Tuesday, April 12, 2011

food & flowers

Week 14 was apparently the week of food and flowers. I mean, I know I take lots of food and flower pictures anyway, but it was probably just short of getting out of hand last week. It really could have been worse, though. Our dinners for most of the week were new things that Steve was making with his purchases from the farmers market on Saturday. I didn't take pictures of most of it, since new food on weeknights usually means eating later—long after dark, in fact.

But back to Saturday. I had to work, of course, so I sent Steve to the farmer's market to get ingredients for our Sunday lunch. My main requests were peas and fava beans, since I had one recipe in mind for each and one that used both. Favas apparently aren't ready yet, but Steve was able to get English peas. He also found pea shoots, which I had been wanting to try for ages. I kept seeing them garnishing dishes on food blogs, but we never seemed to find them anywhere.

When I got home that evening, Steve showed me his purchases. For my picture of the day, I looked at the English peas and remembered the sweet peas we were served on our very first visit to Contigo. They make a lovely little snack with a tiny pinch of salt. I opened a couple of pods, plated one of them kind of similarly, grabbed our bowl of Maldon sea salt, picked out a few pea tendrils, and set up a shot on my wooden tray. Then, I ate the peas.

92/365 time to pea

Our first meal with the farmers market loot was Sunday's lunch. Steve made Sea Bass Crudo with Vanilla Oil, English Peas, and Mint from Ethan Stowell's New Italian Kitchen, except that he got striped bass to use instead. I was mostly happy with the resulting picture, although I think there's one too many pea tendrils on the left. The food itself was really interesting. I don't know if I had had vanilla with fish before, but it went well with the peas and the mint. It all tasted very fresh.

93/365 more peas

On Monday, I had to go downtown in the afternoon. While I was out, I saw that Macy's was having its annual flower show, so I stopped there for a look around. I took a couple pictures on the ground floor, but I was mostly underwhelmed by the picture opportunities. Then, I went up to the 6th floor, where they often dress up some of the table settings to match the flower show theme. These didn't seem nearly as elaborate as the displays they had two years ago (day 100 the first time around), but I kind of liked the birds they used in one of them. 

94/365 put a bird on it!

I made another trip downtown on Tuesday morning, this time to see the dentist about my chipped tooth. He checked it out, took some new x-rays, and decided that the tooth didn't have enough decay to warrant a filling where I chipped it. (That would have involved removing more tooth.) So he just smoothed out the edge, and that was that.

Afterward, I walked by Macy's again on the way to look at photo props at CB2 and Crate & Barrel. I had taken a picture of the hyacinths in the window the previous day, but I wasn't happy with the reflections in the glass. I was able to get a better shot on Tuesday morning, and it ended up being my picture of the day.

95/365 flowers in the window

Wednesday was the day that I made cookies (and did laundry, but that's boring). We were thinking about going to a book signing and potluck event for Heidi Swanson (of 101 Cookbooks) at Omnivore Books the next day, so made some of the Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies from her first book. I made a couple dozen big ones, and then I switched to the smaller cookie scoop and made a little over two dozen smaller cookies to take. I had a hard time composing a picture of them that I liked; this was the one that I disliked the least.

96/365 cookie day

Thursday came, and it was a relatively busy afternoon. Despite threats of rain in the forecast, the weather was nice (albeit cold and windy) while I took some test shots outside of Lydia for her website. Carmen helped with styling, hair, and makeup; and we wanted to do a dry run before the real thing.

Then, Steve and I headed to Omnivore for the book signing. It was absolutely packed, but we managed to purchase our copy of Heidi's new book and get it signed. I was also able to add the cookies I brought to the food table, just as someone else's container of Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies was getting low. I hadn't brought a container other than a ziploc bag, so it was good that I was able to just dump my cookies in the one already there.

The picture of the day was largely unrelated to the other two events, though. I was killing time before meeting with Lydia, and I took some pictures of the strawberry plant that Steve had picked up from the farmers market on Saturday. I must have gotten it at the right time, because less than a week later, there are a few strawberries starting to weigh the flowers down more.

97/365 not raining

Friday was kind of a cop out. I decided to take a picture of the book we had gotten the night before, along with the little pack of postcards that Heidi was handing out to the people who came to the signing. Both the book and the postcards are really pretty, and I'm trying to decide on the best use for the postcards. Scrapbook? Magnetic board in the kitchen? Framed, in the dining room? Clearly, I won't be mailing them away. :)

98/365 super

So ends another week. Perhaps more variety next time? We'll see.

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