Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Sunny Weekend

We have had pretty dismal weather here for the past week or two- grey skies, showers and the rest of it. This morning I was shocked to see a bright yellow round object in the sky. Apparently they call it the Sun. It was the perfect day to visit a local Farmers' Market and this week we stopped by Tower Grove Park.

I bought...
  • Free range eggs which will be used over the next couple of weeks for omelets, curry and in baked goods. 
  • Red lentils, which I forgot to buy on my last trip to the Indian store and which I plan to use for mesir wat tonight.
  • Rainbow chard. I have friends coming over for a South Indian dinner tomorrow night and had this (what I thought was a) brilliant and innovative idea of making chard sambar. But it turns out that indosungod is far smarter than I am. I will try her recipe tomorrow.
  • Strawberries, for use in two desserts, and for snacking, of course. If the desserts work out, I'll share them on the blog in a few days.
  • "French breakfast" radishes- cute elongated two-toned ones. These will be served with a salad tomorrow. 
  • A loaf of bread.
We lunched on the fresh bread. V made pesto and cheese sandwiches for himself and bread-butter-radish sandwiches for me. The joy of simple flavorful food.

What produce is in season where you live? 

On The Bookshelf
If you are looking for some light, easy summer reading, here are a few books that I've enjoyed in the last few days-

The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken by Laura Schenone. A food writer in NJ is obsessed with tracing back the roots of her family's ravioli recipe. It takes her to Italy and to homes and restaurants to learn the art of pasta making from expert cooks. I was reading this book on a flight and 36,000 feet high in the sky, I was seized by the overwhelming urge to roll out some pasta. It took all of my self-control to keep from banging on the emergency doors and begging the flight attendant to let me out. But I digress. The book is a good read and if you are passionate about home cooking, much of the story will resonate with you. For instance, someone in the book says,
"If you come into my house and I cook for you and feed you from my special plates and glasses, well that's nice. But it's a better thing entirely if I serve you on the everyday plates".
Now isn't that the truth?

The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz. These are the tales of an expat living in Paris, full of predictable snafus having to do with speaking French etc. But I'll admit that I often laughed out loud reading this book. Of course it is full of food, glorious food.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I do enjoy reading the author's blog, and the book is a quick and fun read, reminding us about simple truths. The fact is that I know too many people who seem to have everything in terms of financial security, family and friends, a job and a fridge full of food, but are terribly unhappy. I'm not above kvetching about minor things myself, so reading this book makes me want to try harder to be happy and appreciate all that I have.

What are you reading these days?

* * *
Dale says to have a good weekend- get some rest, enjoy a few long walks, and eat a treat or two.


  1. I just got broccoli rabe / rapini. Not sure if they are in season. Just looked nice, so got them! Made bengali ghonto along with potatoes using half of the bunch. Tastes bitter-ish like methi. Have yet to figure out what to make of the rest. Any suggestions?

    Cheers and have a good weekend!

  2. SS blogs here- Oh yes I have a suggestion, try this excellent recipe from Bong Mom:
    and have a great weekend :)

  3. Nupur, strawberries can't wait to see what you are going to whip up.

    I am delighted you are going to try the Swiss Chard in a sambhar. You won't be disappointed. Use shallots instead of onions and they are crunchy and nice if you are not finishing it in the pressure cooker.
    I will mend the recipe for non-pressure cooker method too. Whichever way you choose you will they taste delicious.

    Same kind of weather here too, after 4 days of overcast skies the sun peeked for 2 days and now it is gone back on vacation.

  4. Thanks Nupur! You know.. I made the ghonto-like dish also from there! And didn't notice the rabe used in sarson ka saag! :D Thanks!! Cheerio!

  5. The weather is dull here. We have been enjoying the strawberries and mangoes :)

  6. weather has been dull here too.. well on and off, and definitely not very spring-like yet. My sweet life in paris has been in my to-read list for a while.. right now I am reading Selfish Gene by Dawkins.

  7. Waiting to see what you make with ur strawberries. Enjoy your Sunday.

  8. its just mangoes heres,..books look too good,..

  9. Lovely produce you got there. I got beets, zucchini and some fruits :)

  10. farmers markets and a good read make a great weekend - wish our library had such gems - I don't think they do but will have to check

  11. its raining here nonstop in Bangalore...yesterday we brought parwal, bottle gourd and mangoes with other things. the mangoes are very tart so have to think of making something with them.

    waiting to see what you prepare with those strawberries. I never used these beauties in my cooking.

