Posts Tagged ‘food’

I’m feeling a bit peckish and as my thoughts turn to food, I thought I’d share some more photos from the farmers market in California. The zucchini blossoms were also being sold separately in a few stalls and although I’ve never made them this way, they’re very tasty stuffed with (usually) cheese of some sort and herbs a/o other things. They’re a feast for the eye as well.

We’ve already established that I love artichokes, thanks to a mom who grew up in California. These aren’t looking their best for eating but still work for photos. Look for a heavy artichoke with tight leaves that aren’t all split. My daughter did buy some (chosen by yours truly), her husband grilled the halves, and we enjoyed them greatly. Yes, you definitely need to eat the bottom (attached part) of the leaves, Deborah. On a good artichoke, they’re very meaty. Dip in melted butter, mayonnaise (plain or with herbs), or just eat plain as my husband and I usually do.

You say tomato, I say tomahto. Tomato, tomahto, who cares? Just get some and dig in!! My favorite cherry tomatoes are Sun Gold which my husband says taste like candy…but are good for you. Win, win.

Yesterday (Sunday) a glitch in the WP matrix caused the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge entry for “Doors/doorways” I posted to post on Saturday, rather than on Sunday. I republished it, but evidently many of you didn’t get it. It features some wonderful doors, so if you didn’t see it and would like to, click here for the link. I must admit it’s frustrating to put out a post I think many readers will enjoy and then have something like this happen.

Who doesn’t love garlic? My brother for one, but our family loves it. The farmers market had a variety of forms. There are also different types of garlic although I don’t know which types these are.

Where did the weekend go? Well, in my case, today (Sunday) was spent with grandson and family, walking in the morning and hanging out on the beach in the afternoon, not online much. Saturday morning we were once again at the farmers’ market and I didn’t push the stroller this time so that I could take some more photos. Here’s the first, colorful round. I could gorge on these berries!!

A pile of edible flowers grabs my attention. This stall sells bags of wild arugula and several salad mixes, one of which includes some of these flowers. I can’t buy any until Tuesday, the day before I go home, so that they’re as fresh as possible, but they served as food for the eyes during our visit.

I’d be happy to eat these peppers just raw and remember that colorful fruits and veggies are so good for you, pleasing both eyes and body.

Don’t expect to see much of me online tomorrow (Monday) as I have sole care of my grandson while my daughter goes in for a job interview and my son-in-law works. 🙂 I foresee lots of walks in my immediate future as well as lots of love and cuddles.

Finally, a reminder to check your spam folder. Tonight I found 43 spams after several days of none. No legitimate comments, so I deleted them all.

In my role as official stroller pusher for grandson, I didn’t take time to get many photos, but these artichokes had to be photographed. I love artichokes but I’ve never seen any like this! I’d almost hate to eat these. Perhaps putting them in a vase would be more appropriate. 🙂

We were much later than usual, so some things had started selling out but there were still enough to make me quite hungry.

These flowers are a bit more unusual than many I’ve seen. If I could, I’d love to always have fresh flowers in the house.

Closing thought…Every time I do a post about a farmer’s market, the grammar nerd in my wonders…is it “farmer’s market” (one farmer), “farmers’ market” (belonging to multiple farmers), or a “farmers market” (a market with farmers)? I’ve never bothered to look up the “correct” terminology and as far as I’m concerned none would be wrong. Any feelings or “official” thoughts?

Started the day with a trip to the farmers market. Why no pictures you ask? True answer… forgot all about it. I was too busy buying whole-grain sourdough bread, green garlic, leeks, and apples. So sue me. (Dictation would like you to believe I bought leaks but I actually bought edible leeks.😁). Then we had a lot of baby time but no trip is complete without at least one visit to Sweet Wheat for panna cotta with raspberries and a mocha.

Speaking of the farmers market, there’s the always intriguing question, at least to me, of whether it’s the “farmers market” because there are farmers there or is it the “farmers’ market” because it belongs to the farmers?

A walk is always good and during this one I caught some light on a leaf creating a little abstract leaf portrait. For all you Thursday Doors people, I also found more doors, but you’ll have to wait ‘til next week for those. 😉. Pretty sure I did not walk off all the calories from the panna cotta and the mocha, but I’m fine with that.

Of course no trip to the beach is complete without an ocean view. View? Great. Days off with family? Priceless!

