This past year I've been on a quest of sorts.
I want a pantry. What I have is one cupboard above my counter top, a 1/2 cupboard above my stove, and another 1/2 cupboard above my icebox -- better known in these parts as a fridge. Oh, and I have a standard, apartment-sized fridge and freezer.
Let me explain. To me, pantries are where you go to play with food. What you have or keep or have easy access to -- that's what you get to play with in your kitchen.
So, my quest this past year, given my limited space, is how do I create a pantry I can play in. And quite frankly it's a question that continues to haunt me -- that nagging question at the back of my brain.
But Monday Night's dinner was all about the pantry. Kind of.
I belong to Heaven's Harvest CSA and I'm the 'Market Manager' for the Farmers' Market at Community Servings -- and Monday night's dinner was all about access to beautiful, local food.
Dinner was a 'nicoise' inspired salad. The greens were organic red leaf lettuce from Heaven's Harvest and really tasty purslain from Silverbrook Farms. We steamed organic green beans, lightly hard boiled organic, days old, free range eggs from the CSA, the first peaches of the season, and fish that we marinated in lime juice, white wine, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper.
The salad dressing was made with dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.
Besides being fast and easy and beautiful and feeding my soul, it made me feel like I was the wealthiest woman in the world and perhaps one of the luckiest -- to be able to so easily access such beautiful food.
So, I've decided that the herbs I grow get to be part of my pantry. And I'm beginning to think that perhaps my CSA share and the farmers market are too.
All of this is to say, if you get the chance, join a CSA, come to the farmers' market, make dinner and eat it with friends. There's nothing better in life than being able to create and break bread with friends, neighbors, family -- the people you love.