Sunday, January 4, 2015

Week in Reviews

On Christmas Eve I received an unexpected visit from Momma, who makes incredibly delicious cookies and other scrumptious desserts. She brought an awesome holiday gift box and I would say more but I am hoping to parlay my cookie tasting experience into a "trolling" review for HowChow. Let me just say I went right for the gingerbread cookie and I was not disappointed.

I finally broke down and decided to try out the digital Baltimore Sun with an offer of 99 cents for four weeks. Or was that 99 cents a week for four weeks? I'm not sure I really understood what I was getting. I guess I thought I was getting unlimited access to all the online news, but instead I am getting an actual electronic "edition" delivered to my in box every morning. It takes some getting used to. My first impression (on an iPad) is that it feels like scrolling through old-school microfilm at the library. I have discovered a few additional nifty features, though. You can click on individual articles to get a closer view. And there are numerous purple-highlighted "hot links" that will take you to other sites for additional information. As of this point, I am not sure I will continue when my four weeks is up. We'll see.

My husband and I went to dinner at The Second Chance Saloon in Oakland Mills Friday night. It was just a year ago that the place was fighting to maintain its very existence. If you wrote a letter or signed the petition, thanks. The Second Chance continues to be a bright spot in Oakland Mills and draws people from all over our area. They have made numerous repairs and updates to the physical space. It's looking good.

I ordered the pulled pork sandwich for a change, because I always order the chicken cheese steak (with added marinara on the side). I'm really glad I did. The pulled pork has really evolved since they first opened, with a more complex, smoky flavor and just a kick of heat. The portion was generous: overflowing, actually, making it almost a knife and fork experience. The cole slaw has also evolved from a coarser chopped vinagraitte-marinated approach to a finely-chopped creamy interpretation with plenty of fresh ground pepper. Both are good, in my opinion, but the new version makes for a nice change.
A footnote on the Second Chance--you know we love you, but could you turn the music down during the dinner hour? My husband and I were there for Date Night, but ended up on our iPads because conversation was impossible. And those rowdy people at the table by the kitchen need no encouragement to be loud. So, maybe turn it down a notch? Thanks.
A word on two local ventures: West County blogger AnnieRie is working on a comprehensive listing of HoCo small businesses. And Scott from ScottE Software will use his professional expertise/savoir-faire to post your event on Totally HoCo for just five dollars.
Closing out, new local blogger Candace Dodson-Reed of IsThisThingOn does a great "Year in Review" of fascinating people in Howard County. What I love about this list even more than being included (thanks, Candace!) is that there are all kinds of people on this list. Some I like, some I don't. Some I know well, some I don't. It's more than just a self-congratulatory echo-chamber for the Bubble. Goodness knows we could all use a fresh take on the local scene.
I've added another blog to my blog list. Kiki(Verde) handmade is right over the line in Laurel and her blog is full of good ideas about cooking, crafts, gardening, and living a saner, more centered life. You can visit her Etsy shop, too.
Back to work (that would be school for all of us here) tomorrow. I'm savoring these last delicious moments of leisure with my family.









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