Because I was traveling to NY on my own, and because my flight was leaving at such a gosh-awful hour, I ended up checking into a Microtel near the airport the night before. I should have been able to sleep in until 3:30 that way, but instead I was jolted back awake at 12:30 or 1:00 by the sound of my phone ringing. It was American Airlines, calling to say they had canceled my first flight the next day! The good news was that they had already booked me on another one, just 20 minutes later. The bad news was that it left me with only 30 minutes to catch my connecting flight in Dallas -- less by the time we deplaned. Between that and our fiasco with a cancelled flight coming home from France, I have come to the conclusion that, from now on, our vacations should be planned around where all we can go without having to change planes and make connections. I have had it with sprinting from one end of a terminal to the other!
Our first meal in NY, calzone.
I made it. I survived. I even managed to find my hubby at La Guardia, though we landed at different terminals. Eventually, we were able to answer "Are we having fun yet?" with "Yes!" I laughed when I told John how teensy-tiny my room had been, at the Microtel the night before. Boy, was I surprised when we checked into our snazzy little boutique hotel, with the gorgeous lobby and sushi restaurant downstairs, only to discover that our room was pretty much the same size as at the Microtel! Still, you couldn't beat the location on W. 50th St., just about a half block off of Broadway. As we were unpacking our bags, we suddenly heard some singing and cheering coming from outside, so we peeked out the window. Turns out we were just catty-corner from the theatre where Mamma Mia is playing, and to celebrate their 10th anniversary on Broadway, they had the whole cast out there on the plaza, performing a medley of tunes from the show!
We went out exploring once we were unpacked, and hadn't gone more than a few blocks before a film crew flagged us down and asked if they could interview us for the Wendy Williams Show. They wanted to ask our opinion on Lindsay Lohan's predicament, but it was kind of funny, because, though they didn't try to change one's opinion, they did sort of feed you things to say, to make it more interesting. For instance, after John finished what he had to say, they suggested he close with "She's one hot mess!" Not sure when or if it will ever be aired.
They had us dancing in the street!.
Before we knew it, it was time to rush back and clean up, then head down to Lincoln Center. We grabbed a quick bite to eat at a sidewalk cafe across the street, then went to see one of the most amazing feats of stagecraft and puppetry ever. War Horse!We were so pumped up after the show, we needed some time to unwind. So, we stopped in at this little Irish Pub next to our hotel, which happened to have a narrow table which was open to the street (ideal weather, too) -- the perfect place to be when the Mamma Mia cast came out and gave an encore performance, complete with fireworks this time!
I figured we'd already had the best day of our vacation, and the others would be a bit anticlimactic in comparison. I was wrong.
One more quick post, and then I really need to start thinking about what to pack for this trip! I head to San Marcos for my periodontist appointment at 1:00 today, then go straight from there to Austin, to check into my little hotel near the airport. I've always heard about autumn in New York. In fact, I'm pretty sure they've written songs about it. I must not have been listenin' too good though, because what I've been picturing is not at all what the weather forecasts are describing. Looks like it's gonna be a cold, wet one!
Meanwhile, down here in hot, dry central Texas, it's still okra season, and I just had to share my new favorite recipe with you. Like most people, my favorite way to eat okra is fried, but I hardly ever cook it that way because a) it'll kill you, and b) it's a bitch to clean up after! So, lately, I've mostly been using it to make Bhindi, a curried Indian thingy. Recently, however, I decided to consult my new favorite veggie cookbook, and I found this recipe for oven-fried okra. I've never had great luck with oven-frying in the past, but since I trust this author, I decided to take a chance. Low and behold, it got two thumbs up from the hubster, and it was so, so easy!
from Serving Up the Harvest, by Andrea Chesman
2 T. canola or peanut oil
1 pound okra, stems removed and pods sliced 1/4 inch thick (4 cups)
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Pour the oil onto a baking sheet and spread for an even coating. (Note: I got better, crispier results when I used my dark non-stick cookie sheet than I did when I used a small, heavy light-colored sheet that was made out of stainless steel or something like that)
Combine the okra, bread crumbs, salt, thyme and pepper in a medium bowl. (One time I had some leftover roasted fingerling potatoes in the fridge, that were a bit limp and soggy, so I threw them in with the okra and crumbs. They turned out crisp and delicious!) Toss until well coated. With a slotted spoon, transfer the okra to the baking sheet, shaking off the excess crumbs.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the okra is well browned and tender, turning once. Serve hot.
I'm tellin' ya, it was so fast, so easy, and tasted so darn good with that leftover meatloaf I had for supper last night, that it's gonna be hard to find anything to top it in N.Y. But I'm willing to give it an honest try ;-) Hasta la vista, Baby. See you in a few days!