Roseadela’s in Salem

Roseadela's front counter

When I visited Salem recently, I took inspiration from a vlogger who often shares her many day trips from where she lives in Seoul.

I’m not a morning person. For me, that means that I like to lounge around at home and have nice slow mornings, even if I get up early. On weekends, it takes a lot for me to leave the house in the morning. But that’s what Cari does! It would also mean that there would be less traffic for the hour long drive from Quincy, so maybe I could get there quicker.

Also, I usually avoid driving in the rain or snow. It rained the night before, but there were only supposed to be passing showers in the morning and it would dry out by the afternoon. So I figured I’d go. I really wanted to see the art exhibit, As We Rise, and it was going to close the next day.

Neither of my assumptions ended up being true, but I’m still glad that I went. The exhibit was wonderful and will be a separate post. I was stuck in a couple of downpours while driving and there was way more traffic than I expected. But as I walked around Salem, it was great!

breakfast at Roseadela's

I hate rushing through breakfast, so I didn’t eat before leaving home. When I arrived in Salem around 10am, I was starving and needed caffeine. There was plenty of street parking, but I chose a parking garage near the museum. When I came out of the elevator on the street level, I saw a small cafe and shop called Roseadela’s. It’s the cutest place with such cozy vibes!

There was so much to choose from for a sweet or savory small breakfast. I ended up getting a simple egg and cheese sandwich and a latte. Both very good and hit the spot!

I ended up coming back again when I was going to get my car to leave. I would have loved to buy just about everything in there. Since that was not possible, I picked up a few things that I really liked to gift to some people. They have an online store as well where you can purchase some of their many offerings.

Roseadela's shop wall

The photograph on the wall is stunning and I asked the owner about it. It looks like it’s from another time and place. But it’s actually her and her daughter posing at a photography studio located in the same building!

Stopping at Roseadela’s was a great way to start my half a day in Salem and I was ready to head to the museum next!

An Artist Date at Italian Cafe Gelato

If you’re a writer, then you’re probably familiar with Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way and the idea of Morning Pages. I’m not a morning person. So writing first thing was never something that appealed to me. But the Artist Date. Now that’s something that I can get with. And so I did.

An Artist Date is supposed to become a weekly habit. Weekly may not happen. But I can try. Visiting cafes is one of my favorite things, so it’s definitely an easy way to get that date in. I’ve also ventured out a lot more since the pandemic, so I’m getting used to or maybe creating a new way of being out in the world again. I still wear a mask indoors at many public places. But I’m also eating out now, obviously without a mask. It feels a bit strange, but it also felt a bit strange when I first started wearing a mask. Doing the reverse will take an adjustment period too.

Last week the weather was more like July than April. So one night after work, I decided to take myself out for a gelato at Italian Cafe Gelato here in Quincy. They have so many delicious flavors to choose from. I taste tested a few and settled on the lemon ricotta. It was so good! Sweeter than I expected, and so creamy and cold. Just perfect.

One thing to be aware of if you go. Most places you can get a cover and take your gelato to go. You cannot get a cover to go unless you buy a pint. Rather odd. Oh well.

So I sat inside, and savored my gelato while looking outside the window at the pretty lights in the alley.

It was such a lovely night out, so I took my time heading back to my car and looked around the area. Over the past several years, I’ve noticed so many places going out of business. Noticed trees being cut down. The landscape of cities and towns changes every few decades. The stores that you see and go to everyday probably won’t be around in 25 years. It made me think that I should have taken more pictures of the ordinary 25 years ago.

Since I don’t have the option of time travel at this point, I figured I’d start taking those ordinary pictures now. Future me will be glad that I did.

This Sully’s sign is from a bygone era and probably won’t be around for too long. According to Eater Boston, the bar opened soon after Prohibition ended and closed in June 2018. I love these old signs, so I’ll try and capture them when I can.

A little past the Sully’s sign is Sergeant George Montilio Square. As someone with a huge sweet tooth, I immediately though of George Montilio of Montilio’s Bakery. But it seemed that he would be way too young to have served in World War II. Maybe it was his father?

So after taking this picture, I did some research. George, the famous baker, just recently turned 70, so that definitely was not him. His father started the bakery 76 years ago, but his name was Ernest Montilio. The Square is named after an Army Sergeant who “died of wounds” on April 17, 1945. Well, that’s odd. Just realized that today is April 17th as well!

