Fried Chicken Picnic

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I love fried chicken. I have known about Thomas Keller’s famous ad hoc buttermilk fried chicken but I never could get organized enough to make it to Yountville and now that I have a toddler, fine dining has taken on a new set of challenges. Turns out, Thomas Keller has thought of the masses who want to eat his fried chicken and has erected a shack behind ad hoc – ad hoc addendum where he peddles boxed lunches of fried and BBQ chicken (though I do not understand why you would ever get BBQ chicken when there is fried chicken). Best of all, on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., you can order it online and indicate when you want to pick up your wonderous picnic lunch. For $16.95 you get three pieces of chicken, honey cornbread, potato salad and coleslaw and all you have to do is show up at the appointed time, bypass the long line to the pick up window and they hand you a bag of crispy fried chicken. It’s not a cheap picnic lunch, but it is Thomas Keller. I should also note that almost all the people waiting in line were Asian. We love our celebrity chefs, especially when they live up to the hype.

Ad hoc addendum does provide some picnic tables but we went across the street to a great park where we set up a little picnic. The chicken was crispy, incredibly flavorful and honestly some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. And I have eaten a LOT of fried chicken. The honey cornbread was also delicious, although the potato salad and the coleslaw, while good, did not blow me away. You can see how they make it here.

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If you ever plan a trip to Napa and want to have a no fuss lunch option or you just love fried chicken, I highly recommend a trip to the ad hoc addendum.

Christmas Eve Revelry

Happy Holidays! Yuan joined us for Christmas for the second year in a row and we had a lovely and rather active holiday. I got to go home early, Yuan took the train to Davis, and we had a lovely time drinking eggnog and planning our Christmas Eve feast. Our friends Heather and Wes joined us for Christmas Eve and we had a holiday meal gleaned from our Norwegian and Japanese heritages.

Heather brought over yummy mushroom appetizers.

As per Bjorn’s family tradition, we made Norwegian meatballs the night before Christmas. Yuan took over meatball making this year and I had to keep reassuring him that the meatballs needed to be browner. They were really delicious.

Christmas Eve Norwegian Meatballs
(made by Asians)

Meatball Accompaniments:
Roasted Carrots, Brussel Sprouts & Mashed Potatoes

Heather also brought a delightfully light pear salad with pancetta.

Yuan wanted fried pork, so I made pork katsu…then I fried a bit of pancetta wrapped shrimp while I was at it.

Sauteed Matsutake with Ginger

Christmas day we drove into San Francisco for some prime rib and eggplant parm at a friend’s house. Yum! The next day, we spent the afternoon on Clement Street eating dim sum and buying tiny dishes. If you live in the Bay Area, I highly recommend Kamei – an Asian kitchen supply store. The aisle after aisle of dishware makes me so excited I feel like I want EVERYTHING! I find it exhilarating and overwhelming. But that’s just me, and I love tiny dishes. Kamei has more than just tiny dishes though, they have an assortment of every kind of kitchen and food serving and preparing equipment. It’s awesome!

We had a great holiday eating well and hanging out with new and old friends.