October 25th, 2009 § Comments Off § permalink
Today I bought lots of things grown in a garden and sold in the marketplace:
- ground beef
- purple cabbage
- butternut squash
photograph by Rick Heath
There is a pot of applesauce on the stove, next to some slowly bubbling sauce for pasta & lasagna, and I am considering making butternut squash soup with buttermilk for dinner tonight. What I am going to do with the purple cabbage, I honestly don’t know — cabbage soup? sweet and sour cabbage? braised with apples? the possibilities are limitless.
September 20th, 2009 § Comments Off § permalink
As I told my housemate when I came back today, and she asked, “Oooh, what did you get?”: apples-and-onions-and-sweet-potatoes-and-milk-and-turkey-and-tomatoes-and-peppers-and-zucchini-and-carrots-and-mushrooms-and-green-beans-and-plums!
I am experimenting with a turkey and tomato pasta sauce to keep around over the next few days, and I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to making sweet potato fries again. There will be a plum crumble for a treat after my very long Tuesday this week, and harvest season, just as the height of summer produce is winding down and the good sturdy foods of autumn are coming into their best, is a wonderful time. There were about seven different kinds of thick-shelled winter squash today, which I haven’t seen in a while, and I was warned away from the lettuce — “it’s the end of the season,” she said, and I was proud of myself for not saying, “I like it, because it is bitter, and because it is my heart.” Bolted lettuce is horrible, and I do not like it. But I like being able to use the kitchen without wanting to die of heatstroke.
September 16th, 2009 § § permalink
This weekend was the New Amsterdam Market, and I made my way down to South Street to explore.
That is one huge market. Dozens of vendors and hundreds of people, amazing amounts of food, and always glimpses of the harbor between the booths. I was surprised by how many breweries/vineyards were there, and how …commercial it seemed to me. There was a stall for Organic Valley, for example, and don’t get me wrong, they do awesome work, but…they’re in 34 states. (I can’t find a profit/loss statement for them on their website, but I suspect they’re on a scale that, say, Millport Dairy isn’t.) Fairway was there, and that really boggled my mind.
There was a surprising dearth of produce, really — the people there weren’t selling ingredients as much as they were selling what they had made from ingredients. Not that I object to that — I am never going to make marmalade on my own, for example, and I bought a jar of delicious rough-cut orange marmalade and do not begrudge it at all. It just didn’t feel quite as much like a farmer’s market as it did an open-air Whole Foods, or something of the sort.
photograph by kthread
I’ll probably go back next month. There were things there that I can’t get at my local, adored farmer’s market (I bought fresh red beans! there were oysters
! mozzarella and marmalade and many other things!), but I am thinking of it as an indulgence and a way to add flourishes to my pantry, rather than a grocery run.
July 19th, 2009 § Comments Off § permalink
That was a weirdly joyless expedition to the farmer’s market. I got baby portabellas and milk and green beans and the first of the 2009 crop of Vista Bella apples and chèvre and a mushroom quiche. It took me fifteen minutes (I put up a load of laundry on my way out, and when I came back, it still wasn’t done). Maybe it was me and my stress over the next few days and weeks (so many hard deadlines), maybe it was everyone wanting to murder the piles of zucchini, maybe it was just one of those days, but that wasn’t actually fun. I don’t feel happy, the way I usually do, the glee and anticipation from all the new food and the connection with smart, interesting, engaged people isn’t brightening the edges of my vision.
I’m going to knock off some of the deadlines I’ve got coming up, and then I’ll eat some quiche, and maybe the world will look better in an hour or so.
And hey, signal-boost: Milk Thistle Farm is looking for private investors so they can build an on-site bottling plant. Milk Thistle is a bunch of fantastic people, with amazing milk (every now and then I run out before the market and buy a little thing at the supermarket and I swear it tastes like water after the real stuff), and I am pretty confident that they know what they’re talking about. I have not, however, dug into the .pdf they provide for potential investors and cannot vouch for their plans or logic. If there is interest, I can take an hour or so and run the numbers and talk about what I think of their proposal; let me know.
July 13th, 2009 § Comments Off § permalink
- ground beef
- mixed lettuce
- skim milk
- yellow and flat beans
- new potatoes
There’s something vaguely incoherent about this list, I admit, but doesn’t your mind just sparkle with possibility? Bolognese sauce, salad with cheese, crisp potatoes, hamburgers, tomato sandwiches….
