September 2011

Locavore Challenge: Week Two

For the second week of our Locavore Challenge food diaries we'll be following along with Gabrielle Langholtz, editor of Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn.

Prior to editing for Edible, Gabrielle worked as the publicity coordinator at Greenmarket for 8 years. More recently, she married Craig Haney, livestock manager at Stone Barns, who makes a few appearances in this food diary.

Thursday Sept 8th

11:30 AM: hard boiled egg (from Craig’s hens) and maple yogurt from Old Chatham. 2:00 PM: giant salad w beets & almost-gone-bad goat cheese and lots of raw garlic and a little too much sherry vinegar 4:00: craving something sweet, snuck a spoonful of sugary hazelnut spread from Le Pain Quotidien, then regretted it and spit it into the compost where it looked totally nasty. Much better on toast! Dinner: friggin amazing boiled scarlet runner beans. WOW. They literally taste like peaches. I was yelling “peaches!” as I ate them. Craig said I was crazy. Also corn soup: All summer I’ve been saving and freezing corn cobs, when I get a big gallon Ziploc full I boil em up with onions skins and carrots tops – amazing corny stock. Cooked that up with corn and onions from CSA and...frozen corn kernels from the supermarket.

Friday Sept 9th

2 open faced mayo-cuke sammies w lots of black pepper. I’m an addict green tea – water wasn’t hot enough – meh (one bite of a gluten-free pancake that was SO too-sweet! Wtf bob’s red mill?) Snacks throughout the day: Boiled beets and hunk of goat cheese eaten standing up PB and pickled jalepenos on rice crackers (no I’m not pregnant – try it). Three rice crackers slathered with mayo, then pepper on top with lots of cuke slices on that. Staple lately. DINNER: 6:30 tilapia burrito the size of my head. Ate the whole thing. Want to die. Bedtime snack – honey fro yo, which is incredibly easy (strain yogurt, puree with honey, freeze in ice cream maker, wow)

Saturday Sept 10th

Breakfast: White tea, Whole cuke All day long: Green zebra tomato sandwiches with mayo. Life-changing. DINNER: BLTs - so freaking easy and delicious. Summer squash cooked in bacon grease – turned out too greasy. Awesome green salad with liberal application of raw garlic. Corn on the cob – complete with cornworms (which on the bright side, prove the plants weren’t sprayed) Late night sweet tooth – Mast Brothers chocolate, the nib bar. I don’t know what I would do without them.

Sunday Sept 11th

Late breakfast of Squid stir-fried with basil, garlic, and lots of jalapeno (all local and frigging delicious) eaten with peanuts and couscous. Meant to split it with Craig but ate the whole thing. Stuffed rest of day. Peach-tomato crisp (thank you Mark Bittman) Went to Prune for a media dinner for The Perennial Plate, which I want to BE. Ate whole shrimp, raw oyster, pig heart…good but the conversation itself was the real feast. Sat next to Melissa Clark, she hardly ate a thing!

Monday Sept 12

Made hot pepper confit from River Cottage Everyday. Just cut up chiles, covered in oil (yes that’s a lot of oil – deal with it). Let it bubble for maybe 10 minutes. Freakaing amazing. Thought of too many ways to eat it all day, including stirred into plain yogurt, eaten off bread, and eaten with a spoon. Picnic dinner: Fennel-carrot slaw, pasta w pesto & tomatoes (cant get enough pesto these days), boiled beans & carrots – Craig thinks they’re too plain but I love to eat them with no other seasoning at all so I can really taste them.

Tuesday Sept 13th

Breakfast: Oatmeal w plain yogurt and chile-pepper confit Snack: Dates w Ronnybrook crème fraiche Late lunch: Cucumber salad with cilantro, scallions, chili flakes and a few dashes of fish sauce. Totally addictive. Dinner: ground lamb cooked with tomatoes, onions, garlic (all from CSA) and brown rice Late-night sweet tooth: Liddabit Sweets caramels, the ricotta-orange flavor. Considered eating wrapper too.

Wednesday Sept 14th

Homemade granola with nothing local in it except the maple syrup, but at least I poured local milk all over it. Late morning – huge green salad with boiled beets, plus feta from my raw-milk club. Late afternoon – tuna-kimchi sandwich. My standby. Just 3 ingreds: tuna, kimchi, mayo. Survival food, and damn enjoyable I might add. Also ate half a cuke. Made oven-roasted tomatoes, so easy and delicious. Meant to freeze em all for winter soups but ended up eating half of them on pasta for dinner, with a little parmesan. Yum. Sweet tooth – last of cantaloupe sorbet, which couldn’t be easier. Peel and seed cantaloupe, puree with sugar and juice of half a lemon, freeze in ice cream maker. So good. I love you David Lebovitz!

