Mmm, produce. I will never get over how lovely the summer produce is.
The supermarket near my house is rather a disappointment, both in terms of selection and quality, but they had these three wonderful looking varieties of plums this week. I had never seen green plums before, and I wonder what they are. Greengage plums? Damson plums? I heard somewhere that damson plums are green.
Nectarines, too, always one of my favorites for the tarter, sharper taste than its fuzzy cousin the peach. Am I the only one who, as a child, was shocked–shocked I tell you–when I first saw a nectarine, and it was not a citrus fruit? How can tangerines and nectarines be so different? It is one of the great mysteries of the supermarket. Anyway, these are wonderful cut up with a side of ricotta cheese, all drizzled with honey and sprinkled with almonds. It makes a lovely, light summer supper.
Way back in the good old days, a month ago, when I had the days to myself and lived near a pretty-good supermarket, I found bags of these little sweet peppers in yellow and red and orange. They were less expensive than buying the same color mix of full size bell peppers, so I enjoyed myself thoroughly and bought a bag every week. They are good in stir fry of course, and just plain broiled with salt, or sauteed and put in an omelette. Mmmm. Some day I will have a garden (sigh… still have to find someone to dig one out for me) and grow my own bell peppers. Mmmmmmm.
And the heirloom tomatoes. That grocery store, where I shopped back in the good old days, carried heirloom tomatoes. Aren’t they gorgeous? I would fry up some bacon and slice one of these beauties and make myself a great big dripping BLT for lunch. It was wonderful. Speaking of bacon… have you heard of Bacon Salt? It’s getting good reviews for flavor and aroma. I have my own bottle of it that I haven’t gotten around to doing anything with, bad bad me. How about I try it on a baked potato tonight?
Produce might be a little thin on the ground right now (though they are building a new market near me that I know does very well in that department) but dry goods I am absolutely drowning in. The sysadmin at work tipped me off to what turned out to be the best specialty food store I have ever seen in my life, and that includes stores in New York. I came home with Scottish lox, Russian caviar, hickory salt, malban, hot Russian mustard, Israeli hummus, fresh fresh marzipan, Fage nonfat yogurt in individual packages (and they had every other iteration of it, too), and a bar of chocolate full of cinnamon and ancho chilis. What I left behind defies description–every kind of grain including ones I hadn’t heard of, every kind of pulse, every kind of pickle, every kind of spice, and on and on and on. The cheese selection looked very good, too, but I don’t eat it much and certainly don’t need it with all the other proteinaceous goodies sitting around.
So. It was a good weekend. My perceived quality of life has gone up. What about you?