springtime in the hood.

I was out of town for a few days last week attending a conference in East Lansing.  My hotel was situated on the campus of MSU.  Lots of walking, biking, running paths that twisted along a little river just behind the hotel. I enjoyed getting up early and getting a good dose of fresh air and exercise without the usual threat of Detroit’s feral dogs nipping at my heels.  I got a lot of work done on my scarf/blanket too. (Did I mention that I learned to knit last saturday? I think that’s a different post entirely.)

Detroit’s reality can skew a girls perspective if she doesn’t get out often, and this one rarely crosses the (now infamous, thanks to Eminem) 8 mile border. As a result, coming home is always a little brutal.  Luckily the weather has been gorgeous and the season of gin and tonics is imminent. I was welcomed home with a refreshing and generously limey G &T, an amazing dinner and this guy in the dumpster field next to our loft building. I asked him if I could take a few pictures and he happily consented. He told me that practicing at home is just too loud, the bagpipes require a wide open space. I was glad he chose our dumpster field.

But enough of that strange magic… the real seduction was taking place inside! We started with chilled asparagus served in a little pool of asparagus coulis drizzled with a dijon vinaigrette topped with sliced radishes, parsley and a chopped hardboiled egg.  Scene Stealer, impressive, simple and one of the many reasons that Thomas Keller rocks the house.  This was followed  by a lentil salad served with homemade fettucine (Snakes’ specialty) tossed in a spicy scallop tomato sauce.  I was unsure about the pairing but it worked brilliantly. The earthiness of the lentils contrasted the bright and tangy scallops leaving just a suggestion of heat on the tongue.

Oh!! and the dessert… a raspberry napoleon, sweet custard layered with puff pastry and fresh raspberries. SO impressive. I remember thinking that if he doesn’t get the call from DC soon, I’m going to bust out of all my clothing, even my fat pants, to the point of no return.

And now spring is here, the call from DC has come (!!!) and I feel like I’m in some demented Disney movie as I pedal my old schwinn, Cool Breeze, to work. Weaving my way through the potholes and asphalt patches, like a doe-eyed princess, pigeons squawk across my path. I stop for traffic and notice crocuses peaking from behind a flamin’ hot cheetos bag. Dainty nuggets of glass from a broken car window shimmer beneath my feet. Plastic bags catch the wind and swirl drunkenly into the air.  Old smashed in storefronts, saturated with graffiti tags are vibrant and humming with life.  It’s simply a matter of perspective.  Just a slice of incredibly good news and the promise of springtime is all that it’s taken to send me into an adjective soaked frenzy of good cheer. Oh, and the gin and tonics don’t hurt either.


7 thoughts on “springtime in the hood.

    1. sorry about that scorched water thing. there is no denying that I am a very lucky girl. I hope to have plenty of opportunity to reciprocate this culinary seduction once we reach DC- just in time for the farmer’s markets to hit their stride!

  1. It’s Friday, and that means that the Fifth Weekly State Department Blog Roundup is up – and you’re on it!

    Here is the link:


    (If I quoted your text or used your photo(s) and you would rather I had not, please let me know. Please also be sure to check the link(s) that I put up to you, in order to verify that they work properly. If you would rather that I had not referenced you, and/or do not want me to reference you in the future, please also contact me.)


  2. Just found you by way of another FS blog. Congratulations on the call, and, yes, you will LOVE the Farmers’ Markets. The hardest part is deciding which one to visit!

  3. It is all about perspective (and nothing makes me happier than the sight of a Flamin’ Hot Cheetos bag.) 🙂

    I’m so happy you & “Snakes” (you’ll have to explain that) got the call. Can’t wait to visit you in DC!

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