Saturday, May 10, 2008

Potluck contributions from the road

Okay. As I write this, we are in Charlottesville, VA, on a romantic get-away weekend full of wine tasting and gourmet food. It's a for real vacation: I've even taken Monday off.

However! It's also Krysta's very first potluck. Think of it as a blogosphere House-warming. Blog-warming? There's no way that we were going to miss this. Romantic vacation or no romantic vacation, we will be in Krysta's backyard in California this afternoon, sipping mojitos and shooting the shit. Because that's what friends are for.

So we've stopped the car in Charlottesville and found a coffeeshop. Not that this is any great sacrifice: we just came from a wine tasting in Barboursville (one of Virginia's most renowned vineyards) and are heading towards a gourmet dinner and bed at our favorite Joshua Wilton House in Harrisonburg. We figure that Krysta's in California and they're three hours behind, so we shouldn't be the last ones to show at her party.

And, much to my delight, we've stumbled across Charlottesville's Mudhouse Coffeeshop. I feel like I'm on a pilgrimage: one of my more thought-provoking non-food authors, Lauren Winner, waxes poetical about this coffeeshop and even titled her second book Mudhouse Sabbath, after this establishment. I won't go into how interesting her ideas and perspectives are, because it's not good manners to talk religion at a party. Suffice it to say, this is super exciting. I feel like I should be asking for an autograph from the barista. ;)

Anyways, our contributions to Krysta's party are a strawberry spinach salad and the services my favorite grill-meister. We're assuming that Krysta has a backyard grill (it's California, right? Who doesn't have a backyard? And if you have a backyard, why wouldn't you have a grill? We certainly would.), and you always need someone to flip the burgers, so Do is volunteering. He figures he'll be less of a hazard in your backyard than he would in our kitchen!

Do actually really enjoys making burgers; it's a great lazy meal for us. After reading a Minimalist column about the Perfect Burger, he's gone absolutely wild. Burgers stuffed with blue cheese or cheddar, burgers stuffed with pesto, burger made out of ground lamb, burgers glazed with bar-b-q sauce while cooking, burgers topped with paté... As you can see to the left, his most recent permutation was a cheddar cheeseburger topped with an egg over easy. It was messy as hell to eat, but delicious and really entertaining. He would tell you about it himself, but he's busy taking advantage of the free wifi to submit computer jobs to his lab computers. In a perfect state (i.e., distracted) to be volunteered for grill meister duties! :)

As for the salad, it's really no big deal. Strawberries are on sale here these days, super juicy ones, and strawberry-spinach salad can tempt even the carnivores to eat their greens! This salad is nothing more than strawberries, spinach, thyme, mint, and a dressing made out of oil, sugar, and lemon juice. The dressing isn't phenomenal, so I'm not going to give you a recipe for it, but the idea of including fresh mint and thyme was a good one. If anyone has any tips for what dressing to serve with a strawberry-spinach salad, I'm all ears!

A toast to the hostess!

And now, back to our romantic vacation...

12 comments:

melissa said...

yay! more food for the potluck! and I love you strawberry spinach salad; I really need to try that. :)

noble pig said...

Oh thank goodness, more food...for the party...I was getting a little hungry in the backyard...so much alcohol.

lcsa99 said...

Yay! I love burgers! And your salad is awesome. What a great party

Psychgrad said...

Sounds like a dream weekend. I hope you guys have a great time.

Krysta said...

Hey you two! Have fun on your romantic getaway. Thanks for taking the time to come on over and grill some burgers.

Johanna said...

enjoy the vacation!

re the salad - I was particularly enamoured of a strawberry and spinach salad with pomegranate vinaigrette earlier this year (it is in my blog index if you want to check it out - I think it is from battered splattered)

That Girl said...

Aww happy romantic getaway!

Vicarious Foodie said...

Wow--still blogging even on your vacation--you are dedicated! I can't believe you stayed at the same place as we did--we slept in on Sunday but we did go to breakfast Saturday and it was very nice. Sorry to have missed you! We did go to Barboursville of course and got 8 bottles of wine. I was paying close attention to all the places we've gone and I've definitely concluded that it's the best.

Have fun in Charlottesville! We were in the area last year but avoided that town because it was graduation weekend and we heard it was packed. I definitely want to go back and see the town though.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Yum, it all looks so good! Have a great time on your romantic trip! :)

ntsc The Art of The Pig said...

Can you recommend a resturant in Charlotsville? My wife and I will be there next Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Lina said...

i just made a strawberry salad for mothers day! I was surprised how well strawberry works in salads!

ntsc said...

Well the Joshua Wilton House certainly looked good, but they aren't open on Sunday evenings.

Thanks for the response though.