Monday, July 25, 2011

Freebies. Chapter 1

Hello friends and loyal readership,

As some of you know I am currently working at a place where the pay is low but there are often decent freebies in the form of food (good) and bottles of wine (better) or even sometimes gin(best).

I am embracing the opportunity to taste lots of crazy and different wines and spirits for free by attempting to take as much of said wine/booze/beer/name-your-freebie as is socially acceptable (still figuring this out, still walking a bit of a line).

So! Today I begin with a bottle of Sawtooth Chardonnay from Idaho! See map below :

I think that what they're going for here is a "this wine must be good because I see Walla Walla and Willamette Valley here on the back" sort of trick. Trying to pull something over on East Coasters/ Midwesterners less familiar with the climate variations out West? Or maybe this little Idaho valley is in fact similar to Walla Walla or Willamette Valley. I don't actually know, the point I am making is that this map sketched me out and made me expect kind of a crappy wine. Also the fact that it sat on the freebie shelf for quite a while and I assume usually that the good stuff disappears fast. (I'm finding that is not really the case though as time goes by - its that social acceptability thing that stops people I think. I'm not letting it stop me!)

ANYWAY, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually quite enjoyed this wine! Now call me a child of the 80's but I like rich and creamy Chardonnays, and that's precisely what this was. Deep yellow in color, it even smells rich. That said, there is some lightness in the actual drinking, maybe something a little bit lime zesty? Regardless, there was enough of that zesty tang to make for some perfectly enjoyable sippage on this past Thursday, aka the HOTTEST DAY ON PLANET EARTH.

So for $10, I'd say this is not a bad buy if you happen to be in the mood for a rich and luscious cheapish white! But that's of course just my tongue's opinion so you could hate it. Can't possibly say.

Sad. Captivating. Kind of Beautiful.

yes I'm still sad about it.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Two Weeks Ago Today...

...We Moved!! To a de-luxe apartment on the Lower East Side!

By night; cozy and stuff :

With a little morning light!

my "closet", avec Buttercup :

Well, ok so it's a 350 square foot studio with a loft for the bed that doesn't fit and sort of sucky light. But it's on Clinton st, and its cozy and cute with lots of exposed brick, and it's ours ours ours ours ours! Our cats live here, and so do our books and it's home.

I've been exploring the neighborhood a lot, what with being half-employed and all. When I was working, I was walking to work, testing out the nicest routes. I found some decent ones, as you can see. New York might be the prettiest in the morning, with a surprising amount of perfection to be found, if you happen to be looking.

I don't mind the 'graffiti' in our new hood. This Royal Wedding-inspired specimen greets me as I turn off Clinton onto Houston. I believe it to be an unofficial work, but I am speculating here.

Washington Square Park is one of my favorite parts of my new morning commute.

We've been soaking up all this good NYC summer fun, around the hood, and all over!

Fourth of July Fireworks over the Hudson!

Bastille day celebrations in Carroll Gardens!

Lobster Benedict at Clinton St. Baking company (less than a block away!) The 1-2 hour wait isn't so bad when you have the option of going back to bed until your table is ready.

Shake shack in the park (I finished an entire 'shroom Burger!)

Worth the wait :

I finally broke in our kitchen yesterday, and baked a FRESH fresh fresh sour cherry pie completely from scratch.

It was a work of sheer force of will, as our apartment is quite tiny and totally ill-equipped for cooking of any sort. I pitted a million fiesty red jewels of summer,

...and even made the crust from absolute scratch.

By the by, I did completely everything you're not supposed to do with the crust, and it turned out just fine (don't you agree!?) :

so I'm going to share my recipe with you, and it is as follows.

SuperSummerSour Cherry Pie!

3 cups flour
16 oz cream cheese
2 sticks of butter (softened)

Pulverize the cheese and butter in a food processor. Enjoy how pasty and psychedelic it looks.

Slowly add the flour, pulsing between additions. I didn't end up using it all, but just watch for a work-able consistency. Divide into two balls and refrigerate while you make the cherry filling.

1 big thing of sour cherries ( 3-4 pints worth)
2/3 cup sugar
1-2 tblspoons cornstartch
1 lemon (the juice of it, you could throw in the zest too)

Pit the cherries

Pat yourself on the back and take a moment to enjoy their glistening luster! That was a lot of work! Now, put them in a pot with everything else. Gently bring to a boil and immediately turn down to a simmer. Cook until it reduces a little and looks like it will set to your liking when baked. Remove from heat.

Roll out the chilled dough and line a pie pan. Fill the pan with the cherry mixture and top with another rolled out round of dough! Snack on the extras. Save the rest (I had quite a bit left over). Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour. Let it cool for a good hour before serving.

Enjoy yourself a slice of summers' finest! You've earned it - I certainly did!