Locavore Challenge: Week One

To support NOFA-NY's Locavore Challenge, in September our blog will feature food diaries from GrowNYC staff and friends. Don't know what the Locavore Challenge is?

The NY Locavore Challenge is a month-long campaign aimed at engaging consumers across the state in eating local organic foods. The goal for this campaign is to educate consumers about how to make healthy and ethical food choices, cook with in-season, local organic foods, while supporting local sustainable farms and food businesses.

First up, Greenmarket's publicity coordinator Jeanne Hodesh.  Will one of GrowNYC's own be up to the challenge?  Is there really a 26-year old in our office that reproaches herself by saying "For shame, Jeanne?"  Let's find out.

Thursday, Sept 1

I came home from our 35th Anniversary party last night loaded up with four leftover melons from Cherry Lane Farms. My God, are they sweet! That night I made a raw corn salad with some purple onion, basil and cherry tomatoes-- all produce procured on Tuesday at the City Hall Greenmarket, right outside our office on Chambers Street-- to take for lunch the next day. For the first day of the Locavore Challenge, I had a peach for breakfast -- the peaches from Kernan Farm are as big as softballs now, and pack so much flavor, and so much juice for that matter, that I ate is standing over my kitchen sink. I ate the corn salad for lunch, and cracked open one of the baby Charentais melons from Cherry Lane. I ate both at my desk. My co-worker Liz and I were working as fast as we could on getting the word out about damage caused to our upstate farmers by Irene, and frankly, we needed a pick-me-up. When our co-worker surprised us with a bowl of M&Ms and gummi bears, we pounced on it. As I was munching on candy, and already wondering how I'd keep it local for dinner, another colleague came up with a second surprise: an invitation to Back Forty that night for one of Peter Hoffman's famous crab boils. Heck yes! Peter was seated with his family at the table next to ours and came over several times to chat, catching up on the post-storm state of the farms he's shopped from for years to stock his restaurants. It was only slightly awkward to chat with him while my hands were covered in Old Bay and crab meat. Aye. The dinner included three rounds of crabs, corn on the cob, new potatoes, and a really lovely blueberry and peach cobbler. Happy September first!

Friday, Sept 2

I have a dangerous addiction to Baker's Bounty's cinnamon buns. I usually cave at least once a week and eat one for breakfast on either a Tuesday or Friday-- the days the City Hall market lures me over from the office. This is how Day 2 of the Locavore  Challenge began. For lunch I packed the leftover potatoes from the crab boil and some green beans I'd steamed and tossed in butter and salt. I also munched on these incredible little red seedless grapes from Wager's Cider Mill pretty much all day long. In the evening my roommate and I and a pack of friends rode our bikes to Coney Island for the final Friday fireworks show of the summer. The ride along the water, under the Verrazano Bridge was stunning at sunset, and by the time we made it to the board walk, I was starving. I'd thought about packing some more of the green beans, but then got shy and thought our crew would find my locavorism a bit overwrought. Instead I got a vegetarian torta from one of the concession stands which I ate on a beach blanket, in the dark, beneath the amazing fireworks. No one would have noticed my green beans, or cared for that matter. When I got back to Prospect Heights I was craving ice cream. Luckily the bodega outside my subway stop carries Ronnybrook's ice cream. I had a small bowl of coffee when I got home, and chalked up both the torta and the late night ice cream to a necessary last taste of summer.

Saturday, Sept 3

I went to the Fort Greene Greenmarket before breakfast and stocked up on the last of Wilklow Orchards' amazing heirloom tomatoes and stone fruit from Toigo, then biked back to my apartment to eat. I had a nectarine, and then cut up the rest of the melons left over from our 35th celebration. What to do with all that melon??? Melon soup, perhaps? Melon margaritas. My roommate and I managed to eat a good deal of it right then, but there is still so much left over! Then I went up to the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket which was as busy as ever. I implored everyone I ran into to buy as many of Evolutionary Organics and Bradley Farms' heirloom tomatoes as they could-- due to severe flood damage, this was the last day either of them would have tomatoes for sale at market. When I got home (with two bunches of gladiolas from Bradley Farms tucked under my arm) I made a killer BLT using Wilklow's tomatoes (half a Green Zebra and half a Yellow Pineapple), duck bacon from Hudson Valley Duck, and smeared a slice of Bread Alone's Tuscan loaf with chive mayonaise. Much later in the day I visited the Smorgasburg where I sampled fresh salsa made by the Brooklyn Grange and Anarchy in a Jar's seasonal apricot jam. Around 7 p.m. I was treated to some insanely good (though probably not local) lamb "lolipops" and Merguez sausage sandwiches at a barbecue to end all barbecues. A second last taste of summer, I told myself.

