I was trying to figure out the best way to sum up food from my looong trip– another top ten, like last time? Write about food by category? Ultimately I decided to do it by state, since we did visit quite a few, and then I can also go more or less chronologically. Let’s start off in my home state of Maryland!
On our very first full day in the United States, J and I visited my parents’ favorite Maryland winery, Boordy. Jet lag + 100 F weather + wine may not seem like the best combination, but we actually had a great day! Of course we started off with a tasting, then we enjoyed chilled white wine (first their clean Pinot Grigio, then a refreshing and slightly sweet Vidal Blanc) in the shade along with our picnic from home. Even sitting in the shade we were dripping sweat, but to tell you the truth I kinda liked it. I’ve always been a summer girl and I prefer being hot to being cold. Also, we were soaking up two things we can’t enjoy in Estonia– freaking hot weather and a vineyard. Isn’t that what travel is all about?
The next evening we had a quintessential Maryland food for dinner– steamed crabs. Oh my, how I have missed them (it’s been 2 years since my last one). Eating crabs is such a wonderfully social activity– you have to sit there for hours, working to pick out each bit of crab meat while chatting with your tablemates and slowly sipping a beer.
As an appetizer my mother steamed a few artichokes. I can’t remember the last time I had steamed artichoke leaves dipped in mayonnaise, even though I think whole artichokes are occasionally available in Estonia. I may have to keep my eyes open for them now, because they’re delicious.
My mother was a little late in making the crabs because that same day a short but very powerful storm came through our area and a branch came down right on my father’s car, so she had to deal with some insurance stuff before dinner. J, my sister and I pretty much missed the entire storm since we were browsing a huge warehouse-like liquor store at the time. We thought it was just raining hard.
Anyway, back to dinner! Crabs were enjoyed along with various American microbrews– I believe that day I had Sam Adams Summer Ale, and possibly a Blue Moon. I definitely enjoyed a lot of unique and full-flavored beers during the trip. For example this one:
My sister already knew about this special brew by Dogfish Head, and we were so excited to find it at the store! It’s based on a really old Finnish recipe for a beer called sahti, but they also added some chai spices to it, hence the name Sah’tea. Really random combination, and the result is a really interesting drink– not heavily carbonated, with really distinctive juniper and spice flavors. I think for me the cardamom came across especially strong. Nice to try, but not something you could drink a lot of (also because the alcohol content is 9%!).
I’m going to end with a superfluous, non-food picture of my sister’s darling black Lab puppy Guinness. While we were at my parents’ house we spent many hours playing with him and he could have played for many more– Labs have limitless energy! Now I miss his cute face so much…