i know!

i have to write about the bahamian adventure.

but for now, the nytimes takes on manure. and the l.a. times reports that food banks are getting their goods straight from the farm. that means the impoverished there are eating better than most americans.

i went to the union square greenmarket today and bought an enormous bag of seckel pears and small apples for $2, tomatoes (grown indoors, so we can have them in the winter!), eggs, yogurt, rutabaga (my first!), purple potatoes, yellow + orange + purple carrots, sunflower-wheat bread, collard greens, and sunflower spouts. seriously, kids, you would think it was summer. it was that good.

lastly, i am getting too much food information from twitter. it's a love/hate relationship.


the thanks.

thanks, tina, for the gift i received at thanksgiving. an ice-cold glass bottle full of dr pepper made with pure cane sugar from sugar land, texas. enough said.


until then.

i am going on vacation tomorrow and didn't buy many groceries this week. i have had a whiskey-filled last few days, which probably should have included more dinner, but the holiday parties are just that way. and kim had me over for dinner on tuesday to eat goodies from her csa winter share!

therefore, i think this meal is from monday. a stir-fry of acorn squash, broccoli, baby cauliflower, scallion, and maybe some bell pepper. i really like any meal that goes in a bowl, it seems.

ready for the bahamas. for a week, we will be in andros: rustic, undeveloped, and beautiful. i am SO ready.

BUT. in case you want something to read, go here. the nytimes explains that going meatless isn't all that bad. and the ladies in southern alabama make 15-layer cakes every christmas. and you can keep up with any food recalls on the fda site; it's not pretty, though. there are way too many.

alright, kids. over and out.


sunday funday.

let's start with the post-farmers' market breakfast. this might have been my last visit to the market for the year, and, hence, the season. it was raining; thank god for the super baby cauliflowers. they really made it worth the walk.

fresh baguette with a fried egg, sharp cheddar, and tomato. and, fingerling potatoes in olive oil, garlic, and scallions. i cut my finger while i was cooking these awesome potatoes and let the scallions and garlic sit in the hot oil for too long. it smelled like an onion bagel, thankfully.

and then, project 2.0: infused tequila. tracy and i are infusing two jars of tequila: one with cinnamon and one with chiles. the chile one will be ready tomorrow, and the cinnamon will be complete in a week. we used a 750ml bottle of tequila blanca and split it. so, we'll see... but we are super excited. if this goes well, we might infuse all sorts of things. fancy cocktails abound.

smaller is sweeter.

the best finds this week: baby cauliflower and carrots. so sweet.


  • manhattan borough president scott stringer wrote the nyc food charter: 10 principles for a sustainable food system. so cool. let's be progressive, new york.
  • city council speaker christine quinn has a new food policy, too. she's ready to get beyond the issues of trans-fats and sugary soda taxes. or that's what she says. i am skeptical, but unsure why.
  • and everything that we thought was true... monsanto is a monopoly, says ap.
    Confidential contracts detailing Monsanto Co.'s business practices reveal how the world's biggest seed developer is squeezing competitors, controlling smaller seed companies and protecting its dominance over the multibillion-dollar market for genetically altered crops, an Associated Press investigation has found.

    With Monsanto's patented genes being inserted into roughly 95 percent of all soybeans and 80 percent of all corn grown in the U.S., the company also is using its wide reach to control the ability of new biotech firms to get wide distribution for their products, according to a review of several Monsanto licensing agreements and dozens of interviews with seed industry participants, agriculture and legal experts.

    Declining competition in the seed business could lead to price hikes that ripple out to every family's dinner table. That's because the corn flakes you had for breakfast, soda you drank at lunch and beef stew you ate for dinner likely were produced from crops grown with Monsanto's patented genes.

there will be trifle.

tracy and i are into projects. all of a sudden. in the final gourmet magazine, we found a recipe for a pumpkin gingerbread trifle. we had to make a date to bake it, which allowed me to indulge and purchase a trifle dish. there are three parts: gingerbread, pumpkin mousse, and whipped cream.
there was so much gingerbread that we had leftovers, which was lovely. and the whipped cream was like eating a cloud of wonderment. really. and it was even more beautiful than it is in any of the photos.

and i will give you the recipe if you want it. but it's long, and so i didn't want to type it unless it was necessary.


