I am embarrassed. I have lived here for over two years now, and today was the first time I managed to venture down to the local farmers' market. And now that I have experienced its wonders, I realize that I've missed months and months of good foodage! The tragedy!
Oh well, must remedy by going weekly now.
I am very, very happy. So many fruits and vegetables! So many stone fruits! I bought white peaches and pluots and blackberries and even more peaches and nectarines, and I feel like I should remember the varieties and all, but I don't. It's ok! I got to sample everything, and mmmmmmm. I need to look up recipes next time, because there were heirloom tomatoes, and I keep feeling like I should try them. I think I've only had supermarket tomatoes before, and everyone keeps saying that they really don't compare. Or maybe I'll just get some heirlooms and some mozarella and basil and have them raw.
And new potatoes! I want to get all the cute new potatoes and broil them with rosemary! And oh, I didn't even get a close look at all the greens, because I still am not quite sure what to do with them, but they just look so good. I was getting so weighed down with all the fruits that I didn't even manage to get corn (I saw white corn and bicolored corn, which I must try next time), and I didn't even begin to look at the flowers and the already-made things like preserves and jams and bread. Although I did get two strawberry-rhubarb pies, yay! Next time I must go and get those people's meat and potato pasties as well for lunches! And I saw these plum-prune things, which were so good, but I passed.
And! The best thing of all, I got English peas! I don't even know if they are in season or not, but they were fresh peas, still in the pod! I think I have only had fresh peas once in my life, and they are a completely different specimen from the soggy frozen peas, fresh and sweet and firm, and I'm dying to try them again. Alton Brown says that they start converting the sugar to starch within a day, so I shall try making do and sweating them or something, even though I don't have any onion or shallots or whatnot to go with them, le sigh. I am so hoping that they even somewhat live up to the peas in my memory.
Also, sophia_helix, thanks for the tip on holding the melon syrup in green tea frappucinos! Now they taste proper and green-tea-like instead of too sweet.
I went to a friend's housewarming yesterday and managed to be social and do the cocktail thing for a good four hours. I am quite impressed with myself. Anyhow, I basically grazed the entire time and had much cheese and fruit and veggies, which made me happy. However, I decided to go out for dinner anyway, at nine at night (a perfectly reasonable time for France, but not so much for California), to this always bustling "pan-latin" restaurant a few blocks away. I don't go often because it's all expensive and fancy, but, damnit, I wanted good food. Not just good food, but good fancy food. I think my dad has horribly spoiled me -- he is quite the foodie (and the wine guy, but I don't appreciate wine yet) and has been taking the family out to eat at fancy restaurants for quite some time, and now I am used to it and spoiled silly. Plus, I tend to live off leftovers and the company cafeteria food most of the time, supplemented with a whole lot of fruit, which is good and nice, but I get cravings for fancy food every so often.
I had the bar sampler trio, all wonderfully fresh seafood. There was a small halibut dish; little flakes of halibut marinated in some sort of citrusy sour sauce, very fresh tasting and tingly, with slices of red onion and green olives. The sauce was good, but the best part about it was the fish, which didn't have the flaky texture of fish at all! I have no idea how they did it, but it tasted so fresh, like it had barely been cooked at all, with this great sort of fleshy chewy texture. It's really hard to describe, and I wish I knew what they had done to it, because it was very good. And then there was an Ahi tuna tartar with little bits of fruit and more citrus, and oh, I miss raw fish. It tasted like a good fruit salsa, except with the softness of raw Ahi intermixed with the crunchiness of apple, and now I want sashimi. The last little dish was scallop, cut into strips and again marinated in some sort of fresh citrus sauce, but this time with peppers. And again, I don't exactly know how they cooked the scallop, but it was delicious and just slightly more cooked than raw, so that it was firm and squishy at the same time. I wish I had all of it, but I had to stop eating it because my mouth was on fire from the peppers.
I love seafood. I love it when it's so fresh that it hasn't developed that fishy smell yet and tastes like it's just out of the ocean. I love the texture of raw fish and scallop and the way your teeth sink into them. And I haven't had good seafood for quite some time, so this made me very, very happy.
And just to be completely indulgent, despite already being a bit full, I got dessert. They had chocolate souffle cake on the menu, and really, there is no point in resisting when there is chocolate souffle cake on the menu. I adore souffle cake, and chocolate is even better, because there's something about warm chocolate cake that is just incredibly sinful. This is, of course, multiplied to the extreme when the cake is incredibly dense with a warm, melty chocolate center, with a slightly crusty outside (I love souffle. I wish I could have more souffle. Souffle cake is good too.). And it was made out of really good, rich, dark chocolate, so it wasn't overwhelmingly sweet, and once I sliced off a bit with my fork, the gooey insides were just running over. There was some coffee ice cream and candied hazelnuts on the side, and eating a bit of warm, gooey cake with a smidgen of ice cream so that there's the temperature conflcit and the meltiness and everything exploding in your mouth at once is probably about as close to absolute bliss as I can get.
consonantia was trying valiantly to make conversation, and I was trying to listen, I swear, except I kept getting distracted by cake and ice cream. It was so good that my eyes were rolling back whenever I was taking a bite. Angela mentioned that I looked rather like Fitz-rat whenever he gets scritched between his shoulder blades, eyes half closed and completely blissed out.
It was a very good meal. rachelmanija, when you are here we must go fooding! And I am really, really anticipating my Thanksgiving trip to NYC, because... food!