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Monday, August 07, 2006

whole foods bastards
I think Whole Foods skimps on the cheese samples when I go on Saturday morning. They don't care about the idle shopper who treats them like a playground--going in for bulk herbs and staying for an hour to sample the Asian pears and Kashi scattered through the Le Creuset displays and the $80 wine. They reserve the big guns for the Monday-after-work crowd: hungry, on a mission, weak. I went in for a piece of beef and came out with this:

It's called Cotswold and it's amazing. I speared cube after cube until a small crowd gathered, jostling to find out what could keep a person at one sample table for so long. I grabbed the biggest wedge and resumed my original errand. In the car, I wanted to open the plastic wrapping and start nibbling but I concentrated on the radio. Twenty minutes later I was home, where this happened:

They aren't really bastards, but I am their fantasy customer.

posted by Robin at 7:16 PM; 2 comments

Sunday, August 06, 2006

vine ripened
I am in a produce frenzy. My vacation to the Yucatan was a lovely reprieve from regular life, but I sorely missed filling my refrigerator with the spoils from my Sunday morning visits to the market down the street. When I returned, summer fruit had reached its peak. My first weekend home I made up for two weeks without nectarines, plums and peaches with heavy purchases of all three on trips to two separate markets.

A favorite stand at the market also boasted little melons, just the right size to tuck under one's arm for an awkward walk home with two canvas bags slung over both shoulders. The farmer said it was too early in the season for him to look at the rind and tell me if my melon was red or yellow on the inside. This one turned out to be red. I ate half of it with a spoon straight from the rind and froze the other half for granita, the perfect relief on a 100 degree day.

For days it was too hot to cook anything. After a market visit a few Sundays ago, I dumped these green beans on the counter and just ate them raw, listlessly passing by the pile ever few hours until they were gone. Subsequent green bean purchases have been steamed and chilled with vinaigrette and sesame dressings.

Since the temperature returned to tolerable and turning on the stove has been possible, I have been contemplating the disappearance of all this abundance. Today I marched to the farmer's market for tomatoes, garlic, basil and parsley. It's tomato sauce time.

Last summer the bumper crops of tomatoes were $.35 a pound. At $.45 this year, six pounds of luscious red tomatoes came in at just under $3. My garlic guy just took these heads off the drying rack and I commiserated at length with the man who sold me my parsley about the virtues of Italian flatleaf versus the overly peppery curly variety. The above ingredients, plus basil, white wine, olive oil, salt and pepper will simmer in the crock pot all night before I eat a little and divide the rest into small containers for freezing. Last year, I waited until November to break into this stash. We'll see how long I last this year.

posted by Robin at 9:08 PM; 1 comments

A creature of habit
Another Weekend, Another Wedding
whole foods bastards
vine ripened
Bye bye, Broadway
Pretty in pink
Pesto dreams
Girl meets steak

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