Don’t Dress the Beets and Other Notes for the Week
Here’s a peek inside my farmer’s market shopping bag* after Saturday’s Oak Park Market. In fact, I was so happy finding peppers at the market, that I stopped on my way to my car to take this picture. Just as I was getting ready to leave the market, I spied the earliest seasonal peppers from Farmer Vicki’s Genesis Growers. Genesis does great by peppers, from getting the first to market to offering dried versions in the winter. In between they farm all kinds from the mildest bells to the hottest ghosts. I have no idea what I will do with two baskets of serrano’s, with one stray jalapeno stowed away. Thinking about what do with them, thinking about what to do with everything that is in that bag, what else my wife brought home from the market that day or what came in our recent CSA, thinking, planning what to do, what to make, I think that may be my favorite aspect of the locavore life.
We are all perfect cooks in our head. What’s the saying, 100 percent of the dishes not made come out perfect. Is that why I love so much to talk about what to do with our accumulated food. Do we go with miso glazed turnips again, they came out so good last week or do we try a new approach. Do we ever get tired of roasted potatoes? What dear God do we do with all the chives that keep on showing up in the box? This salad dressing I made the other day, with ginger, ponzu, spicy mustard and soy would be great on the chard we still have. What do you think. Leave the beets alone.
Honestly, I have no idea why my family does not like playing the what should we do with our produce game as much as me. After all, if I was not asking about vegetables, I would be going over zumba songs. What more can they expect of me. I did get the Condiment Queen to participate because she found herself stuck with me on a dog walk. I forced myself on her away from the home when she had no place to duck for cover. So, she gave me this. Leave the beets alone. What that meant, oh my just getting to what it meant was a joy for me, what it meant was roast the beets but then don’t put any dressing, any sauce, any marinade on them. Any ideas of parsely or dried mint that was for another week. She had recipe in mind, one from her long agon stage-days at Mado, with yogurt or something like that. Leave the beets.
Leave the beets. The rest is to my own device. Kind of. My elder daughter did a nice job last week in helping me cook–actually have a post gurgling about how much easier it is to prepare a deaux. We went to prepare beet greens last week. Ginger and lots of garlic she suggested. Ginger and scallions I countered. We did not debate the matter, hold a vote or see which way Twitter trended. I appointed myself Chef and determined the dish. And boy did I feel guilty, especially when the next day, on her own, she made kale with ginger and lots of garlic. This week, we’re skipping the scallions for sure. I have ideas. All those herbs in a salsa verde, kohlrabi slaw, Indian-Jamaican style cabbage with curry and turmeric. Everything but the peppers. I might do, like I did with last night’s supper, just munch on the peppers on the side.
Check back later in the week for some news on what got made.
*No I don’t bring my own reusable bags, I need plastic bags for dog walks and to otherwise place my trash. Right?