Sunday, May 07, 2006


making da dough

long-time readers know i love living on my small island off the coast of the united states, but it does have its occasional drawbacks. for example, yesterday my boo-da-fal noo yawk nearly conspired against pizza.

it was a gorgeous day, and i had to run to union sq. to have my hair done at swank central. i'm the odd girl out there, as swank central is of course about 55% bobs-of-the-moment and 40% razored-in-sideways-brit-boy-rocker-shags-with-cowlick-of- the-moment-as-worn-by-girls.

but! i digress. emerging from the salon about 4 hours later, i ran into another weekend-war-protest-of-the-moment, which had completely paralyzed union sq., making it impossible to get into any of the nearby subway entrances.

well, i needed some king arthur organic artisan flour anyway, which they have started carrying at that yuppie emporium for vegetarian junk food, whole-ladda-hype foods.

(everytime i go in there i thank god that fairway opens in red hook on may 17. mark your calendars, people!)

but the crowd was so heavy i couldn't get in there either. so i wandered down the street to check out the newish trader joes. now, years ago, i had been to trader joes in california; i remembered it as a rather interesting place.

however, the noo yawk trader joes is just a tragedy. larger than yankee stadium, with a checkout line wrapped around the perimeter of the store(!), and yet mysteriously, there is nothing to buy.

it seemed shockingly soviet.

there's a tiny section of depressing produce (the organic produce was wrapped in plastic and constituted one small square island), two kinds of butter, and two kinds of eggs. the vaunted wine store had but one inferior brand of prosecco.

the majority of the place seems filled with frozen foods that young marketing interns snap up by the double cartload to microwave at home after work during the week. just acre after acre of this weird frozen food.

i found 4 sad shelves in the far back devoted to canned coffee. pitiful.

(and if those count as supposedly low prices, the trader joe people are laughing their way to the bank. mr. sahadi has 3 times as much stuff that you'd actually want to buy in 1% of the space and much, much lower prices.)

thus i fought my way back to whole-ladda-hype, and bought up all their artisan flour. then i tried to fight my way home on the subway, which was running on an altered schedule, meaning i found myself abandoned on the j platform at city hall in full realization that no trains were running to bklyn that afternoon.

none. i contemplated walking over the bklyn bridge carrying 20 lbs of flour, and decided to take a cab.

thus i arrived home years after leaving, but with flour for pizza! which is rising even as i type.

even with the prospect of fairways finally in sight here, i thought carefully about what i was doing. i consulted with various peeps, did some reading, and then i took the plunge: i joined my local csa.

which actually isn't so local, for me. but it does put my vegetables in the same situation as my coffee.

that is, just as i now know who the farmers are for 90% of the coffee i drink (and which you read about here), i also now know the farmers for my next 6 months of fruits and veggies.

i'll try it this year, even tho' it's a himalayan trek that may play havoc with my yoga schedule. what the csa doesn't have, i can supplement with fairway.

if i like it enough to do it again next year, i will definitely see if there are angles for decent, non-ultra-pasteurized milk (new york is a great dairy state! you should be able to get good milk in new york!), local wines, and of course, triple-cert locally roasted coffee.

when talking to the csa folks, they didn't seem to get the milk-wine-coffee gig. if the idea is local produce from local farmers, local food from local purveyors, then why not go the distance?

new york has fantastic artisan dairy and its wines are finally coming into their own. after all. . .

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posted by fortune | 8:57 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 2 comments

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