Week 10: The Dog Days are Over

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Please forgive the bluriness of this picture…I was balanced precariously on a chair whilst taking it. Our weekly share was: 2 lbs of red and white potatoes, 3/4 lb spicy greens, kale, napa cabbage, radishes, 2 green peppers, frisee, garlic, 3/4 lb arugula, chard, 2 eggplant, zucchini, 2 summer squash, cucumber, cabbage, 2 jalapenos, 2 serranos

I’m not sure why, but as I left the CSA pick- up this week with four bags, biceps burning, I spontaneously began singing Florence and the Machine’s “The Dog Days are Over“. One of my friends referenced the world being on a string a few days ago..and maybe that’s why. Or, maybe it’s because making good change, taking a good risk, is so refreshing…or maybe it’s because on days like this, I can’t believe we only pay $24 a week for this amount of organic, locally grown food! What’s not to love?!?

The dog days are over. The horses are coming.

Horses, in this case, could be read as root vegetables. I love a celeriac. I love fall. But…I’m getting ahead of myself, we’re not there yet.

I had the pleasure of hosting a dinner for three friends this Sunday…Alicia (my college roommate), her husband Mike, and our friend John, who was in town from Ann Arbor. John and I have joked about having some sort of Iron Chef competition, and apparently, this was my week to showcase my skills. (If we’re being honest, I had sort of forgotten about this part of the get-together….but “CSA foods” ended up being my theme.)

The meal began with this:

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I like to call this baba-mus…it’s a baba ganoush-hummus hybrid…made with our eggplant from this week and served with the veggies from the CSA

I as well threw together a little dip at the last minute…I have a sickness…call it ethnic, or motherly, or something, but I’m always convinced that we’re not going to have enough food….so I put together a warm feta-three pepper dip (red flakes, black and white) which received positive reviews, but I didn’t document it  in the photog realm. Another time.

Next course: Nicoise salad. I rubbed the sushi grade tuna with herbes de provence…and seared it for about 3 minutes per side (that should make it about medium).

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Then, I drizzled the napa with some olive oil and salted and peppered it, and tossed it in a 400 degree oven for 8-ish minutes…

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CSA napa…so many uses for it…

And, assembled the salad.

that is a (csa) dill, (csa) chive lemon vinaigrette alongside the salad

that is a (csa) dill, (csa) chive, lemon-caper vinaigrette alongside the salad

And then, the pizza course (an essential course for any dinner)…

I used my arugula pesto, from earlier this week, as a base, and layered balsamic marinated portobello's and proscuitto

I used my arugula pesto, from earlier this week, as a base, and layered balsamic marinated portobello’s and proscuitto

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And then I added an Italian cheese blend and some pepper and cooked it.

We wrapped up with a watermelon-mint-feta salad with a balsamic reduction.

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Then my old friends and I talked…about everything….the University of Michigan, Romeo and Juliet, New York City and Catholic wedding songs….

I especially like how my friend, John, is voraciously engaging his piece of pizza in this photo

I especially like how my friend, John, is voraciously engaging his piece of pizza in this photo

Then, because we hadn’t spent enough time together, nor consumed enough calories, we walked to get ice cream…and then beer. They go well together.

that's us

that’s us and ice cream

that's alicia and john, laughing heartily, before our beverages had even arrived

that’s alicia and john, laughing heartily, before our beverages had even arrived

This was a really good Sunday…a really good weekend. I’m new to weekends, as I had worked them for almost five years…and I’m just starting to rediscover them….learning how to enjoy myself, how to relax, and how to turn off the impulse to be “productive” every minute of every day. Days like today, weeks like this one, make me realize that such things are not only possible, but essential, even life-giving.

As Florence would say, “…the dog days are over…leave all your love and your longing behind, you can’t carry them with you if you want to survive.” And while that may sound sad to some, it sounds like a big, fat exhale to me.

It sounds like a good sweat, after a ride on a trainer bike. And two pounds of red and white potatoes. And diving head first out of a plane. There is a free-fall, where you can’t breathe, but you know you’ll survive. And knowing you’ll survive makes the uncertainty of the moment bearable….even, exhilarating.

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4 thoughts on “Week 10: The Dog Days are Over

  1. That salad looks amazing! I continue to be impressed by your amazing cooking skills! I love love love all those veggies too – go CSA! My parents belong to one and they love it too 🙂

    Hope all is well with you! (Going by this blog post, that sounds like it is the case).

    • Thank you so much, dear Hurricane….wish you were here to eat with us!! Thank you for following…hope all is well with you too. xo.

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