Monday, June 21, 2010

Our breaking points

You will not believe what I found at the farmer's market this past Saturday. Who knew that we grew fraises des bois in the States? I'm sure the fact that the head farmer is French didn't hurt things.

If you're never had the exquisite pleasure of sampling one of these gorgeous tiny strawberries, think of it as a concentrated strawberry floral flavor bomb, so delicate that a good quarter were squished by the time we brought them back to the apartment. However, since the farmer had thrown in an ENTIRE extra box with a smile and a "Mademoiselle", I didn't even mind much.

Fraises des bois mush is better than none at all.

On another note, Jimmy and I have been trying to cut down on our grocery costs, and didn't buy a single thing last week (except for some fresh ricotta from the Italian grocer two blocks away to pair with rhubarb compote, but we all have our breaking points), in an effort to use up the rather alarming supply of canned goods he's built up over the past two years. It was also a decision motivated in part because of the last minute trip we've lined up for Fourth of July week:


I can't tell you how excited I am about this. It'll be Jimmy's first trip to Tokyo (we're going in conjunction with research he's doing for a professor) and I can't wait to be back in Japan myself. There is something bewitching about that country that's hard to put a finger on.

I foresee quite a bit of sushi, mochi, honeydew melon popsiscles, onigiri and royal milk tea in my future.

I'd love to hear any suggestions you might have for places to eat, things to see, etc.

In exchange I'll leave you with rhubarb compote. Hopefully you're enjoying the tail end of its season, and are as sad to see it go as I am.

Rhubarb Compote

2 lbs. fresh rhubarb, leaves removed, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
1 Tbs. vanilla extract

Throw the entire mess into a saucepan, stir it up well and let it bubble away over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes. Let it thicken at room temperature before slathering on toast, spooning over fresh ricotta or throwing into the middle of a french-style yogurt cake.

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