Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Weekend Shopping and More

My son Shane is away visiting relatives back East so my husband Rick and I got to play "grown-ups", and had a lot of fun. We went to two great free local events. The first was a ribbon cutting for a local dog park where we got our dog Bear some freebie treats and a coupon for a free rabies shot (guess which he'll like better?). Later on we went to a sculpture dedication and outdoor sculpture fair with good, free music by Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums. The weather was great and so was my "date". Rick and I stopped in at an open house of the Source Design Gallery in downtown Santa Rosa to see great design items including concrete sinks and countertops, Quartz Carpet made from recycled mirrors and co-owner Stefan Jonson's handpainted shoes. And even though I rarely drink hard alcohol, I had a taste of Charbay vodka and boy was it smooth. Just like my trips to the farmer's markets for produce.

I don't know what it's like where you live but we are coming close to the height of harvest season here which I can tell because we now have sweet and hot peppers, eggplant and potatoes. This calls for making my eggplant and potato curry. I enjoy using the strangely shaped fingerling potatoes. Stuart, the farmer at Stone Horse Farms in Santa Rosa who grew them, explained that they have a very complex root system. Take one look at their gnarled presence and you have to believe it - it;s more complex than the sculptures we saw yesterday - nature's sculptures eclipse all.

The proliferation of melons continues here and the apples are starting to arrive en masse. I have a gift bag of appleas awaiting my attention but I haven't yet figured out what to make. I also got a freebie bag of walnuts that need cracking but I'll have to wait for Shane's return tomorrow evening for that. He is the master walnut-sheller.

My one tomato on the vine turning color is coming along but the cool mornings and not-too-hot afternoons keep them from getting ripe. This weather feels like early fall, not summer but maybe it will extend the growing season, keeping us in tomatoes until December (which has happened before).

My creative juices are flowing these days with all my quiet time in the kitchen - lunch of shiitake, onion, potato and squash soft tacos with avocado and onion sprouts was great although it wasn't nearly as tasty as the baked tofu, quinoa and salsa wraps that I made the other day using Food for Life sprouted grain tortillas. Leave me alone in the kitchen with the veggies, spices and staples and watch out. Time to make more vegetable creations.

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