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A culinary road trip?

Friday, 30 August 2013

Early yesterday morning Emma and I headed out for my a trip to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester,MN, for my sometimes annual physical check up.  After several frustrating moments the night before trying to upload the latest maps on my GPS, I was successful and it took me on a slightly different route this time to Rochester.  I guess the upload was worth it as it scooted me around all the construction that is going on in the Twin Cities.

By about 3:00 I arrived at my oldest son Dan’s home, and was surprised to find his wife, Crystal, home.  She has been touring the country most of the summer as a sort of expeditor for a famous singing group.  I wish I could remember their name, but it’s The ‘something’ Brothers.  I hate it when I draw a blank like that.  I’m not familiar with them, but that’s not surprising.  It just came to me that it might be the Jonas Brothers?

Anyway, she is often gone from home pursuing her career.  She is quite a good cook, so this road trip may have more of a culinary trend to it than a medical one.

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Here’s what Crystal whipped up for dinner last night.  Tasty pork loin on a bed of couscous with with roasted green beans and eggplant.  I love it when somebody else cooks, and I’ve never had couscous before.  Made me kind of feel like I was visiting the Food Network channel.  In love

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The multi-talented Crystal with her hubby, Daniel.

I was headed for the Mayo Clinic early this morning without breakfast for my annual check-up.  The Mayo satellite clinic that I go to is about 20 miles away.  That’s where my family doctor, DR. K., that I’ve dealt with for over 15 years, practices.  Even though I tried to get an appointment with her more than a month ago, they said she was not available.  Instead I was scheduled with some young doctor I didn’t know.  I wasn’t thrilled with that since I’d then have to go through all of my history and explain my lifestyle of the past seven years.

It seems Dr. K. is serving in a more supervisory capacity these days with training in new doctors in their residency years.  Imagine my surprise when Dr. K. stepped into the examination room and said, “Judy, how is life going in the motorhome?”  I was thrilled, and we got right down to the nitty-gritty.  I was poked, prodded, got a pneumonia vaccine, had blood drawn for the usual tests, and was on my way in short order.

Then of course, it was off to the Gonda Building at The Mayo Clinic in downtown Rochester for my mammogram.  They’ve streamlined things there as well, and I was in and out in less than a half hour.  I’ve been checked out and given the go ahead to continue living! 

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Late this afternoon, Crystal and I met Dan at the Chau Noodle Restaurant.  I’ve never eaten Vietnamese food before, so this was another culinary first for me.

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We started off with Vietnamese spring rolls as an appetizer.  They are wrapped in rice paper, totally edible, and come with a sauce that we used a spoon to drizzle through the middle of the spring roll since we were sharing the sauce bowl.  (Crystal is the one with experience here to teach me about this cuisine.)

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For the main course, Daniel and I shared an order of PHO TAI.  It’s a beef soup with rice noodles, lemon grass, cilantro, green onions, and thinly sliced beef.  On the side is a plate of fresh basil leaves, bean sprouts, jalapeno peppers and line slices that can be added as you like to the soup.  I, of course, skipped the peppers.  The serving was enormous, and I can’t imagine one person eating this whole huge bowl.  Both of us ate our fill, and still had a quart to take home.  There were also sauces to dip the beef slices into. 

For me, my first impression was that the broth was delicious.  There was a taste, though, that I really didn’t care for.  I eventually figured out that it was the lemon grass.  If I could have this dish without the lemon grass, I would really like it.

This post is getting rather long, but I wanted to mention what I’ll be doing this evening and tomorrow morning.

_MG_9188Remember the furry “Three Musketeers” from my last visit here in July?  Yes, from left to right that’s Buddy, Georgie Girl, and Emma.  I like to think of them as the two young lunatics and one calm old dog.  I’m babysitting them all tonight while Crystal and Dan have a night on the town together.  They will return tomorrow.  I’m thinking this may be more challenging than grandchildren!  Wish me luck…

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

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