Again this year we put a fairly large garden in. I love the tilling, planting part but my upkeep lacks. I weed like mad in the beginning and then let it slip. Oh well. But, this year I was moseying around The Christmas Tree Store; who would think? It’s not my type of place but I have to say I do find some cool stuff – oddly enough, real 100% 550 count cotton sheets – not sateen or any other weird stuff, $39. for a set. Sound like a commercial I know but price those things and they are always three times that. Anyway, there was this huge stand with all sorts of seed packages from Italy on it. Gorgeous packaging and cool stuff so of course I bought quite a few. Well….the beans are in and they happen to be THE BEST.
No kidding. These are amazing. We’ve been eating them just about every other night, quick boil, lots of butter, s&p. Yummola.
The carrots are just coming in also. I had hoped to be sauteeing them but we eat them raw so fast there is nothing left to cook. Very sweet. Again, an Italian product.
Funny, I was reading in one of my food mags. that they are now (in Restaurants) serving tableside, no less, carrots run through a meat grinder – a wait staff serves you this way as though it’s salt and pepper grinding. How weird is that? Not to go off on a tirade but…..those meat grinders are ugly. Can you imagine someone coming at you with one of those unattractive items and squeezing this stuff out on your plate? I am amazed at the crap they are coming out with all to be one up….It’s all been done. One item I read about which was interesting in the altering food arena was quick drying (in the microwave) herbs creating a dust then mixing with sugar to powder pastries. Unique, no sure I’d do it but…..another one I just read about which I thought was way, way over the top…tiresome…cook corn, get rid of the corn kernals, take the cobs and cook them then make into a slurry which becomes a salad dressing. Really? Why? Someone has a bit too much time on their hands.
So, just FYI, since I’m thinking of food. I have decided with the help of my friends (mostly Marji) that I am done Catering. This summer I’ve been turning down all catering jobs and happy to be doing so. My back has been destroyed from the lifting aspect. I went into melt down last August when I was in the middle of a large wedding that I was working. I guess as it had always been bothering me more and more it just decided to stop so there I was in tears in pain. The end. Finally. And, I find customers are more and more into micro-managing my job. It’s a new phenonoma…hire someone to do the work and then do the job verbally yourself. Time consuming and tiresome I mean isn’t the point of hiring someone professional; you pay the person to do it right and get it done. Now everyone wants to butt in, let their friends participate, in my area of work that means they bring some of the food….hello, that is not what I would serve! Some really bizarre stuff shows up and then it looks like it’s mine. I don’t think so! My husband has found this to be the problem in his work also. Build me a boat or mast but let me tell you how to do it even though I have no clue. Meanwhile I’ll waste your time with my blather! Same thing. So, I’m done and moving on. I’m weeding out those stupid magazines – my purge. I’ll still have a huge interest in food but fresh, seasonal, comfort food will be my arena.
I’m not sure I’ve mentioned our Raspberry patch this year. A few years ago we put a few bushes in. Have we got bushes!!! We’re eating everything raspberry. I made a tart (actually I’ve made quite a few recently) but I love this tart. First, it’s our oldest sons favorite food – he doesn’t come home often (he’s a CALIFORNIA guy now, special) but when he does he asks for this tart.
I make these pie crusts and keep them in the freezer for instant baking when we have guests. The pastry cream is a zip to make….egg yolks, cornstarch, sugar, cream of any sort even half and half and vanilla. The figs were at Trader Joe’s for el cheap. I had some Arkansas honey that I dribble over. Fab. I don’t know what those bees in Arkansas eat but the honey from there is just amazing – it is the most flavorful of all that I have tasted. Arkansas, go figure.
Yesterday we had pancakes.
Sorry, Paul had already taken a big bite. We also have blueberries in the yard, 12 plants which are finally producing. We’ve had these plants for years but they never seem to be growing so this year we heaped seaweed compost on them, hit them with some 10/10/10 or some such and finally we’ve got berries. I was told to leave the bushes alone, don’t fertilize or compost. Who told me that?
Last week-end I went down to New Jersey to my 45th. class Reunion with my best pal Patti. Hysterical. We had an incredible time. We left here Friday morning – of course it was a trillion degrees hot, a mere 100. It was lovely being in the air conditioned car and we didn’t care where we were going as long as the car didn’t stop. We fantasized driving past our destination and landing in Alaska or something. New Jersey was a trip. First, the language barrier – did I ever speak that way? I could barely understand people speaking. It was so much fun as we hung on every word, watching the mouth move, the hands move and the F words continuously. Just amazing. It’s another world in itself. The Reunion itself was actually fun. We, as people, are genetically engineered when we’re born and the bitches in high school miraculously were still bitches. Amazing. I went over to a table to say Hi to a woman I thought I was sort of friendly with in High School, she actually slightly turned sideways and began to file her nails – at the dinner table! GOT IT, SEE YA. Can you imagine? This man I was speaking with from a class or two above my brother who is 5 years older than me was concerned he was so much older than everyone else (I joked he graduated after the War, WWII, not funny, I told him he looked great (which he did) he was the only guy there with HAIR. Not everyone but quite a few had these spits of stuff above their ears, etc. I really felt so bad for the guys because their faces were really the same, just boys, flirting, etc. but the lack of hair…..eeeek. We wore these name tags, our year book pictures, which was a dam good thing cause you wouldn’t know. The pictures were enlarged – great for people with bi focals. It was interesting to see how although it was the 60’s and big hair was in most of us pretty much had the same hair styles. Me personally, I know I was born with this goomba bob, bangs, cut to my chin, still straight, hello. So, I was recognizable. Patti, although her hair is no longer teased miles high it’s the same cause her hair is so thick and no grey. The guys didn’t have a prayer, too bad. We laughed our backs sore from joking around, new jersey style you just gotta be there. It’s a different sense of humor – you know, like watching a total show off who thinks she’s sexy (ick) dancing away with toilet paper on her heel. That kind of stuff. On Saturday we went to a town wide, Pompton Lakes, yard sale. I thought we were going to score some cool stuff. James Patterson books anyone? Everyone had the same really crappy junk and since Pompton got flooded with the Wanaque Dam it was all moldy. So that didn’t work out. But, the two evenings of classmates was not to be missed. Eating hard rolls and a New Jersey bagel was a treat. I had my carbs for the year while down there. The Italians in Jersey spend the majority of home time at a table with plates and plates of antipasto – as Patti’s family is from Sicily and we were staying with her cousin Fran, we did the same. We even had cold box cake, Pepperidge Farm. It tasted good given the environment I suppose. I suspect if I went and bought one now it wouldn’t be the same. Speaking of….the buffet we had was an interesting mix, the usual suspects, beef, chicken, fish but then there were fat chunks of dough 2″ thick at least with sauce on it and hot cherry peppers, cannoli’s for dessert. Interesting. I went and sat in the Oakland Diner, while Patti was having her face waxed off – which is where I grew up – and drank coffee listening and watching the people around me. There are now Mexicans in town which is kind of an interesting blend with the Italians….who’s speaking what? Nothing at all like white bread York, Maine that’s for sure. I loved it. I may have to go back and buy a tiny (shit box is what we used to call our houses cause they were small, family of six, three bedroom) for retirement. We laugh about that allot. At least 50% of our class still live in Oakland, and they live in their parents home. No wonder, the parents bought the house in the 50’s for probably 10/15 grand, they died the kids moved back in mortgage free. I would too. It’s 20 miles from Manhattan.
Back to reality here…..tourist land at the moment but not so hot in fact a glorious 60 right now. Dog walking time. Ciao