July Odds and Ends
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
I have many things I’ve been thinking of writing about, all of which seem like they will take more time and energy than I have right now for writing. But I hate to leave this with nothing new for so long so here’s a quick update.
Marion Cunningham, my favorite cookbook author, passed away last week at age 90.
I still have hopes of writing a nice post in her honor, and my first thought was that I need to select a favorite recipe to highlight, but then I got hung up on picking a single recipe of hers, there are so many that I love, I don’t see how I could pick just one. Also I realized I’m in the middle of 18 different things and I don’t have more than half an hour for anything and I can’t do justice to Marion Cunningham in half an hour so that will have to wait.
In the meantime, I did want to mention her passing, and express my sorrow at our collective loss, and my gratitude for everything she did for cooking in America. She was a real treasure.
Also, for local readers, I would like to talk up my new favorite place, the Green Market on Pettigrew Street.
It is the place to be for cheap produce, holy cow, it’s amazing. It’s basically a flea market with produce stands and food vendors — and the kind of food vendors where there is no menu because they’re just selling one thing, the only thing you have to figure out is how much you want. (It’s like the Chinese food place I used to go to when I lived in Princeton, where all the Chinese grad students would go, you would order a small or a large of whatever they cooked that day.)
It has a distinctly Third World vibe. And I mean that in the best possible sense.
Usually when I go, I just go and get produce but the last time I went I was hungry and was unable to resist the lure of the stall in back with a man chopping pork for tacos. I didn’t see any prices and I wasn’t sure how to order, so I asked for two and hoped for the best. They were delicious. (I think they were $1.50 each; I got two tacos and a Coke and it was $4. Or maybe that’s just the gringo price, I don’t know.)
I’m not sure how the pork was cooked, it didn’t seem to have much spice or flavoring in it but there were big chunks of pork fat mixed in with the meat, and it just really hit the spot. In addition to the pork, the tacos were made with fresh corn tortillas and topped with chopped onion and cilantro, and the tables had bottles of hot sauce on them. And the man across the table gave up his chair and handed it across for me so I could sit while I ate. It was very sweet.
My friend Ann usually gets the flavored ice, like a Mexican sno-cone, but those don’t tempt me, she’s never able to talk me into getting one with her. Maybe next time.
My first visit this year, at the end of May, I bought 5 oranges, 3 small red peppers, 5 roma tomatoes, 3 red potatoes, 2 avocados, 2 limes, a mango, a cucumber, 3 nectarines, and 4 plums for $9.75. It immediately became my new favorite place.
Last week I bought ingredients for gazpacho, which I made and am still eating, and which, along with peach pie, is a big highlight of the summer for me. Everyone should make a big batch of gazpacho soon, if you haven’t already this year.
And, for those of you in the area, you should go to King’s on Club Boulevard and get a watermelon — they have seeded ones, which feel like an endangered species to me — for $6. The one I bought last week for a party was so big I almost couldn’t carry it, it was giant. (I like the seeded ones because I think you get more for your money and I think they have more flavor than the seedless ones, but I am apparently in the minority on that because the seeded ones are really hard to find.) And I meant to cut part off before I went to the party so I could process it and freeze it for watermelon sorbet but I forgot, so I think I’m going to have to go and get another one.
Enjoy the summer food while it’s here, it’ll be gone before you know it.
Over and out.