Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rhubarb Request

Hello, dear readers.

The other day at the farmer's market, I impulsively bought 4 beautiful, long, ruby stalks of rhubarb.

I have no idea what to do with it.

i know I could make pie, but I have neither enough rhubarb nor strawberries nor patience for pie crust right now. Anyway, pie is awfully obvious, isn't it?

Do you have any suggestions? I think it'd be interesting to make something savory, but I don't really know what. Please, please, please comment with ideas? Don't let the rhubarb go in vain!!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weird Things

I eat weird things. At least, I think I do. This has recently come blatantly to my attention. I mean, I’ve always known I’m a little strange in my eating habits. But, recently, it has just been really obvious.

First of all, I have a new dairy love. My local grocery store carries some pretty exciting ethnic foods—if you’re interested in Central and South American cuisine, island cuisine (such as Jamaica), or even African cuisine, the Supreme Shop’n’Bag on 43rd and Walnut is the place for you. Gourmet, it is not. Awesome, however, is a good word for it (also affordable). I was looking at cheeses when the phrase “fry, without breading” caught my eye. The cheese is called, most descriptively, ‘queso para freir.’ This cheese is soft, fresh, and on the salty side. Like halloumi, its Middle-Eastern counterpart, you just throw it into a hot pan and fry it to a golden brown. The outside crisps and the inside runs soft and gooey. It is so delicious. I ate it 3 times last week.

And that is where the weirdness comes in. On Saturday, I bought my first fresh asparagus of the spring. On Sunday night, I wasn’t too terribly hungry and I had just had a revelation inducing acupuncture appointment. I casually tossed some asparagus into the steamer and then, because I thought that maybe asparagus by itself wasn’t enough, I cooked up some frozen pork and veggie gyoza that I had. Both delicious, but an odd combination. Monday night was the night of my fried cheese acquisition. So I naturally had to try it and I paired it with roasted asparagus in another pairing that made little sense.

To top all that off, my favorite snack food of late has been those roasted peas that I picked up in China Town. They are delicious. I enjoy coming home late from a night out and munching on them while I watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy before bed. Though, I’m sure, the crunching us a little bothersome to the cat.

What things do you eat together that you think are weird?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Passover 2009

I’ve been eating a lot of good food recently. I can’t lie—there’s been a lot of really good food. And, yet, I’m actually a little indecisive about what to write about. Unlike last year, I decided that I definitely wanted to be with my family for Passover this year. So my sister and I did a whirlwind, 20-hours-total-in-the-car road trip to see several different members of the family. And there was so much good food! I didn’t take very good mental notes however—I was mostly distracted by my crazy and loveable family.

Our first stop was at my mother’s house in Virginia, where we played scrabble and ate pine-nut hummus (the Sabra brand) on pepper slices. Then we ate roasted asparagus, potatoes with fresh parsley and butter, and a take on chicken picatta that my mother came up with. She marinated the chicken in olive oil, lemon, and ginger, and then sautéed it with garlic. She also coated it in matzo meal, since it is Passover, to keep in the moisture like flour would. For dessert, she made an angel food cake, topped with fresh strawberries. I ate the strawberries and about a million chocolate macaroons.

Then we headed further south to North Carolina, where we participated in a 21-person seder, complete with aunts, uncles, new family, cousins, second cousins, and close beloved friends. There were three…THREE…legs of lamb and a turkey! You all know how I feel about turkey. And I love lamb. And my uncle made his own chicken broth for the matzo ball soup (with matzo balls that were definitely sinkers, the way I prefer them). We had lovely mashed potatoes and tsimmus, a sweet potato and prune dish that provides wonderful sweetness to the festive meal. There was asparagus, which I sighed over. For dessert, there was flan and triple chocolate macaroons.

But, as I said above, I didn’t take good food notes. I was deliriously happy to be surrounded by my loud, strange family. I spent inordinate amounts of time in the car with my sister, which is probably the longest time we’ve spent together in…years, maybe. I saw a lot of people that I haven’t seen since 2007’s Thanksgiving or my graduation from college. My uncle, the one who makes soups and freezes them for later lunches and guests and who roasts legs of lamb and makes puns, is especially dear to me.

I jokingly said, in my last post, that my next Passover will be in Kalamazoo. But that’s most likely true. Which is why, for this one weekend, I took my focus off of the taste and texture of the delicious food stuffs and meals (except when I downed that spoonful of homemade horseradish—THAT was hard to ignore). I sat back, smiled, and soaked in the loving closeness of family.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Favorite Things

Here's a list of my current favorite things, food and philly related:

-Even though it seems to be inevitably chilly during the week, the weekends have been beautiful. Crocuses (the biggest ones I've EVER seen), daffodils, cherry trees, and other flowers that I can't identify have been blooming and being pretty on the 60-degree weekends we've been having.

-That means spring produce is not too far away (asparagus!). Which means we're 1 step closer to TOMATOES.

-There has been overflow of baked goods in my office this week. Delicious.

-Chinatown, the home of coconut cream buns (delicious), cheap produce, and my absolutly favorite snack food: roasted green peas. So addicting and wonderful--I would not have made it through my senior year of college without.

-Passover--this year with family and home cooking!! (Next year in...Kalamazoo??)

-Chicken Salad wraps with a lot of sweet and hot peppers.

-Sweet and hot peppers in general.


Not So Favorite Thing:

-Why am I still sick? Please cease.