Marsha at Always Write has a Wednesday-Tuesday challenge going on, this week’s sense being taste. Quotes and food are a great combination and there are thousands of quotes about food to be easily found on the internet. I like this one to start:

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

I love fresh fruit, especially berries. I like them on my homemade granola, directly in my mouth, and in the case of blueberries, in my blueberry crisp, the latter a dessert often requested by family. Eating them in any form makes me berry merry. 🙂 (Or, if you’re in Britain, perhaps it makes you Mary Berry!)

This granola recipe comes from my uncle Jerry, well-known as a watercolor artist. That second link will take you to images of his work. But I think this granola recipe is just as much a work of art.

Jerry’s Granola

7-8 cups oats (not quick oats

1 cup each of these raw nuts: sunflower seeds, chopped cashews, chopped pecans, and chopped almonds (I recently used raw slivered almonds and loved the results.)

1 cup honey

1 stick butter

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Melt butter and honey together and pour over oats and nuts.  Mix well.

Spread in a sheet pan with sides.

Stir every 10 minutes until mix is browned a bit.

If you want to add raisins or other dried fruit, add once you’ve put the mix in a large bowl (or bowls) to cool.  Otherwise they’ll get too done.

Enjoy!  Oats are quite good for you as are nuts, so enjoy with the milk or yogurt of your choice or as is for snacking.

“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”
― Ruth Reichl

Our younger daughter spent some time in Japan years ago and quite some time learning Japanese. Okonomiyaki is a fantastic food taste from Japan, sort of a Japanese omelet or maybe more like a frittata. This one from Chicago’s famous Girl and the Goat was fabulous! You can read my post about it as well as find a link to a recipe here.

It’s really difficult to know where else to go with a food/taste topic as I’ve had so much great food and made some myself. Not that I create recipes but I’ve managed to find a few good ones over the years. I learned how to make homemade ravioli and my signature dish, my husband’s term for the meal you use to “seal the deal”, is probably spaghetti carbonara. In the mid-seventies between my junior and senior years in college, I spent almost an entire year in Europe. While in Brindisi, Italy on our way to Greece, the woman I was traveling with and I met two Italian men. I think they might have been expecting more from the encounter than they got, but I got spaghetti carbonara for dinner and my life was never the same. 🙂 (The highlighted link will give you more of the story but also the recipe.)

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
― Charles M. Schulz

I have to agree, although my choice is dark chocolate. One of the things I love about France and Europe in general is that desserts are just sweet enough to add to the taste but not overwhelm the way they often are in the U.S. Whipped cream is cream that’s whipped, not cream whipped with lots of sugar. Pastries in France are amazing (and of course the bread is too.) Or you can sit somewhere like this (we did)…

© janet m. webb

…and enjoy a regional salad like this (different location, though.)

© janet m. webb

For some reason, I’m now thinking about heating up the quiche I made last night and seeing what sort of salad a/o veggies I have to go with it. We have some lovely Portuguese red open and dark chocolate for dessert. Cheers and one final quote:

“Humor keeps us alive. Humor and food. Don’t forget food. You can go a week without laughing.”
― Joss Whedon

I think this might qualify as “bright” for Jude, don’t you?

After most of our errands, our minds turned to lunch at Smith Alley Brewing Company where we’d had good beer and food a few years ago. We were happy to see they’d survived Covid. As we sat outside, I was excited to see the vertical growing platforms used to divide the eating area from the walkway of the alley with a variety of fruit, vegetables, and flowers growing on the five what? Trellises? Re-reading the information below, I see they’re called walls.

In the water at the bottom of each wall are fish. Our server informed us that the fertilizer provided by the fish is then taken by the water to each part of the wall. No fishing, of course, and any fish served here do NOT come from these!

I don’t want to forget to mention that Smith Alley has great beer (I had Black Pegasus, robust with heavy notes of coffee and chocolate.) What’s not to like?? The fries were hand cut, the French dip delicious. My husband once again had a peculiarly Wyoming dish: chili with a cinnamon roll meant to be dipped or put into the chili. We were told last time that this was served in school cafeterias. My husband loved it, although I personally would never do that to a cinnamon roll. It was the perfect way and place to relax and rejuvenate before finishing our errands and heading back up the mountain. The next day we’d be closing up the cabin for another year.

We’re on the road in the dark again, over Raton Pass when we’re unable to see the beauty and my eyes are as wide as they go watching through the dark for possible deer or elk on the road. We have to driving the length of Colorado and right through downtown Denver. There’s so much smoke from fires that we can’t even see the Rockies and can barely see them in Colorado Springs where they’re almost next to the highway. Not much to say about driving through Colorado except that it’s great to leave. I-70 through Glenwood Canyon, a major east-west highway, is closed due to mudslides caused by rain in an area burned in 2020.