and, then.

the economist is debating food policy. go here.

better than.

this was most definitely from last saturday, when i was still making my way through all the arborio rice. i sauteed it with some broccoli and garlic, concocted a little salad of tomato and mozzarella, and fried an egg. after i flipped it and cooked it to perfection, i put it on the slice of grain bread with spicy mustard and let the whole thing sit in the pan for a minute or so. i eventually folded it in half to eat like a sandwich, with all the yolky wonderment running out of it. delightful.

it was better than the picture suggests. really.


easy like sunday morning.

yes, this was sunday morning breakfast. it's usually better at my house than in a restaurant. i am serious. the farmers' market is just so good to me, coupled with the natural food store nearby.

ready? black beans with garlic, onion, and chard. yukon gold potato sauteed with garlic and sea salt. organic tomato. fried egg. blue sesame corn chips. hell on the red salsa.

yee. haw.


prime breakfast.

tracy and i were both awake and hungry at the same time last sunday, and i had just returned from the farmers' market (which goes until the end of december, thankfully).

magnificent finds: seckel pears and watercress.

i was ready to make things. coffee. a salad of watercress, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. oven-baked yukon gold potatoes with garlic and olive oil. and baked eggs with oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. i hadn't made baked eggs in a long time, and i overcooked them a bit so they were harder than i wanted them to be. but so very good.

and seckel pears, of course. it's an addiction.
thank you, tina, for the introduction.

still eating.

the cauliflower continues to be firm and edible. so, i am still consuming it. it's killing me. it's SO MUCH cauliflower. last night, i sauteed it with garlic and onion, added some yellow chard, and mixed it all with fresh, organic tomatoes and aborio rice. it was a version of my meal from 2 nights ago.

cauliflower and broccoli sauteed with garlic and chard and organic tomato sauce (that i bought in the bodega! carroll gardens is fancy like that.) and aborio rice, i think. not as bad as it looks.

early and dark.

i didn't mean to get so far behind. the weather continues to confuse me, as it's dark seemingly all of the time. then, the lamp broke in my room and it was, in fact, very dark, all of the time.

a register of articles and interesting phenomena. appurtenances? maybe.
  • the pancake project. a guy in las vegas makes characters out of his breakfasts, usually pancakes. BUT, he made a waffle space invader! and you know i love space invaders.
  • twitter is really helpful for finding other people who care about the same things you do and, in my case, that means food policy: sustainability, whole foods, small farms, organic and pesticide free vegetables. here's a good list of people to follow that do, too. (in addition to me, obviously.)
  • jobs i want: farm to school consultant AND cookshop classroom associate. i am actually qualified for the second one. it's so awesome. i mean, someone would pay me to talk to kids about food and cooking?
  • oh yeah, and apparently, kids eat less junk food when middle schools stop providing it. there had to be a study done to figure out this information? ugh! well, as long as new programming is created, even if it is a dumb, expensive study.


news, again.

  • there are so many people on food stamps (1 in 8!) that the stigma is disappearing, says the nytimes. i wonder if the writer has ever actually had a broken ebt card and had to have a manager called over the loud speaker in the grocery store.
  • also, from the nytimes, the plight of the soul food farm and the profitability of its csa.
  • ruth reichl was on npr. she made cranberry relish and knew the recipe by heart, of course. she said it keeps FOREVER and then giggled about it.
  • i still have almost half the cauliflower left. it did not go bad while i was in texas.



i am so far behind in my food news this week that i am just going to list the articles of interest. with short responses from me, obviously.
  1. "Is There Such A Thing As Agro-Imperialism?" my answer is yes. read, please.
  2. "Tuna's Death Spiral." the blue fun tuna are in a predicament. endangered? maybe.
  3. "In Mississippi Delta, a Promising Summer Washed Away by the Fall." farmers are in trouble in the delta. real trouble.
  4. "Butterballs, or Cheese Balls, An Online Barometer." what to do with your turkey and other thanksgiving whatnot? find out in this article.



i bought the biggest, baddest cauliflower at the farmers' market last week. i was on my way to brunch in fort greene when i purchased it. it's enormous, organic, was grown nearby, and cost only $3. insanity.

but i then had to carry it all the way and back to maura's house. and now i have to eat it. i have had cauliflower 3 times this week so far, including sauteed in butter with salt and pepper this morning. the meal pictured is curried cauliflower with tomatoes and onions, mixed with long-grain brown rice. it was truly magnificent. like something one would get in a restaurant.

forever? forever ever.

it took almost a month, but i ate all those empire apples courtney and i purchased on our drive back from the berkshires. eating an apple every day gets boring fairly fast and this last apple lived in a bowl on the counter forever. i finally ate it with cinnamon and peanut butter.



i might never be able to eat beef again. it all seems to get recalled. blech.

