Saturday, November 18, 2006

Reunited, and it feels so good!

Did I go overboard today at my beloved USG? Perhaps. But I did have the excuse of Thanksgiving preparations...

My shoulders still hurt:
2.5 lbs. German butterball potatoes
3 zucchini
1/3 lb baby rainbow chard
2 bags spinach
1 bunch carrots
1 bunch parsley
1 basket shallots
2 heads Rocambole garlic
7 assorted chiles - jalapeno, anaheim, and "inferno"
1 celeriac
3 Jerusalem artichokes
6 Macoun apples
4 Mutsu apples
total spent: $40

The Jerusalem artichokes are an experiment, heavily influenced by my recent purchase The Vegetable Bible, which was on double-sale at the bookstore and so ended up being around $10 (such a deal!!). It's terrific, effectively balancing the scientific names and associations of various edibles with their common names, what they taste like, and how to prepare them. Next week I want to try burdock root or salsify, but I thought the Jerusalem artichokes would be a not-too-scary first step into the world of semi-exotic root vegetables. Perhaps I will play it safe again, though, and go for turnips; there were some lovely-looking white ones available several places this week. Also on my winter schedule, thanks to the book, are kohlrabi and rutabaga.

Meanwhile, I couldn't be gladder to be back home and stocked with produce again; tonight I'm planning celeriac risotto (substituting shallots for the leek, which I forgot) and sauteed rainbow chard with garlic. On the dark green leafies front, good chard was difficult to find this week, which was a bit alarming; I'm not sure if it was my late start (and the pre-holiday crowd) or if there's just less of it around, but I had to hunt and eventually buy the expensive stuff from the biodynamic cart. Luckily spinach was readily available from the usual places, and I bought an extra bag to make for Thanksgiving.

It has been pointed out to me that I somehow forgot to mention the delicious-and-extremely-strange meal I experienced in San Francisco at the organic Japanese restaurant Miyako. This was, hands-down, the weirdest meal I had during my visit, but it was definitely delicious. I had an avocado tempura (!!) sushi roll and green beans, which were both incredible, as well as decent vegetable gyoza and some nibbles of a vegetarian eel roll. The service was incredibly strange - almost psychically attentive at times, lax at others, and earnest in a not-too-friendly way that vaguely made us feel like we were in trouble. Also, in the bento box one of my dining companions had, there was this sweet...thing. It was maybe tofu, but certainly didn't taste or feel like anything tofu I've ever had. It exuded this sweetened liquid when you pressed on it, but sucked it all back in when you let go - like a sponge. It was a rounded rectangular cube, and looked a bit like an art gum eraser. We didn't figure out what it was, and no internet menu searches have proven helpful in the matter.

No comments: