Since I’m the queen of taking food out-of-context, I made a toasted naan and tuna sandwich. Non-traditional, sure. But super good.
Choking down 365 new foods
This was another garden goodie I had never heard of. (Work-buddy Kelly brought me a bunch in a novelty beer mug. That’s the way we roll around here.) Although I’m a huge garlic fan, I never bothered to grow any. Will amend that next year. Because these stalks are both dramatically beautiful and delicious.
Peas are one of my favorite foods. I’ve grown them in my garden for years. But — and I’m a little embarrassed to admit this — I had no idea you could eat the entire pea plant. At least in its first blush of youth, anyway. My work buddies let me in on the (not so very secret) secret yesterday, and this morning I pillaged my garden for shoots. Fantastic! Though I felt a little guilty for cutting some of the little stems’ lives short. Only the good die young, I guess.
I used this as a vehicle to try hoisin sauce, without realizing it would toss me into the ring with my old nemesis, sweet meat. Had I known beforehand that hoisin is a barbecue-like sauce I would have just skipped the whole thing — I’ve been slumming it on sweet street a little too often lately. Wouldn’t want to make it a habit. Anyway, I ate it … sweet meat and all. Just don’t tell the pork I was thinking about the cabbage the whole time.
Today my office cohorts absolutely forbid me to eat the dusty jar of borscht in my cupboard. Frankly, it wasn’t very hard to convince me. But work-buddy Annie promised to make homemade borscht to save me from the off-brand stuff I dragged from the sale shelf at the supermarket.
So tonight I grabbed a pluot. I know it’s a combination plum/apricot, but I’m a bit unclear on the pronunciation. (Wouldn’t aprum be easier to say?) And I’m not quite sure whether I like them or not. The description card at the store said it was supposed to be sweet, and this one was mind-puckeringly sour. My guess is it wasn’t anywhere near ripe. Foiled again by my culinary cluelessness.
The too-cute package says these are “baby beets infused in a sweetfire marinade.” Since I gave pickled beets a thumbs up on Day 16, I figured they were a safe bet. (Plus I’m trying to psych myself up for finally trying that dusty jar of borsch in my cupboard. Maybe tomorrow?) These little bites were packed with over-the-top earthiness — which is what I’ve discovered I like best about beets. But I’m not too keen on this particular sweet/spicy marinade. So I guess I prefer my beets naked — hold the love.
I draped some of this butterlicious sauce over a bourbon-marinated rib eye, mostly because Mr. Bittman said it was essentially béarnaise without the eggs. And I’m all for leaving those foul chicken droppings out whenever I can. This was just shallots, white wine, vinegar, butter — and a boatload of flavor. It was one of those evenings when my husband was grateful for this new-food experiment. But I’m not going to tell his doctor about the stick of butter I whisked into the sauce.
I generally don’t like relish. But this variety — a new addition to my grocery store’s shelves — was just the right combo of vinegar and sweet. Or maybe I’m just getting more used to out-of-context sweet (a major bogeyman of mine). I had it with grilled pork, but I think it will work great in tacos, since it has a touch of spice.
It was way too crazy hot today to cook (we don’t have much in the way of air conditioning around these parts) so we went out to dinner tonight. And I tried a new Saranac beer, a brand that markets itself as from my region, even though it’s not. That’s okay, I forgive it. I’m not sure how marketable the real Saranac is, anyway.
This was certainly drinkable. Just a hint of blueberries. But still a little too girlie for me. I bet you won’t find many fellows bellying up to the bar for a blueberry blonde ale.