Saturday, September 29, 2007


My photo assistant is terribly ill with the same "stomach flu" I had just before leaving for vacation (not really influenza, I've learned - viral gastroenteritis is the medical term), so I couldn't make my return to the USG today. I'll pick some things up Monday...watching autumn's cold fingers snatch away my summertime favorites all the while.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Post-vacation items

1. I kind of liked the blueberries. Kind of. They were quite nice in my morning smoothies, I have to say. Usually they're presented in sweetened baked goods (generally not my cup of tea anyway), which is when I balk, but fresh they're alright. Just not my favorite berry.
2. Speaking of tea, my time in the English countryside reminded me how much I wish American culture included an afternoon break, like Britain's tea, or the siesta of Italy and Spain. Most folks seem to "slump" a bit in the afternoon, and slogging through is probably less productive (not to mention less satisfying) than taking time to have a nibble or a rest and returning to work refreshed.
3. Being vegetarian in a tiny English village isn't impossible, but it's certainly not easy. Being vegan may have been impossible - the only veg dishes on any menu I found, except at the Indian restaurant, were full of butter, eggs, and cheese.
4. It's nice to be home, but I have to admit I'm dreading Saturday's greenmarket expedition, which will force me to realize how far autumn has already progressed.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Look at these tomatoes!

Quite a pair, aren't they? (But seriously, these colors are outrageous. Just outrageous.)

I only bought enough to last through Wednesday:
1 bunch kale
1 bunch chard
1/4 lb. sorrel
4 zucchini
1 bunch celery
1 bunch Italian parsley
4 heirloom tomatoes (Striped German, Green Zebra, and another one)
1 pint black cherry tomatoes
1 pint blueberries
1 pint strawberries
1.5 lbs. peaches
2 lbs. nectarines
Total spent: $38

The blueberries aren't for me - they're for my blueberry-loving mother, who is coming to visit for a couple of days before she and I fly to the UK for a walking tour of the Lake District. I'm not sure why I don't like blueberries...could be early exposure to overly sweet faux-blueberry flavor...but they don't do it for me. Also in preparation for Mom's visit, I stocked up on peaches and nectarines: my love for fresh fruit is clearly inherited.

This week's was primarily a maintenance trip, just getting the basics, as I don't have much time for creativity in these last few days before my trip. Last week I stayed at the office until 8 p.m. almost every day, and went in on my Wednesday off...though there was that marvelous long weekend, which I spent poolside in the sunshine.

I'm looking forward to adding the sorrel into a pasta salad for lunch one day, because I think the sourness will add interest to the regular "greens, zucchini, white beans, pasta, tomatoes, olives" lineup (which is admittedly quite delicious).

Tonight, we'll have a salad of these gorgeous heirloom tomatoes along with plenty of Italian parsley, salt, pepper, and olive oil. The main dish will be sauteed chard with Tofurkey sausage and cheese grits on the side.

Unfortunately, my trip is timed so that I'll miss a lot of late-summer bounty; I'm afraid fall will have arrived by emphasis by my next greenmarket trip, which won't be until September 29. I hope there will still be fresh hull beans for me to try by then (I've seen more and more of them lately); at that point, I will probably be resigned to apples and I can start making applesauce. We'll see. I may still fight it.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Away, away

We're on our way out of town for the weekend, but here's a quick recap of my greenmarket trip: scads of tomatoes (three colors) for tomato salad, corn and zucchini for the grill, kale, spinach, and green beans for home, strawberries, and piles of nectarines that will undoubtedly all ripen at once. No time for photos, but here are some shots of the lovely products from my dear friend Louise's San Francisco city-garden. Doesn't that lettuce just look mouth-watering? Is it a little crazy to feel that way about lettuce?