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Posts Tagged ‘whole foods’

Rhubarb

 

The other day Steve, my photographer husband, had to shoot some rhubarb for a client. Since winter was still in the air, I wasn’t sure that I could find it. But, lo and behold, I found bright pink stalks stacked up at my local Whole Foods. Once he photographed it, I couldn’t let it go to waste. So, what does rhubarb say to me? Spring! Strawberries! Pie! But there really has been no sign of spring here in New York City – as March stilled its winds we still had snow in the air.

Besides, I really didn’t have enough rhubarb or strawberries to make anything significant. I cut what I did have into small pieces, added maybe a cup of sugar, a tablespoon or so of lemon juice, and grated a bit of fresh ginger into the mix. I popped it on the stove while we ate dinner and ended up with a lovely 10 ounce jar of rhubarb/strawberry compote that will be delicious over ice cream or yogurt, drizzled on roast pork or even on a slice of whole grain toast. But, most of all I had a taste of spring!

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quail eggs_7326

To me, quail eggs are one of nature’s most beautiful creations – right up there next to the glorious blue egg of the robin.  Unfortunately, I usually only get a view of the robin’s egg once it has fallen from the nest and cracked into pieces, but quail eggs are now found everywhere – from the farmers market to Whole Foods to grocery stalls in Chinatown.  I once asked a Chinese friend why they were so common in Chinese markets and learned that, for centuries, quail eggs have been valued in Chinese medicine to reduce stress and heart problems.  I think that they are supposed to be eaten raw to get the best results.  We like to hard boil them to peel and eat as a little snack around cocktail time and on far fancier occasions they star as a receptacle for caviar.

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I love, love, love cheese.  My perfect meal is centered around it – a loaf of great crusty bread, a perfectly ripe pear, and a bottle of pinot noir.  What could be better?  Two of my most favorite cheeses come from Cowgirl Creamery (www.cowgirlcreamery.com )in Pt. Reyes Station, California – Mt. Tam and Red Hawk.  I used to ferret them back with me from San Francisco but I can now buy them at any number of stores in NYC, even Whole Foods.  I can’t eat cheese as often as I would like (doctor’s orders, ugh) but a small taste as dessert doesn’t count.

Here is a description of the company taken directly from their website from which you can order their extraordinary products.  “In 1997, Sue Conley and Peggy Smith opened Cowgirl Creamery in Pt. Reyes Station……… They started with an old barn, made it beautiful, put in a small plant for making hand-crafted cheese, bought organic milk from the neighbor, Straus Family Creamery…….  From the beginning, they wanted to make delicious, artisan cheese, to be environmentally responsible, and they also wanted to support their cheesemaking friends in being sustainable land stewards. Today, Cowgirl Creamery continues to make just a small collection of cheese — four, soft aged and three fresh, totaling about 3,000 pounds per week. ”

I think that Steve Kolyer’s painting says it all!

 

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We first tried shishito peppers at the Union Square Farmers Market about 2 summers ago.  We loved them – mainly because eating them is such an adventure.  You get one really hot one every so often while the remainder is usually slightly sweet with a lovely hint of acid.  The hot one is always a surprise.  They are often just barely fried in a little extra virgin olive oil and served with a slice of lemon and a sprinkle of sea salt.

On a shopping trip to Whole Foods the other day I picked up a good amount to use as a first course for a not-too-fancy dinner party at home.  I combined them with some I’ve-forgotten-what-they-were mushrooms (they were golden and quite tasty) and instead of sautéing in olive oil, I used sesame oil, some sesame seeds, and a touch of soy sauce to finish.  It was a tasty combo that was a big hit with our guests – so much so that the leftovers were requested for a “take home” reminder of a great time at the table.

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