Friday, July 21, 2006


It's only mid-July, but already the amount of food we're getting from our CSA is getting ahead of me. Here's a list of what we received this week:

Lettuce (Escarole and Romaine)
Tomatoes (just 2 this week - but I think many more are on their way)

This week we got a patty pan squash, which I've never tried before. I wasn't much of a squash lover as a kid (This is a gross understatement; my parents have a picture of me at age nine, gagging and rolling my eyes while trying to eat butternut squash), so now I'm trying to make up for lost time. Patty pan squash is beautiful - it's like the Miss Universe of squash.

I just finished making stuffed squash from a recipe I found on VegWeb. I used a pale green summer squash as opposed to zucchini, and substituted oregano for marjoram, but otherwise followed the recipe pretty well. The filling is slightly spicy and garlicy, and complements the squash well. I asked Brandon what kind of squash it is exactly, but he doesn't know, he just picks up the vegetables and doesn't ask questions (Brandon's philosophy of not asking also applies to news like friends moving or having babies, but I still pepper him with questions).

I've decided to tag all past and future recipes that I find on the web using Just search under "flooovde." Maybe I can incorporate the ability to tag my posts into this blog somehow, but that might take a while, techsavvy individual that I am.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

NOLA photos

Canal Street Trolley

So I'm going to indulge a little off-topic post here and put up some pictures of New Orleans. I wish I had more (and better) pictures, but I'm still holding off on purchasing a digital camera. Brandon and I went to look at digital SLR camera bodies the other week -- mighty expensive, I tell you. These were taken with a cheap disposable camera, since I didn't feel like lugging the big manual around.

Street Music Alive and Kickin'

Also, if you haven't given money recently to aid in rebuilding after Katrina recently, here are two good causes:

Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence
As of March, only two domestic violence shelters in New Orleans have reopened. News reports indicate that incidents of domestic violence have spiked since the hurricane, perhaps as much as 80 percent. With nowhere else to live, many women may be choosing to stay with their abusers.

2) Plan B: The New Orleans Community Bike Project

A volunteer-run DIY bike shop that provides a work space, recycled bikes and parts, and assistance with repairs. I saw many people riding AWESOME bikes in New Orleans -- lots of cruisers and bikes with customized paint jobs -- and I hope next time I visit I'll see even more.

So please consider giving either organization a few of your hard-earned dollars. If you're the type of person who thrives on recognition, let me know about it and I'll cook you dinner, or send you a mix CD or a zine or something.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

How to Make a Blueberry Pie in 4 Easy Steps

Step 1

Get up early and go eat a blueberry scone from Wealthy Street Bakery. Do not skip this step! Realize that it's almost blueberry season and decide to find a place to pick.

Step 2

Since your internet connection isn't hooked up yet, grab your laptop and head over to the public library. Compile a list of local blueberry growers and start making calls. While you're at it, grab a bunch of books on baking pies.

Step 3

Call your friend Hilary and invite her to go blueberry picking. Drive up north to Sandy Bottom Berries, where early u-pick blueberries are $1.00 a pound. Listen to crazy soccer/ballet/horseback riding moms talk about their kids. Get carried away and pick 4 pounds of blueberries, 6 quarts of raspberries, 3 pounds of sour cherries, and 1 bunch of flowers.

Step 4

Drive back home and make a blueberry pie. Eat messy but very tasty pie while watching Flight of the Navigator. Resolve to make at least one seasonal pie a month.

The coolest thing about going to pick berries was the series of visceral memories it has triggered. I remember picking those tiny raspberries (so much smaller than the ones Hilary and I picked!) with my brothers for what seemed like hours, because we each had a quota to fill. We'd sing or talk loudly to ward off bears, since we'd occasionally stumble a patch of trampled down grass with a large mound of bear scat in it. The long grass would tickle our legs, and the tips of our fingers were red from so many mashed berries. I complained about it then, but now it seems almost idyllic.

Monday, July 03, 2006

New Orleans and a new apartment

As you can see, I have two good reasons for not updating this blog often enough these past few weeks. Now that we're settled in to our new apartment, upstairs from Jen and Seamus and around the corner from Wealthy Street Bakery, it should be easier to share my latest culinary adventures.

So, what's it like being a vegetarian in New Orleans? In two words, not easy. After five days it the Big Easy for the ALA annual conference, it was pretty easy for me to spot the other vegetarian librarians. We were either eating overpriced, anemic-looking salads at the convention center or standing outside of restaurants, studying their menus quizzically. And what do you mean collard greens aren't vegan? When I asked the locals for advice, they told me that vegetarian restaurants in New Orleans generally go under, and that my best bet was to stick to the higher-end establishments and ask them to prepare something for me. Since I'm notoriously cheap, I decided to ignore their advice.

Nevertheless, I managed to get some good eats in NOLA, so I thought I'd share some of the highlights:

Eggplant soup at La Boucherie, 339 Chartres St.
Walking around the French Quarter shortly after my arrival, I spotted this little cafe. The soup was deliciously spicy, in an Italian sausage sort of way.

Portobello club at Rosie's Diner, 200 Magazine St.
Thinly sliced portobello mushrooms served with tomatoes, carrots, and baby spinach in a club sandwich. The diner had an awesome art deco clock on the wall.

Eggplant po-boy, somewhere in the French Quarter
I met Ahmed, who is from Cairo, Friday while working the International Registration desk. The topic turned to food, and he said he won't eat meat in the U.S. because it isn't halal (permitted). Saturday night we wandered around the French Quarter till we found a neat looking restaurant with veggie options. Ahmed had a vegetarian muffaletta, which was made of olive salad and loads of cheese. The fried eggplant po-boy came slathered in marinara and prolovone. Very tasty, but I only finished half!

Gumbo z'herbes at Gumbo Shop, 630 St. Peter St.
Yes, Virginia, you can find vegetarian gumbo in New Orleans. And their garlicky mashed potatoes were just that. Mmm, pure vampire-killing power. If I would have had more room, I would have tried the maque choux (corn smothered with tomatoes and green peppers). We ate outside in the shade.

And of course I went to Cafe du Monde to watch the other tourists over beignets and an iced coffee. I didn't get out of the downtown area, but even so, there were still signs of Katrina's lingering effects. For one thing, every other restaurant I passed had signs in the window looking for waitstaff. I suspect that the people who held those jobs have relocated since they can no longer afford to live in New Orleans.