Saturday, June 19, 2010

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

This will be a quick post. It's been a day off, an extra third day off to finish off the week. My employers calls the category a floating holiday. What a great notion, don't you think? A holiday that floats.

I started my floating Saturday with a good breakfast, featuring a three minute egg. About a year ago, my doctor advised me to cut back on my egg eating. I love eggs. I have followed his advice and will soon check in with him so that he can check my blood to see if this egg cut back has had any effect. How I perversely hope that there won't be much effect. I would love to resume sampling more than one per week.

In the above photo you will also see the front page of today's New York Times and some toast with marmalade and some coffee with skim (ugh ... that doctor again) milk, and my cluttered table.

Post egg and toast, pre-finish of all the coffee, I was also taking the elevator up and down to the basement laundry room to do the weekly wash. Last Tuesday, the wooden water tank on the room of this apartment building was replaced. This was a major deal. It was accomplished within the predicted time ... but meant that for most of Tuesday we had no water. It has meant since then that we residents have good running water, but it does have a faint scent/taste that is woody-metallic.

We hope that it will return to tasteless soon.

Ah, so breakfast was good, the newspaper was full of information that did not always please, the laundry was done.

I set off for a visit to my hair stylist who skillfully returned my bob cut to perfection. She is a wizard, and a fine person, too.

Then it was over to the nearby Union Square farmers green market. It is still a bit early for the local farmers to have truly bountiful produce, but all the same, today's stalls were beautiful.

There were lots and lots of flowers and plants, and bakery good, and eggs, and fish and chicken. I did not buy those.

Instead, I focused on greenery, finding fresh leafy Boston lettuce and wild rocket, and parsley. I was tempted by a stand featuring radishes. I admit to not being such a fan of radishes, but the varieties on display just won me over. I selected a rubber-banded-together bouquet of radish varieties, pink, red, redder, ivory, sharp, mild, globular, carrot-shaped. The farmer laughed when I told him that I was going to try to learn to like eating radishes, just because his selection looked so pretty. He suggested slicing the radishes very thinly and sauteing them with soy sauce. I will try it.
The picture above just shows a few of the samples. I planned on doing some colored pencil drawings of these lovelies, but admit that the afternoon's heat caught up with me ... and I took a nap.

It's a bit early for abundant tomato displays at the market, but I did spy with my little eye, the beauty in the following photo. It did not contribute to tonight's salade compose, but ... tomorrow evening it just might be the star of the show.

Every summer when these green markets really begin to strut their stuff, I just begin to yearn for the opportunity to have a garden of my own. Could it be that a year from now one of these recurring dreams might come true?
Meanwhile, I will state for the record that the radish that contributed to tonight's salad was scrumptious.
Best wishes to all who garden and to all who appreciate those gardeners.


  1. I must try that way of cooking radish here we eat them raw and I do not liek them, somthing about the texture I think!My potager looks very slow and shy lettuce are reluctant to grow beyond the tiny 4 leaved state, runner beans are timid about climbing thie poles and french beans are huddling close to the soil just in case. Potatoes are strutting thier stuff though! I am sure this time next year you will be gardenign and painting your own produce!! Even if it is only in a window box!
    email me adn tell me how it is goin on your side of the pond!

  2. Have to tried roast radish? Tossed in a little olive oil and seasoned, with chunks of carrot and other root veh if you like, and roast in the oven.

    Lovely with a cous-cous or bulgar wheat salad.

    Our kitchen garden is starting to look abundant at long last. We've harvested the first new potatoes and strawberries this weekend.


  3. Frances, you can be so wistful at times! I see you hiring a horse (someone must have horses in New York), throwing a few things in a bag and trekking upstate until you find a little patch that you can turn into your own country home; somewhere you can have the garden you've always wanted and keep chickens that lay lots of lovely brown golden eggs. Then you can sit on the veranda and eat two for breakfast every morning and think of your New York doctor, far away amid the city stress, and have a big smile on your face.

  4. A lovely post!
    Do I spy Spode Italian......?
    Radishes are so very easy to grow -- so excellent as a starter project for children.
    Everything tastes so much better straight out of the ground.
    So glad you are getting some days off
    so now we will have to meet for some scrumptious snack.
    Buster sends his best.

  5. Oh, what is this? Hints that you might be getting some growing space? I do hope so! I have read that the scare about eggs/cholesterol is now proved unfounded, I have to say I'am lucky enough to have perfectly normal blood pressure & cholesterol levels, and eat about 8 eggs a week at least, them being my favourite food.
    (BTW, you are right in your comment on my blog about it being the cricket season and when Andy hasn't been working at the w/end he has played and I've gone to some of them, but sadly have had to miss some as have had so much work of my own to do).

