brain dump 005 [recent obsession with food edition]

upper meadows farm's CSA (community-supported agriculture) program, of which we are now a (partial) part, thanks to our next-door neighbor. the first few weeks are notorious for being skimpy and random, so i've been rocking the mad kitchen improv to make use of weird wee piles of, like, grape leaves and cardoons.

5 boroughs ice cream, a series of locally made small-batch pints that pay homage to various new york 'hoods (ex. upper east side rich white vanilla, staten island landfill) . i was particulary intrigued by the south bronx cha cha chocolate, which is made with chipotle and habanero a la spicy hot chocolate; fortuitously, a single pint materialized at the amish market last week. it is awesome.

queens county farm museum, home of the only corn maze (come harvest time) in the new york city area. locals beware: i will be dragging you here in the fall.

franny's rhubarb and aperol cocktail, courtesy of apartment therapy. this solves the problem of what to do with the rhubarb we got from the CSA, but where in the world does one get aperol? knowing new york, there's probably a community group for that as well.

recipe for 'karol lu's i love you but i've chosen chili,' the winning entry at the "bruce chili" cook-off, 2006. it beat the meaty chilis, people! haven't tried this yet, but I'm excited about it. we missed the '07 chili takedown a few weeks ago, but i hear there's one in williamsburg in the next few months. (link via not eating out in new york, a brilliant recipe and food blog that also evaluates each dish's cost and 'health factor').

insomnia cookies: hey, late-night delivery service for something other than crack! if these guys made chocolate cake and delivered to midtown (at present they're only in the nyu area and handle mostly cookies, brownies, and milk), our friend george would be the happiest man alive.

tyler florence's summer berry cobbler, the final destination of the gorgeous fruit i acquired last weekend. that saturday's version, for a dinner party, was sublime - i had jersey blueberries and wild strawberries from the union square greenmarket, and wow am i sold on wild strawberries now. i tried again this saturday with a slightly higher crust-to-fruit ratio and store-bought produce, and it wasn't quite as good; that said, given my total lack of baking skills, it's a hell of a summer recipe.

consumed anything zesty lately? any sexy food tricks i should know about? no, not that one!


jacob said...

the last two weeks our csa has given us garlic scapes (or tops) - basically, immature garlic. they have a much milder flavor than full-grown garlic. we've sauteed them for stir fries.

also, when totally stumped/overflowing, matzo ball soup seems to work really well. last night, we dumped in CSA scallions, garlic scapes, turnips, parsley, and chard (along with store bought carrots). not the most creative, but good comfort food.

lauren said...

those garlic scapes sound amazing - knowing me and how much i love garlic, i'd probably use them as crudites and call it a day.

i think soup is a good call, as well - i've never made my own matzo balls, but it would be fun to give 'em a try. i'm a big summertime soup person all around, too, though i discovered that the corn chowder i made with such great success a few months ago really, really needs tip-top corn. boo.

i love the fact that jengadda and wabes and i have all been foodblogging lately. we stanford girls have synchronized munchie schedules, i guess.

enjelani said...

this post inspires me to swear i will cook tonight, instead of going out yet again. though yesterday's discovery of red bamboo was a good'un.

and please, do include me in the autumn dragging to the corn maze!

lauren said...

e, i've heard red bamboo is amazing; since you've added your voice to the chorus, maybe it's time for me to drag my lazy vegetarian butt out there.

and yes, maize maze is totally on. it kicks off this year at the county fair, sep 15-16; said fair sounds so much better than the orange county one (to which i in turn was dragged, in the late '90s, to see jars of clay), it's almost comical.

uncle paul said...

We totally went to Red Bamboo! Busted!

lauren said...

oh crap, we did; it was that tiny, tiny place where we all crammed around one table c. the weekend of the geegaw wedding, right? i am senile.

tom said...

Jars of Clay. Oh, dear. I condole you.

uncle paul said...

Yup, that's the place - but always worth a return visit. I no longer remember what I had, except that it involved TVP and pineapple and I want it again. J. sez: "And the fake pork chops!"

jen said...

my csa recipe of the day is for bok choi, which i've never before quite known what to do with:

combine equal parts butter and olive oil (or just butter, but it ends up pretty rich that way) in a frying pan. add a clove or two of garlic, a tablespoon of fresh ginger, and two tablespoons of soy sauce. chop the bok choi, toss it in and cook for about 2-3 min with the lid on to help steam the greens down. garnish with cilantro.

this, served alongside cold soba noodles tossed w/ grilled zucchini, has become my friday night pre-long-saturday-run dinner and i am obsessed with it.

mari said...

paul, you taskmaster...red bamboo had the chicken parmigiana that was very, very far from chicken, right?

i'm all about the baby lima bean dip, which is so nice & summery, but i'm also stoked about these turkey meatballs that have ended up vietnamese-style. oh, and a cocktail with ginger, canteloupe, lemon, gin, and "youngberry" juice (south african for blackberry?).