Musings

Krogerized

Kroger front

Yesterday our neighborhood Kroger re-opened. Or, at least, there was a Kroger here, but there’s a totally new building now, complete with two parking garages (one underground), and a high-rise apartment building. Far right is an old building on a different property. We made our first visit this morning. We passed on the Halloween swag, tasted a few of the offerings scattered throughout the store, and talked to several kindly and helpful employees. Two of three referred to a map to tell us where things were—Bob’s Red Mill dried-bean soup mix (one only, but not the one we like); organic fresh Italian sausage (none).

Beltline sign

They are trying for a new identifier. Locally this used to be called the Murder Kroger (after a parking lot event, if I have it right), or Wino Kroger by the Guru. One edge of the store is the Beltline, so: Beltline Kroger.

Beltline view

Here’s the view from the Beltline. Note the blue bow on the column, left.

Empty case

While most bins, shelves, and cases were nicely filled, with all items tidily aligned, this prepared-food section was empty. Someone decided that empty containers with post-its was better than totally empty. If the handwriting had been clearer, I could have browsed the offerings-to-be.

The checkout lady—we did serve yourself—was very helpful with corrections…five packages of 12-oz Starbucks coffee were supposed to be $5.99 each, but they rang up at the regular price ($7.99), not even the sale price (apiece)—$6.49. Plus, we were gifted some onions that weren’t in the menu at all.

We came out with assorted fresh veggies (salad stuff mostly), some uncured pancetta, and a few other grocs (e.g., coffee!!), plus their idea of a “Hawaiian” poké salad (fine, not exceptional; made for a more interesting lunch than we were going to have). We’ll go back….

Bucolic moments

Soooo bucolic

A tractor is pretty darned bucolic. In the modern industrial sense.

Grapes still green

Grapes…still green and still not eaten by the birds. In my experience, avian beings eat grapes, cherries, whatever, about three hours before I figure out they’re ripe.

Sandhills flocking

You’re forgiven if you think these are Canada geese. Nope: sandhill cranes.

Local lore(ish)

Waterbarrel reflection

Ever so slightly foggy this morning. Have no fear, we got full sun by mid-day and the solar gain has been lovely. Note the woodpile, far right (dark brown).

Woodpile denizen

And on the woodpile: this fur-bearer. John calls it a chipmunk apartment building.

Pickled eggs

On another note…local cuisine. I didn’t know about pickled eggs until I was of drinking age and archaeo-co-workers during some rural northern midwestern project took me to a local bar…and there were a pair of those big clear glass barrels on the bar, one of pickled eggs and one of pickled pigs feet. I stuck to beer.

Shades of beige

Dried riverbed

Here’s the desiccating “riverbed” that was running with water yesterday in the same stretch of road. I have seen so many desert places across the world on GooEarth that look like this on a gigantic scale. I find the braided paths and subtle shadings mesmerizing.

Chipmunk

I had seen the hole and the dirt smear before, but today I spotted the perpetrator, ehem, builder. My grandparents called them Chippies. [I don’t know if it had a double meaning to them.]

Blond dinner

Somehow, when we inventoried menu possiblities, we ended up with a blond dinner. That’s cauliflower from the neighbor’s garden, plus scrambled eggs and quinoa. [It tasted good, perhaps better than it looks?] And a very colorful green lettuce salad with tomatoes (garden again) and wee rounds of chives.

Wait five minutes

Blushing cauliflower

Blushing cauliflower.

Squash blossom

Giant zucchini blossom.

Rain last night. Heavy overcast and surprisingly warm all day, but not raining. Rain has returned ushering in an early dusk.

Oh yum

Fish crisps

On occasion when we’re traveling we search for “indigenous cuisine.” Despite our term, it is a wide-ranging category that includes what cooks in the locale typically make at home, but also embraces pretty much anything that isn’t from a kitchen (microwave?) in a chain place.

