• Greenmarket Grub

    Greenmarket Grub: Donut Peaches

    When you are at your local farmers’ market, and you see regular peaches are two dollars a pound, and donut peaches are twice that, you may think (as I did), eh, whatever, peaches are peaches and one peach is as good as another.

    I am here to tell you: that thinking is wrong.


    Donut peaches (also called saturn peaches, saucer peaches, or pan tao peaches) are, quite simply, the best peaches I have ever eaten. They’re almost as juicy as a bigger yellow peach — which is sometimes a good thing, unless you don’t mind sticky hands/arms/face at work — but being smaller, it’s easier to handle. What they lack in size, they make up for by being incredibly sweet; not gross, cloying sweet, but omg-this-is-the-peachiest-mothereffing-peach-I-have-ever-eaten sweet.

    Now, I usually end a Greenmarket Grub entry with a recipe of some kind that uses the fruit or vegetable in question, but in this case, I just can’t. I can’t imagine wanting to do anything with these peaches besides set them in a pretty bowl on the counter and eat them out of hand, one after the other.

  • Recipes

    Toooo. Hotttttt. D:

    I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but NYC is a record-breaking 102 degrees today (and feels like 116 with the humidity). Leaving my air-conditioned bedroom to stand over a stove sounds like a suicide mission right now.

    Here, instead, is a quick recap of some of my favorite recipes that involve absolutely no cooking at all:

    ABC slaw
    1. Apple, Beet, and Carrot Slaw

    washington heights dinner
    2. Avocado and Black Bean Salad

    fake tuna salad
    3. Fake Tuna Salad

    red cabbage and cucumber salad
    4. Filipino Kangkong Salad

    #15 : tomato salad
    5. Simple Tomato Salad

    drained yogurt
    6. Tzatziki

    #25: upscale tuna salad
    7. Upscale Tuna Salad

  • Life in Maison Gezellig

    A eulogy for a good boy: R.I.P. Wally, 2000-2011.

    I guess I’ll just jump in and get to it.

    Remember my debonair and handsome cat, Wally? A little over a week ago, we were all just hanging around the house, waiting for the cable guy to come fix the internet, when he suddenly became sick. Really, really sick.

    He was panting (which cats never do unless they’re in a lot of distress) and worse, he seemed to have no control over his back legs. I called a cab and took him to the Veterinary Emergency & Referral Group downtown. I quite honestly cannot say enough good things about this place. They whisked him out back almost as soon as I managed to choke out what his symptoms were.

    In brief, he had congestive heart failure, his lungs were full of fluid, and a blood clot had migrated to his spine. The drugs the vet had given Wally to alleviate his symptoms were doing almost nothing for him.

    I talked to my husband and daughter and told them I didn’t think we should make the cat wait for them to get to the vet office to say goodbye to him. So, it was just me there to see him off.

    I guess it was sort of apt, just me and him alone together,  just like when we got him. Ten years ago, my husband was at the desk of the animal shelter, filling out paperwork, and I was in the shelter’s room of cats deemed friendly enough to tolerate each other.

    I sat on a little couch, surveying the potential pets, and Wally just jumped up on the couch and flopped himself down next to me. Looking back on it now, I realize he was such a friendly cat that he probably would have done this to anyone (and probably had, for all I know, ten times already that day) but at the time, it felt like he picked me.

    Whether or not he was aware enough to know that I was there with him while they put him down, I guess I’ll never know but I like to hope so.

    So, goodbye, handsome man. You were friendly without being a nuisance to people. You escaped and ran away one time but came back two days later to get petted by us. You were funny and sweet and had an exceptionally expressive face for a cat. Although I probably won’t miss your talent for high-volume puking or the way you liked to hump stuffed animals at 4 o’clock in the morning (seriously, what was with that?), you were a good cat — probably the best I’ve ever known.

    One last thought: I’ve turned off the comments for this post — not because I’m so grief-stricken that I couldn’t bear them but because, despite all I’ve said here, it still makes me feel a little silly getting consolatory notes for, well… my cat. But please know that I deeply appreciate everyone’s sympathy. Thank you, everyone. 

  • Brooklyn,  Doing More With Less,  Life in Maison Gezellig,  Questions

    The new kitchen (and what to do with it)

    new kitchen panorama

    Above (in my rather inexpertly rendered panoramic view) is my new kitchen. Your comments on my last post were all really helpful and/or encouraging, so I’m back for more.

    Here’s my problem: THERE. ARE. NO. COUNTERS.

    Okay, this isn’t as big as deal as my caps-lock might have you believe. I mean, it’s not like I didn’t know about this before I moved in and my last apartment only had about 3-4 feet of counter space anyway.

    If you click through to Flickr, you can see my notes on what I’m thinking of putting where (and what I’m not going to do, like screw shelves into the wall that the electrical breakers are on — yikes).

    So. What do you guys think?

    Addendum: Under the jump are my own (somewhat disjointed) thoughts and ideas.

  • Being Frugal,  Make Your Life Gezellig,  Minimalist Living

    So, here’s the thing…

    I’m good at lots of things.

    I can identify nearly any actor just by their voice. I can bake bread without a fuss. I am a stain-removal savant. I’ve fixed the internal working of the toilet tank on more than one occasion. I’ve even revived goldfish won at a street fair from the brink of death.

    I am not, however, good at interior decorating.

    A big part of this is my inherent cheapness; I have a very hard time justifying spending our money on decorative throw pillows and dust ruffles when we could use that money for something like, oh, I don’t know, food or rent. Even if I had no thought for the cost of things, I would still have almost no idea how to put things together and arrange a space in a way I like.

    It doesn’t help that I’ve got incredibly little patience for design magazines or blogs, particularly when “small space” living entails apartments that are at least twice the size of my own, that are then remodeled by an architect and filled with $25K of cabinetry and furniture. (That’s right; I’m looking at you, dwell magazine. You can suck it.)

    So, I’ve got decor ineptitude, congenital frugality, and some virulent anti-consumerist feelings about design resources. This is how I end up with an apartment that’s not exactly spartan, but relatively modest and simple — and with a perpetual feeling of the room being half-finished.

    I want this apartment to feel DONE, like we really live here, seriously, for good this time, no joke… and I don’t really know how to do that. I don’t even know where to start to know how to do that.

    Ideas? Suggestions for books/magazines/blogs that won’t sent me into fits of smash-the-capitalist-state rage?