For the second day that my friend Mike was in town, we’d originally planned on heading to the snow – Mt. Hood, specifically, aiming to do some hiking up on the flanks of the mountain.
But… plans change, sometimes – Like I mentioned in a previous post, we were in the middle of a pretty intense cold snap. While we had quite good snow-travel options (a chained-up Mustang and an all-wheel drive Mazda with top of the line snow tires), the actual traction part wasn’t really a concern. The real challenge with snow driving in Oregon is, unfortunately, other drivers.
See… Driving in the snow is easy. If you’ve grown up with it.
I think I’ve mentioned, but most of Oregon doesn’t really get snow, or any seasons aside from “rain” and “not-rain”. So very few people (it seems, at least) are used to driving in the snow.
That means that, when snow does show up in unexpected places, traffic gets bad. Like, “30-min commute turns into 6 hours” level of bad.
Mike and I… we weren’t really feeling a long traffic-filled drive. Not really feeling it at all.
So instead, we went to the Oregon Zoo!
Going to Zoos isn’t really something that I’ve regularly done historically… but in the past few years I’ve been re-introduced to the idea… and honestly, it makes for a really fun day out. The Oregon Zoo especially – I love how well their habitats are made, and how the pathway through the zoo just melds seamlessly between one environment into the next. It’s a really cool experience, and if you haven’t gone then I very much recommend it.
So we walked, chatted some more, and saw lots of animals. It was neat.
Afterward, we got home just in time for a really nice sunset walk, and… this is really starting to sound like a date, isn’t it?
You know what? What can I say – I hadn’t seen Mike in ages, and it’s been nearly as long since I’ve had a really good date to go all out on… so yeah. Then I cooked an awesome dinner.
It wasn’t a date, damnit!
Yeah, maybe it was a little bit of a bro-date. A lot a bit of a bro-date.
In Boston, we’ve got lobster. We’ve got chowder and delicious seafood. But crab isn’t really part of that delicious seafood. So when Sarah told me that she wanted to go to a fancy crab place… Hell yeah!
The dinner destination was Jack’s Crawfish; a place that Sarah has taken her folks to a while back, and that supposedly had the most massive plate of crab legs that anyone could ever want. And the best part? The weather was finally nice, and it was close enough to bike to!
We hopped into semi-fancy clothes, got onto the bikes,and rode to meet our delicious, butter-covered destiny. Our destiny served on a platter. Our destiny was crab legs.
And they were delicious! We had fried calamari to start out though, so by the time we were done we could barely move… Which was a two-fold bummer. First: we didn’t have room for dessert. Which would have been a chocolate box full of berries and fudge. Second: we still had to bike home.
The first problem was sad, but we got over it quickly since the food that filled our bellies up was amazing. The second problem… Well, what do you do when you can’t bike home? You go to the book store and peruse!
So we looked around Powell’s – alternating between looking for my Aunt’s gardening books, and reading behind the scenes books about the art of Mad Max. Sarah has some really awesome insights into those books, FYI. Advantage to working in that field for so long, it seems 🙂
Then, home. But not biking. Because we were still stuffed. We tried to take the MAX (the Portland equivalent of the MBTA or the BART), but it wasn’t running frequently enough (every 45min), so we just ended up walking. And then got passed by two MAX trains that hadn’t shown up on the schedule. Clearly.
I’d spend the day puttering around Portland. Stopping in at some restaurants, some shops, and generally working to get some random stuff done and some errands dealt with. Most of those errands revolved around making a fancy-ass dinner.
Why? Why not? That’s basically all I can say, since I didn’t have a specific reason for wanting to go full ham on dinner. But really – what sort of reason do you need?
Since real fun of the dinner was prepping and eating, I’ll give a quick list-off of the menu and plan…
Appetizer: Stirling Caviar, served on small biscuits with two flavors of Vodka (a Polish wheatgrass, and a Portland dry)
Entree: Filet Mignon in a heavy cream sauce, per a recipe I’ve already posted. This is actually the second time I’ve tried to cook this in Oregon… but the first time kind of ended poorly, when I misjudged how hot the pan had gotten and thus flambe’d a bit hotter than I should have…
On the side, we had zucchini and sauteed kale. Though really, after the Caviar and steak it was just secondary 😛
Dessert: We didn’t really have room for dessert, but I think there was ice cream or something? Or wait! No! I had picked up a bottle of Scotch – 12 year Macallan single malt, to be precise. Fancy dinner calls for a fancy digestif 🙂
(Ed note: See https://talesfromthehutt.com/2015/02/28/cooking-a-new-recipe-flambe-included/)