The end of August was my most hotly anticipated trip of the year: going to the NOVA Open in Washington DC. The event itself has nothing to do with food (it's actually a miniature waraming convention), but there is new and delicious food on every corner. We stayed in a different hotel this year than last, and this one came with a full service restaurant in it as opposed to a tiny cafe to pick up breakfast and breakfast only.
We ate there twice in one day just because it was so easy to get to and fit in a nice, sit down meal in between events at the convention across the road. Lunch service was our first experience at Socci, a little Italian-American type joint that doubled as a semi-fancy bar. I would never call what I ate there full blown, purist Italian, but that’s not to discount the value of what they’ve got going on there. The name Socci didn’t betray the actual cuisine we’d see there, so when I saw a lot of Italian ingredients on the menu, I was a little surprised.
It’s only right that as the season begins to wind down, we highlight some of the produce vendors of the Riverwalk Farmer’s Market who have helped make this season of growth delicious. I have to start with Nash’s Veggies, one of the few stands I will buy from week in and week out when I’m trying to find locally grown vegetables to supplement what I wind up buying at the grocery store.
Without fail, Nash's Veggies is right there under the tree canopy with a variety of offerings from carrots and onions to peppers and okra. They can be trusted to provide local goodies from their own farm, and they are knowledgeable about their product. If you have questions about how best to utilize anything that looks super good one day, they've got you covered with suggestions. Just last weekend, I was very interested in their okra. My husband was skeptical since he has had some negative experiences with slimy okra. The pair manning the stall sated his concerns by bringing up various ways of how to cook it, such as gumbo. That got Rob on board.
I've always got space in my refrigerator for their carrots. This week, they were much larger than earlier in this season, and they still had their greens! This was the first time I've seen their offering of microgreens on the table. While not a product I would personally utilize in my home kitchen, it wasn't anything I saw at another stall or even in bigger markets from earlier in life. These unique offerings are but part of the reason that Nash's Veggies remains my first stop for my produce during the season.
Their facebook page is a treasure trove in and of itself. While preparing this article, I discovered a section they have created for recipes featuring their produce. I love that! Maybe we'll have to try a few of them next week and give them credit where credit is due. Plus, they are just a few miles south of Milford in Lincoln, growing everything they bring to the market on their own land.
Nash's Veggies is exactly what you want from a local grower: knowledgeable, passionate, and kind. Stop by their stall at either the Riverwalk Farmer's Market in Milford, DE on Saturday mornings, or you can find them in Milton, DE for their afternoon market. Enjoy seasonal produce while you still can, and make sure its local by buying from a local like Nash's Veggies.
Every kitchen struggles with minimizing food waste. I spend every week asking myself how I can reduce the amount I wind up throwing away every weekend. The unfortunate truth is that I throw away way too much. My produce wilts and dies, forgotten in the drawers. I’m guilty of leaving raw meat in the shelves too long and tossing steak-- yes, steak-- when it goes bad. How do I combat these behaviors within myself in my day to day? I have discovered a few tactics to try over the next few weeks, and besides giving you this article about my plans, I’m also planning to share the meals I create while cutting back on food waste.
1. Keep a Clean Fridge
This one is a struggle for me at literally all times. I can’t see the back of my fridge on probably any shelf. I can only see the inside of my door on virtue of the fact the shelves there aren’t very deep at all. I’ve got leftovers in there so old, I’d be better off throwing away the entire tupperware they’re stored in than expose myself to whatever has grown inside of them. There are far too many plastic bags of dried, leafy greens, and that’s precisely why this one is coming as number one on our list.
If I were better about getting rid of the old, I might appreciate the new when I bring it home each week. So, starting this week, I will be starting from scratch. Sunday, expect a before and after view of the nightmare that is the Eating Normal refrigerator. Every Sunday after, we’ll talk about how I utilized the newfound space and access to my ingredients to the highest capacity.
I have never once tried to make my own pickles. I haven’t made quick pickles. I haven’t made fermented pickles. I haven’t put something in a jar with a vinegar solution once in my life, that is until I picked up Smoke and Pickles as our August 2019 cookbook of the month. Bless Edward Lee and his simple pickle recipes for people like me to try out. So far, we’ve started the process for pickled garlic.
We began on August 11th by placing as much garlic as I could fit into the small jar I bought for this purpose and soaking it in vinegar for five days per his instructions. It just sat in my refrigerator, doing whatever it is vinegar does to garlic. Then the 16th came, and that was the day to change it over to a more flavorful pickling fluid.
You can get the recipe from the cookbook, of course, but the pickling liquid is primarily soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. I was so pumped about it that I opened the pop up jar I use the next day and spilled half of it out of the garlic and on my table. My husband watched me cry on the floor about my own failures before running out to get me more soy sauce and rice wine vinegar so I could make the pickling liquid again. I made the pickling liquid again and tossed out what little I had left of the old liquid before covering the garlic again.
An idea born in Normal, Illinois, Eating Normal hopes to chronicle the eating Experiences of a Red bird.
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