I always try to eat delicious food. Unfortunately I don't have that much money, so I have to cook a lot of it at home. But thats OK because I love cooking and I love eating at home with my wife. This is a website with my favorite recipes and a little bit of commentary.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Trip to Virginia

I had a brief stop off in my home town before heading back out to my away rotation. That gives me a quick chance to update the site.

My flight to Virginia took off at 5:00 AM. It is a small airport so the nice lady who checked me in was also in charge of de-icing the plane.

By the time I got to Charlottesville it was dark so the next few pictures I took during the day.

I had never been to the University of Virginia so I was in for a real treat. As soon as I got to town I headed down to campus to a place called the Lawn. I had no idea about the history of the University but I learned a lot while I was there.

The Lawn is Thomas Jefferson's design for the University. The idea was to have professors living in houses rimmed on either side by student housing. The housing would form a big U shaped structure with a lawn in the middle. At the lowpoint of the U is a large library.

Here you can see a professors house surrounded on either side by student housing.

When I got there I could smell the smoke rising from the chimneys. Every room has a fireplace and they have wood stacked outside each room.

Imagine the same scene only at night. It was so pretty it was almost like I was in a dream. There was a reception in one of the 'professors' houses. I am not sure they are used for that purpose anymore but the students still live in the student housing. In fact it is quite an honor to be chosen to live in one of the rooms.

Surrounding the Lawn is a large ring of gardens. I think I remember someone telling me that there are 18 gardens. Various gardening clubs keep them up and have contests to make each one unique. People come from all over the world to see them. Its the offseason but I took a picture of one anyway.

I got a few pictures of the hospital as well.

And here is the view down Hospital Drive -

The medical campus is incorporated into the undergraduate campus, so there are a lot of college town type eateries etc around.

The afternoon after the interviews I went out to one of our country's treasures.

Do you recognize that building? I'll give you a hint. Look on the back of your nickle.

I am a History Channel junky so I was thrilled at the opportunity to tour Monticello. It was Thomas Jefferson's Home on the mountain. It is on top of a small mountain that he inherited from his wife's father. It is surrounded by woods.

I was afraid that it might not be the right time of year to tour but the weather was actually very pleasant and at least a few wildflowers think it is spring.

I walked around the grounds for a while before touring the house. I spotted Virginia's state bird - the cardinal.

The house was very neat on the inside but we weren't allowed to snap any pictures. I learned quite a bit about Jefferson, his times and his passions. As it turns out, back in olden times, they liked beer just as much as we do, and Jefferson had his own brewery right there on the property.

He also did a lot of research on the best way to garden and grow certain crops.

He had a massive garden and vineyard. I wanted to see what Jefferson's kitchen looked like and viola -

I wonder what it would be like to cook in that setting. It probably isn't a lot different from when I cook outdoors using Dutch ovens.

That night I ate BBQ at Wolfie's.

It was mentioned by several locals as the best BBQ in town.

They had a lot of choices on the menu, but the one that caught my eye was a combo platter. It was served with ribs, 'Virginia BBQ' and a couple of sides.

The ribs were pretty tasty and certainly at least 452.2 times better than the ribs at Twin Anchors. That number is precise and the result of hours of tedious calculation. The 'Virginia BBQ' was pulled pork mixed with Virginia BBQ sauce. The closest thing I can relate it to would be Texas style BBQ sauce. It is more of a gravy than a traditional BBQ sauce, although it had elements that would be familiar to you. The sauce was a little sweeter than I would have liked but still very tasty.

For desert I stopped at a gas station and got the all time classic southern snack.

You can't get these in Kansas City so if I am down in the South I usually try to pick one up.

I was going to go out and check out more of the town but I was exhausted so I just went to bed.

I also went to the University of Nebraska, but I forgot my camera in the car. I didn't get a chance to sample any of the local cuisine.

Well that is it for a while. I won't be able to cook anything for a while because I am 500 miles from my kitchen.