I wasn’t planning on writing multiple entries on my first day in blog-land, but I’ve been inspired by good food and by Dave Matthews. For dinner, I prepared what I call “Farmer’s Market Dinner,” which includes simply prepared veggies from my trip to the local farmer’s market earlier in the day. Today, my treasure was tiny, thin green beans--picked so small because the farmer wanted to get them out of the field before the inevitable cold snap returns us to fall. I cooked these with small, white potatoes (also a farm market find), and dressed them with Amish butter (ditto), sour cream, salt, and pepper (a dish that my Mom makes for our family in the summer, and which I love for its perfect simplicity). I made a salad with a mix of farmer’s market carrots, local organic Macintosh apples, organic red leaf lettuce, walnuts, and gorgonzola crumbles. The coup de grace: homemade croutons (crafted of Paesano bread I dug out of the freezer from my last trip to Zingerman’s--more on them later--Italian herbs, olive oil, and garlic) and the salad dressing (balsamic vinaigrette made with 10 year aged vinegar and fruity-smooth Spanish olive oil).
I flipped to the article on Dave Matthews in the October issue of *Food and Wine,* eager to read about his winery. As my friends would attest, I have a bit of a thing for Dave. Not like some fans I know, who boast of attending 23 DMB concerts and sport tattoos of the DMB’s trademark Firedancer, but in that quiet, yet utterly respectful AND lustful way that translates into loading my iPod with every Dave CD I own (favorite song? I’m partial to “Tripping Billies” and “One Sweet World” for groovy bliss, and “Lover Lay Down” for sultriness). The article has only intensified my admiration for the man behind the sexy tunes. Not only does he have a winery in Virginia (that thankfully eschews new oak barrels--I’ve recently watched *Mondovino* and have many thoughts on wine, but more on that later), but he also is creating an organic farm. His food philosophy is slow (more on the slow food movement later), and he’s using his position of wealth and power to model new-old ways of working the land and relating to our food. A man after my own heart (and stomach).
“Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die,” from “Tripping Billies,” a little hedonistic, a little zen.
I turned then to the NYT (New York Times) Dining section, my journalistic highlight of the week, and was happy to see that Nigella Lawson’s back from a summer respite. Her article on baking inspired me to whip up a batch of her pear and ginger muffins, and now the fragrance of the just-baked treats promises a sweet night-cap.
The article and recipe can be found at:
[the mufffins are delicious, a subtle taste of fall and unexpected fruit. they “pear” nicely with Earl Grey tea]