Sunday, August 3, 2008

(a day in (my life in)) food

(not my picture... sorry, i know i suck)

this morning we woke up late but still wanted to go to the dupont farmer's market. lately i have avoided buying much produce because our vegetable dropoffs can be overwhelming as it is. but i really wanted apricots and was worried that i was going to miss the season entirely. i also was worried that the metro would get us there at closing time, so we took the car, the boy and jake and i.

we had to stop for gas and picked up coffee and donuts while pumping; then i had a sugary stomach-ache. we ended up parking kind of far from the market, which meant we got to walk along the very southern tail of rock creek park -- it was bright and hot but there was a lively breeze -- and i saw the creek and some sunbathers and children. it was lovely but also made my heart ache for sun and water. summer is almost over, isn't it?

anyway, our take included:
.tomatoes -- three heirloom varieties, a red lumpy one and an orange kind with funny horns and some small green variegated ones. mostly because sarah asked me to get her some (the farm has been bringing one or two a week already). 2 pounds, $4 per pound.
.beets -- regular, purple, nothing fancy. the stall was having a close-of-market sale, two bunches for $5.
.apricots -- which turned out to probably be the last of the season, judging by how few i saw. damn. freaking $8 for a quart-sized carton.
.blackberries -- damn expensive but they reminded me why i ever thought blackberries were my favorite berry so long ago: huge globules of juice clinging to one another, threatening to burst open at a glance, tasting like they had been macerating in a bowl with sugar. $7 for two tiny half-pint cartons. but then, i guess that's not even as bad as those shitty $3.99 half-pints of sour gritty grocery store berries.

jake also got hot peppers; sweet peppers; cucumbers; more tomatoes; and a three-pound slab of pork belly that he intends to slow-cure, braise and sear. (i know: whoa.) and we tried for cheese but the fresh mozzarella guy had sold out much earlier, the goat cheeses were too expensive for my blood, and the camembert lady told us she'd had to throw out three weeks' worth of product lately because "the pH was all wrong". sad.

when i got home i went to water our garden. i trimmed dead leaves off our basil and tomato plants, checked for exciting growth on the squash and found none, overwatered our mint and sage and rosemary and thyme, and came back with welty mosquito bites and dirt up to my elbows and water all over my face and bunches of lettuce and a dozen hard-won carrots. those fucking carrots were so packed together that uprooting the larger ones required grunting and sweating and digging, digging not so much through dirt as through other carrots.

the lettuce was more bitter than it ever has been, because apparently hot weather makes lettuce bitter. oh. so i cooked it down like southern greens -- with vinegar and hot sauce and sugar and salt. still tasted funny, so i ate it over leftover rice and a can of red beans that i opened, rinsed and simmered briefly. amusingly, put together like that it was actually all pretty satisfying.

then i started a dough for an apricot tart. it is way too soft and sticky, i have no idea what is going to happen once the chilling stage is over.

my life is really amusing sometimes. so freaking precious. but i love it. hey, let's talk about riding our bikes to work! community supported agriculture, microbrews, stuff white people like! etc. fuck you, i still love it.

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