Thursday, September 8, 2011

Food Connections in Boston

This cool diner was the first place I stopped to eat when I was in Boston last week for a family wedding in Putnam, Connecticut (about 1 1/2 hour from Boston).

My daughter and I flew in on the red-eye and enjoyed this diner mostly to ourselves due to our early arrival. The diner is quite famous and has been featured in a number of TV shows and even played a part in this Kevin Spacey movie about the MIT blackjack team.

As for my Cooking Assistant--he'd started giving me the stink-eye long before the suitcases were packed for this trip.

I knew he expected something big when I returned.

In Boston, we walked a lot and we also took a couple of subways. If you've never taken one, they smell greasy and old. You wouldn't want to eat your lunch while riding one.

We walked to the Copley Square farmers' market. Farm vendors surrounded a small patch of grass, where people picnicked.

I was so impressed with these heirloom tomatoes, I bought one to eat for lunch. The flavor was okay but it didn't seem as sweet as those from home, and it made me miss the vine-ripened tomatoes grown by my favorite Northwest farmers.

These pickles were tempting, but the jars were big and require refrigeration. Oh you lucky people in Boston to have this vendor so close.

We saw lots of peaches, nectarines, apples and pears--so many apples and pears, I wondered if their season is slightly ahead of the Northwest. Apples are just coming in here.

And check out the most beautiful fresh ginger. Pair it with peaches, or use it to enhance greens. I hadn't thought of freezing it, but I'll try it this year.

The produce selection was mostly like the Northwest, without the blue- or blackberries. It made me miss Washington blueberries, which are in short supply this year because spring lingered till July and spoiled the berry party.

I love walking along, checking out all the produce. I was lost in the beautiful selections.

And suddenly the most amazing voice suddenly came over the air. When I glanced to see the singer, it was this guy (Ivory Darnell Clark) with a boom box and mic, belting out 60s tunes and Motown songs with a voice that made everyone stop and listen. We stayed for a number of songs--My Girl, Unchain My Heart, Use Me.

I dropped bills into the bucket and then bought his CD, my first CD from a farmers' market.

Later, we took the subway to Faneuil Hall Marketplace, where watched lots of street artists. Acrobats, street dancers, even a magician. I love that in a down economy, people can still collect money in pillowcases to support what they do. Just about everybody we saw was really, really talented.

If you go, don't forget to take lots of $5 bills for the street artists.

Check out the ribs on this acrobat. Does he ever eat?

The wedding was at the bride's sister's home. My niece made this amazing cake with raspberries carefully places on the layers. After I devoured a slice, I overhead someone say it had 18 sticks of butter. Oh, but look how perfect it turned out and really, how often do you eat wedding cake?

I was sad we couldn't stay longer, but I did leave with farm fresh maple syrup, a jar of berry jam and a spicy red pepper relish that I wished I'd gotten more of because it goes well with just about everything on our table.

First thing I made was an open faced onion, Gorgonzola sandwich on grilled crusty artisan bread and this pepper relish on top.

While I was gone, Tom had picked up our CSA box of nectarines from Rama Farm on Saturday. I got busy dehydrating them on Tuesday but not before my assistant gave me the stink eye for being gone so long.

It's good to be back. Hope you enjoyed the soup recipe of the week.


Joan said...

not sure but I just don't think you can get any cuter than 'stink eye'! haha
that's great that you could visit farmer's markets whilst on a trip! I try but oft times, try as I might I can't get to nurseries when on a trip.

Debra Daniels-Zeller said...

I have to say it was too cute.