It’s been a long couple of weeks, and I have completely neglected my writing and at times, my cooking. I absolutely love to put words on paper…I narrate mini stories and journal-like entries inside my head on a semi-hourly basis. Somehow though, when I have a platform with which to place it all upon, I can struggle to make the time. It’s like any semblance of a timeline that I put onto myself puts me into the I-am-a-grown-up-and-I-don’t-have-to mindset and suddenly the dishes need washing, right now…the crack in the baseboard definitely has to be spackled…you think, hey, it’s been a long time since I looked under my couch with a flashlight and then you find an entire orange, diner-style butter packets and 3 wine corks. You don’t tell your mom.
However, despite my lack of general productivity, I have realized something in the past few weeks that is rather important. The sun does still exist. Holy cinnamon bun, it’s freaking still in the sky. We’ve FINALLY had a little bit of warm. Just enough to make you want to scream with glee when you find that your winter coat is no longer a necessary garment to maintain a healthy body temperature. It’s too heavy…because it’s WARM OUT. The summer WILL come, they DIDN’T lie, and people (me) can start freaking smiling again…Ok??
Last weekend, on its opening weekend, I hit up my favorite food event in the known universe…Smorgasburg. Smorgasburg is an all food stand outdoor market that happens every Saturday in Williamsburg (best spot because of the copious options for post-food boozing), and every Sunday in Brooklyn heights from April-November. There are between 75 and 100 stands of individually-run small food businesses, some of which have food trucks/permanent locations elsewhere, and some that only show up at the ‘burg. The first time I found this place, I just about died and went to culinary start-up heaven with a stomach full of salted caramel s’mores and lemon ricotta fritters and my eyes rolled back into my skull…seriously, it was like learning about Christmas for the first time.
On Sunday, my girlfriend and I strolled through 9 blocks of cute brownstones and sunny pavement and meandered into the sea of tents, losing ourselves in the swirls of grill smoke and spices. Below are some pictures of a few of the endeavors…a coconut curry chicken steamed bun (the pork belly is better in my opinion), tiny pork spring rolls with tangy drizzled sauces, homemade mini whoopie pies (cookies ‘n cream, and my freaking INCREDIBLE goat cheese with honey and fig, enclosed in a ginger-bready soft cookie…I can still taste the joy).
And the grand champion of happiness, the maple bacon on a stick…which is a repeat offender at every Smorgasburg sighting. It’s a thick cut piece of super fresh bacon that’s different than the kind you find at breakfast. It’s tender, meaty, salty and swirled with juicy, fatty pieces that melt like butter when you bite into them. They shove a generous chunk onto a bamboo stick, grill it, and then splash it with sweet, syrupy maple sauce and sprinkle it with some kind of secret spice blend that I still cannot decode. This stick of grilled fat will literally change your life.
Lacking a picture, another fantastic find was a stand which only sells maple lemonade (sensing a maple fixation? Yup…second in line to the balsamic obsession). I literally drank this stuff and then yelled out loud, “What ISSSS THIS…?!?” which caught the people in my direct vicinity slightly off guard (crazy girl freaking out over a lemonade). They sweeten it exclusively with maple syrup, so you get a super refreshing tang of classic lemonade with a sweet punch of subtle maple flavor, which was not in any way excessively sweet or rich. We tried to go back for a second one a half an hour later, only to find the stand was packing up for the day and didn’t seem to care that our dreams had been crushed. They should give people a 1 hour window to return for more when they’re in the business of selling cups of sunshine.
Another work week is already in swing. Since the weekend, I’ve had one disastrous sweet ‘n sour tofu experience that is still stuck to the bottom of my (good) frying pan like liquid cement. The recipe for that will have to come to you after I manage to make it pretty enough to share a photo without total embarrassment. Or tears.
Not that I have ever cried in a ball on my kitchen floor clinging to a dripping spatula when my food hasn’t turned out right or anything…………