Monday, August 10, 2009


Sorry my posting’s been spotty lately; I’ve been hot, busy, and a little uninspired. My love affair with my ice-cream maker fizzled during the summer’s first real heat wave, when the warmth of our un-air-conditioned apartment combined with the feebleness of our freezer to produce honey ice cream that tasted spectacular but had the consistency of a cool beverage. (I’ll try again when temperate weather returns and write a proper post about it.) A’s been out of town twice, leaving me cooking for one or subsisting on leftovers, and then for 10 days I was away from my kitchen, on a week-long Midwestern vacation that included a roadtrip through Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas (to visit three presidential libraries: Hoover, Truman, and Eisenhower).

We spent less than 12 hours in Kansas City, during at least 8 of which we were busy sleeping, but I made sure our visit included dinner at Arthur Bryant’s, made famous in Calvin Trillin’s classic food book American Fried, which my father started reading to me while I was practically still in the cradle (I believe I even tried to an excerpt as a speech piece in middle school, but was persuaded to switch to The Call of the Wild or some such malarkey instead). Here is my glorious pulled-pork sandwich:

The next day, in Independence, I discovered a new taste sensation thanks to Harry Truman:

That’s the Harry’s Favorite, chocolate ice cream with butterscotch sauce, at Clinton’s Soda Fountain, where Truman worked as a teenager. I’m a big fan of butterscotch sauce and try to order it whenever I see it offered, in order to encourage its continued existence; it seems to be gradually giving way to the more preferred contemporary non-chocolate, non-fruit sundae topping, caramel. But I’d never had it on chocolate ice cream, and I must say I was impressed. Truman had good taste.

Although we were cruelly denied a meal at one of Kansas's famous fried-chicken destinations, the trip did include some other non-photographed food highlights, including my first tastes of cherry jam and blackberry wine (yum and yum), and excellent peach cobbler and beer at Free State Brewing in Lawrence, Kansas. But during my trip, I missed a CSA delivery, forcing P to singlehandedly dispatch three heads of lettuce and thirtysomething small zucchini. I returned just in time for this, the last box of the summer quarter already!

The cast of characters:
1 bunch arugula
1 head lettuce
1 head…some other kind of lettuce?
1 bizarre, alien-looking cucumber
1 head broccoli
5 zucchini
2 tomatoes
2 onions
6 Yukon Gold potatoes
3 Valencia oranges

I'm mystified by that one bunch of greens on the left. The leaves are a darker green, like spinach, but not as thick. I'm sure it's just some sort of lettuce, but I haven't come up with anything to do about it yet. Everything else, though, I'm on top of: The oranges can be eaten as snacks, and the onions can sit in the cupboard until I’m ready for them. I’ve already eaten the ruffly head of lettuce on a BLT and in salads, accompanied by slices from the weirdo long, skinny, curvy cucumber (I’d forgotten how good cucumber is on a BLT). Last night I made a tomato sauce from the tomatoes, mixed in the arugula, and served it over linguine (recipe coming later this week). When A gets back we’ll have roasted broccoli with Parmesan and lemon, zucchini fritters, and maybe some oven fries—after all, we need something we can dip into the barbecue sauce I brought back from Arthur Bryant’s!

The last CSA box was so long ago, I’ve already forgotten what I did with the contents, so I won’t bore you with the recap. I’m sad to see the season end and am not sure whether I’ll be signing up for the fall quarter yet—P may be out of the country for a month, and I just can’t handle a whole box on my own, particularly since I work from home on the days the box is delivered and rely on P to pick it up. I must say, though, that the veggie selection just wasn’t as interesting as it was in the winter. I adored the honey and am so happy to have discovered Italian flat beans, and that one week we got avocados was lovely and the oranges were nice, but everything else was pretty standard, and about comparable to what I get at the farmers’ market anyway. The thrill was much more in the suspense and the surprise, and the challenge of having to plan a menu around certain preassigned ingredients.

No comments: