Portland Foodies

This year we took a late-summer trip to Portland to visit the magnificent duo, Kaila and Ethan, and to eat heinous amounts of Maine grub. And in looking back on the thousands of pictures we took, it is nearly impossible to find a single photograph in which we aren’t dutifully stuffing our faces. Portland is Foodie Heaven.

Our favorite times were nuzzling up together in Kaila and Ethan’s home, cooking and exploring their tremendous garden and whimsically eclectic barn. But when they actually managed to get us out of their cozy home (which bring us exclusively warm and fuzzy feelings), we went to more restaurants in a week than we had in the past year. On the restaurant list was: The Farmers Table, Vignola, Eventide Oyster Co., Figa, and more.

At Eventidethe seafood-lovers amongst us got stacks of oysters and we drank beer and ate zucchini fritters and swooned over the dreamy man behind the counter (if said man should potentially see this post, he should know I have several friends who’ve requested we find you).

Some of us unabashedly ate salt.

Whilst some of us drank Dogfish Head 90 Min.

All of us giggled and had food comas.

More to come on the Portland trip, including pie-in-the-sky pictures of cooking in K and E’s kitchen.

Union Square Saturdays

The best place in the city to witness farm-to-table foodies is of course the Union Square Farmers Market. And on Saturdays it’s our favorite place to visit and find scrumptious supplements to our share, like farmers cheese and fresh pasta and jams, and all the things to make a CSA-based lifestyle complete.

Summer BerriesYou can waste fantastic hours schmoozing with farmers about their produce and how their season has been, talking about what tastes good with what and swapping recipes. We tasted veggies and got the last of some summer berries, nibbled on cider donuts, and the yarn lady showed me pictures of her sheep!

Hot PeppersTurning PurpleWhile I unceremoniously rubbed my face into newly sheared wool and Evan sneaked away to buy maple candy and ricotta ravioli and apple butter – as if we couldn’t have made apple butter with our obscene quantities of apples from our clearly October share — our brave (possibly insane?) friend Robin tasted hot peppers until she turned purple.

She has since recovered, but only after being warmly reminded by the pepper-seller that beer does not help, but a glass of milk or a spoonful of yogurt might.

But the real joy at Union Square on Saturdays is seeing a whole mess of people who avidly care where their food comes from, varying from shapes and sizes and backgrounds, chatting away about local, organic and sustainable produce. And the background to the bountiful hills of food stands… is New York City skyline.

ESB at the Farmers Market

(I mean is that the ESB steeple I’m glimpsing?) Can’t beat that.

Paige and Robin Say Yum.

Copious Cukes

Cucumbers (and a Zuke for good measure) My darling hubs was kind enough to pick up the slack in our Emergency Rations post, but clearly things have not slowed down over here. We are still busy rationing little bees. It does however at the very least seem time to share the Cucumber-Melon Soup recipe, which is rapidly becoming too cold a dish to enjoy. I don’t know if this is common knowledge, but apparently if you plant cucumber seeds, you will grow a cucumber orchard. I was unaware of this. So was my extended family. And thus, everyone I know intimately ate nearly exclusively cucumbers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner this summer and we now all hate them. But one saving grace recipe was JB’s Cucumber-Melon Soup:

  • Peel and scoop seeds out of all the excess cucumbers you have (or three, if you’re buying, not picking).
  • Chop the cukes into cubes.
  • If you used three cukes, use half a honeydew melon. If more, do the whole melon. We used funny-shaped melons of rather ambiguous nature that came in our share in lieu of honeydew, and they worked splendidly as well. (Ha, lieu of honeydew.) Chop the melon into equally sized cubes.
  • Add a cup of plain Greek yogurt.
  • One chopped clove of garlic.
  • Half a lime’s juice.
  • Several sprigs of fresh mint.
  • If you find your honeydew isn’t the ripest, add a touch of honey.
  • And definitely some sea salt.
  • Dump ’em all in a blender. Blend.

It’s miraculous, but just like that you’ve got soup.  Serve with a dollop of yogurt and a mint sprig and enjoy preferably on a porch on a sweltering night (not in October huddled in your apartment wearing slippers). We have bountiful amounts of this soup frozen in our freezer and we need to eat it quickly while the weather still hovers around 60. Please, join us for a bowlful and take some cuke off our hands.