Sunday, Sept 4

For breakfast I had Tello's Green Farm eggs, sunny side up, topped with chives from Rexcroft Farm and Ray Bradley's famous paprika, a slice of Bread Alone's Tuscan loaf toasted with Ronnybrook butter and Ray's honey, and ate some more of the Wager's red seedless grapes. Over the course of the day I grazed on Toigo nectarines, at a half a tomato sandwich with more Wilklow tomatoes, and then went to a barbecue and a birthday party at which I sampled (local) kale salad, baked beans, Acme smoked fish and Sixpoint beer and (not-so-local) cheese, crackers, banana cream pie.

Sunday, Sept 5

For breakfast I had Tello's Green Farm eggs, sunny side up, topped with chives from Rexcroft Farm and Ray Bradley's famous paprika, a slice of Bread Alone's Tuscan loaf toasted with Ronnybrook butter and Ray's honey, and ate some more of the Wager's red seedless grapes. Over the course of the day I grazed on Toigo nectarines, at a half a tomato sandwich with more Wilklow tomatoes, and then went to a barbecue and a birthday party at which I sampled (local) kale salad, baked beans, Acme smoked fish and Sixpoint beer and (not-so-local) cheese, crackers, banana cream pie.

Monday, Sept 6

Monday, Labor Day, wound up being both a day off of work, and a day off of my commitment to the Locavore Challenge. For shame, Jeanne! I woke up before sunrise to dance to the steel drum bands gathered around the Brooklyn Public Library for J'ouvert, the sunrise party before the West Indian Day parade. When I wandered back down to my neighborhood at 7:30 a.m., I treated myself to a bagel and cream cheese-- not local in the least-- which I took home topped with slices of Wilklow tomatoes. In the afternoon my roommate and some friends walked along Eastern Parkway as we took in the parade and about as much West Indian food as we could handle-- roti, conch fritters, jerk chicken, mac 'n cheese. For shame, for shame! And yet, so delicious. I promise I will do better this week.

Tuesday, Sept 7

Jeanne: Breakfast: Bread Alone Tuscan loaf toast with Ronnybrook butter and Bradley Farm's honey, my last nectarine from Toigo. Lunch: stewed Turtle Beans from Cayuga Pure Organics, the rest of the honeydew melon from Cherry Lane (finally!!), and a slice of homemade plum tart from a truly wonderful co-worker. Plums from Red Jacket Orchards, buckwheat flour crust with flour from Cayuga Pure Organics. Dinner: We ate out at Palo Santo to celebrate my friend Tal's birthday. The menu is sourced mainly from what's available at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket, and what the chef is able to grow on his roof. I had bites of a knock-out watermelon gazpacho and a bluefish entree. I sipped on Sauvignon Blanc from Long Island's Channing Daughters Estate, and for dessert shared blueberry cobbler.

Wednesday, Sept 8

Breakfast and dinner were a little bread and butter, sandwiching, if you will, a local feast of epic proportion at ABC Kitchen for a special luncheon. Chef Dan Kluger can often be spied making the rounds at the Union Square Greenmarket. He worked wonders with mushrooms, strawberries, diver scallops, jalapeños, anise hyssop, chicken liver, corn, golden beets, and more herbs than I could keep track of-- all of which we managed to make room for. There was pate, pizza, a burger, sides, two desserts. I am well aware of the fact that I am living a charmed life, and should note that a lunch like this is not the norm, though insanely rich and delicious.

Thursday, Sept 9

Still in recovery from yesterday's ABC experience, I had a little toast with Anarchy in a Jar's 3's Company berry jam. For lunch I had some more sautéed turtle beans from Cayuga Pure Organics with the last of Wilklow's green heirloom tomatoes and fresh chives, and shared some super-creamy polenta (CPO) and sautéed Kernan's okra that Liz made.