Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Journey to the West

We woke up yesterday at 6:30 AM in Paris and went to bed at 9:30 PM in New York. This wouldn't have been such a big deal if it weren't for the six hour time change and the harrowing one hour connection in Zurich. In Zurich we were made to throw away some beautiful bottles of Bordeaux thanks to the "Special American Travel Only" checkpoint where they are dutifully make America safe by ensuring everyone arriving in our airports is dehydrated.

View From Plane Over Switzerland

The food on our trip to Europe (via Air Canada) was barely edible. I don't mean that in the sense that it was simply bad. I mean that it was actually barely edible. They had asked me if I wanted chicken or pasta. I selected pasta because I didn't want meat and they gave me a horrendous microwaved cardboard tub with penne and some sort of beef on it. Even though I was starving I couldn't finish more than a third of it.

"Kathy" Sleeping on Plane
Kathy says: "Finally something we agree on! I had to call the flight attendant to give him my muffin back because it was as hard as a rock!"

Air Suisse was something else all together. The food on our 45 minute flight from Paris to Zurich was more plentiful and was actually quite delicious: a nice tomato and pesto sandwich on fresh bread with your selection of just about any drink imaginable.

Swiss Air Dinner Service

On the eight hour flight to New York we were served an unthinkable amount of food: a snack pack to get started, green salad, a lovely toretllini in cream sauce, a fresh roll with butter, a slice of Gruyere cheese, some sort of apple cake, a delicious pizza bread, ice cream, and a small chocolate bar. They must have served drinks every hour on the hour with your choice of water, tea, coffee, juices, beer, wine, and just about any spirit or liqueur you could think of. Except for Advocaat. I only know this because the woman beside us asked for some. I would have thought this crazy except for how wide their selection was.

I take that back. It was still kind of a crazy request.

2011 Farm Share (Week 5)

After arriving in New York in the sweltering heat and finding our car we arrived home and I immediately rushed out to pick up the farm share. This week was a pretty good haul with summer squash, cucumbers, scallions, Solix red leaf lettuce, Encino green leaf lettuce, cilantro, Thai basil, eggplant, red currants, blueberries, and apricots.

European Vacation Souvenirs

We also sorted through all the various souvenirs we were able to get home. At least the ones that weren't confiscated by the TSA. If we are allowed to return from Europe with tiny sausages stuffed with walnuts the terrorists win.

What we were able get home includes, but is not limited to: bags for candles with German words on them, liqueur from Einsiedeln, wines from Beaune and Bordeaux, peach liqueur, walnut stuffed sausages from Gruyere, Lucerne Market Cookbook, wine stoppers, a terrible neck pillow from Toronto, leftover picnic napkins and utensils, liqueur from Gruyere, French pens, some sort of pork pate, foie gras, maps of medeival Europe, Swiss Air wines, Swiss Air chocolates, coffee from Burundi, peach lotion, mustard in a tube, a tacky wine opener, a small metal wine-tasting thing from Beaune, Jordan almonds, an African basket, and canned truffles.

Thai Basil Limeade

To beat the heat we started off by making a drink with limeaid, chopped basil, and sparkling water, a nice refreshing drink after sixteen hour of travel.

Quinoa with Summer Squash, Apricots, and Almonds

After nearly two straight weeks of butter, cream, and booze we were ready for a light dinner. I, however, was not ready to clean salad greens as that is my least favorite culinary task. Instead Jen sliced up some basil, apricot, almonds, and scallion and I made some quinoa. With the quinoa I tossed in the chopped up summer squash straight into the pot and cooked it up with a little lemon juice, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.

We had some great food in Europe but this was one of the best dinners I can remember. For dessert we had just fresh blueberries and did our best to fight off sleep before finally giving in at 9:30 PM.

So another grand adventure draws to a close. The blog entries from here on out will probably consist of some lighter eating featuring predominantly what we're getting from the share each week. Now we'll be able to eat a little healthier to counteract the excess of the past two weeks.

But mostly because we won't be able to afford additional groceries for at least four or five months.

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