So Wednesday morning I drove someone to the airport.
At 4 IN THE MORNING.
I must REALLY REALLY like that person. (Well, yes, I do :D)
I got back under the covers, slept til 9:30, and realized I had the entire day ahead of me to do absolutely whatever I wanted. Obviously, that meant stovetop oats.
Went for apple-cinnamon today. Chopped up some apple (like 3/4 of one I started yesterday) and zapped it for one minute to give it a head start on softening. Then cooked it stovetop with oats, milk, n water. Finished off with cinnamon.
With a giant almond butter blob.
Then I readdddddddd the paper. For like an hour. Caught up on the Sunday magazine crossword puzzle. Read my cousin’s boyfriend’s Sarah Palin interview (!)
And I just did the wonderful sitting around at home things that I hated hated HATED doing over the summer when I had no job and no feeling of purpose and felt guilt over downtime. I took a long hot bath and read a book! I researched recipes! I caught up on blogs!
Now, lunch was really eaten over the course of.. mm… 4 hours. When I’m home I eat basically constantly. Grapes, triscuits, almond butter straight out of the jar…
The highlight, however, and the only item I bothered to photograph, was this rather extraordinarily fantastic specimen:
Melt in yo’ mouf farmer’s market sweet potatoes. They’re all gigantic (maybe not the size of a football… but close!), so I actually just had half of one. I don’t know if it’s the Virginia soil or it’s just the fact that they are so stinkin’ fresh when we get them at the farmer’s market but everything that’s great about a sweet potato- its sweet potato essence- is that much more so in these. YUM!
Afternoon featured a rockin’ hour and a half walk (probably could’ve kept going but the sun disagreed) fueled by the 100 gazillion raisins I ate after that sweet potato.
Being home to make dinner (I did the math with my mom as we ate and realized that between festivities with friends and working late I hadn’t been home for dinner in a week and a half) meant that I could finally tackle some super exciting farmer’s market specimens!
#1: Fresh lima beans!
Truth: are there any lima bean haters amongst you? I’ve been lucky enough to avoid the apparently somewhat traditional exposure to lima beans (boiled to within an inch of its life with minimal seasoning) and have only been exposed to the occasional delightful succotash type dishes.
Anyway, with any fresh bean as far as I’m concerned the simpler the better (I sort of live for fresh beans). So I consulted Cooking Light and tossed my beans in a pot with water, garlic, thyme sprigs, a bay leaf, and a drizzle of olive oil.
Boiled for twenty minutes. Vair simple.
Simultaneous with the limas, I took on ingredient #2:
No, I am not color blind. I instead didn’t come home for dinner for a week and a half, and thus the green tomatoes sat on the counter… and thus… the green tomatoes… basically stopped being green.
However, in a process illustrative of why supermarket tomatoes suck, the fact that they had been picked green and left to ripen meant that their texture was still hard and their flavor lacking sweetness. So I treated them like they were still greenies and made a recipe for Cheesy Polenta-Green Tomato Gratin. Because they said it tasted like a tamale and I was like ON IT!
You begin by sautéing your green tomatoes in olive oil with garlic and green onions and spices.
‘Cept since the tomatoes were riper than they were supposed to be, they released a bunch of liquid. So it was more stewing than sautéing. But it’s cool: I took out the tomatoes and then cooked the extra liquid on high til it was all reduced and rich and awesome.
Meanwhile, cooked up my polenta. Is there anything better than watching polenta do its burpy-bubbling thing? I think not.
I did cut back on the milk in the polenta, due to my mama’s lactose issues. It was still creamy-licious. In this time of thanks, and thinking of Native Americans, I want to thank them for introducing the rest of the world to corn. Corn things are awesome.
Time to take out my LIMAS!
I get that a lot of people have had bad lima bean experiences but you couldn’t not love these. They tasted SO absurdly fresh and delicious. It really goes to show you that all you really need to cook is high quality ingredients. These were from the farmer’s market, had been picked very recently and hadn’t done any languishing on a grocery shelf. I didn’t cook the bejesus out of them or try to mask them with any crazy seasoning.
They are just there, basking in their own lima essence.
Aaaaaaaand then out came my gratin. Is there anything better this time of year than pulling something bubbling and amazing smelling out of one’s oven?!
Tasted absurdly decadent, despite the fact that the recipe was from Cooking Light. I actually used less cheese than the recipe called for, too (I had neither Monterey Jack nor queso fresco, so I used some of our classy cheddar- yes, still from the cheese prize) because sharp cheddar has such a strong flavor. And it was still tremendously cheesy.
I love the richness of polenta, the tang and unique flavor from the green (ish) tomatoes, and did I mention cheese? I wanted to make sure I mentioned CHEESE.
Melt in your mouth awesomeness. I am a big fan of this recipe.
So skipping Thanksgiving for the moment, we arrive at today.
Woke up with a food hangover (see future post on the fact that I am recommitting to mindful eating due to the mindless SHOVELING of food I’ve been doing of late) and decided to make some nice wholesome muffins.
Made berrylicious granola muffins with the following substitutions:
-Applesauce for oil
-Oats for granola
-wheat germ for 2 T of the flour
-1 whole cup of fresh cranberries, rather than a mix of fresh and dried
Not sweet, good and moist, pleasantly wholesome from the whole wheat flour, and who doesn’t love the beautiful sight of a burst fresh cranberry?
Finally ate breakfast around 10:30. A muffin, sliced pear, almonds. Chai.
I am making an effort to be a bit more active today: get my booty to the gym and possibly get some culture in my system via an exhibit downtown.
Sheila has no qualms whatsoever about sheer idleness.