It was mid fall—right at the peak of harvest. As we stepped out of the car at W. Rogowski Farm, my senses were overwhelmed. Scents of lemon grass and basil caught in the breeze tugged us in one direction to the fields where we were encouraged to harvest as many herbs as we could handle. A skillet crackled where a cooking demonstration was taking place. Warm quinoa salad with bacon and kale. It was the first time I tried quinoa and was instantly in love (though it might have had something to do with the bacon). Over in the barn, fresh laid eggs were being cracked and whisked into fluffy omelets, as satisfied breakfast diners watched on. Heaps of pumpkins, all sizes and shapes, piled high in front of the parking lot. It was then that I noticed them. Hiding behind the sea of orange was a smaller collection of ghost white pumpkins.
I’m one of those people who ogles the truffle collection at a chocolate store. So pretty and delicate, I can stand there for hours. I don’t want to get too many (no matter the quantity, they’ll be gone in less than a day) and need to get the perfect mix. Generally that means a high ratio of dark chocolate with salty or fruit combinations. I’m not sure you’ve been to a truffle counter recently, but they’re not cheap. Anywhere from $1.50 to $5 per piece. So what does the resourceful cook do? Well learn to make truffles herself, of course.
I have a huge sweet tooth and am a big dessert fan. At the end of a meal, no matter if it’s a simple salad or 9 course marathon I always have a little room for something sweet. During the summer that sweet treat is often berries with a splash of cream, a quick stone fruit crumble or maybe just some sliced melon. However, as spring and summer change to fall, fresh, easy fruit isn’t as readily available. I have no intention of baking an entire cake for just the two of us and most other desserts require huge amounts of effort. Something I’m not usually ready to take on when we finish dinner around 9:30 or 10 pm. So I look for quick fixes.
If you look hard enough there are still just a few peaches left. I almost overlooked them at the Fort Greene Farmer’s Market last week, mistaken them for another variety of apples among the already half a dozen or so other bins. Between canning, crisping and just straight out eating, I feel like I’ve gotten my fill of peaches for the summer. But when the last of a harvest is about to leave you for almost a full year, somehow you find the need to buy just a few more.
Summer generally means a few quarts of ice cream. Not all at once of course, throughout the season. I put my ice cream maker bucket in the freezer a few days ago. Unless it’s in use, that’s where it lives all summer, ready to churn at a moment’s notice. A fresh quart of strawberries from the Park Slope CSA pushed me over the edge. As soon as I picked up the small carton, I knew they would soon be turned into ice cream.