Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tastes and Travel: Volt in Frederick, Maryland

If I recall correctly, this is the Sidepocket--hello bourbon!
September travels took me through Frederick, Md., where two of my favorite people live. (Hi, Cindi and Paul.) I had three of the most relaxing days in months, including a bike ride up the river to Shepherdstown, WV. Awesome ride, awesome people...they let me forget my troubles for a while.

One night we managed to get out to dinner at a local spot and then on to after dinner drinks at Volt, owned by Top Chef finalist Bryan Voltaggio.

The vibe here is awesome. We were too late to dine (no resies!) but got to go by for an after dinner drink.

This was the second time I missed a full-on food visit to Volt. Next time, I MUST get some dinner...too good to miss.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


This is coming a little late, but...isn't late summer corn just awesome? I spent a couple of weeks at my mom's house in September and ate corn straight from the farm as often as possible. This wacky ear? Looked like yellow river stone put together on the cob...but tasted like sweet summer.

I'll miss the corn until next year. Nothing measures up to a tender, fresh-picked, barely cooked corn. It is summer.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


It must be fall...These are from Reeger's Farm in Indiana, Pa.

The warts? Those are called peanuts.

Fields full of pumpkins..It's a pumpkin fest in the making
That is all.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fall and Remembering David Again

On September 30, my brother David would have turned 48. On September 25, we held a second memorial in our hometown, Indiana, PA. So many people turned out to remember David. It was something I dreaded, but then something I was so happy we did.
The day was lovely, a touch of fall already gracing the hills of Western Pennsylvania, a place I know David just loved.

I miss David often. Just today, while on a walk, I found myself mentally composing an email to him, an email about food of course, and then I remembered it won't get sent.

This Robbie Williams song is on a playlist we put together for the first memorial service. Eva, David's wife, said he loved this song. The lyrics are hauntingly appropriate. (The video, not so much)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Catching up...I did it (two-plus months ago, that is...)

Poor little Babette Feasts blog. I tell you, I have not been feasting much lately. August and September were an absolute whirlwind of travel, starting with the NYC Triathlon.

That was SO much fun. And exhausting. Here's the thing. The swim? Fine, no big deal (although choppy...I worried about people without experience, then found out my cousin Amy finished faster than I did. And that is my strong event. Her weak one. I guess I really am old....but that's okay, because guess what? I did the NYC Triathlon!)...I did the barefoot run by grabbing the swim shoes I'd stashed under a bench right by the swim exit...then I stopped and used a bench to sit down and get out of my wetsuit...then I toweled off, put on bike shorts and headed transition time for swim to bike was something awesome like 15 minutes.

What? It's not like I was angling for a medal!!

Anyway, then came the bike ride. Now mind you, I had really worked myself up into a state about the bike ride. They were predicting rain and all I could think of was how very bare the tires on the road bike are. Skid city is really what I was thinking. But what really happens is that you get on ...and you RIDE. You don't think you are going to fall, you just RIDE. You avoid people and you RIDE. You are very glad you are wearing the sunglasses, even though it is too dark, because wet roads kick up sprays of water right into your face and you RIDE. Then it starts pouring rain and you still RIDE. You ignore the fact that your sister, after she dropped you off for the event the day before, took note of the turnaround point and thought.."Far." You hit the turnaround point. The rain stops and the headwinds pick up...

Oh, man, I was so tired at the end of that ride. I do hilly-er hills in Charlotte, but these were loooooong, slooooowwww climbs and they took a toll.

But I got into the transition and I changed socks (so smart, to have read that it's a good idea to have some dry socks on hand), said hey to Sam as I exited the transition area (he was waiting for his relay team member to send him on his way) and promptly DIED.

Duh. uh. IED.

You start up a steep hill and I walked. You get to 72nd Street and I walked. I tried to jog and happily, I was actually jogging when I passed my little band of cheerleaders (Pat, Sushil, Simone, Gary, Julien +1, Gabby)...and then I had to walk again. All I could think was I have 6 miles to go. I was my own worst enemy. All the positive reinforcement thoughts went out the window.

I made it to each mile marker by running to the next tree down the way. Then walking. Then running to that lamppost I could see. Then walking...Then running to that big rock. It had been cool (ish) and raining during the bike ride. Now the sun came out and it was like running in a steam room and the temperature just seemed to rocket up to 90.

That is some hilly park, Central Park. Finally, around mile 4.5 Sam caught up with me. I was really feeling all kinds of crap so I said hey and see you at the finish. Sam kept running (again, when he caught up to me, I was, surprisingly, jogging)...then turned around thinking I was right behind him only to see me walking.

He waited. When I caught up to him, Sam made me start jogging and didn't let me quit. He kept me going by saying, "Come on, let's pass these two.." Then he would set his sights on the next runner or two and we'd pass them.

It was hard, but I was so touched. We crossed the finish line together and I cherish that moment.

but I gotta say, I felt awful. I wanted to cry. The volunteer who met me at the finish line asked me how I felt and must not have believed me, because he asked me my name...Truth? I should have told him I felt like crap and taken all the help he had to offer.

Scenes from the day:

Waiting in line for bus to the starting transition zone...where you then had to walk a mile to get to swim start. Yes, I was almost late...

Sam around 4:30 a.m. while waiting for the bus.

I actually stopped on the "run" to take a shot. Stupid to carry the camera at all.

Look, that's me saying hi..and trying to look like I'm having fun.

Me, Sam, Gabby, Gary
Still, I am glad so very glad I did this. The feeling of accomplishment in this cannot be matched by other things I do, mostly because this is so far out of my own comfort zone. To all of you who supported my efforts, you are so appreciated.

You MUST check out Amy's highlights, one of which was Amy, her sister Jill and I riding our way from hotel to transition zone through the streets of NYC. AWESOME. (I didn't make any of the photos because I felt like such ...yuck.)