I just got back from visiting my parents in Pennsylvania for the weekend—it was a quick trip full of antiquing and cooking a bunch of vegetables. We visited several shops in Columbia, including Burning Bridge Antiques Market and Anderson’s Bootleg Antiques, both of which I absolutely loved. I didn’t find any food photo props this time, but I had a lot of fun browsing, and I did find an old Martha Stewart Christmas book (she’s published a lot of them, and I’m weirdly obsessed.) And at Morningstar Marketplace in Thomasville, I found a bunch of little apothecary bottles that I’m going to use at the wedding for DIY flowers. (Very Brooklyn, I know, but we’re just going for it, why not?)
My mom made a shoe-box pinhole camera to view the solar eclipse—did you watch it today? (More on the eclipse in a minute!) We also made a garden veggie bake with tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, pepper, and cheese (a kind of ratatouille casserole), cantaloupe with a local butcher’s take on prosciutto (“recipe” may be coming to the blog next week), corn on the cob, and this red cabbage salad. Speaking of eating lots of vegetables, I tried the best new (to me) restaurant in Brooklyn last night, Sisters (went to hear Andrew play music and was pleasantly surprised by the food and drinks). Shishito peppers, fennel salad, and beets were all super tasty, and the cocktails were delicious as well. Highly recommend!
Tonight we’re going to walk around the neighborhood and pick up some dinner ingredients—maybe something to go with the tomato and basil I brought back from my parents’ garden. Late summer is one of my absolute favorite times for produce (second to autumn, of course—Brussels sprouts, pumpkins, and kale, oh my!) so I know we’ll find something exciting and delicious for tonight.
I hope you have a great Monday and a relaxing week! Watching the eclipse made this a wonderful day for me. I was at work at the senior center and stepped outside to take a look—one of our members had a pair of solar viewing glasses and was letting people look through them. I didn’t think that the eclipse would look as amazing as it did, and I felt a little emotional viewing it, actually. The owner of the glasses wanted to go back inside to finish playing her bridge game, so she left me in charge of the glasses since people were beginning to gather to take a look. It was such a beautiful community experience, with members of the senior center, the construction workers fixing our building, a doctor from the nearby hospital and his son, our corner produce stand owner, and lots of passers by all taking their turn with the glasses and reacting with excitement. I snapped a photo which I think captures some of the joy of the moment.
The construction workers were so happy with the whole experience that they bought me sunflowers as a thank you (it was really sweet, not creepy)! I was wearing a bright orange dress in celebration of the day, and I felt great carrying my sunflowers in my sun outfit.
This lovely article in National Geographic explains the symbolism of the solar eclipse in several cultures. I love the myth from the Batammaliba people of Togo and Benin: in it, the eclipse is caused by the sun and the moon fighting. People encourage them to reconcile, and for that reason, the solar eclipse is seen as “a time of coming together and resolving old feuds and anger.” It really felt today like this was true. May the eclipse be a harbinger of a more positive turn for all of us moving forward!
Clove-Spiced Red Cabbage Salad with Stilton, Dried Cranberries, & Pecans
- 1/2 small red cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped scallion (green part only)
- 1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 Tbsp grainy mustard
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 oz. Stilton, crumbled
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a large bowl, combine cabbage, cranberries, scallion, pecans, and cloves. In a small bowl, combine mustard, vinegar, and olive oil and stir or whisk until emulsified. Add about 1/4 cup of the dressing to the large bowl, mix, and add more to taste if desired. Season with salt and pepper, and mix in about half of the Stilton, sprinkling the rest on top. Serve!
Note: If you are not serving the salad right away, mix in the pecans and the Stilton right before serving.