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Archive for the ‘Foodie Field Trip’ Category

italian-panettone

My favorite store in the Chelsea Market (they film the shows for the food network upstairs) was the Italian Dry goods & Deli. I never did figure out exactly what type of bread this was -pictured above, some kind of panettone. But I loved the packaging with the piece of grape vine tied on to the paper wrapping. The selection in each category was amazing, authentic & totally imported, and very reasonably priced. Our hostess was duly impressed and bought some salt and tomato paste. She would have gone crazy, but we were on our way to Brooklyn, and my sister had already declined to carry shrimp and scallops in her backpack all day…

italian-olive-oil-jugs

I totally would have purchased an olive oil jar or ceramic bottle, but I was already regretting two pairs of shoes, a large knitted wrap and at least one jacket. Suit case full. This is officially on my wish list!

italian-quince-preserves
Last fall I became enamored with the Quince. This jar of preserves makes me want to do better this year. Between now and the first quince at the farmers market, I am going to master the art of putting up some fruit! Kiely is completely obsessed with the in-laws blackberry jelly and will surely be my partner in the process.

italian-capers-salt

Many, many kinds of salt and capers! Capers in salt, capers in vinegar.  Pink, grey, volcanic…

italian-dry-goods

This is the section that sort of blows your mind…tiny bags of pine nuts from Italy = $8. But, they are from Italy and it’s got to be quite a process to get the nuts out of a pinecone.  And wow – two rows of anything dried that you could possibly imagine.

I think I have just figured out our next foodie field trip! Santa Fe Importers on the West Side may be the LB option for an awesome Italian Market. I have my fingers crossed…There is always the amazing Bay Cities if you’re in Santa Monica…but I think I’ll check out the local option next!

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rancho-tiny-cosmos

At first glance it looked like a tiny cosmos.  Friend to tiny butterflies.  But just clicking through the Theo Payne website (my new fave-this week), I think I am going with Santa Susanna Tarweed. Love the name!  It is in the aster family and in fact it is a nectar flower for hummingbirds, butterflies and bees!

rancho-catalina-cherry

Catalina Cherry.  I really like that we can have a cherry in So Cal.  I will be looking for the cherries in a couple of months.  This nursery, Las Pilitas in Santa Marguerita, looks like it would be worth the drive.

rancho-nasturtiums

nasturtium-leaves

I know the nasturtiums are a prolific pain to some, but I love them!  The picnic area has fields of them on either side of the path, and we were noticing how much larger the leaves are on the shady side.  Nasturtiums have a slightly peppery flavor and can be used in salads as a lovely garnish or stuffed and served whole like a squash blossom.  The immature seed pods can be pickled and used like capers.  If using as a fruity salad dressing add a little honey for sweetness.  You can also make a nice chiffonade of the petals and use in a compound butter.

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Not much actual cooking and gardening going on at Green Acres getting ready for NYC and now here-on a little vacay.  So I am bringing over a couple of recent garden and foodie posts from The Family Blog to share.  The back story on the foodie field trip is that a few of us wanted to get in a several quality kid-free excursions in before the summer schedule freak show.  We have a long list and here is Little India…

little-india-wicks

The Foodie Field Trips are on. First stop, Little India! The terrific little grocery store was the highlight for me. There among the spices and food stuffs, was this package and it’s terrific label. The cottony items inside had me baffled…for much of the morning so far I had been thinking what the? and here with my mind on food, these cocoonish looking things had me stumped! What the H are these? I blurt out…ironically they are wicks for praying. I better start praying I don’t end up in H. Anyway, I love the label!

little-india-chickoo

Julie picked up a bottle of the chickoo flavoring. This is a magical collection of unusual extracts. You will not find chickoo and mango green on the baking aisle at Vons. I feel a cupcake inspiration in the wind! The daughter of this store was wonderful about asking us if we needed help and answering questions. Turns out chickoo is a delicious fruit. Also known as sapodilla in Spanish, is a Native plant of Mexico and was introduced in Asia during the Spanish colonization of the Phillipines. An actual chickoo on the tree…

chickoo
I just found this helpful site Indian Food Forever, I will be checking it out thoroughly. The ice cream spot Christy found had a chickoo ice cream, Saffron Spot.  And here is a link to a blog that looks really fun, Enjoy Indian Food. Type in chickoo and google sends you many fascinating sites…here’s one I like called Mumbai daily photo, the saris we saw the other day were amazingly vibrant and the blog has a great photo of ladies in saris – real life, in Mumbai.

little-india-bombay-sweets

And I guess no sweet shop, snack shop, Indian deli would be complete without the vast array of barfi. Every shop we went in to had some combination of identical looking barfi. I am sticking to my assumption that there is a large professional barfi bakery that supplies all shops and restaurants with barfi. I say it all comes from a central location daily, a barfi commissary. I want to see that place.

Since we are in NYC visiting a friend  from Mumbai, perhaps we can share an East Coast foodie field trip to her favorite spots!

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