Thursday, January 26, 2012

January Roses

Spring semester has officially started and it *might* be my last semester. I have all my dissertation data collected except for one final interview. Things are taking shape. In addition, I'm also applying for jobs (but I'm too superstitious to post anything about that until I have an offer letter!). Thinking about the possibility of moving on from Aus-town is exciting but sad. Here is one thing I'll miss: January roses. Most of the blooms succumbed to a hard freeze and turned into dry, black pods but this batch did its best to hang onto some color. I've never grown roses before and these came with the house. I'm not a fan of thorny plants but these bushes showed me that they can fend for themselves and, if allowed to hang around, would do their best to share cheerful blooms as much of the year as possible.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Delancey Pizza

Since returning from Seattle, I've had a flurry of meetings, dissertation work, and more work-related travel. It may have taken me awhile to post this but I'm still thinking about That Pizza. First a bit of back story; I have been an avid reader of the Orangette blog and read the creator's first book, A Homemade Life. When writer Molly and her husband, Brandon, followed their dream to open Delancey, I knew I had to eat there. When I found out my travel would take me to Seattle, it was on! I hopped a bus and headed north from downtown, walked a few blocks, and there it was. Delancey occupied a small-but-not-tiny space and was a warm beacon on a dark, damp Seattle night. It was already starting to fill up at 5:00ish (luckily I was running on central time). The server gave me a tiny table in the front window and it was perfect.

I had the "Brooklyn" pizza that featured fresh and aged mozzarella along with Grana.

The homemade crust was perfectly thin-crispy-crunchy-chewy which is perfect in my opinion (my school of thought: crust is the delivery system for the delicious toppings, not it's own carb-crazy entity). The sauce, oh the sauce... bright, rich, tomato bliss. I wanted to drink it as soup. No question that this sauce was made with All Things Good. And then the cheese combination... delicious, salty, and perfect. The server let me know they had pickled peppers (made in house, of course) and I added those--a fantastic call. As an entire pizza entity, it was amazing. I should have had a salad but I'm glad I had room to savor as much pizza as I wanted. All in all, it was a perfect culinary adventure and one I must repeat.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Seattle Whimsy

When in Seattle, I had to go to a certain pizza joint (post forthcoming). As I journeyed via bus and foot, I found this amazing umbrella shop. What a delightful shop in Seattle. I wanted to stand outside in the mist and just take it in, imagining how Patty would paint it.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Seattle Public Library

After lunch today, I took a stroll through the library. I had admired it from the outside but a librarian who noticed my conference bag while at a coffee shop urged me to visit the inside. Who am I to argue the personal invitation of a librarian? She mentioned the fourth floor was covered in red lacquer and had no right angles. Sure enough, I found the inviting red stairs. There were just meeting rooms there but it felt like I was walking through the heart of the library. It was well worth exploring.

More from the Market

Pike Place Market was even busier today, a Saturday, and everyone else wanted to photograph the sights so I only snapped a few more pictures. Flowers and seafood, two of my favorite things.

Le déjeuner

I attended my final conference session this morning, a really interesting round table discussion about what educational policy in K-12 means for higher education. I even got to say "good morning" to a Really Famous Person (at least in my field) and got a brief response back. I wanted to gush and let her know Becoming Famous Person is on my committee but of course I didn't. After the conference, I headed to Pike Place Market again to track down some lunch. I ended up at French place and, as I did in Arizona, immediately spoke French with the server who was so delightful. I had a three course lunch menu.
First course, mais oui, French onion soup. Super hot, rich, and tasty.

For my second course, I chose mussels. Fortunately Monsieur brought me more bread so I could enjoy the always-wasted broth.

Dessert was crème brulée with coffee.

The entire experience was lovely and there is nothing like looking out at Puget Sound while enjoying a classic French lunch.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A glimpse of Seattle

Today was my first full day in Seattle. I went to some conference sessions and spent a lot of my time preparing for a brief, preliminary job interview so I only snapped a few photos on my phone in between work stuff. Naturally for lunch, I head to Pike Place Market. I went to a chowder shop recommended by a friend and colleague and was not disappointed by my smoked salmon chowder. No pic of that; I was busy eating it al fresco in the 45º weather.

I wanted to just gawk and photograph the fruits and vegetables but restrained myself with one shot. I was handed slices of apple and pear to and from the chowder joint. If only my little hotel room had a kitchen.

This didn't photograph so well but I loved the procession of piggies on the roof of the market, decked out in pine garlands.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I just arrived in Seattle for a conference. After a long day of travel, a flight of local reds makes for a good nightcap.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Birthday Part II

Another quick post (see previous entry). The other part of my birthday was, of course, good eats. It started with a surprise bottle of bubbly and some cupcakes in our hotel room, courtesy of my sister.

Then we were off to the best sushi restaurant ever that Austin had dug up by searching online reviews. For our appetizer, our server told us to try the sauteed shishito peppers. Wow, so much flavor! I want a clump if sticky rice to soak up the sauce. Every few peppers was extra spicy so it was sort of a game to see what you bit into.

My entree: a peppercorn ahi tuna steak that was seared and served with edamame ginger puree, sesame chili oil, roasted sweet potato with miso butter, wasabit candied walnuts and scallion, stir-fried baby green beans, and crispy shallots. Oh yeah, I had to get that off the menu because it was too much flavor to remember.

Austin got the shishito pepper filet, a pan-seared beef tenderloin with plum glaze, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, sauteed shiitake mushrooms, and wasabi potato gratin. He could barely comment on it, he was groaning so much in happiness.

In fact, it was so good that we had to go back the next day for lunch before we left town. Coconut crab soup and some sushi rolls were a must do.

Birthday Part I

I'm busy getting ready for a conference and submitting conference proposals so hopefully pictures really are worth a thousand words. Here is a taste of the art we saw in Ft. Worth for my birthday. We took in three museums and stumbled upon what had to be hundreds of multi-color lighted trees near office and along a river. So. Much. Fun.