and suddenly, there was everything

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The crispy rice salad at Bangkok Golden is, in the words of a colleague, “everything”

Moving is never easy, but I have to say that the sharp edges have softened over the course of eight moves I’ve endured with the hubby in the seven years I’ve known him. I still cry every time we pull our car away from the empty home we’re leaving, and I still have these random pangs every so often when reminiscing about places we’ve lived. But we’ve both been around the block enough now to know what to look for in our new place that brightens our outlook on our new place. The hubby finds sparks in everything. The commute is shorter! This house is way more awesome! Our neighbors are SO nice! There’s a Costco just over there!

For me, just imagine me pulling up a chair to the proverbial feeding trough provided by my new city, linen napkin tucked under my chin, a fork and knife in hand. “Well, well, well,” I might say. “What have we here?!”

It’s pretty daunting arriving in a new city this way. I feel like I’m just starting a footrace that everyone else has been running since 1985. Where to begin? What do I eat? Who do I ask? Luckily, a good friend pointed me to Bangkok Golden, an institution in Falls Church known for its Laotian and Thai cuisine. “The crispy rice salad is amazing,” he wrote in an e-mail to me just before we arrived.

Within days of our arrival, the hubby and I had trekked over to the Golden for this very salad. “Bring me the crispy rice salad!” I yelled with a flourish while handing the menu back to our server, sight unseen. “I will require nothing else!”

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ciao, neighborhood

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Ricotta and mascarpone gnocchi, shrimp, grape tomatoes & basil at Al Di La in Charleston

Every morning for the past few weeks Ge Ge has started his morning with the same plaintive whine: “I miss Charleston, Mama.”

“I miss it too, Peanut. What do you miss the most?”

Audible sigh. “Everything.”

Usually I try to make him break it down a little bit more. His unfortunate lot in life is that he’s inherited my flair for the dramatic and my tendency to emote everything (hence, why I eat. Because I just feel so much.)

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summer’s last gasp: blueberry crumble

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Six weeks after our move, I’m still finding things in random places. Last night, it was 17 sponges wrapped in a plastic Target bag, zipped into a duffel and stuffed into my sweater drawer. I didn’t realize highly absorbent cleaning materials are considered contraband in our house, but apparently, they are.

That’s happening with my blog posts, too. I’m finding all sorts of photos and stories that I stashed on my computer before our move that I haven’t had the opportunity to write about. Therefore, please forgive the bad timing of a post that requires fresh berries that are no longer in season. A few months ago I made two blueberry desserts from the bounty of blueberries that we picked from Champney’s Blueberry Farm in Ravenel, South Carolina. While blueberry pie is our usual staple, I tried making a new kind of crumble that ended up knocking our socks off.

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