Fall Odds and Ends: Tailgating in Paradise

As fall marches toward winter, I’ve been getting out when I can. With a return to work after a long summer and both boys now away at college, I’ve not been doing much except for getting my work done at school and cooking some good meals here and there for just my husband and me. We always have plenty of leftovers these days in our empty nest. Some odds and ends from fall…

1. Tailgating in Paradise: Pork Bánh Mì

Even better than making the perfect sandwich for a stay-at-home date night? Pulling it off at a tailgate!

We grilled crisscrossed pork steaks, pungent with an Asian marinade amid the parked cars and tossed footballs, and set the grilled pork slices atop another star of the bánh mì, crusty bread slathered in a secret sauce of mayo with hoisin and sriracha (the secret is out!), which was grilled up too, and joined by pâté, pickled carrots and radishes, jalapeño, cucumber, and cilantro.

We tailgated with diehard Syracuse fans at a UConn-Syracuse football game. Dressed in orange, they got some dirty looks from the UConn fans, but the crowd overall was friendly. They said they’ve had bottles thrown at them in the past. Nobody needs that. They do need a bánh mì, though.

I love how the light is shining down on the sandwich in this photo:

Tailgating in paradise with a pork banh mi: perfection encapsulated in one spicy, sweet, crusty, salty, crunchy, creamy bite, in crisp and sunny fall air amid good, although orange-clad, friends.

Banh mi ingredients

2. A Nut

For my husband’s birthday, I made him a photobook of our trip out West. Admittedly, it was one of those gifts for him that was really for me, but he liked it all the same. Here’s a page featuring “A Nut” from when we went searching in Colorado for hidden treasure, and I’ll leave it to you to decide which aspect of the photo earned that caption.

A Nut from page of West phonebook

P.S. I took a mirror image of the old, rusty nut (well, one of them) for a Macro Monday challenge on Flickr:


I liked trying the mirror reflection technique. Here was my set-up:

Mirror reflection of nut set-up

3. And Speaking of Macros: A Star is Born

A star is born

Above is another macro I took for a photography challenge, featuring star anise lit from below by a flashlight. My set-up:

Shooting star anise

4. Quack, Quack

We got the whole family together only one time this fall to visit our older son at Tufts. We took a Boston Duck Tour, a great mix of history, sightseeing, and quirky fun, in a World War II vehicle that maneuvers on both land and water. I recommend it, especially if you don’t know Boston well.

Boston Duck Tour

Boston Duck Tours

5. A Few Meatless Gems

Cuban black beans, cilantro lime rice, broccoli, and avocado cream    Layered salad with tomato, bell pepper, cheese, peas, eggs, and quinoa    Salad with hummus and baba ganoush

I don’t stick to meatless on Mondays anymore, but I keep adding to my collection of good meatless meals. Here are a few hits from my Meatless Monday page: Cuban black beans, layered salad (for a summer potluck), and salad with hummus and baba ganoush.

6. Still Reeling

Finally, here’s a “news” story from The Onion that describes me to a tee, living here in my little Northeastern liberal bubble thinking the country was OK: Area Liberal No Longer Recognizes Fanciful, Wildly Inaccurate Mental Picture Of Country He Lives In

Looking forward to Thanksgiving and bracing for winter…

About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.

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2 Responses to Fall Odds and Ends: Tailgating in Paradise

  1. Abby says:

    Hey, thanks for catching us up! Great photos and techniques. And who needs treasure when you can find an old nut??
    I’ve never (yet) been to Boston, and will definitely do a duck tour when I get there. Your son is at Tufts? Nice, they don’t take just anybody!
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    • Marcy says:

      Thanks Abby, and happy Thanksgiving! I’ve grown more fond of the nut since the trip, and it now has an honored spot on a shelf. It’s prettier in the photo than it is in real life, though. My son’s enjoying Tufts and my other son is at UConn–so happy to have them both home for the holiday.

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