Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Almost free food

It's been a while, and my camera has been acting up. But rest assured I've still been eating. In fact, more than ever due to the amazing farmers market produce in our area. The lady selling donuts hasn't helped me much, but George is practically in love with her — he has no alternate donut options in a 50-mile radius!

Last week, I spent less than $20 and came home with eggplants, potatoes, yams, two gourds and three pumpkins (more for display than eating), a few handfuls of tomatoes, onions, turnips, cucumbers and a few winter squash. I am still munching on apples from a previous trip. While walking the dog, I discovered a (new to me) tree with these oddly shaped, pear-ish fruits that smelled strongly of sage when they fell. I took one home, cut it with a knife and found a walnut inside. Black walnuts, according to wikipedia.com. I am going on the next walk with a bucket. I'm sure it won't be worth my time to shell these beauties by hand, but I'm bored and in need of a project. More on that later. When my parents visited, we noticed alongside the bike trail that there were tons of apple trees loaded with fruit going to waste. I plan to have another free harvest there too. Why not?

Sooooo, the new favorite lunch. Long have I been an adoring fan of Morningstar Farms Parmesan Ranch Chik Patties. Crisped on the grill, they're the perfect replacement for burgers any time. The problem with them has always been the long wait time for crisping on the stovetop. I have no patience for it. Really. But a new problem has replaced the old: Parmesan Ranch Chik Patties are no more. They've died. And been rudely replaced by the lesser (and uninspiredly named) Italian Chik Patties. Sigh. I decided to try the Italian-style burgers with grilled onions and zucchini, dill havarti, tomato, and my home-grown sprout mix. The result? Such a delicious smell that I had to force myself to leave the kitchen until the burger was crispy, which took about 10 minutes but felt like an hour. Once I toasted my Amish farm bread and coated it with mayo, I layered the burger up as my mouth watered. It did not let me down. Best lunch I've had in a long time.

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