There is something to be said about the weather and how it changes not only our mood, but the way we think about life, love, career, family, etc. The fall makes us all regress and contemplate our goals and aspirations. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to pay for school after graduating. I could continue to work at my current day job full-time and free lance as a food stylist on the weekends so I’d be able to pay my tuition within the next three to four years, but it’s not really feasible. There may be a limited amount of opportunity for free lance work on weekends and the bulk of the work could be during the week. This probably means moving back to Brooklyn and/or have a roommate or two will have to be an option. I wouldn’t mind being back in Brooklyn, but hopefully this won’t involve the latter…a roommate or two. At the moment, I’m living in the LES, but just like any apartment in NYC, it has it’s pros and cons. There are times when I have Brooklyn nostalgia. I still love strolling around Williamsburg and Greenpoint on the weekends. My friends and I had our usual brunch spot at Enid’s. They had salmon cakes that were to die for, but they have been known to make some mean bloody marys. The rent is climbing in this part of Brooklyn though, so the probability of saving on rent is slim to none, and living further into Brooklyn would make me crazy just because of the commute. My only other option would be to possibly bartend on my days off. I’ve heard it can be a lucrative job even as part time. This may be the best option. We’ll have to wait and see what happens when I graduate from FCI.
Other things on the horizon is a possible volunteer opportunity with NYC’s greenmarkets. This would definitely be exciting only because I want to learn more about the ins and outs of the food community. I’m going in for training this week and am crossing my fingers for any openings on the weekends. Finding volunteer opportunities is as challenging as finding a full time job it seems.
Several weeks ago, I had a chance to experience the fried chicken dinner at Momofuku. I have to say though, it wasn’t really impressive. The dry battered chicken portion was burnt and way too salty. The Korean style portion was good, but I feel that Bon Chon Chicken does a much better job. I have to give David Chang props for condiments however. The Chinese pancakes, with four different sauces and a side of fresh veggies and herbs were a great compliment, but if you screw up the main component of the dish, which in this case happens to be the fried chicken, then it becomes a “why bother” meal. I also ordered the pork buns and had to see for myself what all the hype was. This also became a disappointment because the sauce drizzled in the pork bun was way too salty. This interfered with the delicacy of the pork. I’m hesitatnt to come back for the ramen because I’ve heard the broth is salty as well. My recommendation would have to be Ippudo, also located in the East Village. The ramen was perfect. From the well balanced broth to the texture of the noodles, this was done masterfully. The pork buns were amazing as well. They cooked the pork a bit differently, but everything about it was amazing.
The last day of the edible garden in the Bronx’s botanical garden was a couple of weeks ago. Lidia Bastianich and Daisy Martinez both had cooking demos that day. They are as real as they get and were a delight to watch in person. The garden is enormous and only had two hours to explore. The conservatory and surrounding areas were beautiful. They grew everything from chili peppers to grapefruit and pineapples. It’s definitely a trip worth going back to next year when everything will be in bloom again.
For any of you who love free art as much as I do, there are a few exhibitions well worth noting. The Highline (that runs along the west side on 10th Ave from 23rd st down to 16th st.) is a sight to see! I would have to say the best time to go is in the spring because everything that was green and lush is now turning yellow and brown for the fall. Next time, I will remember to bring the suntan lotion because it beats going to central park for a bit of tanning.
Another notable exhibit (past already) was Kehinde Wiley’s Black Light at the Deitch Project gallery on Grand St. I’m a sucker for urban art.
The Woodward Gallery on Broome St. also has a great showing, which consists a few of Keith Haring’s artwork.
The best thing about all of this? One word: FREE!
Now that fall is here, I’m excited to be cooking a lot more. I can use my oven w/o having to turn on the air conditioner. Instead, it can be used to warm up the apartment. This week’s recipe is simple as always and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This is my version of an open face egg scramble.
1 tbs oil
1 bunch scallions (diced)
Two slices of tomato
Whole wheat english muffin (toasted)
2 slices of cheddar cheese (none of the fake stuff such as Kraft singles)
Heat oil in omelet pan over med-high heat. Add scallions. Cook for about 3-4 minutes and add beaten eggs already seasoned with salt and pepper. Scramble eggs over medium low heat. Do not over cook. Toast english muffins and add cheese on each muffin. Then top with a slice of tomato and then egg/scallion mixture. Sometimes I also like to drizzle a bit of Sriracha sauce on top just for a little added heat and garlic flavor.