After the recent cold, icy and snowy weather we were more than ready too get out of the house. Daytime temperatures for a few days in a row had remained below freezing. Yesterday and today they exceeded 70ºF (21ºC). I love climate change. It is a good thing, a very good thing.
We love going on road trips, long or short. Today we took a day trip to Fayetteville, North Carolina. It was Faye who chose the destination. She had never been there but I had done some out of town work on the military base at Fort Bragg, while residing in Fayetteville during the week and going home on the weekends.
This was a foodie trip of sorts in that Faye had chosen a couple of restaurant possibilities (Indian or Mexican) for our midday meal and I had researched an Indian grocery store I wished to visit.
Our first stop, however, was an indoor skydiving facility. I had driven by it many times to and from my out of town job and would have loved to stop and investigate but I am such a homebody that my commutes were strictly from point A to point B.
Doesn’t that look like fun! Unfortunately we could not spectate because the military had exclusive use of the facility for training for the day and spectating is not allowed on such occasions. We are definitely going back and hoping that our grandson has a desire to fly!
The Indian grocery store was on the same end of town. It was not the most well stocked store but there were several items we wanted and the man and lady who owned the store were super friendly.
One of the things I was hoping to find was curry leaves, and in the refrigerated section of the store there was a big bag full of them. I have a few of my own curry leaf plants which provide enough for day to day use, but I wanted a quantity to preserve by drying and grinding to a powder.
The man questioned whether I was certain I wanted to purchase there entire bagful of curry leaves since they would spoil very quickly. When I explained what I planned to do with them he pointed out that a lot of flavor would be lost by drying (which I knew). He recommended that rather than drying the leaves to grind them to a paste and add vinegar. The curry leaf paste would then keep indefinitely in the refrigerator. He also suggested freezing the paste in ice cube trays.
I have been wanting to replace my ancient and battered aluminum idli maker so was glad to find this stainless steel idli stand for only $8.99.
By the time we left the Indian grocery store we were hungry. When we are out and about and ravenously hungry we tend to choose to eat at a Mexican restaurant because the chips and salsa arrive at the table about the same time we do and we can begin assuaging our hunger immediately.
El Cazador was an excellent choice. I was impressed that an entire page of the menu was devoted to vegetarian dishes. I would definitely eat there again.
After eating our fill we stopped by the Airborne & Special Operations Museum. I was especially intrigued by the glider capable of carrying a jeep.
We spent some time getting lost in Fayetteville. Our GPS kept insisting on sending us onto the military base. We were trying to get around the base and take a different way home. It was a route I had driven numerous times before, but since that time a few years ago the base has expanded its security area and that road is now closed to the public. After being turned away at two different checkpoints we decided to go home the way we had come.
The warm weather I was praising so highly at the beginning of this post is about to change again with a natural swing back to seasonably cold weather. This was indicated by the sundog we saw on the way home. Sun dogs are the result of ice crystals in the atmosphere which glow as patches of rainbow or light on either side of the sun. On this occasion only one sundog was visible.
Back at home I washed the curry leaves and ground them to a paste with some vinegar and coconut oil. I also added kosher salt and a little sugar to balance the tartness of the vinegar. I froze some of the curry leaf paste in an ice cube tray and put the rest in a glass jar in the refrigerator.