Archive for June, 2007

Simplicity is key… sometimes.

I’ll admit it – I like to experiment. Sometimes my experimentations go very, very badly – usually the ones where I think, “Oh, this can of chickpeas would go well in this dish… And these bell peppers… And a couple other things from my pantry.”

Sometimes when I go grocery shopping I’ll get a few cans of refrigerated croissant dough or biscuits, and when my boyfriend, Casey, decides he wants biscuits with breakfast, I wag my fingers and gently inform him that I’m planning to create some crazy concoction with them. I’d rather wrap the dough around a ham and cheese filling or sprinkle it with garlic powder and olive oil or make miniature pizzas or ANYTHING other than its intended use.

“Why can’t we just have normal tacos,” Casey will ask. “Can we just have plain croissants? Hamburgers without crazy seasoning?” He’s a fan of simplicity, and I like to complicate things tremendously.

But sometimes his commitment to simplicity is nice. He spent his formative years watching his grandmother cook breakfast, and now he does the same for me, usually on Sunday mornings. Today, I came home for lunch and he had a plate of sausage, eggs and hash browns waiting. Fried eggs over medium. Round sausage patties. Hash browns dotted with plenty of black and cayenne pepper. Nothing fancy, nothing dramatic – just simple, well-prepared food. If I had sausage, eggs and hash browns sitting on the counter before me, I’d end up making some kind of breakfast bake or Super Omelet, but isn’t it nice to go back to the basics sometimes?

So here’s a toast to simplicity, and a thanks to Casey’s grandma, who also happens to make a mean pecan pie and a pretty mayhew jelly, even though she made fun of me for not knowing how to pronounce “mayhew.”

I’ll see you at the farmers market!

Would you believe that until Saturday, I’d never been to a farmers market? When I lived in Fayetteville, Arkansas, I heard many tales about its awesome farmers market, but I never got to go – I was a weekend manager at a bakery, meaning I worked through the farmers market hours each weekend. Now that I’m back in Texarkana and have normal 8-5 working hours, my Saturday mornings are free to peruse new potatoes at the farmers market. And so I did.

Casey and I left the house before 8 a.m. and started with a couple of garage sales. I got a knife set for $3 (I finally have good knives! Oh joy, oh joy!) and we found Casey an old La-Z-Boy recliner. It’s orange. Bright, garish orange. We’ll have to do something about that pretty soon.

Anyway, I spent $16 at the farmers market and came back with: banana peppers, habanero peppers, 3 lbs. new potatoes, a jar of local honey, culinary lavender, green beans and a free cookbook. I am in love. I also got to eat the following things: a peanut butter/cornflake cookie, new potatoes with parmesan and rosemary, and a lavender cinnamon cookie. Awesome.

I can’t wait to get more locally grown fruits and veggies as the season changes. I just had to share my excitement. Adios.