Saturday, July 5, 2008

Catching up

Yesterday was the fourth of July, and today was the opening day of the Tour de France, and I wish I could say that we celebrated both events with nationally appropriate dinner, but instead, we celebrated both days with slothful non-blogging. So, tonight is catch up and recap, starting with Thursday night:

Nate had Thursday off, and I had a half day (read: I left at 4pm), so we invited our charming and talented friend Heather over for a meal. I picked up a few cheeses for a before-dinner nibble (clockwise from upper right): an American camembert (from the nearby Hudson Valley), a Belgian Chimay beer, a creamy French bucheron and a Humbolt Fog blue cheese from California.

The Chimay was good but SUPER bitter, the bucheron and the blue cheese were outstanding, but I was not that impressed with the camembert. (I should have heeded the cheese-counter woman's gentle nudges to not buy it, I think.) It lacked creaminess, it lacked aroma, it did not lack in having a flat, square shape, but this was not a boon for the overall experience. I salute the dairy farmers of the Hudson for their effort, but I do not if I would classify it as a success quite yet.

Nate took over after that, serving a beet (from the share) and feta (not) salad with cherry tomatoes and slivered pecans in a shallot-basalmic vinaigrette over some of the remaining greens, accented, as always, with some of the scapes.

After, Nate made scallops a la Woonsocket, as I call them: baked with lemon and butter with a Ritz cracker crust. This is one of the most delicious foods ever, as far as I am concerned, and I am jealous that Nate got to eat it frequently as a child. As a side, he steamed some asparagus with garlic and roasted some of the share turnips with lemon. The turnips were not as sweet as the baby ones from the previous week, but they were still full of delicious fresh turnipyness, and not that much like the autumnal version to which I am used.

For dessert, Nate turned our third week of strawberries (and looking, perhaps, as if the season is drawing to an end: very sweet, but very, perhaps over, ripe) into strawberry ice cream. Which, of course, was lovely.

Then Heather kicked our asses in two consecutive games of Wii bowling.

Being the Fourth of July, anywhere but this city, it would be celebrated with a barbeque. Being that we live in New York, however, where a simple Hibatchi grill is akin to the rare black rhino in its scarcity, we adjured the treat and instead headed to Joe's Brooklyn apartment for delicious brats and Rock Band. In the tradition of the Fourth of Julys of yore, however, I did make and tote around some salads, to serve as sides while using up some produce.

I used some leftovers (bread, tomatoes) and some farm share bounty (basil, from the first week) and some mozzarella that I had to run through some rain to get to make my dad's bread salad.

I also used our red romaine lettuce and leftover lemons to make a big Greek salad. Not surprisingly, the salad with more bread and less cucumbers was the more popular one.

Today I had great plans to make a simple yet filling meal for a late dinner, since it was my understanding that Nate wouldn't be home until 9:30. Thus, after a hard day's labor on work and thank-you notes I was kicking back with a Blue Moon and playing some Text Twist at 8:45 as a prelude to starting dinner at 9 when Nate walked through the door. Thus, while I had the general idea for dinner, Nate is the one who actually made it, despite the fact that I was the one who had the day off. Bad, bad. But dinner was good, good:

Fresh spinach fettucine sauteed with pine nuts and garlic scapes (always with the g.s.) and topped with some Parmesan. Simple, fast -- not a tremendous use of the farm share, but at this point, beyond a few sad pieces of iceberg (I used some today for a salad, but it is looking limp) there is not much left. We're waiting for Tuesday ....

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