Empty platter

We made a fantastic find in a Thai/sushi restaurant that we ducked into to give the Cincinnati rush hour a chance to straighten out. We loved these “fish crisps”—pretty much deconstructed fish tacos.

And, yes, the traffic jams were mostly gone when we returned to the highway.

Basil grows

The basil keeps growing. 😀 (pesto delayed until weekend)

Tintagel is reunited. 🤭 (new footbridge; opening delayed until☑️ Sunday due to high winds)

Museum and more

Castle Bishop museum

Castle building, now part of the Bishop Museum complex. Condemned due to termite damage, so closed. Perhaps work has begun to renovate it?

Dukes surfboard

I picked one artifact from this huge museum, of Hawaii, of the Pacific, of life in Polynesia: a wooden Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku surf board. Duke lived from 1890 to 1968 and was a fast swimmer as well as surfer. May his waves ever curl perfectly. Duke was named after his dad, who was named in honor of the Duke of Edinburgh. Duke seems like a perfect surfer name.

Breadfruit

Fascinating garden on the grounds, with coast plants in one area, another zone of highland plants, and a third of canoe plants, that is, the ones the Polynesians brought to feed themselves. They brought food plants, and plants that they grew with the food plants to make mini-ecosystems that worked. These are breadfruit. Polynesians needed nutrients and carbohydrates from plant sources—they got a lot of protein from fish; this dietary situation is similar to what other traditional peoples living by rich coastal waters have had to contend with.

Oahu market

Chinatown. Way cool; and hot/sticky where it wasn’t air-conditioned. Like this market. A few others had AC. I’d try to shop here for fruits/veg at least sometimes if I lived here.

Only good vibes

Loved this sign in the restaurant where we ate: Only Good Vibes, and the two gals playing pattycake while waiting for their food.

Add magic crack

We did not have dessert, so I never found out what magic crack is.

Aloha bldg

Wending our way back to the rental, we went by the Aloha Tower. Majestic. It opened in 1926 and is a lighthouse. After the bombing at Pearl Harbor it was painted to disappear in night-darkness.

Fish wharf rest

This restaurant is gone, but its historic sign has carefully been kept. The restaurant was open over seven decades, if I have it right. The building had degraded and “had to” be demolished.

I’d say building preservationists so far have been more successful with the Castle than the restaurant.

Food porn

Pane pomodoro

This is a sample of last night’s food porn. The restaurant around the corner has special menus seasonally. Right now they’re on a tomato one. This is pane pomodoro appetizer. That tomato mixture started with roasted tomatoes, then they were cooked down and I could not tell all the magic that went into the transformation into the final version. So complex. So excellent. I’m still swooning. We did have a whole lovely meal. Even dessert (against all odds). Mmmmmm.

Basil pickings

Tonight’s menu was nowhere near so complex. Tasty, yes. But…hmm…my flavor-creation choreography. Toasted some pignolas. Pureed them with good olive oil, garlic, salt, some water to thin. Then basil. And more basil (after it was de-stemmed and cleaned). Over pasta, duh. Stirred with a generous pile of Parmigiano-Reggiano until homogenous.

Livin’ large.

So, now the hip-high bushes are only almost that high. Trimmed.

Apologies for the ellipsis. I understand they are quite negative in the land of texting etiquette. I come from something approximating the Queen’s English, and ellipses are a different critter there. Trying to translate/be flexible/learn.

Title may be an exaggeration. 😉

Basil burgeons

Basil overgrown

Inattention suited the basil lately. The tall Genovese bush is thigh high; the Thai cultivar is to the right with the purplish flower spikes.

Basil picked

I picked a good pile of the Thai basil…

Thai curry bowl

…and, with cilantro leaves, it made a terrific garnish for our Thai curry tofu. High protein version today with added edamame, peas. I think the rice has a bit of protein, too. I recently read that aging people need more protein.

Protein: check. And yummy, too!