Saturday, April 7, 2007

Notes from the Pantry: Lard(er)!

Left my paycheck in San Francisco. I should carry less cash when cavorting with foodmongers. I am helpless to their wiles.

Palo Alto's farmer's market won't open until May this year. Alas! Saturday mornings perusing food stands are a favorite weekend activity. To get my fix, I trekked north to that infamous foodie haven, the Ferry Building Farmer's Market.

So what was enticing this week?

1. Heirloom carrots: from spicy white to deep sweet red, these varied beauties were abundant.
2. Sugar snap peas
3. Asparagus
4. Spinach (for saag paneer, with last week's creamery aquisition; incidentally, I ran into our tour guide from Cowgirl, proffering wheels of triple cream bliss to Ferry Building patronage). Greens of all kinds are great right now.
5. My proudest find: Spring Hill Farms freshly churned butter. Oh god, it's amazing. Deep yellow in color due to spring grazing, this butter is noticably sweeter and smoother than its grocery-bought comrades. Even the frou frou organic European-style Strauss butter seems waxy by comparison. I've been eating it on plain matzah crackers, but this delicacy deserves a lofty purpose. Ideas?

Also in the grocery bag: onions, garlic, ginger, Point Reyes blue cheese, Affi's Aubergine spread, and some organic oranges. I'd love to try the pasture-raised beef and eggs from the market soon, but I'll wait till I am re-employed.

Post-market, I swung by Tartine to grab a bowl of bread pudding and to drop off an application (have to replenish the wallet somehow). Before heading south, I met with Erica at a cafe near her flat -- she had a beautifully presented french toast and berry plate, and I had an open-faced sandwich of grilled chicken, bacon, swiss, and horseradish mustard on wheat toasts. My plate came with home-pickled vegetables, which I had been craving (although the pickled carrots alongside Tartine's croque monsieur are my favorite).

I also have twelve meals worth of leftover chili to consume. I don't know how I am going to eat all of this while it is fresh. I wish I had the appetite of an adolescent boy to justify my cooking addiction. Friends, I implore you: stop by and come hungry!


Kit said...

the butter seems delicious in its solid form so here are some suggestions for that:
- on fresh baked bread (maybe made from your sourdough starter?)
- tea and crumpets?
- on something dry and crumbly, like a plain cream scone

and as for consumption in its melted form:
- browned butter + herbs over pasta
- browned butter + toasted nuts on pasta
- throw a pat of it onto some roasted squash?

and in baked goods
- buttery shortbread cookies?
- butter croissants
- butter pound cake

Monica said...

ha! methinks we are palate-mates. at this very moment i have a loaf of sourdough rising in the oven. im hoping it will turn out though, as i fear the flour in our pantry has gone stale. :(

browned butter sage over homemade ravioli is my favorite. perhaps ill need to pick up some semolina...

argh! but the chili! and the saag paneer! why do i no longer live in a 60-person residence, to mitigate my need for tupperware and culinary restraint! im so bad at restraint!

Monica said...

DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN MAKE CRUMPETS? As in, from basic ingredients and a griddle. Sunday just got booked.

Kit said...

WTF! share the love when you're done. (as in.. take pictures and post the recipe... omg!)