‘FARMER’S MARKET PANTRY’ – In the good tradition of many food blogs––like, say, Smitten Kitchen––I’ve gotten some experience this summer doing small-kitchen cooking. My girlfriend is subletting an apartment with a kitchen that, while not exactly claustrophobic, is certainly not palatial, and requires a lot of cooking that looks more like some sort of intricately choreographed dance. But the smallness of the kitchen doesn’t mean we can’t cook and, what’s more, has caused us to realize all over again that sometimes it’s what’s outside of the kitchen that’s the most important. When we’re at the apartment, after all, we can walk to the farmer’s market. It’s a long walk, but one filled with beautiful early morning sights and smells, and rewarded with a trip to the “pantry” far better than any we could experience in even the largest, best-stocked kitchen.
Musical pairing – Popsicle Toes by Diana Krall
Innovating . . . Popsicle Style – In my life outside of writing for Smith Bites, I’m a summer babysitter. Day in and day out I calm tantrums, make snacks, run for paper towels, and shuttle back and forth from the swimming pool. Now that swim lessons are over, however, I found myself faced with the seemingly unanswerable question: how to entertain two children all day long? Flipping through the Farmers’ Market edition of Vegetarian Times, a ray of sun fell beneficently down upon a page: a moment of enlightenment seemed to have occurred, and I knew what I was doing with the kids the next day.
Musical pairing – Englishman in New York by Sting
Alien Encounters: Jicama – There’s no doubt about it: Jicama (HIH-kih-muh) can be quite intimidating. The large, brownish root, derived, Mark Bittman informs me, from a poisonous Central American vine, is very possibly as large as my head and devilishly tricky to peel. Not to mention the fact that the jicama will probably always be directly connected in my mind with the mysterious and slightly alien.
Musical pairing – Beat It by Cris Delanno
An Ode to Color – My favorite thing about beets is their color. Just sliced into, they reveal shocking jewel-bright shades of burgundy and topaz and saffron. Juiced, and they will turn a whole smoothie creamy pink. And roasted–wrapped in foil and slowly, intensely roasted– they simply can’t seem to restrain their bloody, passionate vibrancy. Juices start to leak through the seams in the foil, beads of dark ruby that collect on the roasting pan and shimmer and simmer there.