One of the upsides of working in academia is that we both have an extended break around Christmas and New Year’s Day. We took the opportunity to have a mini-Staycation. We didn’t get around to posting about our October Staycation until two months later. I didn’t want to wait too long before posting anything about our winter break, so here is a brief post with just some highlights.
My break started one day before Holly’s, so I met her for lunch at JG Domestic. When we worked together, we had a short-lived tradition of having lunch there before our break. We both enjoyed their roasted red pepper soup and grilled cheese sandwich.
We had a fun Christmas Eve at home with just the two of us.
For brunch, we made Eggy Puds, a variation on Yorkshire Pudding.
For dinner, we made a couple of seafood dishes. We like the idea of the traditional Italian seven fishes but aren’t entirely fond of the specific courses, so we often made a variety of seafood dishes instead. This year, we made a Sicilian Seafood Stew and Shrimp and Clams over Pasta with Cuttlefish Ink.
We continued cooking at home on Christmas Day and made a chicken recipe based on the one from Zuni Café in San Francisco and served it with a bread salad and roasted carrots.
The day after Christmas, we saw my family for another Christmas dinner. My brother made prime rib and the rest of us contributed some side dishes.
We took some time to do a few non-food related outings, seeing Rogue One (twice) and getting to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for their Mexican Modernism exhibit and to the African American Museum in Philadelphia for their “i found god in myself” exhibit.
One of the highlights of our winter break was going to Friday Saturday Sunday for the first time. This restaurant had been a longtime Philadelphia establishment that recently closed. At first, we were disappointed that we had never been to such a locally famous place only a few blocks from where we live. Luckily, it reopened under new owners, and we went within a month of it opening and were very impressed with the new iteration. We sat at the bar and sampled their wine and some small plates before finishing with their adventurous cocktails. In the two weeks since our break ended, we’ve already been back two more times.
Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten many good picture while there because of the lighting, but Holly was able to get enough good pictures to put together a collage of one of our later visits.
Another highlight was taking a long (and rather chilly) walk to South Philadelphia to (finally) get cheesesteaks from Philip’s Steaks. We had been wanting to get sandwiches from there for years but hadn’t gotten around to it. What made out excursion extra special was that we took our steaks across the street to the new Brewery ARS and enjoyed our dinner with some locally brewed beer.
For New Year’s Day, we made Slow Cooker French Dip sandwiches which was an excellent choice for a winter day.
For Christmas, Holly had gotten me The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum, and I had gotten her Preserving Italy by Domenica Marchetti. Over the break, we had a chance to dive into these books. I made a simple carrot bread, and Holly made oil-preserved butternut squash with mint and a bitter citrus marmalade.
The only downside to our Staycation this year was that it had to end, so it was nice to have another stretch of time where we could have a similar experience. How we’ll make it to October for Staycation 2017 remains a mystery.