Saturday, July 2, 2011

The King said, very gravely

What he said, of course, is "begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end, then stop." So here goes*.

Apartment: moved into, such as it were. I'm lacking such things as Internet (thus a daily foray to the medical center to check my e-mail and such), chairs, and a dresser; those will all arrive with Andy in just over two weeks. But what I have is an excellent amount of space, and a comfortable and non-twin double-long bed, and an intriguing amount of solitude. I'm liking it, except for the fact that there's nobody to help me put sunscreen on my back. Why is that pertinent, you ask? I'll tell you!

This is the view of Manhattan from the Governors Island ferry; I went there to see a performance of In C. Predictably, it was fantastic. I lay in the grass (protecting my back from an even worse sunburn) and closed my eyes and thought of England just sort of let an hour's worth of music happen to me. The island itself was lovely, pastoral with an antebellum tinge to it. It's hard to believe it's just an eight-minute ferry ride from the insanity that is Manhattan.

The guy directing the performance (and playing the toy
piano) was described as "Liberace's final protégé."
Manhattan has its perks, though. Example: the Union Square Greenmarket, which has burst into full flower. I set out to go grocery shopping today with a list of recipes and necessary ingredients, but the variety of produce was bewitching, and I ditched my plans for more fresh (and more expensive) options. Purchased: fresh fava beans, a massive amount of scallions and chives ($1 per forearm-sized bundle), radishes, carrots, golden beets, a few baby new potatoes, and kale. Problematically, I'm going to have to figure out how to use all these things while they're still fresh; please, please help yourself to scallions and chives if you like! I started in on things with cinnamon-sugar radish chips:

These have an intriguing nutty and slightly spicy flavor. Unfortunately, since they have to be baked in a single layer, they were kind of a pain in the neck to make. Imagine laying out individual very thin slices of radish. For dinner, I had a radish green and caramelized onion gratin that I did not photograph. It was, and here is where I apologize for tooting my own horn, delicious (and very quichelike).

Radish green and caramelized onion gratin
1 large bunch radish greens, chopped
1 large onion
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil leaves, chiffonade(d? Is that a verb)
1 egg
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 ounce goat cheese

Slice the onion thinly and caramelize it. Just before it's done, add the garlic and radish greens and cook until the greens are thoroughly wilted. After it's cool enough to handle, squeeze as much water as possible out of the mixture. Stir the egg, yogurt, and goat cheese together until smooth and creamy; thin with a little milk or water if it appears too thick. Stir in the radish green mixture, the chives, and the basil, then season to taste with salt and pepper. You can also omit the basil and add a pinch of nutmeg. Bake in a greased glass dish at 325 until just set; this should not take very long. Let cool slightly before cutting in and serving.

*I'll be omitting from the narrative details about my ridiculously blistered feet (there is, it turns out, such a thing as too much walking) and shower curtain-buying excursion.

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