Sunday, August 26, 2007

We had a pretty nice weekend, I think, full of many of the simple domestic pleasures I missed in our studio apartment in Cleveland. Yesterday morning we biked up to the farmer's market and bought a few things. Jennie and Rebecca were there, though without any yarn or roving to buy (and the sportweight alpaca lady wasn't there either!). We chatted about spinning briefly, and I bought some plump Pink Lady and small dark Brandywine tomatoes, and a huge, fragrant, flowery bunch of basil with sharp pointed leaves--it looks like Thai holy basil, but green, not purple. They threw in a small round watermelon along with it. The folks from Wibs were there for the last time this year with their loudly chugging red enameled mill pouring out cornmeal, so I stocked up: 2 lbs buckwheat flour in a white cloth sack, 2 lbs white cornmeal, and 4 lbs whole-wheat flour. The fresh sage at another booth looked so nice, I had to pick some up despite having no plans for it. And it was mainly the thought of having to carry anything else on my bike that kept me from going crazy over the huge variety of summer heirloom tomatoes. We went to the library, I divested myself of three trash bags full of clothes at Goodwill, and I made whole wheat rotini with fresh tomato sauce (seasoned with hot peppers from our Thai bird pepper plant, which grew insanely huge and leafy under Jeanne's care over the summer).

Today, I made John Thorne's buckwheat pancakes--I think the recipe is from Serious Pig--which we ate with maple syrup and melted butter. Not bad, not great either. I think fermenting longer would help. I uncharacteristically attempted to clean the bathtub. Then we went to the Bryan Park pool and I went down the two waterslides about a million times. The sun is shining, cicadas are buzzing, Bloomington looks green and fresh and summery still.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

We had Charlie and Defne over for dinner (plus a late-night postprandial swim in our clothes)

The menu:
- aperitifs of Charlie's fancy, fragrant French absinthe poured into a glass, with cold water slowly poured into it through a sugarcube on a cut silver spoon, till the liquid was a cloudy pale yellow
- green leaf lettuce salad with walnuts, dressed with chopped shallots, lemon juice, flaxseed oil, EVOO, sweet and spicy mustard, salt, pepper, dried tarragon, and dried thyme
- sauteed asparagus dressed with herb and fried shallot compound butter
- crisp-fried polenta slices (not fresh--we bought a tube from the store) topped with a tomato sauce made from canned crushed tomatoes, soffritto (garlic, onion, carrot, celery), a fresh chopped tomato, a bay leaf, fresh basil from Aarthi's garden, oregano, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper; and sauteed white button mushrooms
- red lentils cooked with soy sauce, garlic, soffritto (garlic, onion, carrot, celery), fresh rosemary from Aarthi's garden, dried oregano, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, chopped fresh tomatoes, soy sauce, fresh parsley, fresh chopped spinach, bay leaf, salt, and pepper
- rice pudding: a cup or so of brown basmati rice gently cooked, uncovered, with a can of coconut milk and water, seasoned with cardamom pods, vanilla extract, lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, star anise, dark brown sugar, a tiny pinch of salt, and maple syrup from Steve and Amalia's farm.