A deadly outbreak of E. coli has been traced to a large producer of ground beef that stopped testing its ingredients years ago under pressure from beef suppliers. A facility in Ashville, N.Y., owned by the company, AFA Foods, recalled more than 500,000 pounds of ground beef on Oct. 31 after it was linked to an outbreak that has killed two people and sickened an estimated 500 others.
oh, new york, i wanted to believe you are better than other states.

can someone explain why this keeps happening? why would we buy beef from a corporation that refuses independent testing?


dance off.

i baked banana bread and rice krispie treats for kim's fundraiser for her theatre ensemble. i envision that the event was much like the end of girls just wanna have fun, but i think it was more of a regular dance party. with donations. and 1930s clothing.

another person was making cupcakes and cookies, so i decided to make goodies that could be individually wrapped. easily. i am pretty sure that i have not made rice krispie treats in 20 years. it's super easy. and messy, in a good way.

kellogg has been criticized lately due to its claims that rice krispies are good for immunity.

says the new york times:
Kellogg began adding extra antioxidants to its cereal last year, which it says help support the immune system. The company began advertising the change with large labels on cereal boxes that read in bold letters: ''Now helps support your child's immunity.''
but, there is a lot of madness surrounding the swine flu. so, kellogg will phase out the wording.

Kellogg said it will take several months to phase out the packaging but it will continue to offer the increased levels of certain vitamins in the cereal. Food makers have been facing increasing scrutiny for the labels that they put on their products, which have increased in number and scope in recent years.

the government was involved:

The FDA monitors the claims, but something like ''supports immunity'' is considered a structure or function claim -- which describes the role of a nutrient or ingredient and doesn't require the same scrutiny that other health claims might. So a company can say ''calcium builds strong bones'' or ''fiber maintains bowel regularity,'' but it's up to the manufacturer to ensure the accuracy and truthfulness of the claim, and they are not preapproved by the FDA.

we need help. better labeling. better products.
this is the first world.


macarons, i love you so.

i've been to france many times, but i have only been to ladurée once, with ludo and blanche. it involved some very fancy fragrant tea in a formal setting, and frivolous desserts made for marie antoinette (or at least the film). but, ladurée is REALLY famous for its macarons.

i have just finished reading au revoir to all that, the book i began months ago about the decline of french food. of course, author michael steinberger mentions ladurée; it's a spectacular, incredibly french experience that one cannot miss in their lifetime. in the book, one learns that mcdonald's (which is part of the reason for the fall of french food) sells macarons. and! they are made by holder, the company that bought ladurée in 1997. it's distressing in a way that i cannot actually describe, though at least mcdonald's knows what is good for it.

and i not going to believe that the era of french food is really over, maybe just plateaued for now.

i love macarons. and i will not be able to return to france any time soon, but almondine is opening a location in park slope. michelle and i have been anticipating its arrival for some time, as the dumbo location is just too inconvenient for any person who doesn't live on the waterfront. almondine is the closest a new yorker can get to a ladurée macaron. in walking distance. yes.



