Walking Down the Aisle

[Not that aisle.  Please, people.]  Sometimes I forget that food shopping is not as fun for everyone as it is for me.  Although I adore Fresh Direct for its convenience, I love the act of deciding I'm going to cook a meal, making a list of what I think I need, then walking through the Union Square Greenmarket and Whole Foods and getting everything on my list plus at least five other things I didn't realize I needed.  On Monday, I decided I was going to make pizza and a salad inspired by the one my friend Melissa brought to my recent dinner party (it was so good!).  Starting at one end of the market, I picked up some gorgeous yellow and purple plums (which had nothing to do with anything I was making) and sungold cherry tomatoes.  I then met my dining companion, Tom, who had just survived a somewhat harrowing experience at the post office.  Clearly he was in no mood to share my ridiculous enthusiasm for shopping during what they kept referring to over the PA system as "crazy night" at Whole Foods -- the line looked atrocious. "We could just go out," he suggested.  "It moves fast!" I assured him.  We headed downstairs and ticked off the items on my list: arugula, hearts of palm, prosciutto, artichoke hearts, mozzarella, avocado, lemon, crushed tomatoes, and more.  I'm still getting to know the Union Square store, having spent much more time in the Chelsea branch, which resulted in us wandering in circles a little bit, and we had no luck finding pizza dough until, in a flash of genius (which comes out every now and again), I thought to ask at the brick oven pizza counter upstairs.  For $1.99 I got enough dough to make two pizzas, although we somehow used it to make one.  When we finally attacked the line, it did move quite quickly, as I predicted, and we were off to cook.  Tom survived the experience, even without getting a "cranky snack" in line (as in a snack one eats when one gets cranky).  "You can get anything you'd like to eat while you wait -- even the Scharffen Berger."  Dinner was delicious -- arugula salad with hearts of palm, sungold cherry tomatoes, artichoke, and lemon/olive oil dressing, and pizza with prosciutto, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, and a tiny bit of fresh basil, grown on my windowsill.  Well worth the trip, in my opinion.

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