  12. I live in Norway -- in a city called Tromsø, about 300 miles above the Arctic Circle. The only things "in season" here are varieties of seafood, reindeer-meat, whale-meat and a whole slew of other politically-incorrect but (I am told, by my meat-loving husband) utterly delicious meat. Also, apparently, potatoes grow not too far from here and we do have wild (blue- and other) berries growing on the hillside.

    But before you gasp in shock and pity, you should know that the Norwegians have been importing food from elsewhere for perhaps centuries -- so we essentially get *everything* at regular supermarkets here and, from the international stores, we get Indian spices as well (paneer, asafoetida etc). That said, I do miss the fresh, simple taste you get from a farmer's market.

    Really like your blog, btw.

  13. The big treat at our farm stands this week is asparagus We're also getting some strawberries, and the two together go into green salads in my house. Fiddlehead ferns might be around for another week, too.

  14. Never heard of Rainbow Chard Nupur! Anything that we get here in India. Luckily weather's been pleasant in Bangalore and we are enjoying every bit of the coziness these days. Ur bread reminds me of going back to my oven for some bread recipes! I am regular at David Lebovitz's site and I envy u getting a book of his! Lucky you!

  15. You're going to make mesir wat! Can't wait to hear how that turns out Nupur. I also have been enjoying strawberries the last two weeks and chard last week. This week I bought some English peas which I plan to shell and use in your Bisibele tonight :) So glad you got some sun this weekend!

  16. Great book reviews...I ve been wanting to read that lost ravioli one

  17. indosungod- I did make the chard sambar last night and it was a hit! There's a tiny bowl left, the guests finished off the rest :)
    I cooked the dal in the pressure cooker but did everything else on the stove top. Did not have shallots so I just used onions but it worked fine. Thanks so much for the recipe!

    SS blogs here- So did you make the saag then? That's my favorite use for broccoli rabe these days because otherwise the stuff is too bitter for my taste.

    shankari- ooh mangoes :) good for you!

    PJ- Well, Sweet Life in Paris will be a very light read after the other one :)

  18. Pavani- Just posted the strawberry desserts, hope you like them :)

    notyet100- I would be thrilled with just mangoes!

    Johanna GGG- I agree, those two things can make a great weekend all by themselves.

    Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal- Ooh, beets. Zucchini still has to reach its season here, once it arrives I will be buying lots of it.

    Sayantani- Those are some of my favorite things- love parwal and bottle gourd! This is my first time using so many strawberries too, in cooking and baking.

    Sandhya- How interesting! Thanks for sharing things about your part of the world!

    Lydia- I did not see any asparagus this week; maybe the season is over here? I love the idea of combining strawberries and asparagus in a salad.

    MD- Rainbow chard is a variety of greens (called rainbow because the stems are different colors).
    I did not get the David Lebovitz book, I merely borrowed it from the library for a few days.

    Cathy- The mesir wat was fantastic; I'll post the recipe in a few days. You make more bisibele bhaat than anyone I know, and why not, it is a great way to use all kinds of seasonal vegetables :)

    The Food Hunter- I had not even heard of the lost ravioli book until someone sent it to me in a swap. But it was a fun read.

  19. Thanks for the great reviews...was wondering what to pick up this week from Lib!

  20. Hey Nupur.. thanks for that suggestion. Yes I totally made her sarson ka saag yesterday. No pics. So I won't post any of the dishes. But both ghonto and saag were superb. Family doesn't like the bitterness though its fairly mild according to me.. Well it was especially milder in the saag with the spinach and besan and yogurt. Thanks and have a good week!

  21. Fresh buttered bread with radish, salt and pepper is so yummy - the perfect warm-weather food!
    I must say, Dale just keeps getting more and more handsome! That smoldering look....I am well and truly smitten!!

  22. I saw the nice mention of my book, The Happiness Project, here! I very much appreciate those kind words and you shinning a spotlight on my work!! Thanks and best wishes,

  23. Hands down one of the best vegetarian food blogs around.Very very prolific!

    I started cooking with the Paav Bhaaji on your website.Needless to say,its become quite famous:)

    May you continue to regale us with your wonderful cooking (and knitting) :)


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