 

 The nature walk ended up taking us through dirt roads, past raspberry bushes, and over hills.  Four miles, round trip.  My legs were feeling a little tired from yesterday’s hike, and I considered waiting by the sign for a bus. 

 

 But I was soon drawn in to view the rapids.  The mad, rushing fury of the river intertwined with the calm, peaceful serenity of New Hampshire’s woods was breathtaking.  Breathtaking. 

Oh how I love New Hampshire.

 

 That was when I slipped on a rock and practically threw my camera up into the air.  Visions of a shattered lens upon the rocks.  Smash.  Glass.  Tears.

But that never actually happened.  Somehow I managed to catch myself midair, and tucked my camera in before I could plummet to the earth.  With my camera safely tucked away, back in the case where it belonged, I sat down on the rocks and just took in all the scenery and sounds of the river.

New Hampshire.  Walking and hiking.  Fun.  Adventure.

 

 For lunch, we found a picnic table near a river and pulled out some goodies that we had packed in our cooler.

Plums

Italian Baguette

Vermont Goat Cheese

Salad

 

 Everything was so fresh and delicious!

 

 And the Italian bread from a local cafe pretty much made this meal.  Crispy, doughy, and still warm from being baked that very morning.

The thick slab of creamy goat cheese didn’t hurt either. 😉

 

 The rain began to fall this afternoon, and when we were safely back at the cottage, the books came out and coffee was made.  I took a shower, plopped down on the couch and just read.  It felt so incredibly luxurious. :mrgreen:

Afternoon Snack: Last of the salad with a dollop of roasted red pepper hummus

 

 I’m one of those people who would normally rather make a meal at home, versus going out to a restaurant.  Let’s be honest.  How many restaurants can offer a warm, inviting atmosphere, along with serving food that you will remember for days?  Months?  Years?  I’ve been sorely disappointed too many times, leaving a restaurant with a big bill and nothing to show for it.  Nothing to brag about. 

But that’s not always the case.  And today, my family found a jewel of a restaurant in Lincoln, NH.  A place that I’m already looking forward to visiting again the next time I’m here on vacation.

The Common Man

 

 

 The decor of the restaurant was quaint and rustic.  With smells of warm bread baking in the oven, and a warm, inviting atmosphere, I felt an immediate connection to the place.   I imagine it’s a little like walking into a favorite aunt’s house for the holidays and feeling nothing but comfort.  Or talking with someone whom you’ve never met before and immediately feeling as if you’ve known that person all your life. 

It’s that kind of feeling.

 

 

 

 There were two floors to the restaurant, and my family was seated upstairs in a dining room.  Down on the first floor, there was a trio of cheese offerings.  I sampled a lil’ bit of each, but somehow convinced myself to save room for the main course. 

 

 Although I definitely could have made a meal out of this Italian bread and whipped butter.  Amazing. 

 

 

 For my main entree, I ordered the Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Peach Compote.  It came with a baked potato (I requested that it be served dry without sour cream or butter) and green beans.

Oh.  My.  Word.

The baked potato skin was crispy and sea salted, the beans were tender and fresh, and the pork was out-of-this-world delicious.  Melt in your mouth delicious. 

 

 I couldn’t fathom the idea of eating dessert after my meal, despite the tempting dessert menu.  But the complimentary white chocolate was the perfect, sweet finale to a wonderful meal.

 

 I am now off to read the night away!!

Question: Do you have a favorite restaurant?