Pittsburgh Staycation Weekend

Before we embark in a new weekend of excitement, I thought a quick recap of a few adventures I had over the past several days was in order. You may have guessed that many will be food related. But, I also dabbled in a couple of other things that made me smile.

Chevy Equinox Experience: This recap of adventures would not be complete without lending a big thank you to the Allison, Peter and Chevrolet PA for loaning a brand new 2011 car for me to use for the week. With its iPod integration to play the perfect soundtrack to its roomy interior and smooth ride; the Chevy Equinox was the perfect vehicle to transport me and my crew of friends. Plus, I couldn’t beat the fuel economy as all of my driving only consumed a single tank of gas.

Thursday Happy Hour: A small collection of coworkers have started a tradition of unwinding from a tough work week with happily priced beverages and appetizers. Since I was planning to take a day of vacation on Friday for a tasting tour, this particular happy hour in The Strip District was the perfect way to release my luscious brown locks and let the chips fall where they may. Most of them happened to end up all down the front of my shirt.

Canning & Preserving Class: The idea of capturing the flavors of summer and holding them hostage through the cold winter months have been quite appealing these days. I’ve taken too many food safety classes to know I should not take the act of canning and preserving lightly. The last thing I want to do is meet my maker faster than planned.

Denise Schreiber broke the canning process down into chewable pieces that I could easily digest. Biggest lesson I learned was it’s all about keeping things clean and organized. I won’t even think about multi-tasking in the kitchen when I start canning. That way I know all my bases are covered. I’m looking forward to trying the applesauce and red onion jam recipes she shared in the near future.

Good Taste Pittsburgh Food Expo: My friends Zandrea and Jimmy decided to join me in exploring an extensive variety of flavors from vendors of all shapes and sizes. They were a good group of friends for this kind of function because we knew how to find the humor in everything as we bounced through the various booths. A memorable moment was when a bowl of saucy pasta catapulted from my hands and missed landing on Jimmy’s shoes by a fraction of an inch. Only Culinary Cory is clumsy enough to trip on his own feet while walking on a perfectly flat surface and being completely sober.

I ended up meeting many cool vendors at this event. Hopefully those contacts will develop into tasty experiences in the future. Who knows, I just might put my hat in the ring and conduct a few cooking demos of my own in the future. Keep your fingers crossed.

Fallingwater Architecture Tour: This isn’t exactly food related but it does touch on another interest I have in architecture. The desire to travel to Fallingwater to see this gem of a house in all of its Frank Lloyd Wright glory has haunted me for a long time. His approach to connecting the indoor living environment to its natural surrounding is fascinating. With each step and glance, I was enchanted by the simplicity in the detail. It was an absolutely uplifting experience that was well worth the hour and half drive.

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