I took a much longer time leaving my apartment yesterday than I intended to. For some reason, I kept running around like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to locate all the things I would need for my weekend jaunt up to New Hampshire. I don’t know how I let my things get so disorganized. Entropy, I guess?
I finally rounded up all my belongings and grabbed a piece of the deflated banana bread as I left the house to tide me over till I arrived in Portsmouth for lunch.
I threw out the rest of the bread after this. While the taste is decent enough, I don’t feel like wasting my time (and calories) with banana bread that has a texture akin to a brick. I’d rather just try to make it again with a new recipe!
After pounding down the banana bread, I had a nut butter catastrophe!
Say it ain’t so! I accidentally dropped my jar of gingerbread walnut butter that I was planning on bringing up to Portsmouth for Pete to sample. Luckily, I had a few extra mason jars lying around the kitchen, so I salvaged what I could of the nut butter and carried onward. Much of the nut butter’s natural creaminess was lost since much of the oil spilled out. 😦 Oh well…
The drive to Portsmouth was pleasant and uneventful. By the time I arrived around 1:00, Pete and I were both hungry, so we went to a pizza joint called Flatbreads that specializes in using all-natural, local ingredients.
We each started off with a side salad consisting of romaine, carrots, a tangy raspberry dressing, sesame seeds, and some flavorful sea vegetables!
I really enjoyed the sea veggies. 🙂
Pete and I then split a small vegetable pizza topped with organic spinach, bell peppers, roma tomatoes, mozzarella, parmesan, and portabello mushrooms. It was AMAZING!
This was one of those occasions when a simple vegetable pizza was elevated by the quality of the ingredients used. It tasted so fresh, which allowed the flavors of each of the vegetables to shine through.
Afterwards, we ventured to Eastern Mountain Sports to pick up some rock climbing gear! For the past few months, I had been saving my AmeriCorps earnings to buy some rock climbing equipment for myself, so today was the day when the fruits of my labor came into bloom.
Isn’t my equipment pretty??? Everything in the store was 20% off, so I got all this stuff for $170! I heart the blue color of my harness. And check out the matching carabiner:
Pretty, pretty blue.
After buying all this stuff, Pete and I headed to the rock climbing gym to test it all out. It was great not having to rent equipment for the first time in my life, and I hope that my new purchases will spur me on into becoming a better rock climber. For now, I’m just a beginner. However, if I have my own gear, I imagine it’ll make it easier for me to head to gyms and practice when I want to, which will speed up my progress. That’s the idea, anyway. 🙂
Pete and I had an awesome time at the gym, and we left with exhausted arms and legs! I love the workout rock climbing provides…it seems more like play than exercise. We mostly did top-roping, which requires a belayer while the other person climbs. Hence, no pictures.
For dinner, we headed to the Black Trumpet Bistro, a restaurant that features a menu emphasizing fresh, local ingredients!
To start, we shared a chef’s meze plate.
On the left, we had a smoky-tasting lobster salad atop a fresh biscuit. In the middle was a hake fish cake, and on the right, we enjoyed a zesty octopus salad. All three of the “plates” were fantastic, but my favorite was the octopus salad surprisingly. I generally stay away from octopus since I find it overly chewy, but the dressing on this dish rendered the chewy octopus incredibly delicious.
For my entree, I enjoyed a vegetable paella with fresh peas, fresh herbs, spring mushrooms, fiddleheads (first time trying this great vegetable!), and bell peppers.
Once again, fresh and local just tastes better! It made this simple dish taste just exquisite.
Pete went with a steak twice the size of my head.
It was massive…and delicious! He enjoyed every bite.
Afterwards, we split a dessert that was practically meant for me: a dark chocolate mint creme tart!
It was soooooooo amazing. Definitely satisfied the chocolate cravings. 🙂
We also had a few glasses of Merlot throughout the dinner, which I always finds enjoyable. I love my wine! Pete and I are trying to get better at tasting the various “notes” in wine, but it’s a work in progress.
Bottom line: fresh and local ingredients are amazing, and make any dish taste better! Between my new gear purchases, climbing at the gym, and the abundance of local food, I was a happy camper. An awesome Saturday indeed.
I’m heading out to brunch now with Pete. Don’t want to keep a hungry boy waiting…