April 30, 2006
Took my little red shopping cart--Leah calls it a "granny cart"--to class so I could scoot out at 3:15 and shop for dinner: thirteen guests in honor of our kiwi visitors Ian, Greg, and Liz were to arrive at 7:00 p.m. The day before I did a little shopping on the way home from NYU at the fruit stand on the corner of Houston and Broadway so Max and Geo could scrub and peel while I was teaching. Ian came over at 5:00 to help. The result was lots and lots of wonderful roasted vegetables, including red and green peppers that need a dedicated pair of hands to peel them once they have been roasted. Max for the moment was off salt and garlic, so I roasted my potatoes with olive oil, oregano, and black peppet. Roasted parsnips and cauliflower just as is; also roasted cubed carrots and beets, with a little cinnamon and olive oil; and red onions with brown sugar, balsamic, olive oil, bay leaves, and dried cranberries. I bought tea eggs on the street and tofu skins stuffed with mushrooms, clouds ears, and tiger lily buds in Chinatown. Was out of green fava beans, so tossed shelled edamame with Joelle's pickled lemons, scallions, and lots of lemon juice and garnished with a pile of thinly julienned red radish. Finally, just to surprise Ian, I prepared lotus root, taking a page from Chiyono, who has a restaurant on Curry Row (East 6th Stree), and dressed it in umeboshi.
Had lots of food left, so we had good leftovers. Today, when we could not face leftovers and I did not want to freeze what we had left, I made a vegetable soup. I started, as I usually do, with water, crushed tomatoes, chopped celery and whole carrots in a big pot. But this time, after the carrots were cooked (I take them out, chop them up, and return them to the pan), I chopped up all the leftover vegetables (except the lotus root) and tossed them into the pot too. Roasted vegetable soup! Divine! Wonderful deep flavors, sweet and sour.
April 15, 2006
Treasures from the sea
Doron's all time favorite thing in New York is going to Chinatown and shopping for seafood. He is totally intrigued by the variety, beauty, and suprising forms of it all. But, he says, the most fun of all is cooking it. He loves to handle everything, touch all the parts, take everything apart. These creatures truly are fascinating, each one so different from the others. And, almost all of them were alive. This was a first for Byron and I think he loved it too. Here are the pics.
April 14, 2006
Hole in the ground
This hole is right next door to our building, which you can see here to the right, and the Sunshine hotel on the other side. They dug down 25 plus feet, well below the foundation of our building. It is sand all the way down, no bedrock, so they had to prop up our building so it would not cave in. We could feel the whole building shake, which was like an earthquake, when the earth movers were cracking through the ground. This is the site of The New Museum of Contemporary Art, which will be a super modern building, as you can see here in the architectural rendering (our building can be seen to the right). You can imagine the impact on the neighborhood.
"The New Museum's move to Broadway in 1983 coincided with the peak of the gallery scene in Soho, though since the artistic center of the city has moved to Chelsea. The recent competition for Eyebeam reinforces this center, but rather than following the crowd the New Museum is attempting to invigorate the Bowery, a zone bordering Chinatown, Nolita, the Lower East Side, the East Village and other neighborhoods along its length. Not necessarily part of any of these neighborhoods, the Bowery's reputation as a nexus for the homeless is evident by the Bowery Mission, two doors down from the site. Over time the Bowery has remained a relative constant in the ever-changing fabric of the surrounding neighborhoods, so the influence of the Museum is not a given but something to watch over time."
I could not disagree more. The building boom on The Bowery, the proliferation of trendy bars and restaurants, the gentrification of side streets, and the soaring property values say quite the opposite.
Signs of the time
Signs of the time
Doby's all time favorite thing is Chinatown and we have a full Chinatown experience planned. Today they decided to go to Central Park and to check out the zoo. Doby has fond memories of going there when he was little. There are museums nearby, if they feel so inclined. They are equipped with a map and making their own way.
The boys arrived to LaGuardia at 7:30 am, having stayed up all night so they could drive very early to Buffalo to catch a cheap flight. I figured they would be hungry, so we headed straight for my favorite hole in the wall in Chinatown and filled them up.
Doron and Byron
Doron and Byron arrived today. It is Byron's first time in NYC. He was born and raised in Johannesburg and came to Toronto when he was thirteen. They are best friends. Doby has been coming to NYC since he was about seven years old. True to tradition, we marked his height on the bookshelf and gave each of them an empty file drawer for their stuff. I was mightily impressed that they were traveling so light, just a small hand bag and back pack. They were adventurous and got from the airport to us by public transportation. We headed out to Chinatown for breakfast. More in a moment.
April 01, 2006
Dinner in Amy's honor
Spring is in the air. I know it mainly by the light and the gently rising temperature. I've been working like mad, just got Mayer's book manuscript into the publisher, now developing the exhibition of his work, teaching, writing, and organizing events, everything coming at once as the semester races to a close. So, thinking about food at a time like this is pure bliss, a little respite and reward. Amy talks on Friday and we'll have an informal dinner in her honor that evening.
Here is what I am planning:
- green favas, with my own salted lemons, lots of fresh lemon juice, chopped fresh dill and scallions, and tiny shreds of red radish in a little pile on top
- red onions roasted with dried cranberries, olive oil, and balsamic, plus Turkish bay leaves (very aromatic)
- cauliflower, roasted coarse salt and pepper and dark green olive oil (Sicilian)
- tofu skin rolls (from Chinatown), or
- spicy tofu sticks: I have little knots of fried tofu sticks and am eager to try them out. I wen with the rolls from Chinatown, as I did not have time to prepare the knots. Will do that next time.
- Chinese marbled tea eggs
- Yukon gold potatoes, oven roasted with drak green Sicilian olive oil and lots of garlic
- black longevity rice
- Moroccan raw carrot salad. Need to adjust recipe. Not quite happy with the flavors (cinnamon and cumin), but love the fresh mint.
- Persian spinach and black eye peas (ghormeh sabzi). This was fab. There are many recipes (just leave out the meat) and my preference is for those with lots of different greens and black eye peas. Very nice to mix the leftovers with rice the next day. The greens include spinach, parsley, coriander, fenugreek (if fresh not available, use dry), dill, garlic chives, leeks or scallions.
Will figure out dessert when I shopping with my little red cart in Chinatown. Max was not here, so I skipped dessert. He would never have allowed that.