In keeping with my theme of produce procrastination, I have two boxes to report on. Rest easy: I have no grand emotional scrimmages to agonize over, nor any lightning bolt revelations about BIG and IMPORTANT things. Just food: the glorious bounty of that time when fall shingles over summer in New England.
The first box:
The apples became undocumented apple butter, which then became a filling for a dozen or so undocumented brioche-y donuts. The radishes garnished an undocumented tray of waffle nachos (yes: you read that correctly). The melon went into an undocumented fruit salad. Sensing a trend here?
I let the onion and fennel spend a nice long time in a pan with some butter getting brown and sticky together. Then, they joined that bunch of kale, some fontina cheese, and a potent amount of hot pepperoncini in a stromboli that served as post-workout snacks at the gym.
The squash became soup, aided by Thai red curry paste, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, and coconut milk.
The zucchini I roasted, along with some tomatoes, and added to a salad of couscous, feta cheese, and the mint. I slathered this with the tahini dressing that I use to make all things delicious. This, also, got foisted on the gym family.
The second box:
In a rare bit of efficiency, many of these lovely vegetables went into a soup pot.
The cilantro mojo has become my favorite condiment. Bright and sharp with garlic and sherry vinegar, this green stuff enhances anything that needs a little kick (it would even be good on a spoon, not that I would know anything about that).
Before I go on, let’s chat a bit about that cheese and that bread. I have struggled for the last six months or so to produce a good sourdough loaf. I clung to the notion that I could accomplish this using a no-knead method for the bread. WRONG. I was horribly, horribly wrong. I finally had to give in and pursue a relatively fussy method of using three different types of flour and building a levain and an autolyse and then babysitting the bloody thing with turns every thirty minutes and then sticking it in the fridge overnight and on and on and on. But…BUT, I finally achieved a beautiful loaf with a gorgeous open crumb and a fantastically delicious flavor. I mean, look at this:
The cheese is from Twig Farm in West Cornwall, VT. I’ve written of my love for Michael and Emily’s cheeses before (here and here), and it continues, unabated. Please, go get this cheese. It is quite frankly, some of the finest cheese I’ve ever eaten produced by really nice people. Win-win, right?
This wine was a delicious accompaniment. The Unit is not much of a Beaujolais fan, but I was in need of a Gamay intervention, so I frankly didn’t ask his opinion.
The peppers became a piperade, heavily spiced with pimente d’esplette. I bucked tradition by putting it under, rather than on top of, my egg, because I’m a rebel that way. I also completely overcooked the egg, because I’m an idiot that way. I ate the overcooked egg anyway, because I’m hungry that way.
The mushrooms lent their umami-ness to some mega-chain-style lettuce wraps for the gym-fam.
I was feeling kind of bad about all the procrastination, but then I listened to the first track off the new Kings of Leon album, “Waste a Moment,” which encourages me, in a very shiny and over-produced way (but still featuring Caleb Followill’s amazing caterwaul), to not worry about it too much. Plus: they name-check Waco, Texas. Officially exonerated, y’all.