Saturday, July 28, 2007

Green vs. purple plums

People with luxuriant amounts of counter space have big, lovely, ceramic fruit bowls, which display the season's bounty to maximum effect. However, were I to allot so much space (12"+ in diameter!) to fruit, we would have to consider it a third roommate and charge rent accordingly. Instead, my fruit bowl is a Texas commemorative plate, which is luckily just the right size to hold these lovely Shiro plums.

I had to stop when the bags got too full:
5 ears corn
1 lb. "golden nugget" potatoes
1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes
1 bunch rainbow chard
4 zucchini
1 lb. shell peas
1.5 lbs. green and yellow beans
1.5 lbs. peaches
1 lb. nectarines
1 lb. Shiro plums
Total spent: $44

Tonight I'm planning a multi-course dinner to use up the most perishable of my purchases: first will be corn on the cob, then tomato and goat cheese salad with salt and pepper, then for the main course, a plain omelet (using local eggs), peas, and roasted potatoes. I can't wait!

Hopefully the pretty golden Shiro plums will be more satisfying than the purple variety have been. I've expressed my dissatisfaction with regular plums in the past, and last year the only plums I liked were Green Gage, which have been absent from USG thus far this season.

As I feared, this week cherries were, for my purposes, gone: a few stands still had a limited supply, but they were mostly mushy and mottled, not worth sorting through. Peaches are still gathering momentum, but apricots, too, seem to be waning, but luckily nectarines have just started showing up. However, I haven't found an east coast nectarine that can compare to a good peach...

Otherwise, my week's purchases are pretty standard: green beans for blanching and serving plain or for stir-frying, zucchini for dicing and steaming in pasta salad (and stir-frying, I suppose), chard for putting in everything possible. Next week I have to remember to buy two bunches, since the kale has been really tough lately, and spinach is nowhere to be seen. I should experiment with other greens, but I have had some unlucky results with collards that make me hesitant. Maybe I can get some baby bok choy or tat soi next week. The lovely legumes have distracted me from my greens so far this summer.


Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,

You've got a reader out here in beautiful Victoria of British Columbia! Have you ever been to Vancouver Island? Well anyways...

Tonight I was semi-bored and curious as to whether my zucchini obsession was nutritionally beneficial or not, so I googled "most nutritious vegetables" and happened accross your site on about the third or fourth hit.

I since have read your entire blog (because I just couldn't stop reading!) and just want to say how great I think it is! And I noticed the part where you mentioned you might quit and am so glad you'll keep it up!

I've already bookmarked your page and look forward to more entries!

Lyndsey, 22, Canada


anna said...

Thank you Lyndsey!

I did go to Vancouver BC once when I lived in Portland, but it was just for my 19th I didn't really see any sights, as you can imagine!

I am so glad you dig the site, and appreciate the encouraging words.

As for zucchini, it's one of my favorite vegetables. I like pretty much all of the summer squahes, like cousa and yellow squash, and the more exotic ones (haven't seen avocado squash yet this year, but it is great!)...though for some reason, pattypan doesn't do it for me. I think it's the shape more than anything. Could be cute for stuffing though, I suppose.

Have you seen this recipe from 101 cookbooks? It makes me wish I had a grill...I may get one of those grill pans to fake it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,

No I haven't tried it but it really does sound good... I've never had quinoa before though; is it like barley?


anna said...

Quinoa is more like couscous texturally than barley. The only problem with it is that it comes with this bitter saponin coating that you have to rinse off (rinse really well in a fine-meshed sieve) before you use the quinoa, or else it tastes AWFUL (I learned the hard way on this one). But it's some amazing ancient grain superfood with all the essential amino acids and it tastes good if you prepare it right, so it's worth investigating, especially for summer grain salads.