This week we got: cucumber, lettuce, onions, dill, garlic, zucchini, carrots, kale, and green beans. I had a half-day for the holiday and made it to the farmstand early–I usually don’t get there until 6 or later, when the most exciting fruits are sold out–so I went a bit wild and bought blueberries, raspberries, white peaches, potatoes, another giant zucchini, a cucumber, and yet more radishes along with bread, eggs, and yogurt. Whether the week turns South Philly into a sauna or a swimming pool, I don’t have to go anywhere.
On Wednesday, we focused on getting the ends of last week’s vegetables out of the way: we made salad to use up lettuce and cucumber, roasted the beets into dark little strips of beet candy, and simmered most of our giant head of Napa cabbage into a giant spicy pot of coconut milk with red curry paste. With mix of old vegetables and new–potatoes, broccoli, zucchini, and carrots–and pork, the curry made several satisfying meals (and one deeply appreciated hangover breakfast on Thursday morning).
Thursday, of course, was July 4th. I’d been looking forward to hanging close to home for the long-ish weekend (“ish” because I did go to work on Friday). Still, a holiday is a holiday, so I chopped up some dill and made the same creamy dijon-dill potato salad and deviled eggs we had on Memorial Day. I packed them and some beer and slices of zucchini bread (from the muffins I made last week) into a cooler for a ride on my neighbor’s boat. We anchored a bit further north than usual and were treated to a 360-degree firework display–there were surprisingly large fireworks shooting off from several points in northeast Philly and across the river in Camden. I have no idea what neighborhoods are behind the trees (NJ side) or old warehouses (Phila side) but whoever those folks are, they had enough firepower to keep an impressive display going for over an hour.
Also, nothing says vacation like eating deviled eggs and sipping a beer on the roof of a boat.
I didn’t bother fixing myself anything but salad and fruit and yogurt all weekend–not as spartan as it sounds with the creamy dressings I use, avocado, and super-rich and creamy Pequea Valley yogurt–but Sunday night it was high time to make a large dish so I could bring lunch to work. With a friend, I made yet another peanutty stir-fry with the zucchini, carrots, green beans, and the remainder of the Napa cabbage (already chopped up from the curry preparation). What has it been, about once every two weeks? I’m still not tired of that peanut sauce, but I do look forward to when plums are in season and I can make plum sauce for a change.
We also popped a batch of spicy popcorn and ate the whole thing while finishing Season 2 of Parks & Rec. Ah, vacation! So sweet and so short.
On Monday, I thought about yogurt and dill all day. I thought I might marinate some chicken in yogurt with the remainder of the dill–I got hooked on yogurt-marinated proteins last year when trying to use up some herb yogurt dip from a party–but my errand-running path home from work didn’t take me near any reputable places to buy meat. Circumstantial vegetarian again! So instead I made something along the lines of this bulgar wheat casserole from the NYT. I used rice instead of bulgar–too bad, bulgar would haved soaked up the yogurt and tomato juices in a really awesome way–and sauteed the kale with the tomatoes instead of blanching the kale and making a separate sauce. Without the tomato sauce, I didn’t include any of the warm spices listed in the recipe. I liked it simpler, as it happens. I’ve never been shy about cooking with spices, and in fact I think I have a knack for it (ask friends about my popcorn and potato wedges!), but since I go out of my way to have quality ingredients during the growing season, it’s nice to let the yogurt, eggs, kale, and tomatoes speak for themselves. The casserole was bright and tart, but rich and satisfying.
I can’t find my camera battery charger, so I have only really terrible photos from my ancient phone’s camera. As an apology, please accept this photo from my neighbor’s snazzier phone camera of my cat Anise napping next to a stuffed tomato.