this weekend has been fabulous.
however, i'm supersleepy right now and will probably benefit most by crawling into bed soon and getting a full night's rest before the sun magically turns my wakefulness switch to on. therefore, for every word i am typing now, each is mapped onto a thousand other unspoken, blazing thoughts that bristle with energy in the background, anticipating a future opportunity to escape. my reservoir runs deep and pressure high, though the faucet is taking some rest tonight.
friday night, niknak and i tried a new restaurant on the [inman] block, montien. i just have to say (and even more so after visiting the horridly designed website) that the environmental snazziness is kinda neat, but it's more surface than substance. the thai calamari resembled squid-textured onion rings (what? no tentacles? no salt + pepper in the batter? bah), and the montien jungle and chicken basil curry were decently okay. more brothy than oily, and though it was xtra-spicy (as requested!) it could have been more flavourful. and what is up with no refills on soda? restaurant verdict: eh. it's not bad, but not great either. i'm still sticking to my theory that pepper's sky in central square is the best thai around. oh man, the street urchin noodles are to die for...
then, yummy saturday munchie lunch at johnny d's uptown. niknak and his requisite signature pancakes + sausage spread, and my cuban sandwich plate.
the salad was very fresh and i loved the light dressing, and the sandwich was delightfully toasty in a crusty panini sort of fashion. however, i feel like it should have been more ham-y, or salty, or something. the flavours were a bit muted. however, i loved the pickles (!) and it's good stuff that all of the meats served at johnny's are naturally raised. makes that pig that much more tasty. yum.
the afternoon was spent on davis square delights, including books, caffeine, and people-watching. and did i mention the weather was sunny goodness gorgeous?
after a wonderful run through (upper-side?) cambridge, i embarked on an ambitious task to make three recipes simultaneously from a book that i've had for a while, salt and pepper, which i picked up at mcintyre + moore a while ago. salt-roasted salmon, rosemary potatoes, and pink peppercorn cookies! it was quite a juggling act trying to get everything choreographed and heated and mixed at the right times. thank goodness none of my three roommates were home, since i definitely did not want to compete for space. :)
i can't begin to describe how insanely delicious these are.
the combination of baked chocolate cookie, freshly ground pink peppercorns, and sweet mascarpone is absolute perfection. it's unreal. did i really make these? delish.
i've been thinking a lot about the complexities of food this weekend. it really struck me, as i was buying ingredients for the salt / pepper feast at whole foods, that buying fresh meat and produce, much less organic and local, is really really expensive! why should having good-quality, fresh food be such a privilege? i've also been accruing more and more knowledge about how horrid the industrial food manufacturing system is (one book on the to-read list: the omnivore's dilemma), and would really want to do what i can to support the purveyors of sustainable, humane, natural food.
my first drops in the bucket are buying the majority of my groceries at the harvard co-op and trader joe's. i just signed up for boston organics delivery, have been reading more about the slow food movement (both supportive and critical, including the anthropological article in the latest gastronomica), and want to catch some of the local farmer's markets that start up during the summer (such as the union square one). i'm considering sponsoring a particular cow-to-cheese or tree-to-fruit thing such as rent mothernature, though i wonder what is the best program of this kind, with the least amount of fluff and altruistic myth.
i also read about outstanding in the field, a pricy, yet practical programme that arranges outdoor meals where diners meet the farmers / wine-growers / butchers / etc. right on the land where harvests are reaped. wonderful idea, and definitely educates on how food goes from the earth to your plate. however, why does it cost $170 to do so? can we work to make this knowledge or experience more accessible?
more on this food business later, as well as observations on a graveyard easter egg hunt witnessed earlier today. (whee!)
but i did finally make use of the dudley's colouring cups egg dye that's been sitting in the kitchen cupboard for a year. it's been mighty patient.
happy easter, everyone.