Monday, November 26, 2007
Another night, another VeganMoFo. Before I get started, I want to thank all of you so much for your thought-provoking and intelligent comments to last night's post. I can't respond to each of you individually, since your answers are so rich and multi-faceted, so I want to thank you collectively for carrying on the conversation. Questions of sustainability and social justice in relation to food are probably in the forefront of many of our minds, and it's always exciting to hear new perspectives on the matter.
Ok, on to tonight's post. I will show & tell three of my favorite things, food-wise.
1. Polish plum jam. My friend Dorota introduced this to me, and now I'm so addicted, I always have at least 2 or 3 jars stockpiled in the house. This is the only jam that I can eat with a spoon, straight out of the jar. The only ingredients are plums and sugar, so I don't know how they manage to get such a perfect flavor- tangy, sweet, rich, and awesome. If you have a Polish grocer near you, do yourself a favor and look for this brand of plum jam. It's perfect for toast, muffins, and hot cereal, yet complex enough to be used for sauces and savory recipes.
2. Porto Rico Importing Co. coffee sellers. They have two locations on New York City, or you can click over and order from them on-line. Porto Rico sells a wide variety of freshly roasted coffee (including many organic and fair-trade varieties), in addition to teas, flavoring syrups, and coffee and tea paraphernalia (like mugs, teapots, strainers, coffee makers, etc.) I can't even begin to tell you how delicious their coffees are. Any time either Daiku or I are in New York City, we buy a pound or two to bring back. For high quality coffee, their prices are beyond reasonable (often no more than $5-$6 a pound on sale). However, nothing beats the sale we stumbled upon when we were there a few weeks ago- an anniversary special blend for only $.85 !! Less than a dollar a pound for premium coffee! The only catch was that there was a limit of one pound per person. This problem was solved thanks to our lovely friends who agreed to help us out- and we walked away with 6 pounds of coffee- enough to last us through the year. Score!
3. Number three is a bit silly. You see, I'm hopelessly attached to this little rubber spatula. I bought it in 1995 on my first ever visit to Ikea (I believe it was the Burbank location). I picked up a 2-pack of these rubber spatulas, one large and this small one. It is the small one that I have become dependent upon- it is the perfect size, shape, width, and thickness, and the feel of the material is perfect. The sharp edge helps me to scrape the last bit of batter from a mixing bowl, the last bit of dressing from a jar, the last bit of food from a pot. When I'm blending something in my stand mixer, this helps me scrape the sides. When I'm making something in the magic bullet blender, this helps me to push the ingredients down. I use it at least once a day. I have bought a few similar spatulas, knowing that this one would eventually have to be retired, but none have been a perfect fit for me. I'm ruined for spatulas!
... which is too bad, because as you can see in the above photo, this poor little guy has to go! If any of you have a spatula you are particularly fond of (preferably silicone, which might last longer than the rubber), please let me know! Until then, I'll be clinging on to this perfect, humble, almost 13 year-old kitchen helper.