My knowledge of foraging was pretty much nonexistent. Sure, I knew there were some types of wild mushrooms you could collect and eat. I also knew some types might kill you, so I never really tested the idea. I knew violets were edible and used to pick them in my backyard as a kid and dip them in sugar or honey. I knew dandelion leaves were tasty, but bitter, and mixed well with other lettuces in a salad. Okay, so maybe I did know a few things, but nothing like the world Leda Meredith, urban forager, opened up for me.
I’ve put off writing about Petit Oven for awhile now. Even last week when I attended their Pig Roast and Beer Toast, took plenty of pictures, specifically to write about them, I hesitated. Why? Because I’m selfish. Bay Ridge has been getting a lot of press lately. It’s a bit off the beaten path and isn’t the trendiest place in the world, but lately things are changing and I worry the hipsters might invade the neighborhood. We have a cute wine bar, Owl’s Head, a great California taco joint, Ho’brah, and my favorite, Petit Oven. Of course I want the world to know about my favorite restaurant, I just don’t know that I’m ready to share.
I swear I really did try to make a great loaf of bread. I wanted to make something incredibly tasty and pay homage to New York. I came across Smitten Kitchen’s New York Deli Rye. Perfect! I was willing to put in the 8 hours it would take, but sadly never got to that point. The bread involves one fermentation stage and two rises. There isn’t actually 8 hours of hands on work, really about 30 minutes, you just need to be home and around to keep checking on your bread. I set aside my Saturday and was ready.