One of the best parts about living in Albany is that it’s in a great location for day trips.* On any given Saturday, especially in the summer, it isn’t at all uncommon for us to find ourselves wandering randomly around Lake Placid, taking in the scenery in Vermont, or hitting the outlets (and the Trader Joe’s!) in Massachusetts.
Lately, one of my favorite day trips has been to Connecticut – specifically to New Haven and the Peabody Museum. We discovered it last summer, and I couldn’t believe that I’d live so close to it for so long without ever hearing about it! It’s a small museum, but it’s full of really cool stuff like dinosaur bones and mummies (it doesn’t matter how old I get, I’ll always think those things are awesome). Through this past January, they had a temporary exhibit of x-rayed fish – it sounds strange, but they were absolutely beautiful. I even went into the gift shop to see if they sold prints, but unfortunately, I was out of luck on that one.
It looks like it’s time for me to make another trip down there – their new multi-media exhibit about health, culture, and the evolution of eating is right up my alley. “Big Food” looks like a pretty powerful exhibit – since it opened in February, over 50,000 people have used their online app to pledge to improve the health of themselves, their families, and their communities by doing everything from watching less TV to celebrating Meatless Monday to buying local products and working to improve the quality of foods served in schools. (You can check it out and make you own pledge here.)
Yields 2 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 110 minutes
After walking around the museum for a few hours I’m usually starving. Food in New Haven tends to be pretty typical for a college town but I really like the patio at Box 63. The nachos are awesome, and I’m always intrigued by the meatball salad. I’ve never ordered it there, but I’ve recreated it at home and it’s really good – and a nice alternative for those of us who love meatballs but don’t always want the heavy carbs that usually accompany them. Of course, you can always seek out a Connecticut Style Lobster Roll, too.
- 4 cups chopped Romaine
- 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Lemon, juiced
- 2 ounces soft Blue Cheese (such as Roquefort or Cashel Blue), crumbled
- Roasted Red Peppers and Sliced Red Onion
- 6 Meatballs in Sauce
- Put the romaine in a large bowl. Dress with the olive oil and lemon juice. Add blue cheese, roasted red peppers, and red onion slices. Gently toss to combine the ingredients.
- Divide the salad between two serving bowls. Top with meatballs.
(I’ll also let you in on my Connecticut secret – the Saks in Westport? Small, unintimidating, and soooo much less picked over during sale-times than the NYC location. (Especially the shoe section – I bought some gorgeous Jimmy Choos for less than you’d pay at Nine West). And there’s an Anthropologie right down the road. And across the parking lot from that is a super cute French antique store.)
*Yes, I just said that the best part of living here is how easy it is to leave.