Ah, vacation. I admit that I love it, but has definitely been a little weird not to be cooking all the time. I feel almost... uneasy not having my Bittman bible. I was tempted to try to wedge it into my suitcase, but you try cramming a 1,000-plus page cookbook into an already overflowing suitcase. I did just make some oatmeal-esque muffins (using a 5-grain blend), so that felt good.
But I haven't been neglecting food entirely; I have been eating it with gusto because Philly is a good place for (bad-for-you) food. First off, cheesesteaks. Duh. Of course. It had been a while since I'd had a scrumptious, greasy, Whiz-covered classic, so my friend Kris graciously accompanied me on a chilly evening to Pat's on 9th and Passyunk (points if you can pronounce that correctly) and we chowed down on steaks. Oh heaven on a roll. The trick to eating a cheesesteak covered in Cheez Whiz is to eat fast: as the hot, melty cheese product cools, it starts to congeal, and it makes the gobs of Whiz-coated thin-sliced meat harder to chew. And let's face it: it's so delicious, how could you NOT cram it down your throat post-haste? I must note here that should you ever travel to Philadelphia, DO NOT eat a cheesesteak at Geno's, which is across the street from Pat's. Just don't. Their steaks suck AND the owner is a bigot who (rightly) got a lot of flak for posting a sign a couple of years ago that said: "This is America. When ordering, speak English." Because the fact that his restaurant is located in an immigrant neighborhood AND the fact that you don't really speak English when ordering a cheeseteak (asking for "Whiz wit" barely constitutes the queen's English) sort of escaped him. Ignorant bastard.
Another joy of being in Pennsylvania is Tastykakes. Oh Tastykakes, how I love thee. Let me count the ways. 1: Butterscotch Krimpets. 2: Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes. 3: Koffee Kake Cupcakes. 4: Well.... you get the idea. Peruse their website for a full list. But the real joy of Tastykakes on this visit, for me, is that among some of their limited-edition autumnal flavors (ginger spice cookie bars, spice cake Krimpets) I found the fabled PANCAKE KRIMPETS.
Pancake Krimpets! OMG! These are a true joy. A traditional Krimpet consists of a sponge cake with a cream filling and a lovely butterscotch frosting. These are sponge cakes filled with butter cream and topped with maple syrup frosting. They taste like a pancake, in Krimpet form. Oh, the joy! My friend Brie had told me about these a while ago, saying she had seen them in stores a couple of years ago, and ever since she told me about them, I've been (disappointingly) on the look-out for them. I had nearly given up hope of ever getting to try these glorious mythical concoctions when alas! There they were in my local Giant supermarket. Hurrah! They have not disappointed. If you're in PA, make haste to a supermarket and get your paws on them before they disappear. Or order them from the Tastykake website. I plan to stock up on them for the trip back to Boston.
Krimpets... I think---no, I know---I love you!
On Saturday, I'm going to a local Indian buffet with Brie for lunch. This place is excellent so I'm sure I'll have lots to say after we eat there. And of course, there's Wawa, which apparently has pumpkin spice cappucino that I just gotta try.
Also, my parents DON'T have cable, so I have to wait until (gasp) Sunday (!!!) to catch up on Top Chef. So shhh! Don't breathe a word of what happens!! Vacation does have its downsides, I suppose.