an index of things.
(not to be confused with one my favorite blogs, indexed).
  • the final issue of gourmet was so hard for me to find that tina had to mail me one. i guess that everyone else wants one, too. and then, as i read it, i was a little teary at its imminent disappearance. the recipes and photographs are beautiful and delicious. tracy and i have plans for a second thanksgiving, gourmet-style, which includes a pumpkin-ginger trifle. i have been dying for a reason to buy a trifle dish. and now, it is here.
  • marc bittman wrote about a maple pear upside-down cake. i want it now. (yes, i am channeling veruca salt.)
  • two of my students told me not to bring michelle canned soup. she's been out sick and the kids know we are friends and envision we spend every waking minute together. ANYHOW, why no canned soup? there is bpa in everything. ugh. at least they know. i didn't even have to tell them.
  • smitten with the potential of remedy quarterly. kick-started them on kickstarter.
  • crush on sam kass, white house chef. dreamy locavore.
  • bought hawthorne valley farm yogurt this week. i eat plain yogurt every morning with a little bonne maman confiture. this yogurt is a little sourer and more liquidy than others. i love that it comes from nearby and is organic and that they have a csa, but it's not my favorite. hence, i have been waxing poetic about french yogurt. they really know their yogurt, those french.
  • the food rut remains. this photograph is of a creation from early this week. it's a soupy noodle dish. i boiled the vermicelli in vegetable broth and added in sauteed carrots, broccoli, and chard. also included were white beans of some sort. i have so many kinds of dried beans and this jar wasn't labeled. i keep wanting to call them navy beans, but they aren't navy and that confuses me. but i think they are navy beans.
  • i want to go to the henry public. and i need an omnivore to accompany me. there is a turkey leg sandwich! i am curious. i always loved dark meat as a kid. i talked to tracy for a long time the other night about the dark meat of my youth, usually chicken thigh covered in italian bread crumbs or baked with mushroom soup.
i think that this might be all for this index. there's more. i'll get there.

a treat.

these are busy times. and late monday, i thought that my efforts deserved a beer. and so i picked up a samuel smith imperial stout. it was the perfect weather (cold, windy) for this type of beer. it's filling and sweet, a little bit chocolate and a little bit coffee. everything you want in a drink.

especially when it comes in such a beautiful bottle.
and poses on flip books.

i drank the whole bottle; i couldn't help myself (and no one here drinks beer).


so fast.

the botany of desire will only be online in its entirety through tomorrow. watch now!


coffee constant.

i am drinking A LOT of coffee. my colleague has caught me drinking coffee at work 2 mornings this week, which is after i have had coffee at home. but i love LOVE it. i am busy and tired. and, i mean, coffee is so good.

i was home all day yesterday, and drank coffee all day, which is something i only allow myself to do on the weekends. in graduate school, april and i would drink it all day, every day, probably about a pound per week. obscene, really.

so, for breakfast, fried egg (yes, still), black beans with chard, garlic, and onion. also: tomato and mozzarella, and yellow corn ships and hummus. with more beowulf blend coffee.
study snack: more coffee. carrots. everything i want in the world. (i love that you can see my earplugs in this photo, in addition to au revior to all that and a postcard to hazel.)
caputo's is this awesome italian meat and cheese shop on my block. i have been buying fresh mozzarella there (i like it salted), and yesterday, i stepped it up and bought fresh pasta as well. i might not go back to dried. this was awesome.
i put the broccoli in the pasta water for a little while. this way it was already cooked through when i stir-fried it with the onions, garlic, and bell pepper. (i was also then able to re-use the water, and preserve some of the vitamins.) i added the tomatoes (organic, probably not local) and mozzarella last. yum.

might be.

i think i am in a food rut. nothing sounds exciting. and everything sounds the same. i am still eating, because, well, i am hungry, but let's just say i miss summer and summer fruits. this is a stir-fry of chickpeas, broccoli, orange bell pepper, swiss chard, onions, and garlic over long-grain brown rice.


BUT, i am dreamy over white house chef, sam kass. so there's that.

let's start here.


i haven't had the flu (knock, knock) since the 8th grade when EVERYONE got it. i never made it to school that week but, apparently, the line to the nurse's office was all the way through the school. there were probably about 900 kids in the school.

that was also the year i got the flu shot. and became a vegetarian.

i teach high school and spend my days with teenagers. those kids share everything (gross). it's expected (almost) that i catch something at some time, and while i have had a cold here and there, no flu. or anything. 2 sick days in 5 years--mostly because i needed rest. the kids (and staff) have had pneumonia, strep throat, mononucleosis, flu, swine flu, god knows what else.

i have a jar of star anise. i don't like licorice. i am unsure what encouraged the purchase. apparently star anise has shikimic acid, the active ingredient in tamiflu, the H1N1 and H5N1 antiviral drugs. we rely on a random fruit to save us. but, a person needs a lot of it, and the only way to get the proper dose is in the vaccine.

