What’s for Dinner

Sunchoke report: Sam handles them fine but I do not. (I only ate a little and the aftereffects were mild, but it was enough to steer me clear of sunchokes in the future.) We didn’t give any to Robin.

Yesterday in our box we got kale, bok choy, lettuce, basil, four plums, two leeks, carrots, celery, broccoli, three heirloom tomatoes (wish I knew the varietal!), six of what look like Yukon Gold potatoes, and six of the little crisp apples that Robin loves. We’re lucky enough to have Nonna and Pappy with us for the weekend, so last night I whipped up a batch of pesto and left it for the boys and their grandparents while Sam and I went out to celebrate our anniversary at Farmer Brown in San Francisco. It’s a restaurant close to where we used to live; we talked about going there a lot, and never did. Basically they do Southern food tarted up in a fancy way. I guess I’d have to say that in general I prefer my Southern food non-tarted, but I was able to get fried okra and that’s a win even if it did come with a wedge of lemon and some remoulade, exactly as if it were calamari. Sam’s fried chicken was pretty underwhelming, but the collard greens on the side were perfect, so good I traded him my cheesy potatoes for his cup of greens. My hangar steak was wonderful. The place was really loud but the crowd was diverse and attractive and jolly: I guess everybody was all jazzed about some sportsball thing? Something about the Giants and the World Series. “That’s baseball, right?” I asked Sam, inadvertently provoking a whole conversation about baseball, during which I nodded and smiled while privately admiring Sam in his spiffy corduroy jacket and plaid checked shirt. I think he totally looked like he could be an incarnation of Doctor Who. Doctor Who, by the way, is the best Halloween costume ever, because you don’t have to imitate a specific Doctor! You just have to kind of capture a Doctor-ish air. And then when anyone asks you what you’re supposed to be dressed up as you look at them and you say “I’m the Doctor!” When Sam seemed to have stopped talking about baseball leagues I made him say “I’m the Doctor!” and it was so hot.

It was nice walking back to BART after dinner, because the whole city was in a good mood over the sportsball thing, but not in such a good mood that they were turning cars upside down or anything. They were just, like, honking and cheering.

Anyway, tonight I’m going to make pork chops smothered in apples and a salad with roasted beets, and some warm gingerbread for dessert. We got a big pumpkin and we’re going to carve it, so I’ll try and get pictures. Sam and his dad were also planning to build a fence around the backyard today, but it’s raining pretty hard so I don’t know if that’ll happen. Tomorrow I’ll roast a chicken along with the carrots (and maybe the broccoli), and then I’ll make broth from the carcass for a soup on Tuesday—Cook’s Illustrated has a recipe for “colcannon soup with kale” that I’m going to try out. Always good to have another kale recipe.

Wednesday I’ll make ratatouille with the tomatoes and some zucchini and eggplant I bought at the store. The bok choy I think we’ll eat as a lunch, and the plums for breakfast, so that will take care of the veggies. I’ll make pasta or something on Thursday, and Friday we can have leftovers.

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