July 9th, 2009 § Comments Off § permalink
The new potatoes at the market are really, really new — anything about the size of my fingernails that is edible always charms me. So much flavor packed into so little space!
photograph by Ed Yourdon
There’s corn starting to show up, too, and zucchini is overflowing the baskets it’s placed in, pale yellow and dark green oblongs and fist-sized spheres, strong-scented leeks and radishes the color of blood. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with a lot of what I bought this morning — the pizzas will be held back until next week, because I’ve got a night class this month which is sapping my energy, and I’ll spend the weekend putting things together which can be reheated or assembled quickly. It’s too hot, after a rainy June, to roast things, which is my first thought — who doesn’t love roasting? you wash vegetables, stick them in the oven, and forget about them for half an hour — so the Magic 8-Ball is looking like a lot of pilafy-dinners for a while.
(Post title from Miss Platnum)
July 6th, 2009 § Comments Off § permalink
We have moved from strawberries and asparagus to cherries, and yesterday there was a bounty of blueberries at the market. (Word of advice: don’t eat all your blueberries at once. They are delicious…and evil.) It’s definitely summer, because the summer squashes are here. And I admit it: I’m excited to see them again. Give it six weeks, and I’m sure I’ll be making the sign of the evil eye in their general direction, but right now, ♥! Along with:
- garlic scapes
- sugar snap peas
I turned the above foodstuffs into a dinner that was (a) delicious, and (b) looked like the Nigerian flag.
photograph by scottfeldstein
Usually I try to have some variation in color in my stirfries, but the textural contrasts — and, frankly, the different greens — sufficed to make me happy.
June 4th, 2009 § § permalink
Somebody is going to have to explain this to me, because I still don’t get it, no matter how much economic theory I read. I went to the farmer’s market today with forty dollars and an empty stomach. I left with no money and a tote bag full of the following:
- dozen large free-range eggs
- two peach yogurts
- twelve ounces chocolate milk
- twelve ounces 2% milk
- one bunch spring onions
- one sweet potato
- ½ pound sugar snap peas
- two pizzas (Yukon gold potatoes, artichokes, and rosemary; tomato, spinach, and pesto)
- one head of lettuce bigger than my head
- one pint of tiny, jewellike strawberries
photograph by edseloh
I just fail to understand how this is fair. I keep looking at this list and thinking, “That’s more than forty dollars worth of food. It has to be.”
(That being said: I am looking forward to Sunday’s market, because I can pick up turkey sausage and mushrooms for crustless quiches and get chèvre and maybe pick up some more rhubarb and make rhubarb-strawberry rice pudding.)
February 8th, 2009 § Comments Off § permalink
There’s something very new and exciting at the 114th Street farmer’s market: soft cheese. There’s been a few different dairy stands there over the months, and I’ve been lucky enough to pick up not only milk and cream but cheddar and a few other aged cheeses from them. But now, there’s a stand that has feta and chèvre and if you’ll excuse me for a moment, I need to go get another slice of bread with herbed chèvre, because it’s delicious. (The goat milk soap looks fantastic, too, but I ran out of cash today; once I get around to buying some, I’ll probably wax eloquent, or at least long-winded, about it too.)
I’m back to buying my staples at the market, I think — it wasn’t fun there for a while, a combination of how much I hate winter and inadvertant scheduling conflicts making it hard to get there. But today I got apples and milk, as usual (and boy am I glad of it; I’ve missed good milk, and never mind that it was my own fault for spending my money at actual brick and mortar stores), as well as mesclun and carrots and butternut squash….and chèvre. I know, I mentioned it, but it bears repeating.
Tentative plans for the week include chicken with chèvre and figs, warm potato and goat cheese salad, and some kind of butternut squash soup.
November 13th, 2008 § Comments Off § permalink
I just spent twenty dollars on meat and milk.
- 1 pound stew beef
- 2 quarts 2% milk
- ¼ pound cheddar cheese
- 1 pound mysterious lettuce
Ronnybrook Farm Dairy‘s milk is fantastic, so I bought extra for the next week, until they come back to the market; the beef is a little pricey, but (a) delicious, (b) organic, grass-fed, hormone-free, and (c) makes stew, which I can live off for a damn long time.
photograph from Ronnybrook Dairy
One thing I need to think about before Sunday is acorn squash — I’ve never cooked with it, but there’s got to be a good recipe out there.