January Best Bites

I found plenty to occupy myself with while we waited for winter snows to arrive. And when they finally did, in the Blizzard of 2016 (so far), I had plenty of victuals to see me through. But that’s almost always the case with me, I could feed myself from my freezer, fridge, and pantry for weeks probably, although I may run out of fresh vegetables (don’t eat much in the way of frozen vegetables, except for peas). That’s why, when the blizzard was coming, I only made a beeline for Lucy’s Kitchen and Market to ensure I’d have one of their great chicken pot pies, and some clam sauce.

While I was there I also picked up a selection of three green vegetables: a perky kale and apple salad, escarole braised with beans (and a little tomato added at or near the end), and some sautéed broccoli rabe. Problem solved, and, frankly, without having to buy a lot of raw materials which I would not use up quickly enough. Unless I want to eat the same vegetable for days on end, I’ll pay more so I have a variety of options and zero waste. I did, however, have no trouble using up a bag of cut up kale from Trader Joe’s, putting some in a bean soup I’d made, and using more with the slow-cooker pork mentioned below. The sweetness of the pork and the bitterness of the kale were the perfect match.

I found other treats out and about during January, some of which are pictured below. I made my first winter batch of my beloved Armenian Herisah, too, using three chicken legs since I didn’t find turkey thighs at McCaffrey’s (boo). BUT, the next time I make it I will use the stewing hen I picked up at Cherry Grove Farm – that’s what was traditionally used, but you don’t easily find those anymore (as a child, my family kept their own chickens and sold eggs). Can’t wait to make herisah with that hen.

I gave my slow-cooker two more workouts, first with Cuban-Mexican pork shoulder (I posted about it here), then with beef chili. I had pretty Anasazi beans needing to be used up (wish I had room in my freezer for the rest, but maybe I’ll make soup this weekend if they haven’t fermented in the fridge). I am proud I used some of my dried chilies, breaking them up and soaking them, then puréeing them with my stick blender. That provided the deep brick red color, there are no tomatoes in my chili.

I had placed an order with FreshDirect in December (only the second time), and included two of their frozen grilled thin crust pizzas. The caramelized onion with fig and walnut was okay (maybe I’m done with that flavor profile, or prefer it as an appetizer?), the sausage/pepperoni was good but had – believe it or not – too much meat. The mushroom white truffle oil coal oven slice from Table 87, pictured here (I saw them on Shark Tank) was quite good, and really was crisp on the bottom.

I used up the last pieces of some chocolate peppermint candy in a batch of brownies and sprinkled some crushed candy cane pieces on top – very good, I keep them cut up in the freezer, wrapped in foil. That was the only baking I did in January.

Note the orange Pavlova I had at Main Street Bistro late in the month – it was heavenly! And, sadly, not on the February menu, but so it goes there. My realtor friend Miriam and I were (very belatedly) celebrating our November and December birthdays. The whole dinner was good, she had beef stroganoff and I had fish & chips (baked, not fried) and we each had the Pavlova for dessert – no sharing there!




One thought on “January Best Bites

  1. Brilliant justification, Faith!, as though Lucy’s ever requires same! They really have a way with vegetables — somehow maintaining all color, savor and appropriate textures, along with hefty doses of beauty. I love it — cheaper to buy a small amount, prepared, than the usual amount at a supermarket. Thanks for a lively post! c

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