OUR USUAL BREAKFAST; then a trip out to Ikea. I like to go there every couple of years, particularly if I'm feeling a little discouraged. The sight of so many young couples optimistically shopping for their first households never fails to renew my hope for continuity and future.
And, to tell the truth, I like the Swedish meatballs. They are served up cafeteria-style by (here, in Portland, today) a smiling, engaging, middle-aged Danish-looking lady with an endearingly rumpled face; I couldn't help telling her how much I liked looking at her. To her credit, she took what was meant as a compliment graciously.
With the meatballs, mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots and Brussels sprouts, and a spoonful of lingonberry jam. And I had a "wedge salad" on the side: a wedge of Iceberg lettuce with dubious whie gloppy dressing, tasty dry little lozenges of bacon, and a few tomatoes (one lurks in the upper left corner of the photo).
•Ikea Restaurant, 10280 NE Cascades Parkway, Portland; +1 (888) 888-4532
CHICKEN POT PIE this evening, at home — a little dry but in a nice crust, with mushrooms and carrots flavoring the rather meaty chicken. We'd bought the little pies from Provadore, an upscale, typically Portland grocery whose shelves have lots of Italian imports and whose in-house bakery and pastaficio is admirable.
•Providore Fine Foods, 2340 NE Sandy Boulevard, Portland; +1 (503) 232-1010That was the first course. We went on to a nice duck soup, left-overs I suppose from something, with cabbage and carrots and a little celery for all I know, thick and hearty. Green salad afterward, and chocolates and cookies. A nice supper on a squally evening…