Saturday, June 6, 2009

In Which I'm Not Much of a Cook

Many weeks I go to market three days a week. Now that Eastern Market is open again, I'll likely be going to two markets on Saturdays. I love seeing piles of fresh vegetables and imagining what I could do with them. The problem is, I get tempted by all of that lovely, fresh stuff, buy it, take it home, and usually dump most of it into the composter when it gets brown and/or mushy. I hate that.

Today at Central Market* I only bought yogurt and milk (okay, and strawberry shortcake) and at Eastern Market only mushrooms (okay, and mango ice), because most of the piles of lovely produce I bought last week were still sitting in the fridge.

This evening I decided I was going to use at least some of it so that I wouldn't have to compost it all, and so that I would eat something other than cereal (it was an odd week, I was hibernating).

First, I roasted slices of eggplant and white zucchini in the toaster oven with a couple of cloves of garlic and some olive oil. I had them on slices of good Italian bread spread with chive goat cheese, not bad. I have some left over, and am thinking of putting it in sandwiches to take to Long's Park tomorrow night, to supplement my obligatory french fries.

Next, I chopped my bunch of chard, the other zucchini, a few mushrooms, and some garlic. I started the garlic in olive oil, then added the chard stems, mushrooms, and zucchini. I let them soften a bit, then added dried thyme (probably not enough) and balsamic vinegar. When they had cooked another minute or two, I piled the pan high with ribbons of chard leaves, added more balsamic, and put a lid on the whole thing to let the leaves wilt, while I boiled some whole wheat pasta. The result was definitely edible, but didn't have any zip. I have leftovers, which I will definitely eat, but I need to get more creative with herbs and spices if I'm going to cook random piles of vegetables.

I am not an intuitive cook, though I'd like to be. I'm just not quite sure how to get there from here. Any advice would be welcome.

*Part of what I did at Central Market today was to staff the Buy Fresh Buy Local table and hand out the brand new Local Food Guide for Lancaster County. It's a handy little resource, and will be helpful for people in the area interested in adding more local food to their diets.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Why I'm Here

I am beginning this, sitting at Prince Street Cafe, because I miss blogging. I don't quite know what this will evolve into, but I know I'll be talking about living in Lancaster: what I do here, interesting things that may be happening, and anything else about it that may pop into my head.There will also likely be knitting content, and talk about the writing I may or may not be doing at any moment.

I don't plan to get intensely personal about my life, but that's not to say I won't talk about anything other than strictly general information. I hope people find me and enjoy what I have to say, but I make no guarantees about anything.

That said, I guess a bit of introduction may be in order. I am a woman in my late thirties, sharing a two floor apartment in a converted row house in Lancaster, PA with my boyfriend and another housemate. I am currently, technically, unemployed, having recently been laid off from my job selling yarn. I do a bit of freelance writing and proofreading, but not enough, at the moment, to be able to constitute a living wage.

In the short term, I am doing some writing, scanning the meager Sunday Employment ads, and trying to sort out what comes next. In the longer term, I'll have to come up with something. Ideally, I would like to find work in downtown Lancaster, because I love being able to walk to work and leave my car parked most of the time. Given the current job market, I may have to compromise, and give the temp agency more latitude in looking for assignments.

Work aside, I write and knit, and take photographs in spurts. I visit Central and Eastern Markets regularly, and try to take advantage of what Lancaster has to offer. I like to travel, but don't get myself out of town as much as I would like.

I am a new convert to Facebook and Twitter ( @wrtrmaus ) and do still manage to check Ravelry from time to time, which all adds up to a lot of time spent online, possibly too much, if I really think about it.

That's plenty for now. You'll be seeing more of me eventually.