We see a few more interesting animals in Wyoming: a herd of bison (AKA buffalo, although incorrectly) which are in on someone’s ranch and oddly two camels, also not wild and in a large fenced area. But still–camels!

We stop at another interesting rest area, this one using passive solar. I love this!

On one side of the rest area is a sign celebrating the necessity of keeping cottonwood trees and we saw quite a few as we drove along.

Our original plan, going to the cabin and then back down in the morning to drive to Billings, Montana to pick up our older daughter for a week’s visit, changed to driving straight to Billings, an extra two hours, and then staying overnight, picking her up, and shopping at Costco before heading back to Sheridan for more shopping and then the drive up the mountain. You have to understand that although the distance from Sheridan up the mountain to the cabin isn’t too far but the road up the mountain is not only not paved, it’s in no way smooth, more suitable for four-wheel drive vehicles than our Toyota Sienna, although the Sienna goes up well. It turned out to be a good choice as the road was particularly rough and rocky this year, forcing me to ascend in first gear almost the entire way. Going down necessitates first gear until the bottom while trying not to ride the brakes. So we go up and down as little as possible. Besides, going to town isn’t nearly as much fun as staying up. 🙂

At any rate, we were tootling along at 80 mph through Montana and only about half an hour from Billings when the phone rang and plans were thrown into momentary disarray when we found out our daughter’s flight had been cancelled and there wouldn’t be another until Friday (this was Sunday and she would have arrived on Monday), leaving not enough time for her trip. After a bit of dithering, we decided to stay in Billings anyway, have a leisurely morning (i.e. not get up a 3:30 am), and then head back to Wyoming. We had a major, annoying glitch when our confirmed reservation through Hotels.com turned out to have been viewed by someone at the motel but not entered and our king room wasn’t available. The less-then-helpful woman at the desk said all she could offer us was a double bed…at basically the same price. No thanks and can you say “Poor customer service?”. But we did have a nice time before that in a nearby park where the trees weren’t cottonwoods but were huge and beautiful and older lovely homes surrounded the park.

After a frustrating time of sitting in parking lot trying to find another (and more expensive) motel, make the reservation, drive there, and check in, we were more than ready for the outdoor patio, smooth dark beer, and tasty food at The Montana Brewing Company! If you’re ever in Billings, we highly recommend it. The BBQ shrimp salad and the pork belly sliders with homemade fries were both delicious, although the online menu appears not to be current.

In his infinite wisdom, my husband decided we needed dessert, which we asked to have halved in the kitchen. They went over and above, halving the cookie but giving us each a full measure of local (and awesome) ice cream. We couldn’t even finish but the entire experience made the hassles of earlier fade into stuffed oblivion.

While back in Illinois, I managed to work in a good amount of delicious food, all in good company. A friend and I met for coffee one day and then on a second day for lunch at Blue Sushi Sake Grill in downtown Naperville. After a year of Covid, it was a treat to once again be eating in a restaurant. We’d planned to eat outside, but the wind kept us in although still distanced from other customers. Neither of us eats raw fish, but we managed to dine exceedingly well anyway. This first selection, called Crunchy L.A., consisted of 8 pieces (yes, each of those four is made of two pieces) of crab mix, avocado, cucumber, crispy panko, and sweet chili sauce. I love panko for its crunch and the entire dish was delicious. I’m a big fan of square dishes, so I would have loved to have taken the plate home with me. I also just want to put out there that holding a piece of sushi with chopsticks while dipping it in sauce and thengetting it to your mouth, all without it falling apart is NOT the easiest thing in the world to do and you’re forced to put the entire piece in your mouth because trying to bite it in half ensures that it will come apart if it hasn’t already. Don’t ask how I know this; just take my word for it!

The Hawaiian Roll (tempura fried, mango, salmon, crab mix, and mango sauce) was a surprise because it was served warm but it was still oh so good. Even though the pieces appear relatively small, after two dishes each, we were replete and a stroll along the Riverwalk, followed by a time of sitting in the sun chatting was just the thing. If there are any things that can enhance time with a friend or friends, good food is certainly one of them. And a friend paying for your lunch is the unexpected but much appreciated end to a perfect day (or at least the middle of that day.) 🙂