Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It's Summer in Brookyln

My life has taken a turn towards chaos, positive chaos, but it is crazy nonetheless.

Brad and I have been very busy this Spring turning what were my independent design projects into our own business. About two weeks ago we moved into our new office space here in Brooklyn! My daily routine no longer includes sitting at my desk in our apartment, but instead, a pleasant 4 minute bike ride to the office, where we have set up shop. The space feels really productive (we share it with some friends who also have a small creative business) and has enough room for us to collaborate. We're still in the process of decorating and organizing, but soon I'll post photos and our new website.

The approaching Summer months will continue to feel hectic due to our frequent weekend travel plans. It seems half of our friends are getting married this summer, which calls for us to leave town often. I also have bike training and a few upcoming
centuries I plan to ride. One of the travel precedents we have set early on this season is camping and I couldn't be happier. With so much work and goings-on it is nice to occasionally go away and unplug - no computer or cell phone and lots of outdoors is just the cure for stress relief. So far our camp outings have included the Catskills, complete with a hike to a waterfall, and just this past weekend, Fire Island (photos to come). Late Summer and early Fall are guaranteed to host a few more.

Something about New York Summers makes makes everyone hyper-social and we are no exception. As the temperatures climb we find ourselves attending more and more parties and hosting more frequent dinners in out beautiful back garden. Which brings me to my final topic in this post, the food. For anyone who has been around this blog you must be asking by now if I am still cooking. Well the question is not if, but what - we have been cooking and eating like crazy!

The farmer's market and our local CSA have kicked into gear and I just can't get enough of the start of this season's bounty. I am reading a book by Barbara Kingsolver called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, that is making me more aware than ever of the importance of eating locally and seasonally. I am excited about my own efforts to make a little difference doing something I love and today I found out that have been awarded the role of Recipe Coordinator for this year's CSA season. Each week I'll be collecting four new recipes for our members based on the offerings from the farm. For anyone who has been saying that you just don't know what you'd do with all the goodies you find at the farmer's market, well, I'll have the answers for you. As soon as we have the recipe archive up and running I'll be sure to link to my collections from this blog. But in the meantime, here's a little teaser recipe to get you started:

Fresh Pea Soup
(makes a lot and freezes well)

3-4 pounds peas, shelled (reserve peas and shells separately)
8-12 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
3-4 spring onions, including stalks, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
handful basil leaves
salt and pepper
juice of 1 lemon

In a stock pot, cover pea shells with water and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for about 40 minutes. Strain shells and discard, reserving broth.

Melt butter over medium heat. Add the onion and reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, until soft for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and potatoes and continue to cook for 5 minutes longer.

Add 4-5 cups of reserved broth and peas and bring to a gentle boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced, about 15 minutes. Stir in basil and cook for 2 minutes longer. Salt and pepper to taste and allow to cool slightly.

Working in batches using a blender/food processor, or with an imersion blender, pure the soup until smooth. Either boil to thicken or add water to thin to desired consistency if necessary. Stir in lemon juice and serve.

*This soup goes down even smoother with a dollop of basil on top. It is delicious served either hot or cold.


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