Daily Archives: April 2, 2013

Spring & Summer Goals

You guys. Last weekend was incredible. If you follow me on Facebook you may know that I flew to New York, got in a car with my sister and brother-in-law, drove four hours up to our family’s ski house in Vermont, and surprised my dad for his 65th birthday. He.was.shocked! I’ve never surprised anyone in my life and it was awesome. Then, of course, we proceeded to have a weekend packed with tons of food, fun, and family (and wine). Although I felt perfectly fine, I spent the entire day Saturday planted on the couch because I could.

I mean why would you leave this?

I mean why would you leave this?

We even managed to take a few ski runs on Sunday!

There was way more snow on the mountain than this photo would have you believe, but the wax sure came in handy!

There was way more snow on the mountain than this photo would have you believe, but the wax sure came in handy!

When I got back to Chicago on Monday I hit up Whole Foods to restock for the week. I must’ve seemed like a kid in a candy shop. After months of seeing all of the same foods over and over (I’m looking at you winter squash and sweet potatoes), there were so many foods I hadn’t seen in so long. Instead of shopping on autopilot like I’ve been doing lately I was stunned everywhere I turned: Gorgeous, thick asparagus, TONS of kale and chard in a kaleidoscope of colors, baby lettuces, and so much more. I have to admit I felt a little giddy just thinking about how much more new stuff there will be in the next few weeks and months. (OMG I CAN’T WAIT FOR STRAWBERRIES. YES I AM YELLING!)

Hello baby artichokes. You're very cute, but I have no idea how to cook you.

Hello baby artichokes. You’re very cute, but I have no idea how to cook you.

As I looked down at my grocery list of all too familiar ingredients I set goal #1 right then and there: I am going to branch out big time. If some kind of food scares me or stumps me then that’s a green light to get it. I’ve got to become more fearless. More specifically, I’m going to try one new food or plant per week. I’m also going to learn how to cook foods I’ve had before, like swiss chard, in more ways. (This weekend I had grilled romaine lettuce for the first time and it was mind blowing.)

In the produce section, I often step back and like to observe what people buy. I feel a sense of envy whenever people confidently reach for the odd looking ingredients (um daikon radish?) like they know exactly what to do with it. I want to be that guy!


Chayote squash? No problem! (Uhhhhh…..)

In the bulk foods aisle yesterday I watched as a woman filled a giant bag with dried fava beans and even asked her what she planned to do with them. Hey, I never claimed to be shy. Unfortunately her accent was so thick it sounded to me like she was going to saute them with onions and then make a cake, but I can’t be sure I heard that right.

As I got home and started unpacking my (same old boring) groceries my eyes fixed on our poor neglected little deck and even more forgotten grill. That’s when I set goal #2: This gal is going to learn how to grill! Robert does most of the grilling around here in the summer, but there’s no reason I can’t learn, too! I have this weird thing with fire, but I just need to get back to goal #1 and be a little more fearless. And let’s face it, when goal #1 leads me to buy strange foods I have no idea what to do with, chances are they’ll taste pretty darn good when I fulfill goal #2 and learn how to grill. Because everything tastes better from the grill.

So here it goes! A spring and summer full of strange looking vegetables, tons of grilling, and a whole lot of fearlessness. Who’s in?!