WIAW 88 – November
It’s November. The harvest – and therefore the CSA season – is winding down. We get hard winter squash, and cabbage, and dense curly kale… for the first time, this week, not a single tomato. Only two more pickups left… We’ve entered the darkest quarter of the year, and it is starting to get cold.
I’m working on my food photography (which I’m sure you’ll agree needs work – though it is improving!) I was amused by a discussion of light – the stated idea that, if you are shooting a breakfast scene, you want that soft, gentle diffused light of early morning… Yeah, well, no, he doesn’t live around here… He’s used to a hard, merciless noon light, so morning does feel soft in contrast. But I, well to his north, am working around a very low light, when the sun doesn’t get all that high in the sky, and pours straight into my south facing windows. At the same time, in the Fall, we rejoice in clear beautiful days, without a cloud in the deep blue sky, when the sunlight makes it seem warmer than we know it really is…
So, for grins and giggles, I decided to shoot my breakfast in actual early morning light – without the diffuser (or even block) I usually use. Here you have it – morning in New York City. Cheesy scrambled eggs on corn tortillas… coffee… and hard, cold, brilliant light.
At the same time, Fall in New York City also means that the weather is jumping all over the place. We have had a frost, but it brushed 70 yesterday… and salad sounded good for lunch. Which is just as well, since we’re getting a surprising amount of lettuce… I know our farm used high tunnels to start the season early, they must have also covered rows of lettuce to save it from frost… but it is all coming in, now.
So we had two kinds of lettuce, and several peppers (I cut a couple and keep the extra in a sealed container, so we get variety and they stay fresh) and radishes. I added some roast chicken breast, and kefir cheese, and some of the roast beets. I then drink the kefir whey – light and tart and not unlike lemonade… and had a few rice cakes. (I should make it clear – these are the Lundberg brown rice cakes. No flavoring, but enough rice to taste good, not the styrofoam some varieties resemble. There’s a reason I’ve eaten these for years… long before I went gluten free.)
For dinner, well, I was still dealing with greens. As well as lettuce, we had a couple of large heads of escarole. Now, you can chop it for salad, and we might have if we hadn’t had so much lettuce… but you can also cook it, and it is often used in Italian soup recipes. So I chopped it, and simmered it all in a little chicken broth, and froze most of it in zip bags. (Amazing how much less room most greens take up, once they’re cooked!) So then I just left enough for dinner with the chicken broth in the pot, and added some cooked pork shoulder, a little chopped fresh sage (I’d been freezing herbs, too,) and cooked rice. Served it with a little parmesan to sprinkle, and the peppermill is always on the table – I definitely added some freshly ground pepper to this.
Now I’m looking at cauliflower and Hokkaido squash, a mass of curly kale, and the first parsnips and last peppers. I need to reorganize my freezer and crisper drawer, as both are already full, and I need room for this bounty!
And we gear up to Thanksgiving, and start planning a meal that features all this wonderful Fall produce. That won’t be hard…
Jenn’s WIAW party is over at Arman’s today.