i don't want to get the vaccine, and do not plan to do so, especially for H1N1. it's so new. i had the chicken pox and survived and they vaccinate the kids for that now, too.

and the vegetables. i think this blog is a testament to the fact that i eat pretty well. i over-think everything in the grocery store, trying not to buy foods that traveled too far, come from companies who i know are evil, and/or have ingredients i don't understand or want.

there must be a connection between eating well and not getting sick, right? or i just have good genes? i hope both are true.



watch the entirety of the botany of desire, the pbs program based on michael pollan's book of the same name, here. i am super busy so i haven't seen it yet, but i will. you know it.


the breakfast of marathoners.

the nytimes is rocking it this weekend. in addition to world news and politics, topics include:
  1. fresh produce instead of cookies at the corner store in newark and cleveland.
  2. "the carnivore's dilemma:" an essay on meat as a huge contributor to climate change.
  3. recipes for st louis gooey butter cake AND ginger-apple upside-down cake.
that insipid-looking sandwich is my breakfast from yesterday. it's not really as sad as it looks. it's organic whole wheat sourdough bread with dill havarti and 2 fried eggs, with garlicky yukon potatoes, and cinnamon coffee.


monsanto, the maker of agent orange, bovine growth hormone, ddt, and genetically modified seeds, suffered a tremendous loss on friday when france's highest court ruled that it LIED about roundup, its weed-killing herbicide.
The decision came just days ago and confirms an earlier court judgment in France finding that Monsanto had falsely advertised Roundup as being "biodegradable" and that it "left the soil clean."
almost all of our crops in the united states are gmo (genetically modified organisms) and most of those crops are monsanto-owned, as monsanto sells 90% of the WORLD'S genetically engineered seeds.

i can't really say that i am sad for monsanto. 1.) we haven't found the genetic modifications to bring higher yields. 2.) this is false advertising. 3.) at least, in europe, the government is unafraid to tackle the companies that are detrimental to the people.

the free market does not mean no regulations.


sick day.

i stayed home sick today, the second sick day i have had in 5 years. don't despair--it's not the swine flu or anything. i think i just needed rest.

i had egg salad on organic sourdough wheat with tomato for lunch. and a carrot. and stumptown coffee. and then keith brought me some super juice with a billion percent of the daily recommended vitamin c. ok, not that much. but a lot.


1. the kids in japan think farming is cool.
2. the smart choices program has been suspended!
3. i read other people's food blogs, too:
  • smitten kitchen-- clean and lovely. and delicious. you will want to be in her kitchen all of the time.
  • simply breakfast-- it's a bit like mine, but admittedly only about breakfast. and has super photography. it's really beautiful.
  • happy lady eats-- kitschy, with lots of products.
  • clara's kitchen-- clara is 94 and cooks meals from the depression and shows it to us on youtube. her own series. she's adorable, even if her cooking tools are always misplaced.
4. i am going to buy the final issue of gourmet, the november 2009 thanksgiving issue, out now. also, i JUST discovered that gourmet has a food politics section. where have i been? seriously.
5. there's a crisis on the dairy farms. consumer demand is down and the dairy farmers need a market to sell their goods. today, they explained this to the senate agricultural committee, who will apparently consider fixing the milk pricing system in the next farm bill.
6. the photograph is of the teeniest fingerling potatoes ever; i got them at the carroll gardens farmers' market. these are not even the smallest of the bunch; the runts were long gone when i took the photograph.


because i forgot.

i bet you want to know what i've been eating.
  1. monday, october 26, dinner: elbow pasta with organic tomatoes, red and yellow peppers, oyster mushroom, onion, and garlic.
  2. sunday, october 25, breakfast: fried egg, black beans with onion and jalapeno, garlicked baby fingerling potatoes, brussels sprouts, sliced cucumber, and corn chips. (pretty much a bit of everything i had in the apartment)
  3. monday-friday, october 19-23, breakfast: organic plain yogurt with blackberry-peach jelly (from my trip to the berkshires) and beowulf blend coffee from oren's. (i love that it's a literary blend, even though i didn't love beowulf when i read it in high school.)
  4. lots of empire apples, also from the trip, but not purchased in berkshires. they are from upstate new york. eat locally, kids.
there are a plethora of foods that we don't grow anywhere near here, and a good citizen would try not to eat them when they are not in season. but how does one go all winter without tomatoes? thoughts?


