Category — Shopping
Tuesday morning in Vaison, Sunday at L’Isle sur La Sorgue, the farmer’s market every evening at Vallerons — each day in Provence is a market day where you can buy anything from tapenade and olives, to fresh fruits and vegetables, to roast chickens, ribs and quail. It was hard to resist buying too much.
Fortunately our rented house had a well equipped kitchen and with so many good ingredients available, it was easy to put together great meals. In fact, we all agreed that our home cooked or assembled meals were the best we ate. Every evening, we drank an apero poolside and watched the sunset.
Then we had roast pork, green bean salad with vinaigrette, Provencal potato salad with olives, thyme and red onion, and a multi-colored tomato salad. Followed by a course of some local cheeses with cherry conserve.
The local bakery supplied an apricot cream tart.
I read a lot, took long walks in the countryside, and visited some pretty medieval towns. I came home feeling restored and inspired. Two days later and back in New York, we had an earthquake and Saturday brought Hurricane Irene, but so far, nothing has dimmed the glow of my summer vacation.
August 29, 2011 No Comments
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, I learned the proper Irish way to eat butter. According to Molly O’Loughlin of the Irish Dairy Board, the way to do it in Ireland is to scrape a knife across the surface to create a soft, creamy wave to spread on bread. Who knew? To make the scraping and spreading easier Kerrygold, a cooperative comprised of small Irish dairy farmers, is introducing a specially formulated easy spreading butter packaged in a small tub. Even straight out of the refrigerator, this butter will always be spreadable. (Not that I need to make it easier for me to eat more Kerrygold butter, which I confess to being somewhat addicted to.) The really good news is that Kerrygold Naturally Soft Pure Irish Butter is 100% butter, with no additives. The butter’s softness comes from the milk that cows produce during the summer months that has a naturally softer milkfat.
The spreadable butter was introduced this morning at a breakfast along with another new Kerrygold butter that has 25% less fat and 50% less sodium made without artificial ingredients. For me the flavor is all important, and like the spreadable butter, the reduced fat Kerrygold delivered on that score as well. Light and creamy, the flavor that reminded me of whipped cream and it melted easily in my mouth. The spreadable butter was deeper and richer in flavor with a satin smooth texture. Both will be available in stores this summer.
Putting a fresh new spin on the classic Irish breakfast was chef Neven Maguire, of MacNean House and Restaurant in Blacklion, County Cavan, Ireland. The charming young chef is quite a star in Ireland where his hotel and restaurant have received numerous awards and he appears regularly on tv. His menu began with a real eye-opener: Blacklion Porridge with Irish Mist, Honey and Cream. I usually need a cappuccino or two to get me moving in the morning, but I can see how the Irish Mist might have a stimulating effect as well, if one were so inclined. Me, I would be happy with a couple of the chef’s buttery Lemon and Sultana Scones, generously smeared with that Kerrygold butter.
The chef also prepared Warm Herb Pancakes with Smoked Irish Salmon and Citrus Creme Fraiche, Spring Onion Soad Bread, Multi Seed Wheaten Bread and my favorite Smoked Bacon and Dubliner Cheese Frittata. Dubliner is a cheddar-like cheese made by Kerrygold with a sweet and nutty flavor. For more information about Kerrygold and some great looking recipes, go to http://www.kerrygold.com/usa/index.php
March 15, 2011 2 Comments
Despite the infernal heat today, Charles and I headed to the New Amsterdam Market. Located next to the South Street Seaport, the market was set up in what was once a parking lot for the old Fulton Fish Market now relocated to the Bronx. The New Amsterdam Market was started several years ago as a way to showcase local products and producers and revive the tradition of riverfront markets that New York was once known for. The organizers’ vision is that one day it will be as famous as the Pike Place Market in Seattle or London’s Borough Market. My vision was to stock up on some fresh vegetables and fish for the weekend.
About 50 vendors were on the schedule for today’s market. There was lots of goats and cow’s milk cheese, freshly baked breads, gorgeous produce, wine, honey, pickles, coffee, and chocolate. These bialys from Brooklyn-based Hot Bread Kitchen, a Brooklyn-based not-for-profit bakery that trains immigrant women to become professional bakers, caught my eye.
One vendor, The Ravioli Store, had beautiful looking fresh pasta. In addition to pasta made with wheat flour, they also had buckwheat, emmer and spelt pastas.
I was feeling pretty hungry, but couldn’t decide what I wanted to eat. The line was too long for the the lobster rolls, the peanut butter and bleu cheese sandwiches at Saxelby Cheesemongers sounded inriguing, but not what I felt like eating. Then I spotted the perfect thing: deep fried corn on the cob topped with a little cherry tomato salad from Marlow and Son, an excellent restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The corn was sweet, crunchy, salty and popcorn-y and the tasty little tomatoes were a nice finishing touch. A slice of yellow watermelon was served on the side. At first it seemed strange, but the melon was refreshing and cleansing. Charles and I polished off the corn and were ready for more.
I had been craving hot dogs all week, so we headed over to the Fleisher’s Market stand. Fleisher’s is located in Kingston, New York and this old-time butcher shop has been in business since 1901! They must be doing something right. I have stopped there several times on the way to visit friends in nearby Woodstock. They specialize in organic and pasture raised meats and chicken. Their hot dogs are homemade and do not contain nitrites, so they lack that reddish color we expect in a dog. But the flavor was good and beefy and the dogs had a nice snap. I had mine topped with yellow mustard and relish.
In between, we tasted bread and cheese, and sampled wine, coffee, and kombucha, which is a fermented tea. I bought honey from Sag Harbor, bread from Sullivan Street, chocolate covered chocolate nibs from Taza, and gorgeous heirloom tomatoes and Japanese eggplants from Queens County Farm, the only working farm within the New York City limits. We never did find the fish vendor, but I can’t wait til the next market, which according to their website www.newamsterdammarket.org is scheduled for August 22nd. The market becomes weekly starting September 12.
July 24, 2010 No Comments