Saturday, July 19, 2008

A tough day redeemed by berries and dinner

This morning I was tired and listless at the Union Square greenmarket. After wandering back and forth three or four times, aimlessly picking up something here and there (sometimes visiting the same vendor multiple times), I realized I just needed to be home.

Luckily I managed to get a reasonable amount of food, despite my haziness; however, it took me so long to wend my way to the Fantasy Fruit stand, they had sold out of Tristar strawberries by the time I arrived. I was so close to the end of my rope I almost cried - now I know why my intuition has always sent me to their stand first.

But when I got home and started eating the delicate heritage raspberries and spectacular blackberries I bought from Terhune Orchards, I felt a lot better. There will be more strawberries next week!

I don't remember buying half this stuff:
1 pt. blackberries
1 pt. raspberries
2 lbs. peaches
1 lb. apricots
2 lbs. lady apples
2 ears bicolor corn
1 bunch collard greens
1 bunch Swiss chard
1 stalk celery
1 bunch carrots
2 lbs. green beans
2 lbs. zucchini
2 heads Rocambole garlic
Total spent: $50

Since it was ungodly hot today, I had to work up to the idea of making dinner for a couple of hours, and decided on stir-fry, with the vegetables cut into thin strips. This has the hot-weather advantage of quicker cooking than larger pieces, and, even better, I got extra knife skills practice.

For two people, I French-cut about 1/2 lb. green beans (French-cutting green beans is so hard!!), cut 2 medium-sized carrots into matchsticks, and chiffonaded 6 big Swiss chard leaves. I also pan-fried about 1/3 block of tofu, pressed briefly and cubed. I threw the carrots and beans in, then once they were almost ready, added a twince more oil and tossed in the garlic and chard, then added the tofu once the chard was almost wilted, just to heat it back up. We had this with my favorite grain, short-grain brown rice. Why is it so good? All other forms of brown rice are dead to me.

We also had the corn, steamed, to start, with butter, salt, and smoked Spanish paprika. I like bicolor corn, but regular yellow is much sweeter - I hope it shows up at the market soon. And of course, dessert will be more fresh berries!

Speaking of berries, I desperately need to get on the canning wagon. I had planned for Tuesday, but the photo assistant and I are going to see The Dark Knight instead. Next Saturday, then, I will be making my first batch of jam. I can't let another summer's bounty get away from me...and as I have an offer open to practice with peaches from a friend's family's tree, I have to hold up my end of the bargain and figure out how to do it, stat.

(Photo is not mine! It is from futurowoman's Flickr photostream)

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