On my villa

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been collecting a random pile of food photos that haven’t fit into any specific event but still seem too important to let disappear entirely. I get so attached to what I have eaten, a hazard of food blogging I suppose πŸ˜›

Let’s start with a mini Tale of Expansion from my sister Allie. Here’s what Allie says:

I bought an eggplant the other day. I like how they taste, and I like the color of the skin, but I have never cooked one. So, I looked up directions for baking, and put it in the oven, whole. I forgot to poke holes in it, so eventually, there was a loud “boom” from the oven, as the side of the eggplant burst open. Note to self – poke holes in eggplant…poke holes in eggplant. But, it was fine, and yummy. I scooped out all the cooked guts, and intending to make eggplant hummus, opened a can of what I thought were garbanzo beans, but were actually white kidney beans. I went with it. I tossed the beans and the eggplant in the food processor, threw in some salt and pepper, and blended. Needed something more. Black beans. Fresh mint. More pepper. A dash of black pepper sauce. A hint of red pepper flakes. YUM! I quick sliced up a whole wheat tortilla, for dipping, and toasted the pieces while I cooked an organic beef burger, which I then topped with some stone ground mustard, goat cheese, and fresh basil. Quite a yummy dinner, all from stuff I had in my cupboard and fridge. Cool, huh? (PS – Those are walnuts sprinkled on top of the dip…)

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Isn’t my sister brilliant?!

Next on the agenda, I was speaking recently with the ladies at work about my love of ginger, and Belkis informed me that she had an excellent ginger supplier in Washington Heights. When I arrived at work the next day, this complete ginger root was waiting for me:

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Yay Belkis!!

The ginger has been going into everything. I keep it in the freezer and then use a grater to shave it into my food as needed. I included it in a scrambled CSA egg with nutmeg, CSA crenshaw melon, and Olga’s Russian apricot jam:

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New day, new format, same concept:

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There was another evening when I was soooo set on getting some coconut in me after an intense hot yoga class. I texted two of my favorite resources (Diana and Emily — love the blogging network!) for exact address info on Bonobo’s. Emily came through first and just in the nick of time.

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I picked up my first ever coconut chai and promptly died and went to heaven.

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Since I’m such a pro at hacking into real coconuts now, I think I may need to take a page from Diana’s book and work on recreating this drink on my own.

Somewhere in recent time history, I also snagged some sort of organic cookie samples of deliciousness from Union Market:

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And was gifted this licuado de mame by a mom at work:

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When she asked me if I wanted licuado, I had no idea what she was talking about. It’s not a Spanish word I’ve encountered before, and it’s not what I would have used to refer to “liquid” or “shake,” so I was reallllllly confused. The mom laughed at me and put this beautifully frothy and icy cup in my hand, and I had no choice but to accept πŸ˜› Mmmmmmmmm. The jury’s still out on “mame,” but I’m thinking it’s a type of fruit that does not exist around these parts and therefore has no English translation.

Speaking of foods that are not from around these parts …

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Nydia recently came back from a trip to visit her family in Puerto Rico, and she gave me this avocado that came straight from her father’s avocado tree!

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I never had an immediately fresh avocado in my life, and now I’ve had two in the past month! (The other came from Mildred’s trip to the DR.) And the different in taste is drastic. Can things get any better?

I added some avocado to my CSA heirloom tomato + balcony basil salad:

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And I brought the rest to MA with me so I could share with my mom and John. We spooned it straight out of the peel:

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Mom also hooked me up with some berries straight from the garden:

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Including these itty bitty strawberry pebbles:

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Sigh, to have land! Someday, when I live on my villa and raise cows and make cheese (on my time off from saving babies, of course), I will also have an avocado tree and never-ending bushes of berries. What will you grow on your villa?

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7 thoughts on “On my villa

  1. Gina says:

    I LOVE your villa! Can I come once you have it, please?? I love your sister’s fast “disaster” plan. I need a food processor so I can create something like that with the disasters I have in the kitchen!! So easy! Actually, I never knew you had to poke a hole in an eggplant. Good thing I usually slice them up anyway, or else I would have been scared to death if that ever happened to me!

    On my villa I would also like an avocado tree, and some grapes to make homemade wine…and some hops for beer! I swear I’m not an alcoholic, but nothing beats homemade beer and wine.

    Like

  2. Brandi says:

    aren’t those huge + fresh avocados SO fruity compared to the ones in the store? we loved ours we got from our friends’ grove in Florida.

    I want to grow:
    avocados
    berries
    apples
    all kinds of greens
    all kinds of squash
    tomatoes
    peppers
    ….
    money? and chocolate. πŸ™‚

    Like

  3. Sweetie Pie says:

    I want that coconut chai!! That looks and sounds sooo good!

    I always joke with my friends that I want to own a vineyard and a berry farm, along with a herd of goats. After all, to quote Monty Python, “Blessed are the cheesemakers…” I’d love to learn to make my own goat’s milk cheeses! I’m sure it is much harder than my little fantasy likes to think it is, but I think it would be very cool. Plus, goats are cute. πŸ™‚

    Like

  4. Lele says:

    Your sister’s meal sounds fab! How nice to have a foodie sister. Mine… not so much… the last time she made dinner she made a POUND of pasta (for, uh, two people) and mixed it with a can of baked beans. She’s kind of like a dude.

    My villa will have lots and lots and lots of tomatoes, and ideally a lake underneath, and then I can make everything in my ultimate fantasy cookbook:
    http://www.amazon.com/Cucina-Del-Mare-Seafood-Italian/dp/0688099165/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253243575&sr=8-1

    Like

  5. laura says:

    its a heck of a lot of work owning a villa but I love it just the same πŸ˜€ I have land, house, poultry, and more gardens than I can take care of***sigh*** sometimes my own cool little place in the city sounds so nice

    Like

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