Friday, October 16, 2009
The countdown has begun -- I am leaving for Paris tomorrow morning!
Here are my travel related wishes for the next couple of weeks: I'm hoping to
remember everything I learned in all those French lessons (merci, Madame Thomas); not get lost (though I don't actually have a map); translate signs and menus perfectly (a really big wish); not trip on the cobblestones (I am clumsy); and have a marvelous time (how could I not?).
Sadly, I decided not to pack my computer, so I might post some lovely words but the photo retrospective will have to wait until I return in November.
P.S. My first two nights in Paris will be at the Quai Voltaire, the very same little hotel where M.F.K. Fisher spent her first nights in Paris in 1929. I can hardly wait.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Does candy corn count as a vegetable?
I bought a bag when I was "stocking up" on Tuesday for the storm and ensuing flood/ blackout/ downed phone lines. In the days between the candy corn has been consumed at an alarming rate, leading me to hope that there some corn in that candy.
It also makes me think that a trip to the dentist is in order ASAP upon my return from La France. I wouldn't want to enter my thirty-second year with cavities!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Today the rain has been falling from the sky like the world is going to end. I was warned that the power might go out, so I was up early this morning to shower, heat water for coffee, and warm my brown rice breakfast pudding so that even if there was no power for the day I would be clean and warm in the belly!
I finally came into town and found a very different Pt Reyes from the one depicted above. The streets were deserted, the shops all buttoned up, even Toby's Feed Barn had the rolling door halfway down.
So it seems silly to post weekend farmer's market photos today... were they really taken only forty-eight hours ago?
The Pt. Reyes Saturday Farmers Market is small and sweet. Amazingly, I spotted some very late harvest strawberries and tomatoes as well as apples, pears, root vegetables, greens, onions and potatoes.
I bought small, tart, juicy apples; a perfect pear; shallots and garlic; a sweet potato, and a zucchini.
Assuming there is power tonight I might make a risotto with Pt. Reyes blue, spinach, and zucchini. And if it doesn't... cereal and milk? Pt. Reyes blue and pear? The joys of country living. I always fancied Little House on the Prairie.
Monday, October 12, 2009
I finally cracked the cover on my October Gourmet last night. I'd been too sad to do it for quite a few days. Once I had it opened I was sad that there wasn't more in there -- not that the usual stuff wasn't enough-- but I was hoping for more.
I wanted enough Gourmet advice to get me through the rest of my life: restaurant and travel trips for my upcoming jaunt to France and Switzerland, a bevy of recipes for easy dinners and more elaborate, beautiful spreads to make me hope that someday I too might get to eat lunch on a small boat floating in the Adriatic Sea. The Restaurant Issue is a gorgeous issue, but I didn't want it to be the final issue.
I am not ready to say goodbye to Gourmet. I thought we still had so much time ahead of us and I was very much looking forward to a future together: I'd continue to save the magazines, lean on them heavily for inspiration, and be wowed by how well the recipes were written and how good everything turned out.
But it was more than that, too. Twice I've received lovely rejection notes from editors at Gourmet who took the time to read food essays I'd sent. Both times they responded kindly, saying there wasn't a space for Gourmet for me right now. Maybe later, they implied.
I guess there won't be a later, but it doesn't mean I won't continue to savor every bit of Gourmet I have left and hope that it will be resurrected someday soon.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
My lovely dinner at stellina: the photos are out of order but I don't have time to fix them and I don't think it matters much at all.
Of course I got the menu first, and stewed over it quite a bit, all while drinking a glass of De Stefanis Barbara d'Alba 2007. This chewy dark red was just what I wanted.
And in the end, I decided to order just what I'd been thinking about the entire drive to Pt Reyes: beans and greens. Simmered rosemary cannellini beans with braised chard. It sounded so simply and healthy and warm and good.
It was perfect!
Sometime soon I hope to go back to Stellina for something more elaborate, but for this Friday night I loved being able to sit alone in a busy restaurant, watching everything buzz around me, and eat something that I could have cooked at home but didn't have to.
For dessert I ordered a glass of Degiorgis Moscato d'Asti, 2007 from Piedmont and a toasted almond biscotti. Again, so perfect -- I love simple food.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
My little writing hamlet in Pt Reyes. I have been hard at work on chapter ten -- yes TEN -- and prepping for my trip to France. I leave in one week!
Each day I go into "town" and get coffee and wifi at Toby's Feed Barn. There is no indoor seating and this morning it is gray and chilly. Birds swoop in and out to get at the seed stored in the barn and I think this is how I ended up with bird poop in my writing notebook. Not pretty.
My only regret is that I am not cooking much at all! I have been eating lots of gift leftovers, and the other day I roasted an eggplant and some small tomatoes. I made a huge bread pudding with strawberry rhubarb conserve and dried plums that I have been picking at all week.
I am hoping for a trip to the farmer's market this weekend and maybe a baking escapade or two.