Albany John & I didn’t get to celebrate Christmas with his parents, so we did it later in January. Of course, my stomach couldn’t make it all the way to Amherst, so we had to take a pit stop in Northampton to reup our cheap food supplies from Deals & Steals (organic Kasha puff cereal for $1.50! Holler!), and try Grub Sandwich Shop. They support a ton of local businesses, and change their menu seasonally. But also, they have fish sauce and sriracha in addition to their two types of hot sauce on each table. I am down with any restaurant that puts out fish sauce & sriracha.
Cute chalkboard menu listing all of their eats. We went with hot dogs as a snack. Snack? Yeah, snack. Fatty life, what’s up? Seoul dog on the left, Hazmat on the right.
The seoul dog was my favorite – kimchi dog with their own kimchi, spicy mayo, and bacon. This was a great example of how to use mayo well. I really liked how all of the flavors worked (especially with the snappy natural case on the hot dog), and even found myself adding a few extra drops of sriracha to up the heat content.
The hazmat was also great, and made Albany John and I realize we should totally use roasted chili peppers more in our cooking. Warm, but not very spicy, it went well with the aioli and cheddar. I preferred eating the dog and its toppings without the bun, but Albany John liked just the fillings with the bun even better. (Imagine an epic stuffed bread/grilled cheese kind of thing)
MERRY CHRISTMAS MAMA & PAPA AMHERST! We ate the heck out of an Empire turkey breast for dinner. Oh man, that was so freaking good and perfectly salty.
Then we opened up a care package from one of our cousins. He’s been traveling throughout Southeast Asia lately (with the occasional side-trip to Japan), and snagged some goodies for us. MORE GREEN TEA KIT KATS!! THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING MY ADDICTION! One even has the sakura/cherry blossoms on it. These Pepper Sweets which were not peppery, but very savory-sweet tasting. They had birds as their mascots. Mangosteen wafer cookies (top left), blueberry Oreos (top right), and the dried jackfruit & coconut below. The jackfruit smelled incredibly pungent, but tasted just overly sweet & needed some tartness. The dried (and sweetened) coconut was awesome. These were meaty chunks, kind of like coconut jerky. A little chew. Emping crackers. At first they were interesting, and then they became something we could not put down. They were super crunchy, a bit thick, and had a spicy kick after you swallowed a chip.
Collon candies. I think he got these on an airplane & didn’t eat them, so he sent them to us. Or he bought a lot of single-sized snacks for us. But omg, so good! They were green tea candies! The outside were wafer-y cookie rolls & the inside was like a really light whipped filling. Yay, matcha!