The Hall of Valor Project website states that Sergeant George Montilio received the Distinguished Service Cross, “[F]or extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Company H, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, in action against enemy forces on 6 June 1944, in France. As a volunteer scout, Corporal Montilio carried out an assault on a footbridge under intense machine gun and small arms fire. Though the bridge was held by a superior number of the enemy, his daring and aggressiveness forced them to withdraw and thereby permitted his unit to organize and hold their objective.”

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When I decided to go out for gelato, I didn’t realize that I was doing an Artist Date until afterwards and I thought about it. This type of practice really does bring about creativity and some learning along the way.

Since George Montilio is not a very common name, I wonder if he was part of the same family. Considering he was from this area, it seems likely that he could have been a relative. Maybe the current George was named after him? I guess it’s family history that he probably knows.

Rest in peace, Sergeant Montilio, and thank you for your service.

Coffee Breaks & Other Food Thoughts

coffee breaks and confections

Days and events over the past month have me thinking. About food. About family. About friendship. About time. About what is normal life. About coffee breaks and cafes.

Is this now normal life? COVID numbers remain high and the pandemic continues. But government policies and the actions of most people indicate that society has moved on. I still have not worked in an office building in more than two years. Working from home is easier in many ways and cheaper. Impromptu coffee breaks with colleagues are what I miss the most. I also miss randomly stopping by coffee shops alone.

A few weeks ago, I had a chai date with a friend from law school that I hadn’t seen in about twenty years. She returned to India within a few years after we graduated, so there weren’t that many opportunities to connect in person. One of the last times that I saw her, she made me chai from scratch at her house. Of course it was delicious. One of my favorite memories of her is how we would share snacks in class too. Bonding over food and the law.

This time, we were only able to meet for a short period of time, so we had chai at a Starbucks near me. She looked the same, but had cut her hair and I remembered how she has the best laugh. It was also my first time taking my mask off in a Starbucks since before the pandemic.

A few weeks before, I attended a rehearsal dinner and then a wedding the next day. It was the first time in more than two years that I had eaten in a restaurant and attended a truly large gathering — mostly unmasked. The dinner was delicious. The wedding was amazing. I saw family that I hadn’t seen in years. We talked and danced and laughed. My cousin was the groom and he and his wife are perfect together. I’m so happy they found each other. Our family adored her from the first time we met.

I’m fully vaccinated and double boosted. I timed my second booster with the week of the wedding, so I’d have the highest immunity for this very large gathering. It seems to have worked. Now I’m inching toward whatever this new life is. Will we ever be post-pandemic? Maybe not. So this is it. I’m still uneasy about it all. But I guess I’m starting to move on too.

Since cafe visits are no longer tied with where I’m working, I’m attaching my errands with coffee breaks. I had wanted to visit French Press Bakery & Cafe in Needham since 2019. I’m not usually in that area, but suddenly I needed to be and had a little time to relax. So I enjoyed a cold brew and an almond croissant sitting outside in the sun. I love this place! The area is adorable and full of other restaurants and shops. It’s not too far from Quincy, so I’ll definitely return.

A few days later, I needed to be in Hopkinton, so I paired the errand with a visit to Muffin House Cafe. They also had outdoor seating where I enjoyed my iced coffee and blueberry muffin. This place was jumping! At a certain point, there was a line of people waiting to get in. It’s definitely a favorite local spot!

What’s next on my food journey? Well, it’s not a cafe, but I learned recently that H Mart will soon be arriving in Quincy. I’m so excited! It’s a Korean grocery store and I’m looking forward to trying some different foods. During the pandemic, I started watching a ton of Korean dramas and following several Korean YouTubers. I’ve learned about many Korean dishes and ways of cooking, so there have been foods and ingredients that I’ve been looking for. Now I should have an easier time finding them.

Have you noticed shifts in your daily life to bring back what you’ve missed from before the pandemic or new things you’re bringing in?

Breaking CBD News: CBD Wellness Drinks Arrive in Massachusetts!

Golden CBD Latte

CBD just may be the big trend of 2019. Many, myself included, use CBD infused products for pain relief. More and more, it’s being added to foods and beverages as well in order to facilitate other desired health benefits.

NOCA Provisions, a Cambridge café, has launched a Wellness Drink Menu featuring lattes infused with CBD, an abbreviation for cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive cannabis compound. Even though they have similar chemical structures, it doesn’t produce a high like THC, the intoxicating ingredient in cannabis.

