Bright Lights/Big City

I had a dinner adventure set for the City. (By ‘the City’ I mean Boston).

One friend I knew, two new friends to meet.

It came together surprisingly easy – a couple of e-mails and we had a day, a time and a place.

Too easy.

Sooooo

I google a map, get on a bus and go.

Which is about when the plans started to unravel.

But I won’t know this for a while.

Not everyone has my cell phone number – and I have an old fashioned NOT-smart phone.

flip phone

flip, not smart….

No Facebook,

facebook

no Twitter

twitterimage

no e-mail….

email

Just phone…..

I got to the restaurant early….natch

They let me sit at the Lounge and served me water.

When I asked about the reservation for four at seven, they said:

We have no such reservation

Hmmmmmmm……..

Just then, my phone rings.

It’s the friend of my friend and I can’t hear a word she’s saying because  a police motorcycle goes by, sirens and lights. Then a police cruiser, also all sirens and lights. Followed by a fire truck and and then an ambulance…..

fire truck lights

Sooo – friend of friend will be right there – there’s been a last minute change of plans…..

As I wait I realize I don’t know exactly what she looks like….did I mention I’m in

THE CITY?!?!

I’m in the City, waiting for someone I don’t actually know. I’m getting really hungry now, too. Should I go  back to the South Station, grab a bite and get on the next bus out of town?

But who’s that? Friendly, quizzical…..could this be friendly friend of friend?

Two minutes later I have a new friend.

We walk down the street, stop at a place with tables on the sidewalk, talk and talk,  order:

Chicken Meatballs with tomato vinaigrette, garlic cream and pine nuts; Artichoke and Bacon flatbread with lemon-thyme ricotta and parmesan; Fried Soft Shell Crab with lemon-herb fromage blanc and frisee ; Falafel Pancakes with tzatziki, serrano and scallion  (falafel AND a pancake – Yes, please!),

eat, talk, laugh, talk, talk, talk, laugh……and in the end she offered me all the leftovers.

Yes, please and Thank-you!

Especially the  Roasted Cauliflower with beet hummus, pine nuts and golden raisins.

Time out for teachable moment:

 

  1.  Why are some golden raisins called sultanas?
    1. Golden raisins are made from WHITE GRAPES (DUH). Kishmish is another name for them made from  a  variety of large white grape.  We almost definitely had Kishmish because they were HUGE. Sultanas may be so named because they were originally from the Ottoman Empire.
Thompson_seedless_grapes

White grapes make lighter raisins.

And now on to Cauliflower.

Cauliflower

The first time that I roasted cauliflower, oh so many years ago,  it was for a soup. I had roasted the cauliflower  and as it cooled my son and I ate almost all of it. I wrote a note on the recipe to roast 2 cauliflower when making the soup…because we’d eat one before  soup. This winter, cauliflower has been so trendy that I never made snag of one at the mark-down bin.

caulifower who;le roast NYT

The New York Times had a Whole Roasted Cauliflower story and suddenly cauliflower is trendy.

At one point this winter, between the roasting trend and the drought in Cali,  cauliflower  were very pricey, indeed. The whole point of the cauliflower is it’s very not pricey-ness. Like it’s cousins, cabbages and collards, it’s meant to feed the masses. The hungry masses.People like ME!

When Cauliflower was common,. we ate a lot of it.

Botanical-Cauliflower-Italian-780x990

I had not one, but TWO ulterior motives for the leftovers.

Motive the first – find the roasted cauliflower soup recipe and make a single serve batch…

Motive the second – bring in the rest and create a little Lunch Envy.

Come lunch, I unpack ,

why THIS? Falafel pancakes???? mmmmmnom, and oh, yes, soft shell crab.……nomnomnommmmmm…

Then I am undone by homemade sauce and homemade meatballs and homemade garlic buns, which made the room smell divine as they re-heated in the toaster oven.

Karma got me good.

When I got home I couldn’t find the soup recipe, so I ate the leftover cauliflower pretty much as it was. Which was pretty darn good.

So there are days when plans can be made and plans can be undone and it’s still all good.

And there are plans for another night in the City.

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