Wednesday, October 20, 2010

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato....

....That line doesn't work as well written down.

You know what is crazy?  The disturbing lack of knowledge I have when it comes to produce.  I do a fair amount of cooking and baking, but I am intimidated by all the weird green and yellow and orange things at the grocery store.  It's not that I don't like them.  I LOVE fruits and veggies.  But basically, if you aren't getting it from a can or the freezer aisle and you can't just toss it in a salad, I am, more or less, at a total loss for what to do with it.

Remember Sunday's late night post?  All that random veggie based food I made?  That feast o' produce was born from this intimidation.

We started doing Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) through a local farm.  This Friday will be our third pick up in a 12-week season.  This entire program is awesome.  I love that it is local, sustainable, and transitioning to organic.  I love that giving me a weekly copy paper size box packed full of veggies and herbs is encouraging me to eat more produce.  However, it has also been a serious educational experience.

The first box we received I had to do a lot of googling.  There was lots of Wikipedia reading and serious scrutinizing over google image search results.  I had no idea what a fresh beet looked like.  I don't think I had eaten beets since I was like 7, and they were from a can, and I didn't like them.  (I like them now, though.) Broccoli Rabe, no clue that was even a thing.  You say Swiss Chard and I instantly think of Swiss Cheese and Chardonnay.  And all these random winter squashes which I still don't know what they are.  All those things have just always fallen into the general category of "winter squashes" aka cute things my mom buys at the grocery store to put out on the front porch with the pumpkins around Halloween.  Yeah, NO clue how to prepare those guys.  That will be another date for me and the internet later this week.

So yeah, I am open for suggestions.....

Monday, October 18, 2010

It's Late

I had an insanely productive day including making a feast of a dinner from all the fresh produce we have in our fridge from the local farm.  The husband and I made a beet salad, radish dip, Caprese salad, grilled filet mignon, and homemade butternut squash soup.  It was stupid amounts of good.  But now it is late and tomorrow is Monday.  So allow me to cheat a little and merely send you over to my photo blog with a few photos from our recent trip to Prince Edward Island.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

On the Road

Remember last week when I was all optimistic about the weather and the seasons changing.  Yeah.  Temperatures are back up into the mid to upper 80s and flipped my air conditioning back on today.  No good.  I fought it, I really did.  Thankfully, I believe that out little vacation was just what I needed to ground myself again.

A few months ago I popped "Anne of Green Gables" into the DVD player.  A perfect movie for an afternoon by myself, when I am feeling particularly girly and want to multi-task and get some cleaning done at the same time.  As I watched Anne with and "e" get melodramatic and run through fields and stand at the edge of red cliffs overlooking the sea I had this vague memory of someone saying that the story took place on Prince Edward Island (and, indeed, much of the movie was filmed there as well).  Then, I vaguely remembered that the island was near Nova Scotia on the East Coast.  The wheels kept turning and I had the realization that I now lived on the East Coast.  Henceforth and thusly, an excursion to the island really wouldn't be that difficult.  I dropped everything, did a little internet research, made a call to my husband at work, and within 20 minutes we had planned to go (pending approval from both of our employers).

Normally, I have at least a tentative itinerary for all of our trips.  However, this time, we were both so swamped that there was barely anything planned at all.  We made requisite reservations (plane tickets, hotel, car rental) and bought a travel book.  I remember reading enough of the book at one point to find out exactly how small the island is and thought, "Good, I won't need to plan anything, we will just wing it."  And that is exactly what we did.  

We went to a winery and went to the Anne of Green Gables heritage center.  (Of course I had to drag my husband to that.)  Primarily, though, we just drove.  We drove to the eastern coast of the Island and saw the lighthouse where one of the first SOS calls from the Titanic was received.  Then North to walk along the Singing Sand beach.  The sand does, in fact, squeak and it is a little bizarre.  Another day we drove West out to the furthest tip of the island where there is a wind farm and a restaurant with plenty of windows so that you can watch for seals in the ocean.  Then quibble with your husband over whether they were actually seals or just ducks making up the little dark spots on the water's surface.  Then you can bring the waitress in on the argument.  Then you can win that argument.  There were totally seals.

The peak season for tourism (which is a MAJOR industry on the island) ends in Sept.  So we traveled  just off peak enough for the island to be fairly quiet and for many of the shops and restaurants outside Charlottetown to be closed.  For me, this only added to the charm.  Little traffic on the roads. Spotting many little shops with handmade signs saying "Closed for the Season" or "We'll see you next June!" And watching field, after field, followed by fishing village pass my window.  It was very much like being allowed into a shop after hours.  Everything staged for the following business day and only the employees bustling about doing their own behind-the-scenes work without any regard for you.  We were able to simply soak it all in.  No agenda.  No place to be.  Simply driving.  

Perhaps I have a few wires crossed, but this is when I am most content.  In a car, with my husband (and the pets too when the occasion calls for it).  The rearview reflecting all that we have left behind the road ahead leading to infinite possibilities and nothing holding us in one place.  Just constant momentum.  Constant forward motion.  

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Turning a Corner

Back in town after a week in Canada.  Swimming through a sea of laundry, trying to settle back into a routine and I couldn't be more excited about it.  The weather has FINALLY turned here in South Carolina and it FINALLY feels a little like fall.

 I have quite recently discovered I am not one of these "warm weather/beach" people that so many people claim to be.  I NEED my four seasons, especially spring and fall.  This whole breaking into the upper 80's and 90's through the end of September is for the birds.  This morning I had to wear a jacket to work and then on the way home I was able to roll down the windows and blast the radio.  FINALLY.