Gimme Cookie, Got You Cookie

IMG_9284It’s official. Spring is here and there’s nowhere to sit in the park anymore.

Just two weeks ago there were no leaves on the trees yet, the flipping season refused to commit, and you had to carry at least three sweaters around at a time for fear of sudden temperature drops. This week is better, but I remain skeptical that we’re through with the rampant changes in weather patterns this year.

John Oliver has this to say on the subject:

So now that we’ve settled that, there has been plenty of time for some pretty spectacular picnics. Like with our lovely pals Claude and Louise, on a late April day, with a big ol’ pile of Mediterranean food. (Thanks to tiny hole-in-the-wall delicious restaurant, Jerusalem).

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IMG_9331IMG_9298IMG_9349No picnic is complete without a patch of grass, a lot of giggles, a stack of cookies, and a dog.

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Mission accomplished.

Keep trying, Weather 2014. We’re rooting for you.

 

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I ♥ New York (‘s Foodies)

Some of you lovelies may recall my mentioning Just Food in blogs gone-by. I have had the incredible fortune of interning with Just Food’s Farm School NYC for the past few months. It has been a great pleasure seeing the foodie retrolution through their eyes and engaging with urban farmers on an intimate level. The Just Food Conference has just passed us by, and as always, was a huge hit. Kudos to the team.

The magnificent view in the photo below was taken at a networking event thrown in the Bank of America Building by Just Food.

Way to Be, NYCThanks Just Foodies, for taking me in.

 

Fare Thee Well, Winter 2014.

The-Day-After-Tomorrow-PSIt’s been a long, cold winter, completely void of writing as our CSA has been inexistent. But after a treacherous and interminable winter, SPRING appears to have arrived. The city is lighting up – both literally and figuratively – New York’s farmin’ cityfolk are back, and ahh, the season has sprung…

In memorandum of the painful winter we’ve endured, I’ve put together a small list of things that will no doubt go remembered (or more likely forgotten) from Winter 2014:

  • Alternate parking in NYC was suspended for a whopping 22 days in a row this year.
  • We ran out of Velveeta. Which is fine, so long as we don’t suffer a national shortage of Spam.
  • People literally skied to work.
  • Our new mayor brought shame to his family’s name by eating a slice with a knife and fork.
  • House of Cards took over our lives, for the second time.
  • While in the Northeast we could seriously have used some of Sriracha’s heat, Southern California apparently had had enough.
  • We passed a farm bill, and the reaction fluctuated around “meh“.
  • For the 29th consecutive year I successfully avoided the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  This year, Guinness joined me.
  • On Evan and my second wedding anniversary there was a snowstorm so big they closed down all the restaurants at 7pm, so we ate ravioli and went to bed at 9.
  • The most publicized traffic jam in the history of the Tristate area gave us our yearly dose of New Jersey political corruption.
  • A mouse infestation forced New Yorkers back into the Dark Ages when the cafe that invented the cronut was shut down for a weekend.  Never has a donut seemed so unimaginative.
  • And Pharrell made us all feel pretty lousy for feeling “just okay”.

No doubt spring will bring its own series of less than notable events. But that is all for now.

How to Have a Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sustainable Thanksgiving; and Still Love Your Family Afterwards

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

The Debates.

“Turkey is a staple of Thanksgiving dinner.  I don’t care who eats it.”

“But Evan is vegetarian.”

“Maggie is trying very hard to stay vegan.”

“On Thanksgiving?”

“We could make them a tofurky.”

“But, those are so processed.”

“Okay, forget the tofurky. What if we have a turkey, but we buy it from a local farm?”

“They’ll probably feel better about that. Evan might even eat some. Let’s talk stuffing.”

“How about Mom’s classic challah stuffing?”

“We have three gluten-free guests.”

“Three?  Which three?”

“Does it matter?”

“We could do a rice stuffing.”

“One in the bird, and one out for the meat-phobic?”

“And one stuffing without onions.”

“What?”

“And mashed potatoes?”

