One of the blessings of living in Los Angeles is beautiful year-round weather, which leads to a foodie/cook’s ultimate dream: lush, abundant, reliable farmers markets. It seems like you are never further then a stone’s throw away from a market in this city, and I’m not complaining. I love these markets, and try my best to make it each week to stock up on fresh produce.
Although organics are sometimes pegged as too expensive or inaccessible, from my experience, I’ve found farmers markets’ prices to be pretty competitive, especially when it comes to greens and herbs. And the produce tastes better. And you’re able to talk to the farmers that grow it, and in turn, can discuss how to best cook it, get help in picking the ripest fruit and veggies, etc etc.
On this trip, I gathered the necessities to assemble a simple, produce-centric lunch.
Wild arugula salad with a homemade balsamic dressing made from Farmers Market Italian balsamic vinegar and California olive oil with a scattering of poached chicken mixed in. On the side is an open-faced sourdough sammie smeared with artisanal goat cheese and heirloom tomatoes.
It’s summer on a plate and a flavorful light lunch!
While sailing last week, I was constantly reminded of one of my very favorite novels (and for a proud bookworm (ahem, nerd) naming a favorite book is a bold statement):
Chita: A Memory of Last Island by Lafcadio Hearn.
This novel doesn’t seem to be well known, I only happened to encounter it in a New Orleans Lit class in college, but it’s truly one of the most beautiful pieces of writing I have ever come across. The story centers around the islands south of New Orleans, in the Gulf. Much of the language is therefore ocean-inspired, and it reads like poetry: vivid, expressive, rhythmic.
Take this passage in which Hearn is describing the view from an ocean vessel:
-all day long had the cloudless sky revealed through all its exquisite transparency that inexpressible tenderness which no painter and no poet can ever re-image- that unutterable sweetness which no art of man may ever shadow forth, and which none may ever comprehend,- though we feel it to be in some strange way akin to the luminous and unspeakable charm that makes us wonder at the eyes of a woman when she loves.
or this one:
The sea lived: it could crawl backward and forward; it could speak!- it only feigned deafness and sightlessness for some malevolent end. Thenceforward she feared to fnd herself alone with it. Was it not at her that it strove to rush, muttering, and showing its white teeth,… just because it knew that she was all by herself?… Si quieres aprender a orar, entra en el mar!
Writing like this just makes me feel good.
Do you have a favorite book or passage?