January 3, 2008

Puttin' on the Ritz

december 30

How cute are we? Yes, supercute, I know. Misha and I were able to go out to an extremely rare actual adult dinner since my mommy is visiting. We decided to get fancy, and to don our matching newsboy caps. I think I might have heard a giggle in the restaurant when we walked in. Eh, I love it and care not for the spoil-sporting of others.

The next morning I woke up to find this on the desk:

Magna-Doodle art by Misha

Misha created Magna-Doodle art! I think he was using some fridge magnets as well as the built-in pen, hovering them over the magnetic surface rather than directly drawing on it to create the grayish shadows. You know how everyone has a specific thing that they doodle when on the phone or listening to the radio? This face is one of Misha's standard doodles, most of which are fantasy fiction-inspired faces or little figures in heroic poses. I really really love them. I try to save as many as I can whenever I spy one on a corner of his notebook or to-do list scrap. It amazes me that he can with a couple of strokes capture exact, anatomically accurate movement - his drawings remind me of the sketched figure studies of old masters that you sometimes see in a museum next to a full-scale painting.

Anyway. Our familial love affair with the farmers continues. Every week a box of delectables, and every week something fun and new to cook with it. But of course, fun and new doesn't have to mean complex - yesterday I made some applesauce with the delicious organic apples we got. I bet you could throw a pear in there as well, or some cranberries, or anything else yummy.

Homemade applesauce

Take some ripe apples, halved and cored, and throw them into a pot with about an inch of water at the bottom. Simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the water boils off (about a half-hour). Run through the blender. No sugar necessary - it is supersweet as is.

Also, we get a lot of freshly picked herbs, which I cannot possibly use up from week to week. I've started to dry them in the kitchen, and now I have these beauties to use in my cooking:

Freshly dried herbs

Mmmmm.... nothing like the smell of fresh rosemary.

And finally, a question for all of you astute readers out there. Sometimes the box of farm delights contains a mystery veggie. Well, mystery to me anyway - I'm guessing it's more that I'm ignorant than that this is a extremely rare delicacy. So I'm asking you all for help - what is this? How do I prepare it?

mystery - leafy vegetable


Anonymous said...

It's bok choy. I love to braise it slowly in vegetable stock or soy ginger broth.

Valerie said...

Yummy bok choy. I usually like to eat it raw - it has such an interesting, light flavour especially combined with complementary flavours like tomatoes.

I used to get a veggie box as well from a local organic, heirloom grower - it was such a fantastic experience! My mystery food ended up being a daikon radish - large, white and strange. :)

Ben's Mom said...

we eat this all the time...a couple simple recipes 1) stir fry in olive oil and garlic 2)braise in water and drain. Drizzle a couple teaspoons of oyster sauce over cooked bok choy.

Something with more complex flavors...stir fry with olive oil, satay (chinese bbq sauce)and soy sauce. pour corn starch & water mixture over almost cooked bok choy to bring it all together. (we sometimes add thin slices of chicken/beef to give dish more oomph, though the bok choy is the star ingredient)

susan said...

Looks like bok choi. Chop it a little and stick it in a stir fry with lots of veggies, and chicken or shrimp. Good over rice or noodles. Sauces are fun, though I usually just do a bit of chicken stock, plus a bit of corn starch to thicken. Salt, pepper, red chili, yum!

Anonymous said...

Yeah it is bok choy. I use it in stirfries and asian style soups...great in a asian chicken soup..just cut it in chunky strips and add it at the end for a minute or so - the heat of the soup cooks it enough. Plus the above ideas are all yummy too!