Design complaint, lovely and light dinner, Charleston recap

You know what makes me nuts? When you buy a product - usually refrigerated, usually in a lidded, plastic container as the ones in which come cream cheese or the like - and the vacuumed-on plastic seal (the one between the product and the removable lid) doesn't have a pull-tab. Why does this peeve me so? Well, because those suckers are basically epoxied on. Don't get confident and think you can grasp the tiny lip o' plastic between two fingertips -hell, even between two sharp fingernails- and pry that puppy off. Don't circle the rim hoping for a weak spot. It's not happening. You're going to have to dirty a clean knife by slicing that plastic wrap off, neatly around the perimeter of the product of course. You don't want to make things worse by slicing and slashing whatever goodie lies beneath. This almost makes me even more frustrated; like I've got to surgically remove this plastic wrap as carefully as if I were operating on my flipping dog. No one needs it, Crave Brothers mascarpone, for example. Sorry to call you out; you irk me regularly so came quickly to mind. I do like your mascarpone, so at least you win one. In any case, I'll let that go for tonight, but poorly designed anything just needs to get the boot. Like the airport bathrooms in Frankfurt. Jesus H, who thought up those?

Tonight I both needed and desired a fabulously healthy and flavorful dinner. The bazillion percent sub-par burrito at Baja Fresh today did not, in any way, cut the butter. Even Ol, and J's friend, R, were like "heck no!" Jack dove head-on into his and devoured it but as he weighs about 12 ounces, that's good and I wasn't going to get in his way. We, all of us, did think he ate in a rather slobbish manner, and I was grateful friend R called him out on it. Go good friends!

So back to my dinner. I knew I didn't have all the makings for my attempt to recreate that ridiculously good crostini T and I had at Social on Sunday night: ricotta, sage, apple, butternut squash; but I did have a b'nut so roasted it up (with some dried sage) in anticipation of heading to the market tomorrow. Half I chopped in large chunks, while the other I diced to accommodate the category, topping. I had kale, had accidentally peeled a meyer lemon earlier rather than a clementine after having been ordered to make "TWO MORE fruit salads now, MOMMY" so needed to use that, some gorgeous pumpernickel and some lovely smoked salmon. Perfect- this tasted gooooood.kale, bnut squash, garlic, lemon NIK_1867

I may have also opened some red wine because really, it's a) arse-cold and b) I was a champ mom today and am now pooped and slightly overwhelmed by the thought of solo-parenting for the rest of the week.

We really did find some great spots in Charleston so I thought I'd post a last recap in case anyone is heading there and wants some scoop.

Places I highly recommend for food/drink/coffee/misc in all those categories:

Husk: what a fan-fucking-tastic place; awesome food, great service, awesome bar, terrific ambiance. F.I.G.: " " though definitely more hipster than Husk; sit at the bar. McCrady's: terrific spot for a more formal, old-school dining experience; great wine list; beautifully presented food; superb service. The Ordinary: if you like Frenchie meets a raw bar, you will love this; incredible style, rockin' atmo, great wine, fab seafood. Bull Street Gourmet and Market: ridiculously awesome wine selection (to buy by the bottle) for such a small joint; it's the best 7-11 you'll ever find as it's all hardwood, top-shelf food-for-purchase (and I was told I wouldn't find Geechie Boy grits anywhere, hmph; go Bull St), yummy food to order, and it delivers. You can sit or take, and you will want to. Social Wine Bar: yes, there's a TV in the corner (egads!) but you'll get over it because there's only one, the wine list is super unique and fun, the beers are great too, and whoa! on the appetizer-like yummies. Bartenders are cool and know their stuff, good vibe all around. Dixie Supply: there is not a Confederate flag to be found (amen), good low-country food abounds, and the chef/also the owner? is awesome. In fact, everyone there -workers and patrons- are awesome; friendly, enthusiastic, hell-yeah kinda folks. We devoured our respective slices of tomato pie and were sorry to miss the fried okra and other goodies. Not open Mondays or for dinner. Black Tap: fabulous coffee made by sincere hipsters (read: you get none of the BS associated with some hipster baristas who think they're saving the world via espresso). These guys are nice and can really pull a shot; love the spare yet friendly decor; love the neighborhood. One size, don't ask for skim, just go with it. Delish!

One final spot to seek out is Lily, a charming shop on King. You'll enter with nothing in mind but, while wandering about, feel you simply must buy everything offered. I know I walked out with the most random sampling of unnecessary-but-happy-to-own-it cool.