What a weekend in Ocean City! For the first time since I came to Delmarva, I finally made it to Ocean City with the family this month. Given that the season is still in full swing, almost every restaurant was so full we could have waited two hours to get a table for six at any given spot. Crazy! With a party of six that included two young kids, we couldn’t afford that wait. So, we stalked up and down the street near our hotel for a quicker bite.
We landed at Kirby’s Pub, a hole in the wall on a shopping strip of tourist traps. It was dark, loud, and a little dirty. To get to our table, we had to walk through the narrow trappings between bodies at the bar and the bodies at tables. We were right next to the juke box and games, much to the delight of my very young brother-in-law.
It definitely was more of a bar than a restaurant, but still there was food. We ate well from a plate of fresh fried chips and steamed shrimp as an appetizer. The chips retained their shape and crisp after frying, and they paired nicely with just ketchup or even their chili nachos that top the same kind of chips
For dinner itself, I had a simple fried fish sandwich topped with lettuce and tartar sauce. The same chips from our appetizer joined the sandwich. It was a typical meal of the bars in the area. I did not find it to be particularly special, but it was a proper meal to end a long drive.
Kirby’s Pub filled the role that I expected. We ate well, and we ate fast, but the food was not particularly special. I would, however, go back in this exact situation. It’s a reliable little spot among a lot of tourist restaurants that fill up quick during season.
August is coming to a close, and you know what that means. It’s time for us to announce our cookbook of the month for September: Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish. It was only a matter of time now that I have started to show some interest in bread baking. This is an award winning cookbook that has been recommended to me more than once since I started making bread.
It’s a special book, and you can tell just by looking at the cover. I have yet to pick up a cookbook for this little exercise that has won both a James Beard Foundation Book Award AND a IACP Cookbook award. I’m very excited to dive into this book, so let’s go over some of the basics.
The book is broken into four parts with three of them consisting of different dough recipes: basic bread, levain bread, and pizza. There are several essays peppered throughout from what the contents guide shows me, and I am very oddly excited about that.
The real treat is that my baking waifu, Amanda, will be guest posting on Eating Normal as we work through this book. She is one of those that suggested it to me, and we will be working out which recipes to try as the month goes on. We’ll let you know what we decide on so you can gook along with us. Bread, bread, bread!
Back when I first came to Delaware, I visited the very recently opened EasySpeak Spirits in Milford. This was in December, and a lot has changed over there. I’ve closely followed their facebook page to keep an eye on their development, and I’ve seen improvements to their location, live music, and meal specials added to their repertoire. I thought it only right to visit again so far down the road.
We arrived on a cool Sunday evening under an overcast sky. We were one of a few small groups there, and it made the available area feel spacious and comfortable. Their outdoor seating area is the most changed since those cold December nights. They’ve added a sandy area, hammocks, and games for visitors to hang out. On any other night, I may have been inclined to stay awhile. This makes it a good spot for when you have company.
I’ll be honest with you. Over the last month or so, I’ve been suffering from a major episode from my depression and anxiety. I have had panic attacks the likes of which I have never felt before, and it was only in the last week I’ve really been able to identify them as exactly that. It is a struggle that never feels like it ends, but in the middle of it all, I have two things: my husband’s support and my food.
To me, cooking is its own therapy. You hear a lot of people say this to the point it is almost cliche, but what’s better than the smell of fresh bread, a batch of cookies, or your favorite meal? It’s no pill of anti-depressant medication, but it has an effect on me I really can’t deny. Working through my favorite recipes makes me feel like I am in control of something when the world is difficult to understand and navigate.
Do you find yourself in the same cooking routine week in and week out? Do you struggle to do something new during the work week? Fear not, I am here to share with you some of the things I have discovered during the last few months that have kept me from falling prey to the dangerous recipe loop, the most feared enemy of most home cooks. I certainly feared it until I got my shit together.
I had a few recipes that I fell back on every single week. It was the same chicken tenders, the same pasta dishes, the same grilled cheese. Up until I changed my diet, I found it really hard to break the routine. I knew these things could be made quickly on a weeknight when I might not feel like cooking. My shopping list never changed. My refrigerator had the same stuff in it every single week. Something had to give, especially if I was going to do this food blogging thing with any kind of seriousness.
So, I took a few steps to beat the loop. If I couldn’t beat the loop, I would lose most of my interest in cooking.
An idea born in Normal, Illinois, Eating Normal hopes to chronicle the eating Experiences of a Red bird.
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