“Mashed sweet potatoes, they’re more nutrient dense.”

“With butter?”

“No, not vegan.”

“Rolls?”

“Those are gluten.”

“A starter course with soy cheese?”

“Someone’s breastfeeding.”

“…Pie?”

“One gluten free crust, one vegan crust, only natural sugars. Nothing store bought because of hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. Only organic apples, unshelled pecans, free trade brown sugar, egg-free, flour-free, dairy-free, environmentally conscious, well loved, well nurtured, well educated, three years into psychoanalysis, and sublimely happy.”

Genderalizations

Supermarket TalentiI tend to shy away from gender generalizations, but there’s something about the Y chromosome that is obsessed with Talenti Gelato. Strange men have literally high-fived me in supermarkets when I’ve stood in front of the Talenti door.  I’ve overheard the kind of enthusiasm normally reserved for sporting endeavors unabashedly tossed around in reference to said dairy product. My father has been known to pick up his phone (a rarity alone) and scream into the speaker, “There’s a Talenti sale at West Side Market, three for one!” To which I’ve had to sigh and say, “Thanks Dad, I’m still vegan… but I’ll pass the message along to Evan,” who in turn, bolts to the freezer department several blocks uptown.

The women in my life – proud members of the gender classically stereotyped as enjoying a gallon of ice cream over a good cry (I’ll just mention) – are kind of meh over the stuff, or at least vaguely confused about the incredible enthusiasm of their male partners. They sort of shrug and say, “I don’t know, I’m content enough with a carton of Haagan-Dazs or Ben and Jerry’s, but he just pounds that stuff like it’s crack.”

Whether or not you tend to think Talenti is oppressively sweet (cough – me – cough) or aren’t eating dairy (though there are “sorbettos” available), there’s one positive thing I can conclusively say. Talenti’s containers, while using arguably crazy amounts of wasteful plastic, are stupendously useful for storage.

“It’s so easy to binge on Talenti,” says my male counterpart. “It’s so smooth! If you’re going to eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, you’re going to need some serious spoon fortitude.”

Tupperware, be damned.… Really, honey?

Every time Evan conquers an additional pint of gelato, we have yet another saved container we can use to bring leftovers to work in, keep sauces stored in the fridge, or add to our bulk cabinet.  Never to buy Tupperware again.

Upon noticing that today’s post praised Talenti for its contribution to our waste management, Evan looked really hopeful and somewhat bashfully suggested, “They are really great for storage. Maybe we should start getting them by the quart…”

Some Bellies Grow in Brooklyn

BK BridgeWith so few days of coatless weather ahead, it seemed as good a time as any for a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge. So we packed our passports and headed over recently. We had a hell of a time with customs because they didn’t think my shades were fly enough… but eventually they approved me for border crossing because my jeans were rolled up over my boots.

Thanks BK.
Ahhh BK

Mags and Britt

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This Crew

TytyEnamel PitcherI love Brooklyn. I’m not entirely sure why we don’t live there. I suspect, assuming life (and work/school) doesn’t drive us off kilter and send us somewhere unpronounceable – it could happen – we will leave our happy studio on the Upper West and move there within the next few years.

But a visit to the Smorgasburg is a stellar way to spend a Saturday or Sunday in the meantime. And if you get to the one in Fort Greene on Saturadys it’s a combined Smorgasburg-Brooklyn Flea, so you can find not only a smorgasbord of deliciousness, but also dreamy old things to bring home with you. (Like perhaps an old-school enamel pitcher.)

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Street food is not known for its veganness, lots of meat on a stick and fried cheese. But places like NYC (and I suspect everywhere in the Northwest) appeal to every foodie type. So we weren’t blown away when we stumbled upon Vietnamese Summer Rolls with portobello mushrooms and roasted asparagus.

But we were blown away when we ate them, because they were stellar.IMG_6873

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Others of us found gooey grilled cheese and milkshakes. Aaaand they did not look too broken up about said decision.

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IMG_6905Saturdays are the best. Full of friends, full of foodies, full of fun.