Friday, September 4, 2009

Vacation (almond lime sauce- sesame ginger sauce)

After our Pre-Baby Welcoming party Chopper and I decided it would be best for everyone, if we took a few days to hang together and vacation a little before our baby arrives. We have both been going in so many different directions all summer, taking the time to slow down and be together, was both lovely and necessary.

Our friends from Georgia (whom I've mentioned here many times before), were visiting the Boston area for an Unschooling Conference. Chop and I love spending time with them, usually we visit on their beautiful farm in GA, but this time we had Thai food and stayed at the Sheraton in Wakefield, MA to hang, eat, and chat. We joined them at the "send off Unschooling Conference picnic", where we were lucky to meet some of the colorful families and kids that they had spent their weekend with. Madeline, Nicolas, Gillen, and Jesse had given us a beautiful basket for our baby, (as well as, years of momma mentoring).

While at the picnic, I met the artist, Julie Persons, who had made a beautiful felt pregnancy doll, that was a gift in the basket. She is also a blogger and photographer and offered to take some pregnancy pictures in the park where we were picnicking.

Me and Madeline. I believe the only picture we may have together, we are usually the ones holding the cameras.

Some of my favorites of the pictures Julie took.

After some great quality time with the Donck-Rains family Chop and I headed to Portland, Maine. Neither of us had been there before and we were happy to tool around with no real plan. We actually didn't even know how to get there, but followed the highway signs (we had no map or talking direction giving machine) and found it was much closer and easier to get to than we had anticipated.

Once in the city, we walked, we talked, we window shopped, we people watched and we ate some really nice food.

The second day there we took the ferry to Peaks Island and walked around. Peaks is only 15 minutes by ferry to Portland, this gave us island envy. 15 minutes and you are in a city center, yet have all the peacefulness and beauty of living on an island!

While on Peaks, Chop got a little beach combing in (one of his favorite pass-times)

While I put my mildly soar and puffy feet in the water.

Something you never see on Block Island for the lack of trees! An acorn and a mussel.

We definitely enjoyed every meal we had while in Portland. I think we chose wisely, but I also think they just have really good food there. The city is pretty progressive and I think with progressive thinking comes good eatin, or is it the other way around..hmmm?

One of our more special meals was from a cafe called GRO (grassroots organic). GRO uses 100% organic, local when available, fair trade ingredients, their prices are affordable to keep their food accessible and most of it is not cooked above 112 degrees to keeping a high level of nutrients and flavor. They even grow their own shitake mushrooms! Chopper and I had a nice conversation with the owner and chef and learned that the chef went to the same school as I did (Institute of Integrative Nutrition). This was a very nice exchange, and made us both leave there feeling like we should strike up conversations with people more often, sometimes we can both be a little shy.

Salad from GRO- House grown mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado, sprouts, carrots, red pepper, and marinated sea vegetables on a bed of spinach with a sesame ginger vinegarette and sesame seeds.

Easy Being Green Juice- spinach, collard, celery, parsley, and green apple.

Though I don't have a picture I don't want it to go unmentioned, we also had sea veggie shitake collard rolls which were delicious. You may remember when I used collards as a wrap a while back, this is the same deal and another great example of playing with ingredients.

Sea vegetables (you can use wakame, arame, nori, etc), marinated shitakes, sprouts, carrots, red peppers, wrapped in a collard green, they were served in an almond lime sauce and with a sesame ginger dipping sauce. The combination was awesome.

Almond lime sauce: Almond butter, lime juice, shoyu (soy sauce), dates and ginger blended to taste.

Sesame ginger sauce: This Sesame-Ginger Sauce is adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
6 tablespoons sesame oil
6 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 to 1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes (this is hot!)
2 1/2 tablespoons minced ginger
4 garlic cloves

Blend or food process.

Ok the good food didn't stop there and wasn't all raw either. Our last night in Portland we went to see the movie Inglorious Basterds, which was really pretty awesome, and then for pizza. We went to a place called Bonobos
. There we had delicious brick oven, flat bread pizza. I was really feeling like I wanted to try some local brew, so I asked the waitress if I could have a small half glass of a Portland brewed dark beer. The entire dinig experience was great, Chopper even started talking about building a brick oven.

This was the Tallegio Pizza- roasted tomatoes, tomato sauce, tallegio cheese and mozzarella topped with fresh arugula dressed in olive oil. You could make this at home using your grill to give it that crispy smoky flavor.


Madeline Rains said...

You always make me hungry, and make me wish we lived closer. Julie's pictures are amazing (though I was no help in mine, being as tired as I was after too much fun). I am so glad that you had a great time in Portland, and that we got to see you. : )

natalie said...

so glad that you two got to take some time out to be together, I think that is important, especially after the crazy summer you've had.
love you both