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West Virginia
When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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February 11, 2011

Just Catching Up... (with a link to a new recipe)

My sister and I were talking this morning and trying to decide how many times and when she's visited me since I've lived downtown and we decided it was a shame I wasn't blogging back then and we could just look it up!  So, with that in mind, I'll keep on postin' - even if there aren't great events to relate.

It wasn't a great event, but yesterday my friend Jamie and I spent the day in Charleston which is always a treat.  She took the day off and I was delighted that she was willing to spend it traipsing around with me.  We had to drop off her "almost daughter-in-law" at her home in the hills up above Charleston and it's a good thing we did cause she was able to show us how to get to a little area called "the hill shops" so that when we were ready to go there later for lunch and a little shopping, we only got lost once or twice. :)

Our first stop was The Charleston Bakery, a real, honest-to-goodness bakery mostly baking bread of all sorts.  So, obviously it is a "must" every time I'm in Charleston.  They do have cookies too (which we each bought one for an after lunch treat).  I bought a loaf of light rye which I sampled last night and it's delicious.  Then today, I sliced a couple of fairly thin pieces, made my normal ham, turkey (and this time some pastrami) sandwich on that and then toasted it a little and my normal sandwich went way beyond normal.  Jamie bought a loaf of ciabatta which looked wonderful.  After that we stopped by the Capital City Market which during the warmer months into fall has lots and lots of produce outside, but even in the winter, there are a bunch of foodie type shops inside - one has only products made in West Virginia, then there's a wine and cheese shop where I bought a delicious brie that I had on my rye bread last night plus an Emmentaler that I'm going to use to make my one-person fondue one of these cold winter nights.  Then they have a market type store that has produce (including items that you don't see in the local stores here), and lots and lots of different kinds of dried beans in bulk which this time I managed to avoid buying.  There's a fish market and a meat market too and a Hall's Chocolate Store, so it's a neat place to visit - and it's right off the interstate if you're ever driving on I-64 through Charleston.

After that we drove over to what they call "Corridor G" (and I have no idea why) where there are a lot of the chain stores including a Home Goods which Jamie and I both love to wander through.  I was pretty good there, though - only bought a cute, plump, corked bottle to keep olive oil in, a real nice-smelling hand soap with olive oil in it and in a pretty pump jar, a chocolate bar that was a brand I hadn't seen and had a real pretty label (and was quite good too!) and...a jar of preserved lemons.  I've run across recipes that call for preserved lemons, including the one that I used recently for my lamb shank experiment (see Moroccan Style Lamb Shank).  I even have a recipe for making them yourself.  But here was a jar, so I bought it and now when I try using the lamb shank recipe idea with another type of meat, I'll be able to make it even more authentic.  So all that was good.

Then it was off to the hill shops where we first of all had lunch at a little market/cafe type place.  Had a very nice chicken salad sandwich on ciabatta which turned out to be the ciabatta from The Charleston Bakery!  Had a little glass of wine with it too which is a nice treat when having lunch with a friend, I think.  Poked around in a really neat boutique-y type store a couple doors down from the cafe and found some bits and pieces to buy but the stores up there are mostly for browsing when you're in my income bracket.  But fun.

We stopped off at the Charleston Town Center Mall to get a coffee and tea at Starbucks and eat our cookies and then home with lots of talk on the way.

So a very nice day it was.

3 comments:

Christopher said...

Hmmm.... I don't recall visiting any of those places in Charleston, though then again, sounds like you'd have to exercise self-discipline to not eat your way through 16 loaves of fresh bread... :)

January said...

Sounds delightful! I've never heard of the hill shops before - cute things?

Mary Lynne said...

There WERE cute things - in fact, I was tempted to buy you an apron they had but it looked like it might fit a flea. But it was a cute print and then had a whisk embroidered on the bib with "what would Julia do?" above it. So right for you in a couple of ways... :)

xo

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