Food Writer Finds Story
The aftermath of How To Cook Your Life cast a stone in my puddle, and three ripples are radiating as you read this scrap of bloggadocio:
A teaching tour of North Carolina (not set in stone, but likely) thanks to the traction of a certain can-do bikegentleman who will be identified once I set a teaching date.
One week after, a thank you lunch, subjecting an impressively unafraid Ms. Ness to my idea of fyne qweezeen sur le cheap. Taj Mahovel boasts impeccably scavenged and prepared foodstuff–emphasis on the ‘stuff’….It’s all seasonal, regional “orphan food”. Fruits and vegetables whose only crime was a bruise, a broken stalk, a weeping wound. Or windfall fruit considered a sticky nuisance on the pavement (=figs!!!!).
You recipe collector types could file my cuisne under: Perfectly Fine For Eating Don’t Know What They Were Thinking When They Threw This Away Wow It’s All Free Eh?
And the aftermath of these is yet unknown. A flight to Charlotte/Raleigh to teach?
A ban on expense account lunches for scrappy scroungers?
Permanent closure of all good dumpsters in Marin?
Might as tell a bit about the Press Luncheon, and share the (wo)menu.
As it happened, the Osmanthus fragrans in the middle of the yard popped into bloom (tiny flowers in my hand in the picture above)the day before I spent a two hours prepping the repast below. Since a meal this elaborate is always taken out in the “Habitat” (outdoor room) the runnings-back-and-forth (don’t trip on the bark chips).
We interupt this blog to announce a real..earth quake!! Feels like about a 4.5. (turned out to be 5.6 at epicenter, I think my estimate’s good for here, 60 miles north) Back to our food…
Press Luncheon with Carol Ness
Oct 29, 2007
Hors D’oeuvre: parfum d’osmanthus fragrans
Found Salad European Mix (carefully rewashed)
w/homegrown volunteer tomatoes
Savory bread pudding
Volunteer tomatillo sauce
Or hissing fuse (note: “hissing fuse” is a condiment made of roasted tahini plus Szechuan black bean chili garlic oil)
Or both. Or neither.
Tomato salad with planted-on-purpose arugula
Sauteed perennial chard, found zucchini (courgette) with heirloom tomato coulis
Windfall figgy pudding
Found local apple crisp with cadged cream
Brooke Bond Scottish Blend Tea
Chef JP of Salivation Army distinguishes between accidental (‘volunteer’) vegetables, “on purpose” (bought the seeds and left them around a few seasons in their packets before getting off her duff and planting them, at which point they are hardly viable but oh what the hell, throw them in and see..)
- and then the more reliable “stuff” that seems to magically refill all the yellow dumpsters. Not to forget “windfall’ (stuff on sidewalk and hidden in deep lawn grass, on street, etc) which needs extra attention when cleaning. No guarantees of organicity here, because of amount of asbestos brake lining dust that filters all over the urban landscape, esp near roads that cars (mis) use.
Carol arrived, sat decompressing a bit in the cool queen’s chair, while I did the last minute bustle. It is a one of the elements of wombat style to abandon visitors esp first timers in the yard, so they can de-compress from their voyage (usuallly stressful, whether by bicycle or auto) and hear a little birdsong or general nothingness…unless the 18-wheeler is groaning through the neighbborhood en route to the stable delivering hay, scraping the phone lines overhead and leaving hay-bits swirling in the breeze… This way, visitor doesn’t have me barraging them right off the bat (sorry).
The next couple of hours we noshed thru those aforementioned dishes…in a sunny quiet yard(mystery: where are all the dogs and carpet-cleaning trucks we normally have providing the sound track?) ruminating about the politics of waste, and assessing the risk of revelation of the secrets of the scavenger.
We shall see how it all pans oot.