Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Vote For Farm Fresh Produce

Yesterday was my birthday. My main goal was to not leave the house all day and to cook dinner. Some would find this odd given that that's what I usually do any day of the week. However, it is my favorite thing to do so so why change for my birthday?

Just like any middle-aged woman I started off my day by having tea and receiving the best present a 50-year-old woman could hope for: DVDs of my favorite show, Psych!

We made a game-day decision to head out to Long Island and finally use up some of the Crate & Barrel gift cards we'd received for the wedding. On the way I stepped in some of the messiest dog poop one could imagine. That had me return to the house to wash my shoes in the bathtub before finally leaving. We stopped at Goodwill on the way and donated some of our old stuff. I think most of the things we were donating were old coffee grinders. Nothing helps out those in need quite as much as the ability to grind one's own coffee beans. Fair Trade coffee beans, I would presume.

At Crate & Barrel our cashier, Yvonne, was a bit of a pill but we did get quite a haul. Despite our best efforts to get them to ring up everything we were trying to buy we realized on the ride home that we still hadn't been charged for everything we received. That included us asking Yvonne if she'd rung up two items, knowing for a fact that she hadn't; her saying that she had; us asking if she was sure; she saying that she was sure; and her coworker finally stepping in to review what she'd scanned. I think Yvonne was just a little too involved in talking about how much she was looking forward to going to J. Crew later.

When we came home we made some leftover spiced apple, Vermont goat cheese, and walnut raviolis with an arugula and fennel salad. After that we had some Mariage Frères Marco Polo tea that Jen had gotten me for my birthday with a leftover sliver of apple spice cake from the freezer.

Paul and Caolan, newly returned from their European honeymoon, joined us for dinner. In celebration of their wedding, our first dinner together as two married couples, and my birthday I suppose, I prepared an Indian meal.

I felt like we were cheating because we decided to order the samosas from a local Indian restaurant, Kismat. I decided to make my own paneer so I hoped that that would cancel out the cheating of not making my own samosas.

The dinner consisted of samosas, naan bread, cilantro chutney, raita, tomato onion chutney, chicken tikka masala, vegetable korma, and saag paneer. From the farm: jalapenos, potato, red pepper, potato, and garlic.

For dessert Jen made me one of my favorite desserts: Boston Cream Pie! Over dessert I opened some presents from Caolan and Paul: In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, and and H.P. Lovecraft anthology including the story At The Mountains of Madness, which I've been wanting to read for some time.

Today we had our second-to-last pickup from our farm share. Here's what we got: 1 head of lettuce, 1 bunch of mizuna, 1 bunch of arugula, 1 head of tatsoi, 1 1/2 pounds of potatoes, 1 bunch of beets (red and golden), 1 squash, 1 bunch of carrots, 1 bunch of parsley, 1 head of garlic, 12 apples.

We had a large amount of greens so I made a salad with the arugula, red leaf lettuce, mizuna, beet greens, mozzarella, leftover chickpea bruschetta topping, black olives, grapes, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

The squash we got this week was not suitable for cooking. It was, however, quite suitable for my amazing tablescape. Look how the gourd brings out the dimensions of our amazing table. Complemented by the dying carnations it really adds a lot to this arrangement.

For the main course: Bilinski apple Chardonnay chicken sausages, sauteed tatsoi, boiled potatoes, steamed carrots, and pumpkin sage ravioli.

After some leftover birthday cake we are watching the election results come in. Soon we will know who the next president will be be but our next (and last) shipment of vegetables will still be too close to call.

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