Thursday, December 14, 2006

This thing

I never told you about this thing, did I?
(This isn't exactly it...the one I have is from IKEA and looks just like this without the metal railing, but apparently they don't make it anymore, so there's no photo on their site.)

The long and short: I have wanted one of these rolly-butcher-block-shelf-island-cart things for years, but have never wanted to pay $129 new...I've even come close to buying one on Craigslist for like $70, knowing full well that no non-sofa IKEA item should be $70 secondhand. But I always talked myself out of it.

One night last month, I was grumpily walking home from the record store at night (the L train wasn't running), and one of these islands was sitting on the street, in fine condition, just needing some cleaning up and missing one shelf-slat. So I took it home, nearly broke my back getting it up the stairs, and, after a serious scrubbing...I doubled the usable food prep space in my kitchen. Yay!

Anyhow, I was thinking about that today while moving this thing out of the way to vaccuum, and thinking "what did I do before this thing?" Plus it's not like I have any vegetable news to report. Sigh.

Monday, December 11, 2006


I guess winter isn't so bad when you have applesauce cooking on the stove...
Went to the Monday greenmarket and got a pound of spinach, two heads of garlic, and eight pounds of apples to tide us over. All the apples (in two pots) are going into the applesauce - it goes quickly around here.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Winter really is winning

No greenmarket today. Too cold. Too sniffly. Too achy. Instead I stayed home and napped and nibbled. However, I did find some excellent-sounding recipes from new food blogs. And I finished off the broccoli.

This means no more greenmarket 'til 2007...I'm going home for the holidays next Sunday morning, and won't be back until January 2, when the whole city will be covered in snow and I can't imagine what the greenmarket will have to offer (other than "seriously good bacon," that is)....

Friday, December 08, 2006

Winter is winning

Super-chocolatey hot cocoa for people who try not to eat any sugar usually but it is 20 degrees outside, people
2 tbsp. cocoa (Droste is nice)
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1 cup milk

Put cocoa and sugar in a mug, adding just enough milk to mix into a smooth paste. Warm the rest of the milk, pour into the mug, stir, and enjoy momentary respite from the dark cold sadness infiltrating your soul.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

"3 Hurt in Greenmarket Melee" - NY Times

But not, as I would have guessed, fighting over the last jumbo head of Rocambole garlic (limit ten per customer at Keith's organics):
NY Times: 3 Hurt in Greenmarket Melee

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Total anarchy

Broccoli for dinner!! Grilled cheese for breakfast!!!!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

When the cat's away...

As I have probably mentioned before, my live-in photo assistant/ dining companion HATES broccoli - to the extent that if I cook it in the house, he gets grossed out. But he's going out of town next week, so like any hot-blooded American twentysomething gal with an out-of-town significant other would, I plan to party. And by "party," I mean "cook and eat lots of broccoli." Probably I am going to stir fry it with slices of garlic...

Today was a good day:
1 head broccoli (!!)
1 bunch baby rainbow chard
2 bags spinach
1 zucchini
1 small tomato
1 bunch basil
half a dozen shallots
2 jumbo heads Rocambole garlic
3 sweet potatoes
8 lbs. Mutsu apples
Total spent: $38

Nothing too out-of-the-ordinary today at the USG; I arrived quite late so it was already extremely busy. I bought the basil and shallots because I'm going to make tomato sauce; I guess the fresh basil must be grown in greenhouses or something, since it's a sunshine-loving plant, or maybe it's sticking around because of the unseasonal heat we've been having. Either way, it's likely the last hurrah for the year, so I'm going to make a huge batch of sauce to freeze and keep.

3/4 of the apples are already bubbling away on the stove for applesauce - the last batch I made went so quickly that I had to double the recipe this time around. Homemade applesauce can really take the edge off of winter-angst. (So can great coffee, like the cup I had at the Mud Truck across the street from the greenmarket).

Otherwise, we had grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, made with whole-wheat artisanal bread, chopped-up garlicky sauteed spinach, and (gasp!) Kraft singles. I challenge the world to invent a better grilled cheese sandwich. I don't believe it can be done.

The spinach this week seems especially good. Lately the leaves have been quite large and full of stems (which I can't stand, so I trim them all off), but this week's batch, from the same vendor, was all tiny leaves still in bunches, which not only is more tender but easier to prepare.

What happens, I can't help but think, as the days get colder and shorter, when it freezes? Does that mean no more spinach? Can hardy root vegetables like carrots survive? Perhaps I'll ask some vendors next week...