Sunday, July 20, 2008

Early to Rise, Motorcycle Surprise

This morning Jen and I woke up at 6:28AM so that we would be ready to catch the 6:30AM start of today's Tour de France stage 15. It was a pretty groggy start to the day but well worth the excitement of watching the Tour de France travel through (SPOILER ALERT!) Italy!

I put on a kettle of tea, something Phil Liggett, the great announcer for the Tour de France, is always inviting the American audience to do as they are waking up so early. Phil Liggett vastly overestimates the amount of tea that Americans drink. I may be the exception to that and for that reason I imagine that he is talking directly to me!

When I exited our apartment to get the newspaper this is what I saw:

That marks the second time this week that a random motorcycle has been parked in our hallway! Wednesday morning as we left for work, this is what I saw:

This sleek yellow crotch rocket was just parked there as if that was something that was acceptable for one to do. Someone else must have discovered it first as it was wallpapered with notes alerting the driver to the error of his ways. I'm not sure if they ever got to today's bike.

We then made our tea and coffee and enjoyed a breakfast of fresh mango slices and toast with two spreads: chocolate hazelnut and grapefruit marmelade. The problem with eating breakfast at 6:45AM is that lunch usually does not come soon enough.

We started cobbling together our lunch around 11:00AM as the Tour was winding down. I made a salad with the remaining red leaf lettuce and beets. I also used goat cheese, avocado and ground almonds with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

I made a quick pesto from our leftover basil and ground almonds. We had it tossed with spaghetti. The early start wore on us a bit and we had some dinner guests this evening so we took a little bit of a nap this afternoon to get some strength back. We still had some vegetables to use up from this week's share and we needed to be in top form in order to do so.

I started out tonight by making one of my least favorite salads! I hate cucumbers but I understand that there are people that have not yet figured out that they are disgusting little weakly-flavored logs of grossness. And since those fools exist I am able to pawn off these nasty little things from our farm share.

It's a simple enough salad to make, if you like disgusting cucumbers. I just slice them nice and thin and marinate them with a little drizzle of rice wine vinegar, tamari, honey, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and sesame seeds. I also tossed in some thinly sliced red onion for good measure. I had to have Jen taste it to tell me if it tasted good. She said it did.

I didn't believe her.

I made coconut rice with the sliced remainder of our green onions as the base for our main course.

The main course was Ginger Chili Shrimp with Broccoli and it was shamefully easy to make. I just heated up some sesame oil and sauteed some onion and slivered broccoli stem with a bit of garlic and ginger. After they were nicely browned I tossed in the shrimp and cooked them up for a couple of minutes before tossing in the broccoli florets. I reduced some leftover ginger-chili sauce I had along with the juices from the shrimp and cooked vegetables. I sweetened it with a small spoonful of sugar and then thickened it with a cornstarch slurry. I tossed everything together and it came out very nicely.

Tonight's beverage pairing: Bluepoint Summer Ale from Long Island, New York. Very tasty. I don't really believe much in beer or wine pairings but this went quite well with our meal. It was 95 degrees today and the Summer Ale was very refreshing.

For dessert we used up some of the New Jersey blueberries which have been sweet, delicious, plentiful and extremely cheap this July. We served them over angel food cake with whipped cream and chopped almonds.

Overall it was a pretty successful day and week. The only thing we have left is our two Italian peppers. Luckily the peppers will hold up better than most of leafy greens we've been getting. We should be able to use them up soon.

Tomorrow is a late night for Jen and I so we probably won't update again until we get our next haul on Tuesday.

Smell ya later!


Lisa Marie said...

Wow dude, you REALLY hate cucumbers. Where would the world be without cucumber tea sandwiches? THE STONE AGE, that's where. Cucumber sandwiches represent all that is good and civilized in this world.

Jen said...

He really, really hates cucumbers. But that means more for me, so I'm happy!

That salad is a delicious new addition to my cucumber repetoire, which formerly was cucumber soup. And sometimes Greek salad.

Unknown said...

Oh wow, tea sandwiches . . . the only thing I hate as much as cucumbers. So naturally the worst thing in the world could be a cucumber tea sandwich!