Vacation, Day 1 – baked and creamed

Last weekend we headed down into Boston for a picnic, and just happened to drive by the Whole Foods in Cambridge. I stopped in to grab a cookie for the ride home… and basked in the joy that only a store full of natural and organic foods can bring.

I normally make a yearly pilgrimage to the one nearest home (about an hour’s drive) in the fall, so I can spend a weekend or two making soups and the like, to prepare for the winter. I’d try to get down more often, but the commute, and pocketbook, usually dictate otherwise.

This week we’re on vacation. But it’s not slated to be a vacation week in the traditional sense. Thankfully, that’s scheduled for October. No, as always, this week is about the house.

I’m finally going to put new windows in the master bedroom, finish up what the May and June rains put off in the landscaping department, and, time permitting, scrape the clapboards and prep for a new coat of paint. Not to mention I’ll be helping my father tackle a few small projects – finish a basement, frame out and install a bead-board ceiling on my in-law’s screen porch… and time permitting, relax a bit before I go back to the grind.

But those two minutes in Whole Foods continued to beckon me back. If you’ve never been, it can only be described as a Food Mecca.

Suddenly, all I wanted to do was toss the rebuilding and constructions plans, and instead spend vacation in the kitchen. Naturally, a trip to the beach today just had to include a pilgrimage to my beloved green grocer.

So, will I be cooking all week? Yes, and no. I just dug out some easy favorites. Not soups or any heavy cooking. Just some creative salads, sandwiches, and pasta dishes. Nice, easy summer fare… but enough to satisfy my cooking “fix.”

Otherwise, I’ll still be home repairing and helping Dad out for the next few days… but I already know what’s on the lunch menu – It’s cooking as I type.

As you can tell from recent posts, I’ve been on an Alton Brown kick lately… so, tomorrow I’ll be sampling his roasted vegetable spread, prepared in a sandwich… how can you go wrong with roasted summer vegetables and cream cheese? It just has to be good. It also is about the easiest thing to prepare. Chop, bake, puree, done.

Then later this week I’ll be making my granola again! A double batch should last about a month. I’m also planning on cranking out a double batch of Baked Tomato Sauce. I might can some for the winter – take advantage of what’s in season while I can… that is, if I can dig up some good looking Romas at the neighborhood farmstand. WF only had conventional, and I prefer everything organic whenever possible. If I’m going to do something big, or for the long haul, I’m going to do it right.

Just a bit of the bounty from today’s haul. Millet will become some whole grain waffles, Organic rolled oats, dates and coconut will become granola, along with applejuice concentrate, sliced almonds and a few other things. And the Tiger Balm? – well, I’m definitely going to need that, too.

(recipes and reviews to come)

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About Scott

I am a son, brother, husband and father, and I am (or have been and enjoyed being) A student of science, art, and humanities in the states and abroad. A graphic designer, art deparment manager, and an art director. A woodworker, home renovator & preservationist. Vegetarian, organic gardener, cook. Photographer, cartoonist. Runner, judoka and fencer. An actor, writer, director and producer for a student run (but not school affiliated or sponsored) local access variety show. A uomo universale in training! In my spare time I like to read, watch movies and look for other creative pursuits and new inspirations!
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