Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Reading Terminal Revisited

With the big kids' Christmas break wrapping up, we wanted to squeeze in a few more days of fun before they went back to school. One of the things on our "To Do List" was to take a road trip into Philly and check out Reading Terminal Market. Although we'd been there before (when Mary and Gene were in town), Colleen and Ian had missed out. They'd been in the Lone Star State during that visitdoing their college thing. Because the market is something you gotta see to believe, we decided to pile the entire crew in the van and head out - Clampett style. Here's some of the cool stuff we found that day.
Without exception, the produce here is always gorgeous. What I find fascinating, though, is the incredible variety they have to choose from. Just look at those cactus pears. Where in the world did they find those giants and why weren't they rock hard?? For goodness sakes people, it is January! As in winter time. All I'm saying is this - someone out there must be making deals with the devil.
Although I'm no fan of beets, as my poor mother can attest, these babies almost had me reconsidering my boycott. Unlike their weird purple cousins, these golden beets actually look like a vegetable and something that's supposed to grow on the planet Earth. I'm not promising I'll eat one anytime soon, but maybe there's hope yet.
Then we stumbled across this. I've always loved duck, but I have a particular weakness for Peking Duck.  Unfortunately for me, I seem to be alone in this appreciation. Despite all my assurances, my family wouldn't even consider ordering it. I don't get it. How can anyone not love something that is crispy, juicy, and full of golden brown goodness?
Perhaps it's because, as the Red Headed Kid would say, "People don't like to eat things that are hanging from their necks." I don't know- that duck looked pretty yummy to me. And look at this sweet gentleman. If this is the man who's doing the cooking for you, you should rest easy. Because if he's the one making your meal, it's definitely gonna be good.
But this stuff they were selling in the seafood counter next to him? The stuff that cost $5.99 a pound and was called smelts? Uhm...not so much. Let's just say it made total sense to me when the kids were all, "Thanks, but I'm gonna have to take a pass on that." 
They also had some of the most delicious balsamic vinegar Colleen and I had ever tasted. One of my favorites was this cranberry- pear version. It was tart and balsamic-y and so good, I was tempted to cut out the middle man and just drink it in a glass. 'Cause I'm sophisticated like that.
In the non-food category, these table linens were an absolute show stopper. Although a bit pricey, to their credit, they were expertly made of 100% cotton jacquard and manufactured in Tuscany. These types of tablecloths are the type you use your entire life. They were as gorgeous as they were durable.
Last, but not least, Colleen spotted this clever little notepad in a storefront that specialized in all things cooking. I love the clever twist on words here- "pad of butter"- so witty! I'd walked right past it in my haste to get to the cookie cutter section of the store, because, well... you know. Digging through the entire wall of cutters, I managed to find one for every state on the East Coast except New Jersey. Which got me to thinking- who's buying all the damn Jersey cookie cutters?? Why is there a run on New Jersey but not on Rhode Island?? Is there something I don't know that my neighbors just don't have the heart to tell me? Hmmmm. On second thought, perhaps I should've bought that notepad after all. Apparently, I need to jot down a new To Do List- one with the first line item being "Cookie cutter? Fuhgetaboutit".

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