Direct from the drug-infested den of New Hampshire, I bring you my latest report. (Procrastination is sometimes a beautiful thing. If you are befuddled by my description of New Hampshire, I am quoting our President. Really, click this link to the Washington Post, and read on down a bit.)
Behold, the fine fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and handmade goods available to us junkies, lovingly grown and made by our junkie neighbors. The plums were incredibly sweet and juicy. I say were because they are gone, as are most of the tomatoes and carrots. The little loaf of cheddar onion bread vanished within hours. One piece of the skirt steak went into a stir fry last night, and the other piece is marinating in the Cameroon-inspired all-purpose spice rub I bought the first day of the market. Steak salad is imminent. The goat meat and potatoes are destined to meet in my Dutch oven as a stew, with carrots, onions, peas, you get the idea.
There were some lovely surprises at the CSA stand. First of all, there was lettuce, which we were notified we might not get this week. Yay, lettuce! There were some gorgeous light purple eggplant, perfect for an Ottolenghi recipe I love. The purple bell peppers and the purple beans turn green when they are cooked, so if I want to preserve their color I will have to use them raw. There weren’t very many purple beans ready to pick, so that’s why there are only three. There should be more next week. There were a few tomatoes, and jalapeños, which means it’s time to make SALSA.
The long, striped, curvy specimens at the bottom of the photo might make you think you’re having another drug-induced hallucination, but no, they are Armenian cucumbers, something of a misnomer since they are actually in the melon family. They taste like cucumbers, though. There’s another Ottolenghi recipe, for a cucumber salad, that these will be great for. We’ve been snacking on vegetables and hummus in between fixes, and the Armenian cucumbers will do nicely there, too.
All sarcasm aside, this might be my favorite part of the summer, kitchen-wise. The variety of available ingredients is hitting its peak, and almost anything’s possible. All the Mediterranean-inspired foods I love are in play now, and I am ready to cook them all.