a lament.

i want to join the park slope food co-op ("the cooperative," liz says). i love the socialism of the whole thing: making a contribution to the store for better-priced GOOD food. it's only 2.75 hours a month; i am reminded. i do more than that each week at housing works.

but it's easy to mess up. an unplanned cancellation of any kind requires 2 make-up shifts and before your next scheduled one! i have friends who have been banned from shopping because they fall too far behind. when i am with other co-opers, i feel as though i should be a part of this shopping extravaganza, but i cannot commit. i worry too much. i can't do it. i don't want to get in trouble. and in the end, this feels dumb.

luckily, i have the farmer's market to get my goods. they are nice and never get upset and their produce is so damn beautiful. AND this week's nytimes reminds me that i am not alone.

ADDENDUM, october 29: adrien grenier has some feelings about the co-op, too. he's a member, but doesn't shop there. he also does not shop at the whole foods.


hands full.

my roommate's boyfriend's family has a farm. and he's from cooperstown, new york, like ommegang and the baseball hall of fame. and he makes pesto.

so the roommate cooked up that tasty pesto with some broccoli rabe and bow-tie pasta. the roommate seems to think this blog is one of the weird, nerdy things i do, but he's the one who mentioned that his cooking should be described here, even if the boyfriend actually made it.



a surfeit of things. yes, just things.
  • the anatomy of a burger. let me tell you where the e. coli comes from. or not.
  • the 2008 farm bill, which includes the conservation reserve program transition option, which includes "offers a special incentive of two years of extra CRP rental payments to owners of land, which is currently in the CRP but returning to production, who rent or sell to beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers who will use sustainable grazing practices, resource-conserving cropping systems, or transition to organic production." holy moly. subsidies to organic farmers. it's a start.
  • a podcast: what farmers think of michael pollan.
  • libertarian ideas on wal-mart and the selling of good food.
  • the "fried food capital of texas," the texas state fair. wishing i was eating deep-fried peaches and cream.
  • purchased the 1957 betty crocker cookbook for kids for jordan rose. if she grows up to hate baking, i expect to get this book back. it's amazing.
  • for myself, eating for victory by jill norman. one of these days, i am going to write a cookbook for eating during the current depression/recession/cataclysmic economic mess.
  • oh, and, um, i am on twitter. follow me here.


so vexatious.

i don't really understand why farmers (the farm bureau, specifically) don't seem to care about the environment. it's seems like the relationship between humans and land would be more mellifluous. but apparently, they don't care about climate change.

they don't care. the farmers. c'mon.

and yes, that's a beautyberry. thanks again, lady bird.


that time of year.

it's the week of the annual nytimes magazine food issue. let's start with michael pollan's list of food rules, submitted by others. it's weird and funny. and full of odd truths. BUT, there is more, including articles on mexican coke, jamie oliver, polenta, food in india, and jonathan safran foer. read along.


oh, ruth reichl.

gourmet magazine will soon be no more. all those glorious food photographs. and interesting and smart recipes. a magazine that was prestigious and delicious. and i thought it would be bon appetit, i guess, like everyone else.

people will have to come to me for food advice now.


lost city.

lost city: a cool blog about the destruction of new york buildings and culture. some of you historians and librarians and contrarians might like it. and yes, it has to do with food.


i explained the laws of supply and demand this week to my students, including elasticity and the likes of alfred marshall. it was perfect and unfortunate that i could use a real-life example.

from the nytimes:
Three years ago, a technological breakthrough gave dairy farmers the chance to bend a basic rule of nature: no longer would their cows have to give birth to equal numbers of female and male offspring. Instead, using a high-technology method to sort the sperm of dairy bulls, they could produce mostly female calves to be raised into profitable milk producers.

Now the first cows bred with that technology, tens of thousands of them, are entering milking herds across the country — and the timing could hardly be worse.

