Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Two new good things

New good things have been few and far between lately - hence my lack of posts. However, there are two I thought I should briefly mention.

1. My new bag. I am not the handbag type, nor the Dooney & Bourke type, but my mom won me over to both camps by sending me what has to be the biggest purse-type bag in the world. It is simply huge, and can carry lots of produce. Today at the greenmarket, I bought a five-lb. bag of apples (which are now bubbling away with lots of cinnamon on my stovetop for applesauce, of course), and declined an additional carry bag, dropping the (large, unwieldy) bag of apples into my enormo-bag, where it disappeared into the depths, much to the delight of the vendor. "Wow," she said, "It's like Mary Poppins!" Indeed.

2. I am going to culinary school! I have been officially accepted into the Natural Gourmet Institute Chef's Training Program. I start April 29. I am so excited!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Dark times

These are dark times, my friends. Today's rainy trip to the Greenmarket yielded very little in the way of fresh produce: a carton of sprouts, two onions, a few hydroponic tomatoes, a bagful of apples. No one even had any carrots! Migliorelli Farms was out of pear cider for the year, and the little stand where I usually buy my kale was gone, no doubt due to the weather. Last week's trip was much the same, minus rain.

This morning I slept late (well, 9:30), and had decided not to head to Union Square and its dismal produce offerings when I realized how much I rely on market vendors for staples like eggs, goat cheese, and apple cider - and I'm so spoiled by the quality of the local stuff that I trudged out into the elements, sweatshirt hood half-shielding me from the downpour.

Lucky thing, too, because I was able to invite Katherine over for a very-late brunch of spinach and goat cheese omelette and home fries. (Ironic given the subject of this blog, the only non-local element of this meal other than spices was the spinach!) And the apples bubbling away on the stove, smelling of wonderful Penzeys Ceylon cinnamon makes me even gladder that I made the trip.

But my point is that there's very little to report these days, and the winter monotony has me still struggling not to get too down. (Though I do think the B12-and-herbs cocktail in my Deproloft is helping too). I guess I'm going to have to start buying vegetables from Garden Of Eden and Whole Foods, unless I can figure out a lot of creative ways to cook cabbage...and spring vegetables are still at least a month away.

Though I have learned to make homemade pita, using this Epicurious recipe, which is especially nice fresh out of the oven with the aforementioned goat cheese and zatar. (Thank you, Kitchenaid, for saving me from ever having to knead anything.)

NYC Rainy day photo from Hialean's Flickr page