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Skate America and a Wedding – and all I’m telling you about is the food

Skate America 2007 was in Reading, PA
The plan was to get to Reading, PA in time for the 9am start of the ice dancing practices. Hah! I found out later, though, that because they were practicing for their compulsories that getting there on time would have meant listening to the same short piece of music played eighteen billion times, but by missing it, I was able to not kill anyone during the actual competition.

Here is the schedule – warning, PDF

Also, missing it meant that I hit the patisserie in the turnpike rest stop just as the chocolate croissants were coming out of the oven. MMMmmmmm!

But, woo! Skating!

One of the joys of parking in the farthest lot: having walked past a real restaurant

We were kicked out of the rink after the practice sessions and weren’t allowed back in for another 2 1/2 hours, so [redacted] (did I mention she was the one to hook me up with the awesome last minute tickets?) and I headed off for the only non-fast-food restaurant in walking distance of the rink (or so it seemed), which I had passed on the walk from the parking garage.

The Ugly Oyster looked like your average Irish pub, but the food was quite tasty. I had possibly the best fish & chips I have ever eaten (all really crispy and flavorful on the breading and absolutely melting inside), and the chips were greasy and hot from the fryer and all kinds of lovely. And I’ve had fish and chips in the UK and Boston and Baltimore’s Inner Harbor – these really were the best.

Wedding – Saturday
After the ceremony, my coworkers and I went off to get drunk – and since the bar was organized by my friend, in addition to wine there was good Belgian beer which I didn’t even get to because there was incredibly tasty hot cider (spiked with apple jack).

I wandered out to enjoy the grounds and the view and was soon joined by all of the other guests who also worked in the library – and we giggled about how the ceremony was very typical of our friend. We also giggled about our friend’s brother who had been given money to buy a suit for the wedding but hadn’t managed to take all of the tags off (we were betting whether he was just unaware or planning to return it – turns out both, he was thinking that the label with the designer’s name would be kinda classy to keep on, but he took off one of the other tags).

Then there was food (tasty, but completely barren for the vegans (including the bride’s ex-girlfriend) who had been invited). I ended up sitting next to the photographer and his assistant/girlfriend. I did my best to bond and ask whether he usually did photography for wedding or other artistic purposes, but he ended up not admitting to me that he was a fetish photographer (which the bride told me later).

When she had first been deciding on favors for the table, I had suggested little mice from Burdick chocolate, but her mother had wanted to do something more arts&crafts – so they ended up getting small wooden boxes that would just fit little jars of jam, 2 shortbreads, and a little spreader. But there were also chocolate truffles from Burdick’s for every table. Oh, man! After people started leaving, I went around checking to see which tables had left these behind – because they were worth dropping a little dignity. And there was wedding cake. And someone, who couldn’t attend the wedding, had sent homemade italian cookies dipped in insanely rich chocolate, but that was far less impressive than the tasty coffee and tea with whipped cream & chocolate shavings.

Back in Philadelphia for some Yum Cha
6 people this time.

So I had hopes for trying to chicken feet this time, since I’d missed them last time, but there weren’t any to be found.

We did have tofu skin wrapped dumplings that were dubious looking, but tasted yummy.

I don’t think there was anything I didn’t like – well, maybe the sweet and sour pork because I had trouble finding any meat around the bits of bone.

I’ll have to remember to get the taro rolls next time, they hadn’t caught my eye before because they looked like room-temperature pastry. And it ended up being incredibly affordable. Group consensus: we are so doing this again!

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