  6. Fennie's right - there was a wistful note to that post. The mention of dreams coming true too. I do hope so. I'm glad the radish was as tasty as it looked! I grow them, but mainly because they look pretty in the garden.

  7. I love Fennie's comment on this post, Frances, it seems to capture the mood of it. Right now I'm picturing you with your lovely perfect bob. I'm in need of a cut.

    I hope the water in your apartment returns to normal flavour soon!

  8. Dear Frances,

    I am with you on the eggs, love them too and they can be used for so many menu's, although what is better than a fresh boiled one for breakfast.

    Those radishes are a favourite of mine too, thanks to that local Farmer in NY for that tip on how to use them differently, what a great idea.

    Wishing for your water supply soon to be rid of that not so good taste.

    Loved Fennie's comments to your post, hold onto that dream of having your very own garden one day Frances, I know that when it happens it will be filled with gorgeous plants.

    Lovely post Frances.


  9. Frances, we grow our own radishes and they are delicious! The French often eat them with a side slather of butter, icy cold....not good for cholesterol! We just slice them into salads.
    How perfect for you if you could find a little place with a garden, even if only a balcony. I can feel your fingers crying out for 'a bit of earth'.

  10. A little bit of what you fancy does you good and it now seems that eggs have lots of good cholesterol not to mention vitamins and essential fatty acids and Omega three or so I'm told.

    Could you have a window box I wonder? I am sure you could grow some herbs and radishes in a little window box. Do you know the work of Sara Midda "In and Out of the Garden"? She painted radishes in the most exquisite way.

  11. your life sounds so good! I love eggs too, i think thats the one hard thing about being pregnant I long for a boiled egg! fliss xx

  12. Thanks to you all for your wise comments. What a wonderfully astute and generous bunch you are.

    her at home, I thank you for the encouragement, here and via e-mail.

    Celia, I have passed along you radish suggestion to my brother who also loves radishes, and is a much better cook than I.

    Fennie. Think that you have great insight. Yes, how I do wish to have some wishes come true...was raised to believe that hard work would pay off. Not so totally sure of that at my advanced age.

    Ewix. Indeed you do spy the blue Italian. I do need to figure out a way for us to have that postponed walk/cup of tea, whatever.

    PG. I am honored with every comment you leave me, knowing just how tight your current schedule is. I've just got dreams of gardens now. Hoping that Andy's cricket is making the assembled fans very happy.

    Presli Mags, Chris and Camilla. Thank you. Yes, Fennie is very wise. Yes, the tap water hereabouts is still a bit off, but better every day.

    Eliz D, thank you for yet another great recipe. Butter is a dear friend of mine.

    Acorn Moon, yes, I do know Sara Midda and very much like her watercolors. I held onto a calendar diary from many years ago that featured pictures from her garden book.

    Felicity, thank you for visiting from one egg lover to another.

    Best wishes to you all. I have just had a marvelous salad for supper and it featured lots of the produce I bought at the farmers market yesterday ... including sliced radishes.


  13. Well, its quite remarkable to have some of your country dreams foretold by Fennie. The image sounds truly grand!

    Thanks to the farmer and Magic Cochin for the radish recipes. And thank you for these ideas.

  14. what beauty: a single ripe tomato on a plain white plate.

    good luck with the eggs. i love them, too. and cream.

  15. Glad you liked the radish, the way you have them displayed in the photo at a quick glance makes them look like a some modern beads! The veg patch is coming along here. I do hope you get your dream garden one day.

  16. Frances, there's something very Danish about your appreciation of even the smallest radish. I love it!
    I do hope that you find your patch of ground and one day grow your own beautiful radishes and tomatoes - enough that you'll be able to eat and/or paint them!

  17. I've been reading about US farmer's markets in Barbara Kingsolver's book - they sound so abundant and beautifully displayed. Enjoy your radishes - we had some on the allotment but they got too big - not very tasty, even for radishes. We're having some home grown potatoes tonight though - first ever from my garden. Hope they're good.

  18. A lovely post about your wonderful floating Saturday day!
    I will try the warmed up radishes with soya sauce.
    Love the Spode china.
    All the best,
    Ingrid xx

  19. Sorry, I am so late once again; everything intelligent and amusing will have been said long ago.

    Do you know that new studies have found that eggs are not, after all bad for you? Taken in moderation, of course.

    I love these little views of your city days, you make an uneventful day sound poetical, a haven of charm.

    As for radishes, one at a time is fine, more than that, no thank you.

  20. Frances, I do hope that your country dreams come true. I imagine you with a very elegant little pocket handkerchief garden.
    Is that how it is in your dreams?

  21. Oh how lovely! I haven't tried radishes like that before as I quite like them as they are, preferably straight our of the ground with a touch of soil! Really quite refreshing. I wonder what show the tomato was the star of? It was HUGE!