Man I love honey-crisp apples, still tasting mighty fine. As much as I’m enjoying the frozen berries and cherries I mentioned yesterday, I still need something fresh to sink my teeth into, if for no other reason than to remind me that plants were once alive in Minnesota. Sigh. And honey-crisps are particularly Minnesotan, as the delicious variety (name says it all) was developed here by the University of Minnesota. I really like the smaller version and grab them when I spot them, sometimes at Whole Foods, sometimes at Byerly’s. They’re quite tasty sliced with a smear of almond butter, or grated into oatmeal or pancakes, or with a slice of sharp cheddar, or of course just out of hand. Sasha is an apple-dipped-in-chocolate aficionado and who could disagree with that? Chocolate! Nathan likes them with peanut butter, or dipped in caramel sauce. So good.
There are locally grown mushrooms at the market as well. I’m a big, BIG mushroom lover and as such, like the cheese, I stand alone. At least in my family. But that’s OK, I’m also the cook, so I saute a pan of mushrooms on the side (little olive oil and minced garlic, sprinkle of salt, finish with a squeeze of lemon) and add them to all the other things I make for dinner. In fact, they’re a delicious stand-in for meat, so if I make burgers, for instance, I’ll make myself a small (2 oz.) burger and load it up with mushrooms. My goodness, so delicious. Ditto steak and chicken – a nicely sauteed chicken breast, topped with mushrooms and a bit of pan juices? In my book, hard to beat. I use them to fill out pasta dishes too, often sauteed with other vegetables – everyone else has a plate of spaghetti, I have a small portion of spaghetti filled out with lots and lots of vegetables. The way it’s supposed to be. (My hope is that the kids will someday follow suit. That whole “if you cook vegetables in flavorful ways, and offer them repeatedly to your children, they’ll soon be eating them” thing has not worked for me… You?) And then there’s my favorite dining-alone dinner – sauteed mushrooms with polentaaaaah. Hmmm, I could use one of those dinners, it’s been awhile.