Monday, June 9, 2014

Concord, Tea and Cooking

Welcome back to my blog! Mom and I started this weekend by cleaning the apartment and running some errands. After completing this, we decided to head to Concord, MA for the afternoon. Neither of us had ever been and we were excited to discover a new place so close by to home.

We arrived around lunchtime and we wandered down Main Street trying to find a restaurant to eat at. Mom and I stopped at a place called Helen’s. It is a cute place where it seems that the locals go to. I had the Mediterranean chicken kabobs and Mom got the hot pastrami sandwich. Both were very good and classic. Mom had been craving a pastrami sandwich and it hit the spot.

At the Concord information center, we heard about a used book sale at the public library. As Mom and I are both book-lovers, we had to go and spend an hour perusing through all the books. We got ten books for $20 books. I’ll post a book haul later this week with what I bought. The library itself was also beautiful.

After dropping off the books in the car, we went to Sleepy Hallow cemetery to see the graves of Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ralph Waldo Emerson. We saw graves from before the Civil War up to the early 21st century.

Feeling tired, Mom and I went back to the apartment to nap for 30 minutes. Then we headed out to dinner in Lynnfield. We went to one of our favorite restaurants, Davio’s. Mom and I decided to pace ourselves, so we first split the Chicken Parmesan Spring Rolls. Yes, Chicken Parmesan Spring Rolls. It sounds weird, but they are absolutely delicious.

Then we split a Caesar Salad, which was good but not great. It paled in comparison with the Caesar Salad from Pearlz in Charleston that I wrote about a few weeks ago.

For my entrée I got the shrimp fusilli dish and Mom got the roasted salmon with horseradish-mashed potatoes. YUM!

Sunday morning started off with some soft-boiled eggs in cute little cups, sesame baguette, bacon and condiments that were yummy.

That afternoon, we had reservations at Taj for afternoon tea. Before that, however, we wandered through the Public Gardens and Commons.

Tea was perfect. I felt so civilized sitting across from Mom with the fancy china around and the live violin player standing in the middle of the room. Over the violin, there was a nice hum of conversation from all the tables around us. I had the Taj Breakfast tea and Mom got the Pear tree green tea. The first course had tea sandwiches including cucumber and cream cheese, prosciutto and melon, smoked salmon, egg salad, crab salad and chicken salad.

The second course had the best part . . . the sweets! Chocolate covered strawberries, macaron’s, madeleine’s, chocolate chip scones, and citrus scones. My favorite was the madeleine or the chocolate covered strawberry, but everything was amazing.

I would completely recommend the Taj for afternoon tea for a treat. It was a great experience that I want to try and recreate at home and with my friends.

After tea Mom and I went shopping along Newbury Street, the 5th Ave of Boston. I found some new places that I want to try out in the near future for shopping and for eating.

Dinner was a light affair because we ate so much at tea. I made some tortilla soup from the I LoveTrader Joe’s College Cookbook that was really simple to make and satisfying. I put out some cilantro, shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips and avocado for garnish and then we dug in. Yummy without being too heavy, I can’t wait to try more recipes from the cookbook.

Well, that is what I did last weekend. I hope that you enjoyed! What did you do last weekend? I’ll see you soon with a book haul!


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