It always comes down to food, doesn’t it. I enjoy the weekly photo challenges but don’t typically participate unless I can tie the theme back to food. In the case of this week’s challenge, Habit, I could only think of food habits–my rituals, how I cook and most importantly what I cook. I tell myself that I live fearlessly and for change, but deep down under my restlessness, I am a creature of habit. Right down to my cooking. I experiment with new flavors, try new recipes, but still have a number of standbys I find myself going back to at least once a month. So let me share with you my recipe habits. Some out of convenience, but mostly because they’re just so damn good.
Good morning, good morning! I feel like I should insert a little tune here. Mornings are really all over the place for me. Sometimes an early rise, like being at the Park Slope Food Coop for a 5am receiving shift the other day (the farmers from upstate were already there so just imagine how early they got up…) to waking up at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon, and then wondering at 7pm where the day has gone. When time permits, mornings mean breakfast. Good, slow, effort filled breakfasts. Growing up we had pancakes every Saturday morning for as long as I could remember. My brother and I would watch Saturday morning cartoons (which apparently don’t really exist anymore) and wait for our mom to prepare breakfast. Sometimes we’d help but more often not. If it was a really special day, our pancakes would be in the shape of hearts, stars or even a Mickey Mouse face.
When I found out this week’s Photo Challenge was Unusual Point of View, I knew my trip to the Adirondacks would provide plenty of inspiration. With such beautiful nature all around me, how could it not?! The weather this week has been less than stellar. Prior to the trip, our hearts sunk as we saw a forecast of 7 days of straight rain staring back at us. Things have improved (a bit) since then, but most plans have been up in the air with the weather so unpredictable. Like this afternoon, the weather forecast promised a full afternoon of sunshine. And it was for about an hour, right up until we pulled into the boat rental shop and it started pouring.
Generally we like to ease ourselves into a vacation, but after learning that Monday would be our only good day, we figured we needed to at least get one high peak in. We chose the easiest, Cascade, though I still found it a bit challenging. It was my first peak and my husband’s 8th. So many people focus on the obvious points of a hike, mainly the summit, or stand out features like a stream or waterfall. I was more inspired by the lesser seen bits of nature. A patch of moss, the crack of swaying trees, a baby frog (that I may or may have not almost stepped on). So here I present to you my hike of Cascade Mountain, with a little of the less obvious sights.
The more I explore Brooklyn, the more I fall in love over and over again. It’s amazing how much diversity one place can hold. Bay Ridge holds a nice balance for me. It’s urban but still has a strong sense of community. It might be a bit further from the city (especially now that the R train doesn’t go into Manhattan–thanks Sandy), but self-contained, it holds almost everything I need. Good food, a tiny greenmarket, waterfront access, parks and best of all affordable living. That’s not to say I don’t explore. Park Slope holds some of the best food in the borough. Walk into almost any restaurant on 5th or 7th Avenue and you’re guaranteed a stellar meal. Head a little north and you have Prospect Park at your fingertips. To the west is Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and a diverse selection of beer, cocktails and bars. Go way north and explore a world of its own in Williamsburg. I’m not yet sure I’d be content spending the rest of my life in Bay Ridge, but if my some force of nature I was never able to leave the boundaries of Brooklyn, I’d be a pretty happy person.
Summer gives me food anxiety. Every time I go to the market, not matter if it’s been a day or a week, there’s something new. I’m now spotting peaches, apricots, sweet corn, hot peppers, lemongrass and so much more. The pressure of wanting to buy everything, knowing that there is only so much my husband and I can consume before it starts to spoil is almost too much to handle. Winter’s easy. There are a finite amount of greens and root vegetables to choose from, plus shelf stable items, making it easy to create a menu. But summer meals are based off what looks good. It’s very hard to narrow down a dish when everything looks so good.