The food that tasted the best this week was a small sandwich handed to me by a friend. She had placed a bit of tuna and cream cheese on a small bun and offered it to me because she knew I probably wouldn't have eaten much on my own.
The second best meal was a picnic I had packed for myself: an orange, a roll, some cheese and salami. It was cloudy and windy, but warm, so that day my friend and I sat at a picnic table by the river while we had a break from the class we were taking.
Sometimes the best meals aren't organic, local, elaborate, or involved.
They are about companionship and affection.
(This is an old picture I am revisiting.)
This week I didn't prepare much ahead and I didn't eat much. It was, in fact, the kind of week that proves to me over and over that I eat better when I cook ahead.
One thing that I did make on Sunday that supplied breakfast for several days...
Yogurt cake (this recipe) with poached quince and roasted grapes.
When I add fruit to this recipe I usually use about 1/2 cup and add it last, once the batter is in the cake pan. For this cake I stirred the grapes into the batter and then added the quince last.
The quince I am working with is from my garden. I planted a tree about five years ago and it is one of my favorites. It is a beautiful and productive part of the garden.
Quince is according to Nigel Slater in his book Ripe, "the most ancient of fruits." If anyone is lucky enough to find some and needs recipes, Slater's book has a nice assortment. There are also recipes in Local Flavors by Deborah Madison and a recipe for making jelly at "Food in Jars".
For various reasons I didn't go to the farmer's market this week. I still have peppers, the Swiss chard (which was never cooked so it's still okay for soup), winter squash, a cucumber and a few sweet potatoes so these will be the foods I will work with this week.
My goal for tomorrow is to make lentil soup with the squash and Swiss chard, a batch of polenta, and maybe a loaf of bread.