I had not bought groceries there in over a year, in part because it’s hard to get out of there without spending $60+, and also because it is Brother Abacus’ favorite grocery store. The first few months it would have been too painful to see him, and the next few it would have been altogether too tempting to run over him with my shopping cart.
But I have four new cookbooks [courtesy of gift cards, not fiscal insanity], and I wanted to try a recipe that calls for pomegranate molasses, which is in notoriously short supply at my neighborhood grocer’s. I came home with a small bottle, and a replacement bottle of cooking-grade maple syrup [I had half a bottle go bad during the move because it was in an unmarked box], a dozen chestnuts, a handful of green beans, some matchstick carrots, a loaf of parmesan bread [heavenly when toasted], a shallot nearly the size of a VW, two quarts of free-range chicken stock [which begs the question, do I sing Freebird while simmering the potatoes in the broth?], one Granny Smith apple, a couple of large cans of sweet potatoes that I probably could have gotten a few cents cheaper locally, and a small container of Piedras de Chocolate, which are almonds dipped in chocolate and then dusted in cocoa powder. *Heavenly*.
All of it for less than $35! I resisted the temptation to stock up on freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano; wanted to leave something in the store for a future trip.
I have never eaten roasted chestnuts, much less prepared them. I figured that a dozen of them would make a decent serving, possibly two or more, and Central Market had handouts posted with the display, so I now have two options for getting them out of their shells. I had no idea they were so pretty; they look like hazelnuts on steroids and and are as tanned as George Hamilton.
Spent half an hour or so browsing Epicurious.com for chestnut recipes and saved half a dozen or so. Went through my pantry to see what else I will need to make the first one.
Here is the cookbook that got me started, last week:
Because I really only know how to cook for a tribe, and I get tired of freezing stuff, if not of eating leftovers. And the three new books that have been crossed off my Amazon wish-list:
Susan Branch is worth it even for a non-cook; her books are hand-lettered and hand-illustrated. A dear friend sent me Heart of the Home for my 41st birthday, when life was falling down around my ears. I think this is the third of her books that I now own.
I had been coveting this Nigella Lawson in hard-cover [at $35!] for at least two years. I got it in paperback for less than $10.
The title makes me giggle uncontrollably.
- Four years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!