Adventure food weekend! 4:39 p.m. 2004-09-19

Current Reading: House of the Scorpion by Janet Farmer

Current Listening: Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry

Movies: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Bring It On

This morning, I slept in and took a 2 and 1/2 mile walk through some of the not-so-lovely Lawrenceville. I was headed for Winder, but decided that was too far. I did a loop, choosing to go to the left whenever indecisive. After almost an hour, I found my car... I drove back to check the mileage. I can't say for sure if this is something I will continue to do!

On the bright side, I found a couple of neat things. I found a couple of spider lilies shooting out of the ground off of a major thoroughfare. I don't carry a shovel in my trunk (like my father does!), so I let them be. Spider lilies are peculiar little plants - I think they are part of the lily family, but they don't have any leaves. Instead, they just seem to shoot up randomly, appearing to come from nowhere. The only way to find them is to see them blooming.

I also happened on a mini shopping center with a Mexican restaurant and bakery, but was was really interesting was the Bosnia Market. After checking my mileage, I backtracked and went to check it out. It was open, and I told the guy at the register that I had never been there before. He asked what European country I was from - I guess it was the bandanna on my head? - and I replied that I was from the US, but taught ESOL. I then proceeded to regale him with the story of my sole encounter with a Bosnian student that I encountered while teaching Spanish and French Connections. I was interrupted by a fellow worker, so I went ahead and explored the place, figuring I had said enough.

The shelves were filled with all sorts of interesting fare - and an astonishing number of sweets and chocolate. In the back of the store, there was a butcher, cutting up pieces of cow and veal. I came out with a seasoning mix for Chicken Paprikash, two Middle-Eastern/Eastern European condiments, one called imam bayildi, which I had read about in Prodigal Summer. The other was called ajvar - and it was a bit spicy, even though it was labelled "mild." I also bought some red and black currant juice and some sort of beef sausage in small links without casing.

As I was leaving, the young man at the cash register asked if I had worked at Marietta Middle School (so I must have said something!). He said that he went there in 7th grade (at first, I was afraid that he indeed, was the Bosnian student to whom I was referring in my story...). But, no - he said that he had a "Mrs. Sheldon" - no, a Miss Sheppard for his ESOL teacher. I told him that I knew her very well and she was now Dr. Sheppard. I called her right afterward to let her know about the meeting. It's a small world after all!

It took me forever to get home - I got turned around, and then there was some sort of traffic jam on 316 - something that should not occur on a Sunday! When I got home, I went to work on cooking for the week.

In one crockpot, I combined turkey thighs (found at $1.99 a pound at the DeKalb Farmers Market last week), potato, carrots, onion, red bell peppers, mushrooms,one can of low-sodium cream of mushroom soup, half the chicken paprikash seasoning, some of the ajvar, and a lot of paprika. We'll see what becomes of it. I plan on cooking it on high for about 5 or 6 hours, then adding some sour cream and serving it on rice.

In the other crockpot, I put chopped onion, peppers, spinach, canned mushrooms, canned black olives, a few slices of pepperoni and a tad of bacon, and a jar of spaghetti sauce with some ajvar in it. I also browned some of the beef sausage and cut it into threes, to make "meatballs." I will serve it over pasta. That would be wierd concoction number two!

The last thing is not as wierd. I had a container of Pour-a-Quiche, but no crusts, so I decided to make a crustless quiche (for our "low-carb" lifestyle - NOT!). I put spinach, canned mushrooms and bacon in a casserole dish, and poured the quiche mixture over it. It looked like some of the cheese stayed in the carton, so I added some grated parmesan. So, between those three things, frozen burritos, and stir-fry, we should be set for the week.

Last night, my husband and I explored a little taqueria that I kept seeing on my way home on Buford Highway. It is called Taqueria El Cabrito, so I wondered if that indicated what they served (cabrito is goat in Spanish). Sure enough, a sign appeared advertising tacos de chivo, which is barbecued kid (or baby goat). I had three tacos, and they had a LOT of meat on them. I told my husband to remind me next time that two were plenty! He had barbecued beef taco and an empanada de pollo, which was a chicken mixture enveloped in a corn tortilla and fried. I was the only woman customer there. I thought that it was very good, and roasted kid is hard to find in the Atlanta area. Sure enough, when I asked where they were from, they said they were from Texas. I will have to bring Mom and Dad (separately, of course!). I also want to see if I can carry out meat by the pound.

A lot of these food cravings were triggered by Prodigal Summer, the novel by Barbara Kingsolver that I just listened to for the second time on CD. Loved that book! I am currently reading a science fiction book set in what used to be the borderland between the US and Mexico. It is very interesting, but it has me dreaming about clones...

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