Had a great weekend, but for some reason I'm feeling like I could use one more day off. John B. came over on Friday night and was supposed to help me devour some lobsters, but alas, we had some "crustacean frustration" (a term coined by John) -- the lobsters, which were supposed to be sent to me for a Gothamist gig, never arrived. Fortunately, Matt let us crash his Spanish dinner party. We brought over some wine and the ingredients for Tia Pol's fried chickpeas and we were good to go. Saturday I hit the greenmarket and got my first ramps of the season, then whipped up a super-farm-friendly brunch for Christopher, who was visiting from London. The eggs, purple potatoes, creme fraiche, and milk for the coffee were all from my CSA, and the ramps, chives, and Canadian bacon from Flying Pigs Farm were from the greenmarket. Spent the afternoon strolling and catching up with Eric, who I hadn't seen since my birthday (pathetic, but true), then went off to the wilds of East Williamsburg to see my friend Catherine's play, which was up on a rooftop overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Afterwards, we had dinner, including some fantastic mac and cheese, at Northern Kingdom, which I recommend if you're ever way out in Williamsburg. I'm not talking about the Bedford Stop -- this is more like the Montrose stop. I don't think I'd ever made it out that far before. Today I went for a run and then took a trip up to Blue Hill at Stone Barns with Rob, Sara and Jimmy today and had an amazing lunch and stroll around the farm. Thanks to Dad and Joan for subsidizing a good chunk of the meal (a gift certificate for Chanukah), to Jimmy for driving, and to Rob and Sara (and Jimmy) for being such great company, as always! You can find the rest of the pictures here.
Posts from April 2007
I am very slowly making my way through the pile of books I have amassed as gifts, loans, and for potential Gothamist columns. I wasn't such a huge fan of Monique Truong's The Book of Salt, I'm afraid, although it has gotten very high praise from others. I finished Batali and Ramsay mentor Marco Pierre White's A Devil in the Kitchen which comes out on May 1st. I enjoyed it -- he's quite a character and had a major impact on the London food scene. Finally, I read How I Learned to Cook -- a great compliation of stories from over twenty major chefs of defining moments in their culinary careers. Next up, Slow Food Nation by Carlo Petrini and Alice Waters, and Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert. I don't think I have a non-food-related book in the pile.
Friday was a great day. Not only was it gorgeous out, but I was back on solid food. I relished every bite of my first meal of the day -- a half of a whole wheat bagel, plain yogurt, blueberries, and some sliced pineapple -- certainly not exciting, but man, was it good. And don't even get me started on the coffee. Ahh. I tried to go easy, sticking to a salad for lunch, but by dinnertime I was ready for more. I ended up at Mercadito Grove with Matt B., Dave & Lauren and couldn't have been happier. In addition to the great company, I thoroughly enjoyed every single thing I ate. The spices seemed more vibrant and the textures -- the crunch of a tortilla chip, the creaminess of guacamole, the viscosity of an oyster -- leapt out in every bite.
I woke up Saturday and went on an invigorating run -- the first long outdoor run of the season. Afterwards, I headed up to Matt R. and Alexia's wedding brunch at their gorgeous apartment on the Upper East Side, where I got to catch up with some work folks and congratulate the happy couple on their nupitals. Following brunch, I headed back to Union Square to hit the farmer's market (for produce) and Paragon (for triathlon gear). After much deliberation, I ended up with a sports bra that seems supportive enough to run in and comfortable enough to swim in, and some tri-specific shorts. I've already made peace with the fact that I'm not going to win any fashion awards at this thing, so I might as well be comfortable. Saturday night I headed out to Brooklyn for a wine dinner featuring selections from the $10 and under table at Smith & Vine (given the weather, I went straight for the rose), where I got to catch up with Jenn, Emilia, Viv, Anj, and Jules.
Sunday I slept a bit late, cooked up a tortilla espanola with my potatoes and eggs from the CSA (which will be my breakfast all week), then did a few errands outside before having a picnic lunch from Caracas Arepa Bar. By the time 6pm rolled around, I really didn't feel like going inside for my hip-hop class, but I'm glad I did -- it was a blast. Not only did I work up a serious sweat, but I worked out some major tension -- how could you be tense when you're dancing around like an idiot? Back home for a veggie stir fry and a little tidying up before bed.
Day three. Still alive. Fantasizing about sushi, lobster rolls from Pearl, the blue cheese burger and chicken liver toasts I had at the Spotted Pig on Sunday night and prosecco. Not to mention an enormous cup of coffee. Reaffirmed my dislike of celery, which is in half of the 6 juices I have been drinking each day (never quite got past that one). Looking forward to chewing.
So today is day one of my three-day Blueprint Cleanse, a three-day juice cleanse designed to fit in to your busy NY schedule and life -- I'll be writing about it for Gothamist. Wish me luck, and please forgive me in advance for any strange behavior on my part for the next few days . . .
Food, Fashion, and a Good Cause::Restaurants Against Hunger's Celebrity Kick-off Party!
I'll be on the couch tonight, but if you're feeling better than I am -- head to this party! It's for a good cause and my friends Nicole and Lynn are helping to organize it.
Congrats to Rachel, Nichelle, and Alizinha, who got a shout out for their Cupcakes Take the Cake blog on Food and Wine mag's blog, Mouthing Off. Life is not so sweet for me as I am fighting off the plague and losing. Tonight is the first night of my level 2 swim class -- I've graduated from Efficient Technique to Technique and Endurance -- but I think I'm going to pass since I can't breathe out of my nose at the moment. A night on the couch might be just what the doctor ordered.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I don't come down with the plague. I got back home yesterday afternoon and the sore throat and sniffling began almost immediately. It's like my body was waiting for me to get through all these trips and then gave up. I'm also still waking up at 6 a.m. -- perhaps some leftover jetlag or something. I'm going to bed by 10 tonight.
Pictures are up from both the Tuscany trip (although this is Cinque Terre, not Tuscany):
(follow the links to the full galleries).