Today was the Grand Opening of Greengrocer Foodhub’s storefront in Bloomfield! I missed the ribbon cutting this morning, since the baby was sleeping, but both kids and I made it over there mid-afternoon. We got “a beet the size of your head,” zucchini, cucumber, raspberries, apples, broccoli, snap peas, cider, and sausage…. most of which were things picked out by my 5 year-old. I hung back to the side of the store when we were done, and I let him bring the basket up to check out, as well as my credit card. It was so sweet to see him get to take care of the whole process, and he was really proud of himself.
Check it out if you’re local! 27 Cartaret St. Bloomfield. They’re open 9-7 Saturday and 10-5 Sunday.
What did I do with my delightful haul? I finally made beet & zucchini pakoras! I shredded (most of) the giant beet, 2 zucchini, and a large carrot. To that, I added a batter made of flour (the original recipe called for chickpea, but I used all-purpose), cumin, garam masala, and salt. Then, I fried them in oil. They’re basically middle-eastern beet latkes. I got the recipe out of a “Farmers Market” cooking magazine that I bought this summer.
They’re supposed to be served with mint yogurt, but we used sour cream. They were delicious.
The other elements of the meal: broccoli & snap peas with hummus, and chicken salad for the grownups (made with a Wrong Direction Farm chicken that I roasted this morning) and tuna fish for Little Chef, who was opposed to the red onion in the chicken salad.
(This is going to be a personal post. If you’re just here for the food, feel free to skim on by.)
I came to this season with the best of intentions, though didn’t I say that last year, too? I looked forward to this summer; a baby that would graduate to purees by the end of August, a bigger, more comfortable kitchen, no caretaking responsibilities outside of my immediate household, and most importantly, no morning sickness. I was ready and raring to go.
I forgot how hard it is to have a baby, and I discovered how differently hard it is to have two. To be in this season of being unable to finish a thought, to be ready to switch gears on demand at all times. To be so needed so much of the time. To be so tired.
So, so tired.
When people ask how I’m doing, my answer is pretty much always somewhere in the “okay” spectrum, and ultimately that is true. I am okay and will be okay. But oh, brother, has this been hard. And there have been many times in the past few months that I’ve felt very not-ok.
So, the posts have quieted. The cooking goes in waves; some days, I feel creative and motivated. Perhaps it’s a day I have a sitter. Perhaps it’s a day the baby mostly slept through the night. Some weeks, most of the share gets blanched and frozen. Some days, I look at my plate and say, “Well, this is good, but no one needs to see a 12th picture of my green beans and corn.”
The corn has been so abundant this summer. For that, I’m grateful.
If you’re following my instagram (@omgcsa), you’ll know I’m still alive and cooking. Blogging takes some time and brain space that I haven’t always been able to muster this summer. School has begun, though, and while that means that I’m working during some afternoons, it also means that my eldest is away at Kindergarten all day, so I’ll do my best to post some of the better meals I’ve conjured up this summer.
Fall is upon us. I hope to really start decorating today; it’s my favorite season. Halloween is my favorite holiday. While I love the eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, and corn during high summer, I am happy to slide down into squash, potatoes, and greens.
I’m already thinking about next year. I planted some tomatoes and peppers this year, but they did not do well. It’s our first year in this house, and I misjudged the amount of sun that my back yard gets. The planters will be in a different location next year. Soon, I’ll start plotting out what will go where. I didn’t dry many herbs this year; I had a lovely closet that I used off of my kitchen in the old house. I still haven’t quite figured out where I’ll hang the herbs here. My window boxes never quite made it to sills. I’m not in the flow of the shape and size of my new refrigerator and freezer. (It’s a side-by-side, which is also different for me. Plus, we’re down 1 fridge, since we had a garage fridge in the old house.) I’m still figuring out the best use of pantry space and of cupboards. Our composter is ordered but has not yet arrived. I still have missing cookbooks that are likely in the boxes that I still have to unpack.
It’s hard to be patient with myself. It’s hard to wait for all of the dust to settle on the landslide that life has been in the past year.
If you’ve stuck with me through all of this, I’m grateful for your readership. If you’re new to the blog, I promise it’s not all confessional all the time. I’m here for the food just as much as you are.