Saturday, August 12, 2006

A beautiful day, darkened by eggplants

Today's USG trip was harrowing for two reasons: 1) I hadn't had any coffee; 2) the place was lousy with eggplants, ranging in color from deep purple to pure white. Now, eggplants are lovely, I will admit, but I absolutely loathe them. Bell peppers, another non-favorite, are also very much in season, and mocked me alongside their eggplant brothers from every vendor's stall. The coffee problem made me impatient, so I didn't go out on any limbs (unless you count the sorrel, which I have no ideas for) - though I did go a little overboard. Since all I feel like doing lately is eating, that should work out just fine.

My shoulders hurt from carrying all this:
1 lb. shell peas
1 lb. green string beans
3 heirloom tomatoes
4 zucchini (2 green, 2 yellow)
2 poblano peppers
2 jalapeno peppers
1 bunch sorrel
4 ears sweet white corn
5 peaches
1 lb. apricots
2 Golden Delicious apples
2 Tydeman apples
total spent: $35

The shell peas were a great surprise, as nobody's had any for the last few weeks. I think I'll whip up a new version of my "summer veggie saute" using peas, corn, and zucchini. Since I'm not savvy when it comes to cooking peas, I'll probably blanch them first, then add them to the saute right before adding the corn, to make sure they get cooked but not dried out. The super-sweet bicolor corn was not available, but my usual corn vendor assured me that both his white and yellow varieties are quite sweet, so I chose white for how it will look in the pan.

Last week's black beans were missing something, and, though I included three roasted poblanos, I think that missing something was jalapenos. This week, I'll use both. (I also think the Trader Joe's organic black beans I bought were especially tough - back to Goya for me!)

The green beans I'm planning to boil for a couple of minutes in salted water, then keep them, cold, in the refrigerator, for lunches and snacks. Last week, I boiled some yellow string beans for dinner and forgot to serve them, so I had them cold the next day as a snack at work, and they were delicious. I'm hoping to repeat this with green beans while they're still sweet enough, as an alternative to carrot sticks (which certain members of this family refuse to eat).

The Tydeman apples are quite good, especially with (gasp!) a slice of good cheddar cheese. Otherwise, the apricots and peaches are from the same places as last week's. The Red Jacket Orchards folks, where I get my apricots, also had a golden variety this week, but after learning they're sweeter than the tiny ones I've been getting, I stuck with the usual, which are sweet enough for me. And I was almost tempted into plums again, at the place where I bought the peaches and apples - they had some beautiful tiny, purple ones - but I held off. Next week, I'll get nectarines and red plums, to keep things interesting.

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