I know, I know--everyone's making bentos nowadays. I hate it because it's trendy, but it's just so. . . cute, competitive, tasty, appealing. . . oh, drat. The one pictured here is not at all in the right kind of container, but it was a good first attempt with what I had. From the top right, in the red silicone cup is a blue-dyed pig-shaped hard-boiled egg (note that right after I took this picture I realized I'd forgotten to add the salmon--four chunks of dry-smoked salmon were then nestled in the red cup around and under the pig), then a light Bonne Bell cheese, then a Gala apple, cored, dipped in lemon juice and li hing mui powder, with pecan pralines sitting in its center, then white chocolate-covered apricots, then a grano, tomato, corn, and herb salad, then another light Bonne Bell. Robert liked it, but the people at work thought the pig was weird. To me, that's the highest compliment!
While eating dinner up on our deck one night, we saw--and heard--a hawk above us. He settled on the large (now unused) smokestack of the Tremont Piano Factory, behind us, and sat there for about half an hour while another, smaller hawk flew in swoops around him and called out. We're not huge birdwatching people, but it was pretty neat. You can see (if you look closely) that he's about the height of eight or nine bricks and mortar--not small, in other words. He hasn't come back, that we've seen, but we're on the lookout.
With Suzi, Sarah, and John we went to Henry's Root Beer in Taunton (acceptable but not fabulous food, excellent root beer--very vanilla-y, not very fizzy, but delicious) and then to Jurassic Mini Golf near there. The dinosaurs (and the frog Suzi scooped up as the unlit course rapidly got too dark, buggy, and froggy to play) made it a great atmosphere, but it was really the course itself--the patches of rough, the numerous water hazards, and the odd bumps and rolls more like a black ski slope than a typical mini golf course--that made it so much fun.
Yes, it was quite the month for J.K. fans, as everyone who hasn't been living inside a breadbox must know by now. We saw Movie #5 with Jef, Jin Yoon, and Bob in Boston the Friday it came out (after sushi, of course!) and then we met Cori in NY the Friday Book #7 was coming out. We wandered through the Scholastic store on Broadway and the Barnes & Noble at Union Square (I think we're standing under a Whomping Willow) before leaving Cori to have dinner with friends in the city. Robert and I headed back into Queens to have an excellent all-you-can-eat Szechuan hot pot meal (which included shao lung bao and other dumplings on the side, as well as an elaborate make-your-own-sauce bar) on 40th Road off of Main Street, Flushing. By 9:05 we were on line at the Bay Terrace Barnes & Noble for our own copy of the book. We had a great spot on line--just five or so people behind us had to stand outside the store on the sidewalk all night, while we got to sit on the floor inside. Ah, carpet--and all the books you could read in three hours. We got #7 a few minutes after midnight, though Robert had already read the first quarter or so of the book on his laptop before. I was busily reading the new Joyce Carol Oates while I waited, and trying not to acknowledge the Bronx Science kids (all recent college graduates, but looking to us as though they were fifteen years old, max.) behind us. (Aren't you supposed to be good at recognizing 18 to 22-year-olds?" Robert asked. Apparently not.)
I can't advise you strongly enough to order a batch of heirloom tomato plants from Verrill Farms next year. They're pretty cheap ($3 a plant this year), there's a huge selection, the plants are healthy and sturdy when you pick them up in mid-to-late May, and boy, are they yielding good fruit! We've had a few cherry tomatoes and one big one before now, but just this morning I picked ten ounces of assorted cherry tomatoes. They're truly as sweet as candy, and we can look forward to harvesting more throughout the rest of the summer, I'm sure.
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Created: 7/24/07. Last Modified: 7/24/07.