Autumn Market Snapshots

I’m starting to write again.

A little history first: back in 2000, I applied to The New School so I could obtain my MFA degree in creative writing. I was declined because either the substance or body of my work was deemed to be insufficient at the time. You could say that I’ve been a slacker ever since.

Unfortunately, I don’t know exactly what to write about, so for now, I’m keeping it limited to this blog. As some of you know from my About page, I began blogging in 2006 about LGBT rights, American politics and SCOTUS cases, then switched full-time in 2008 to food.

And since this blog is mostly about food, I figure that I can probably start there, with a little help from readers like you.

I want to write about cooking, what I’ve made, what I want to make, and what I find beautiful. Eventually I’d love to write about the change I’d like to see in the world, through the prism of food.

Roast lamb, braised vegetables, chermoula

IMG_5698

Cooking is how I relax when I get home from work. You hear stories all the time about guys who want to make a three course meal vs. his partner who just wants something simple. Well, the truth is that I’m a mixture of both types of people.

I think you have to be fearless whether you’re cooking, writing or blogging. You have to try to do things you’ve never attempted. You don’t need to be ambitious, although that occasionally helps. It could be one new recipe, article or blog post a week or every other week. After a few successes, you’ll begin to gain some confidence. What once seemed daunting won’t bother you so much. And if things don’t always turn out as planned, it’s not so bad. After all, as Saint Julia once proclaimed, “If you are alone in the kitchen and you make a mistake, who is going to know?”

Strawberries

Ramp pesto

Turnips

Olive oil poached cod, chickpeas, cabbage, Spanish chorizo

I am fascinated by what I see at my farmer’s market. That’s why there are photographs of turnips, corn and cucumbers scattered all over this blog.

I try to go every weekend. The vegetables seem to call to me. They whisper to me about what may happen in my kitchen. Perhaps it’s fennel that’s roasted until it becomes soft and luscious, then dressed with shreds of preserved lemon. Maybe it’s a tangle of fresh pasta adorned with parsnips and bacon, or a bowl of green beans braised in tomato sauce. Here lies a roast chicken, with skin like burnished gold. Here is beef so tender, you can cut it with a spoon.

You’re probably thinking, this guy is cuh-razy if he thinks vegetables, cheese and meat “talk” to him. In a way though, it’s true.

“Always explore your garden and go to the market before you decide what to cook.” –Alice Waters

That quotation is something I’ve put into practice. When I go to the Greenmarket, I see what’s available and what looks good before buying. If I know what’s in my pantry and what’s at the market, ideas begin to form about what to make for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s a little bit like solving a puzzle or painting a picture. I don’t know what I’ll end up with, but I know it’ll be all right in the end.

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Clicking any of the tiles below will bring up a slideshow. Enjoy the pix.

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