Friday, June 24, 2011

Here I Am!

Wow. Over two months. That must be some kind of record. No, I’m not dead and no, I haven’t suffered in some terrible accident. I kind of wish I had some gruesome excuse to explain my lack of diligence, but truth be told, I have just been too busy, too overwhelmed, and yes, maybe just a tad too lazy to bothering updating my blog.

Now, I do have at least a partial excuse for why I have been so busy. On top of graduating last month (yay!), I got a new job at a small local newspaper in Massachusetts and moved to the Berkshires! This changes the premise of the blog slightly – I am no longer eating my through Vermont, but rather, I have relocated and am eating there (duh). I sorely miss my dining partner, Danielle – I don’t know anybody in my new locale, so dining out has become kind of an issue and taken a back burner, at least for now. Instead my focus has been on home cooking, embracing the abundance of local foods available here.

Much like in Vermont, my new home has a strong focus on locally grown, locally produced food. There are a number of farmers’ markets every week, plus lots of farm stands, a local co-op market, and more – so obtaining fresh, local food is not an issue. I have been to a number of the markets already (I am writing a piece about the area’s farmers’ markets for the paper – what an awesome job) and I have been impressed – the vendors are all so friendly and eager to help. I bought a tomato plant the other day. I am known for my black thumb (I.e., I kill every plant I come into contact with), but I am going to give it a go.

There are a number of appealing-sounding restaurants around; I just have to work up the courage to go and dine alone, I guess (or make some friends). Several places advertise using local ingredients, which is a nice reminder of home (wait…is Vermont home? Texas? Mass.? I am a wandering nomad).There are a few seafood places – and you know how I feel about seafood – including one that advertised lobster rolls. I hold all lobster rolls to a very high standard set by the Clam Shack near my grandparent’s house, so we’ll have to see if these live up. I actually discovered a new magazine, Flavor New England, which is a food and wine mag all about this area – love it. There’s a recipe in there for a stove-top clam bake, which I am super eager to try – I have never cooked a live lobster before, but I’ll give it a go (I keep thinking about that scene in Julie and Julia when Amy Adams have to cook a lobster…”lobster killer…”).

Other recipes on my mind include anything and everything that features summer produce, esp. summer fruits. I love looking at foodie mags this time of year – all those fresh fruits and veggies, prepared simply yet deliciously. I can’t wait to dig in (honestly, it’s a little early in the growing season here –late July and August are more the height – but we have fresh strawberries, cherries on the way, and lots of greens). I had a “grilled” pizza last week (grilled on my indoor grill/griddle/Panini maker combo, but still). It had a pita as a base, topped with swiss cheese, prosciutto, and sliced nectarines, and then finished with some arugula, olive oil, and fresh cracked pepper – as pictured. Can you say yum? Super simple, and yet so flavorful. That is how I like to showcase quality items and fresh produce. I am looking forward to more options as summer progresses!

(Also pictured – my recent haul from Rubiner’s Cheesemongers and Grocers. Nice!)

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