The Golden CBD Latte is made with coconut milk, steeped with turmeric, ginger and black pepper. The Calming CBD Latte is made with chamomile-lavender infused oat milk.

Both drinks are steamed to order with 5mg of CBD oil and are priced at $10.00 each. Guests can also add 5mg of CBD oil to their favorite coffee for an additional $5.00 each.

Calming CBD Latte

Along with many other states, Massachusetts has legalized the sale of marijuana. The Cannabis Control Commission oversees the laws in the Commonwealth. This legalization has contributed to the increasing popularity of CBD.

In June 2018, the FDA approved Epidiolex for the treatment of seizures associated with two forms of epilepsy. Other than that, no other health claims have been proven. But you know people. We’re curious and want to try different things.

Melissa Malamut wrote an article about how she tried CBD coffee for a week to see how it impacted her anxiety. Her reaction seemed to vary day by day depending upon a few factors.

Overall, I enjoyed the coffee and can see myself giving it out as a novelty gift. But it’s not something I’d drink every day, and I’m not convinced I prefer it to regular coffee.

I think when it comes to CBD, it may take a few tries to find the proper dosage that works for you. Talking to your doctor could help.

When I first heard claims about CBD oil, I was skeptical. But after using an oil infused salve, I’m a believer. The FDA may not agree with me, but it has made a real difference in alleviating pain in my back, neck and shoulders.

I love a good latte and am a turmeric fan as well. So I would definitely try these wellness drinks at NOCA Provisions, if in the area. What about you?

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Photography: Courtesy of Image Unlimited Communications, Ltd.

{You Pick Six} An Interview with Food Entrepreneur & Author: Joanne Chang

Photo Credit: Colin Clark

Can I just say it? Joanne Chang is an icon.

Back in 2000, she brought Boston the first Flour Bakery + Cafe and our lives are all better for it. Lucky for us, she raised Boston’s food game to another level. I was in the elevator going to work a few months ago. There were three guys standing behind me and they couldn’t stop raving about Flour.

I remember visiting the first location on Washington Street and being so excited! Oh the sweetness!

For all the tourists in town for the Boston Marathon on Monday, you’re doing yourself and those that love you a serious disservice if you don’t visit Flour at least once. So visit and eat! Especially if you’re one of the runners, because you can handle the calories!

There are seven locations around the city, so you should be able to find one fairly close to you. I’ve visited three locations, so I still have some to try. The apple snacking spice cake is one of my favorite things!

By the way, Joanne is an avid runner and ran the Boston Marathon every year between 1991 and 2006. She also co-founded the restaurant Myers + Chang with her husband, Christopher Myers. The food there is divine as well.

A prolific cookbook author and James Beard award winner for Outstanding Baker — Joanne’s accomplishments are many. Flour’s tagline “make life sweeter … eat dessert first!” is pure joy and one of my goals when I was a kid. That’s the feeling you’ll get when you’re eating one of her desserts.

And on that sweet note, let’s learn a little bit more about Joanne and resume this ongoing series with the 19th interview of You Pick Six.

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What is a favorite snack?
The ends of the banana bread that get trimmed off before we serve them to guests. The staff save me these in a little container and I go from location to location checking in and snacking on these treats. I probably eat about a loaf’s worth of trimmings each day.

What brings you peace every day?
Coming home and spending time with Christopher. I’m incredibly lucky to have someone who inspires me, makes me laugh, believes in me, guides me, and reminds me of what is important – US – every day.

Photo: Flour’s delicious banana bread!

What is some of the best advice you’ve ever received?
From my parents who taught me that as long as you’ve tried your best you have nothing to regret. I used to berate myself as a kid for getting a bad grade and Mom and Dad would just ask me, Did you try your best? And I would say, Yes. And they would say, Then we are proud of you. As long as you try your best you have nothing to be ashamed of. I live by that!

What is a favorite quote?
“Be kind, for everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

What are some things that you can’t leave the house without?
I can’t leave the house without snacks- raisins in my pocket or a few pieces of toast or some almonds or an apple. I live in fear of being trapped somewhere with nothing to eat so I make sure I have food on me at all times.

Tell me about what you’re working on now.
I am knee deep in writing my next cookbook Pastry Love! It’s a compilation of all of my favorite recipes new and old. I’m baking up a storm every day and it’s been a blast. I’m in the candy chapter now- making english toffee and caramels and eating way too much sweets and loving every second of it. 🙂

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Thank you so much for participating Joanne!

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Photos: Provided by Joanne Chang.