Monday, June 22, 2009

What happened to the cooking?

This was supposed to be a cooking blog, but unfortunately I haven't had much opportunity to cook anything interesting lately. I made grilled haddock with sides of grilled asparagus and spinach the other day, but the haddock came out bland, the asparagus was overcooked, and the spinach was way too salty.. Want the recipe? heh, I didn't think so.

So I suppose I always blog about other people's food! Yesterday we went to the Brighton Farmer's Market and spent about $35. It was mostly on prepared foods, because we have our CSA pickup on Sunday evenings and so we expected to be well-stocked on veggies.

I don't remember any of the farms we bought from, and while I could just go to the kitchen and check, my son is being very fussy right now so I'm kinda stuck with him. I'll maybe update this later with those.

The star of the show was this apricot-jalapeño jam. Oh man, so good, perfect amount of spiciness. The same vendor also had eggs from pastured hens, which we haven't tried yet.

Also great was a smoothie that Mariah got made from local yogurt. It was really creamy and delicious, so we ended up getting a quart of yogurt from the same place. The plain yogurt seemed kinda bland, though... we usually get the Wegmans "Super Yogurt", which has a lovely tang to it. I dunno, maybe I just have to get used to it. We also got cheese curds from that dairy. They are also just okay. My understanding is the cheese curds really need to be like same-day fresh, so maybe they were just packaged to long. I'd love to try out their cheese, and probably will in a week or two.

There is a honey vendor there that we got some great wildflower honey from last year. We got fall flower honey this time. Great stuff.

We also picked up some frozen handmade raviolis. It is a combo pack of different flavors. I'll probably post about it once we try it.

There were some beautiful fresh strawberries. They are really ripe and sweet, but there is this strange earthiness to them that we don't taste in our own homegrown strawberries -- I am guessing it is something in the soil. I actually quite like it, but it was really interesting to see how much flavor of a plant can be affected by the soil it is grown in (assuming that's what the difference was).

I feel like there's some stuff I'm forgetting. Anyway, cool place. I'm hoping to start getting our eggs and milk exclusively from there, and probably our meat too. If we're getting our produce from the CSA, that doesn't leave a whole lot of reason to go to Wegmans!


  1. Hi, I followed over from Orac's blog-I like to see who my fellow woo-fighters are :) Having actually lived in Rochester after graduating from Oswego..I found Wegmans(in college) to be a wonderful place to get a free meal! They used to have a fabulous bulk section...As for your strawberries-are they wild or did you plant them? Your problem could be with the plant itself. Just a thought. Love your blog title by the way..

  2. Last night, we used the last of our arugula as a pizza topping. Crazy times are upon us and I fear the end is nigh. Should be some warm weather this week, so I'm hoping we'll soon be out of the lettuces and spinaches and into the next phase of produce!

    Do you guys have a kitchen scale, by the way? We've made this pizza crust recipe a few times, but it's always been somewhat out-of-whack. However, this is the first time I've made it with a scale to weigh out the flour and water... BAM! It does make a heck of a difference.

  3. Hi kathleen! Good to hear from you over here in the blogosphere ghetto :)

    Yeah Wegmans is awesome, but unfortunately sometimes too awesome. I don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth... but if you took Wegmans away from me and replaced them all with, say, Walmarts, I can safely say I would spend a lot more time at farmer's markets, specialty shops (e.g. Asian markets) and places like that. As it is, Wegmans kindof becomes a crutch.. and I think it prevents me from 1) discovering a lot of other interesting foods you can find only at specialty shops, and 2) buying as much local/sustainable produce.

    But yeah... there's a reason Wegmans comes out as the highest ranked supermarket in the nation year after year. In many ways, it's a foodie's paradise.

    Re: The strawberries... the ones we grew ourselves were planted. They taste fine, actually more similar to supermarket strawberries than the ones from the farmer's market. That's what was weird... our homegrown strawberries taste "normal", except for being maybe a little fresher. The ones from the farmer's market had some different earthy note to them, for some reason. I think I like it though!

  4. @Ryan: Yes, gotta have a kitchen scale.

    Getting through the arugula has actually not been a problem for us, because I actually quite like it just plain with some salad dressing or with olive oil & balsamic. So it becomes lunch at work some days.

    So far we've been keeping up pretty well this year... the first week there were all these crazy herbs that I didn't know what they were, and unfortunately those went bad before I could use them all or dry them. But we've done better since then. The only things we have in backlog from previous weeks right now are: Some fairly bitter lettuce thing that I don't know what it is, but I am having almost all of it for lunch today; a big bunch of some type of greens that kinda taste sorta like kale, but are too light in color to be kale; and lotsa parsnips, which I am going to use in a matzo ball soup as soon as I get around to it.

    But in any case, I agree, I am really looking forward to getting some non-rabbit food from the CSA :) My experience with Fiacre Farms last year was similar -- everything was great, but there were way too many greens for the way we eat. In some ways, it's a good thing, because it steers us to eat healthier... but man, that's a big change all at once!

  5. Oh man, I thought I tasted this bitter lettuce-looking stuff yesterday and thought it was bitter, but probably not too bitter for me for a salad.

    I think it's chicory. I think I am eating a chicory salad. Man, this is gross...

  6. Dude, I think I ate a chicory salad for lunch, too! I took the remaining greens from last week (the dark bitter red-leaf-lettuce-looking stuff and the paler, crunchier cabbage-looking stuff) and I slapped it onto a plate with some buttermilk ranch dressing. I see you've ravenously consumed the remaining Green Garlic dressing, so we'll have to pick up some more of that tonight. It's by far my new fave dressing!! Anyhow, I figured a strong flavor dressing would make the weird greens palatable and it mostly did. The bitter greens were rather yummy with the buttermilk ranch, but the texture of the lighter greens was too firm (I think it needs to be cooked, whatever it is). So live and learn.

    You're right that that abundance of eccentric greenery from the CSA helps us eat healthier. I wouldn't typically buy many of these items from a market, but once they're in the house I'm willing to give them a try. And now I'm sorta digging the bitter greens and I might try them again in another salad!

  7. Yeah, I was going to do beans&greens with the lighter colored ones, cuz yeah, I was pretty sure they needed to be cooked.

    There was only like a tablespoon or so of the green garlic dressing this morning, so it wasn't all me :p