Monday, June 20, 2011

CSA Update

For the second year, E & I are doing a CSA (community-supported agriculture). You pay $300 something upfront, and you get fresh fruit, organic vegetables, and cheese (extra) for twenty-something weeks. We were unhappy with how the first one was run, so we switched to the Grand St CSA. We were on the wait list for Grand St. last year, which so far has had more produce, and is closer and more convenient to our apartment. Not only do we have fruits this time, we also have CHEESE. Cheese! They also do one off things, too, so we recently came into a couple quarts of maple syrup that is seriously delicious.

This year we're actually getting vegetables every week (not every other week), which will help with the waste. E was on a business trip in Houston a couple weeks ago, leaving me to cook a head of swiss chard (I made stuffed shells) and eat more lettuce than I ever have in one week in my life--we got two heads of lettuce plus a bag of mixed greens. I hate most bottled salad dressings now that I've started making my own, so I've been making small batches of dressing (so easy, I swear). That way you can have a couple salads with one dressing then move one. I've made a couple viniagrettes, throwing in some fresh herbs, and I am a huge fan of my creamy greek dressing, which I will try to post here soon.

Other things we've done with our vegetables
1. Radishes "the French way, with butter and salt." Meh. I added a Ritz cracker to the mix, but I'm still not a huge radish person.
2. Radishes in fish tacos. Yum! The way radishes were meant to be: In small quantities
3. Swiss chard with caramelized onions in a calzone. So loved! We even figured out a way to cook the stems this time!
4. Salads with fruit, cheese, and nuts. These are the best.

5.Garlic Scape Dip. I actually kind of screwed up this recipe this time, after two times with great success last year. I used WAY more scapes than I should have (they were bigger than the ones from last year, and I just plain added more.) I'm going to buy some more white beans to try to save it from its aggressive garlickiness.
6. Rhubarb compote. We kind of roughly used this recipe, adding some frozen strawberries, mango nectar instead of orange juice, and just a tablespoon of sugar (we had less rhubarb). So yum.

E is flying to LA today for ANOTHER last-minute business trip. I like that he's all important at work and all, but I'm going to be so lonely!! And I'm going to have to eat all the vegetables!! My plan is for him to accrue enough frequent flyer miles to takes us somewhere awesome.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

First it was 100 degrees, now it's 70 degrees

With the boyfriend out of town for a business trip and Phish, I had the apartment to myself for a week. Of course, he had to leave three hours after we returned home from a camping trip, so I had to unpack two coolers and cram this random food in our fridge, put away all the camping gear, stinky clothes, etc. I did all of this ASAP because I really like making the apartment super clean whenever he is gone. Then if there are dirty dishes in the sink I have no one to complain to but myself. I also like to bleach things into shiny whiteness. Yeah, that’s what I do when my boyfriend’s out of town. Clean & bleach!

I had a great weekend with lots of friend sightings. I feel like post-college, a lot of interacting is one-on-one meet ups for coffee, dinner, drinks, movies etc. Getting multiple people together for these activities is much more difficult, but ultimately more fun.

On Friday, one my friends hosted a wine & cheese tasting party. I brought 18-month-old beemster (try it! You’ll like it!) and 2-year-old cheddar. J and her boyfriend J made homemade mead and goat cheese, which was a lot of fun to try, especially with the cheese seasoned with herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, etc. As the night progressed, the wine somehow tasted better and better (imagine that). I liked that everyone contributed but it didn’t have a potluck feel to it, it was just everyone introducing something that they really liked and wanted to share. A great party idea! And I have some new wines to try.

Saturday night I went out with four friends, both close and acquaintances. We went to a comedy show for SketchFestNYC, which was terrible. But the show cost no more than a glass of nice wine, so whatever. We all had a sense of humor about the lack of humor. Before and after the show we had some great conversations. We ended up talking a lot about next life stages, like marriage, how would you balance work and having children, and how male anatomy is so weird. I didn't drink too much, but did notice I wasn't walking completely straight as I made my way home. And I discovered a new drink, the French Martini. It’s Chambord, pineapple juice, and vodka. Not too sweet and I like it way better than a cosmo, which I rarely order. I actually have some Chambord at home so I think now I will have to use it more.

I also tried to work out a decent amount this weekend. I had a personal training appointment (included as part of a gym deal) and I asked her to measure my body fat with the caliper test at the end. The results were depressing. I still don’t know if I believe they’re true. Don’t they need to be adjusted for my height/frame etc? I’m in denial! It’s frustrating because I am active, but the trainer made references about “getting back into shape” etc. She could have said that just because I had recently joined the gym, but I felt that also reflected her judgment of my performance. In truth, I COULD do everything she asked me too (minus collapsing after holding plank), so I shouldn’t beat myself up too much. I can definitely run more to get that intense cardio, and I also think I will be hitting free weights more frequently, and working towards holding a plank for a minute to protect my back. But I feel kind of fatalistic. I do weigh myself pretty regularly and track it in Google Calendar. I’ve done that since 2006, and my weight has remained remarkably stable. That includes times I sat on my ass all the time and other times that I was really working on staying active and watching what I ate. Of course, the scale can't distinguish between fat and muscle, and there have been times my body was more tight than others, but it still pretty much weighed the same. I find it hard to believe that I could lose 20 pounds (still a normal weight for my height), or even be able to maintain a 10 pound loss. I certainly never have been able to even get to that point before.

What I am proud of is that I bike/walk to work, which makes me automatically more active than a lot of people. Any exercise on top of that just makes me feel that much better. I’m also proud that I can eat whatever I want without guilt-tripping myself. That used to be a big thing. I don’t binge eat anymore. Once I got to three or four cookies, it used to just be a shame spiral, and I would go crazy, but sweets just don’t have that effect on my anymore. I wonder about that sometimes. Do sweets just not taste that good anymore? I think they don’t provide as much emotional satisfaction as they used to. I don’t feel like I have more self-control, I just feel that sweets don’t taste overwhelmingly good anymore. There are certain things that I still have trouble controlling my intake of, mainly homemade cookies, but even then I don’t overindulge to an insane amount. That makes me really happy. So why haven’t the numbers on the scale gone down?

Sunday I played tennis with one of Eric’s friends that I play with regularly. We’re a good match. He’s just slightly better than me. For tennis, you want to be with someone who hits just a little bit harder than you, so you can slam it right back at them. I was sore from the day before, but my forehand was kicking butt. I think the arm weights helped with that, another reason for me to lift more regularly. Maybe I’ll buy some free weights for home. I’m annoyed because New York City parks DOUBLED the price to play tennis this year. It used to be $7 per person for one hour of tennis. Now it’s $15—so $30 for two people to play for an hour. Really? I try to think to myself, that’s just the price of a yoga class, and it’s good for you, but it still makes me grumpy. I mean, this is the city parks. Aren’t they supposed to be super affordable for regular folk?

This weekend I’m looking forward to hanging out in the city with my boyfriend and making pancakes. Yeah! I’m also planning on working on writing short fiction, and even submitting it to be published. I’ve been inspired by a friend and I think it’s time I dip my toe into some unfamiliar waters.