The dairy industry is in crisis, with prices so low that farmers are selling their milk below production cost. The industry is struggling to cut output. And yet the wave of excess cows is about to start dumping milk into a market that does not need it.

oh my. the technology is failing us. it's the brave new world. they are using what they call "sexed semen" to force the cows to produce the gender wanted. they collect it at a "stud farm." oh my.

too much milk. and it's obviously modified. and not labeled as such. the farmers are losing out. there must be a better way, a better policy overall.

texas, our texas.

the don juan at juan in a million.

kids, this taco dish was a major part of the reasoning i had for visiting austin when i am otherwise insanely busy. adam richman attempted to eat 8 don juans on man v food. when i questioned blake about the validity of this place, he agreed that it was spectacular. and that richman was crazy when he attempted the challenge.

i love a good eating challenge, but i could barely finish the mess of taco paragon on my plate. (or make it to the wall of fame.) the don juan is eggs, cheese, and potatoes. the omnivores eat it with bacon, too. it's more than 3 heaping tacos. because, of course, this perfection goes in a tortilla with salsa. people line up around the store to eat this on the weekends. yes, i saw the line on sunday.

and! juan shakes everyone's hand when they come through the door. a solid handshake. i love a good handshake. texans excel at handshakes.

post-juan, blake and i visited the lbj presidential library. my first presidential library! (for the record, i was so full that i had to walk around or i thought i might explode.)

there was an animatronic lbj! he spoke about his great society from the confines of his ranch, it seems. it was truly a sight to behold.

blake watches him. and is mesmerized. and happy.
here he is up close. frightening. i am in awe.
but i am so very content with the entire adventure.

yellow rose of texas.

mmm... curra's. more mexican food. for breakfast. with oaxacan coffee (which means it has vanilla!).
huevos al albanil: eggs with pasilla and borracho sauce. so, pasilla is a chile pepper; the name means "little raisin." and borracho sauce is the kind with beer in it. yes. and onions and tortillas. and chips and salsa.
what do you do after a meal like this one? go swimming at krause springs with lori. and then?

ice cream at amy's. i had cinnamon. it's like ambrosia.

as pretty as a lady bird.

a trip to the lady bird johnson wildflower center followed the tacos. a jaunt around the grounds included learning about how long it takes the water to get from there to barton springs, the definition of savannah, a peak into research on green roofs, and lots of cacti. and obviously, a beetle. (a great person used to call me ashley beedle for fun.)
lady bird johnson is responsible for the wildflowers that grow across texas. apparently, she was the reason for the highway beautification act, which includes bluebonnets in the spring along the interstates. unfortunately, not in september.

the water at the center was so good; i kept drinking it at each and every drinking fountain.

on the way home, we stopped to buy the "family reunion" 6-pack of shiner, which had 6 kinds of beer, and bob's jalapeno chips. it was the happiest hour.
and a cactus, for good measure.

hole in the wall.

it was an actual hole-in-the-wall. on manor road. (pronounced may-nor. why? no idea.) there was no door to this taco stand. just a window. a walk-up window.
across the street, there was a bus stop with painting of longhorns. and it was over 90 degrees out.
also: a church and a laundromat and hair salon.
a girl of indiscriminate age took our order. i got two tacos: one with migas and cheese (which means tacos in my taco) and another of potato, egg, and cheese.
we walked into some east austin neighborhood to find a random bench in a sort-of park. and we ate the tacos. with a green sauce. jamie says that it is from a different kind of pepper every time and that you never know what the color will be. and it was an impressive sauce.
and they were the best tacos of the trip.

oh, yeah.
the other kids eating their tacos:
jamie.don't fret. there's more.

the stars at night are big and bright.

a short story. told in parts.

i went to austin last weekend to hang out with blake and eat tacos. and go swimming. and do things related to the johnson adminstration.

i rode the train to jfk and took this picture. it's around 7am. the plants have taken over the abandoned train track; the graffiti includes the tag, "fuck you toys." i have no idea what that means.
jet blue for the second time ever. free wi-fi in the jet blue terminal. seltzer and blue potato chips on the plane.
i await blake's arrival to the smallest international airport i have ever been inside. all of the retail establishments are austin-related. EVERYTHING. no starbucks.
greeted with an imperial sugar dr. pepper. blake is so awesome. these are hard to come by.


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