Oh, Eastern Market, how I love thee. No, really I do, it’s probably one of the best outdoor (and indoor) farmer’s markets in the area. Problem is, it’s about a 30 – 45 minute drive from my house, and I won’t even begin to talk about parking. If I could I would go every day, just to pick up some fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables from local farmers. Maybe even eat a crepe, or stand in line at Market Lunch, on a Saturday morning. Well, if I could skip the line, in a VIP kind of way, I would totally do it. However, I don’t see that happening anytime soon, so I’ll just wait like everyone else.
Last night was the ultimate test. I was tempted to drop by the grocery store on my lunch break and pick up a few things for dinner. Luckily, I got busy at work and did not have a chance to go. If you have been reading my blog then you’ll know that I am trying to cook more, and use the foods I already have stocked in my fridge and pantry. I have developed a habit of going to the grocery store and not using the foods I buy. I attribute this horrible habit to my indecisive nature. I can say I want spaghetti for dinner, but end up making meatloaf. Seriously, it’s ridiculous, and I’ve wasted way too much money and food because of it.
This is probably one of my favorite sides to make because it combines some of my favorite vegetables. About two years ago, I found this great recipe for a potato and sweet potato gratin and thought it would be perfect for a potluck I was invited to. Logistically, it turned out to be a nightmare. First, potatoes turn a grayish-brown color (become oxidized) if they are not cooked right away (within 15-30 minutes) after being peeled. Also, if you don’t cut the potatoes thinly then they will take forever to cook. The gratin came out okay, but I’m a bit impatient and I knew I had to do something to cut down on the cooking time. I came up with this recipe by accident because I ran out of potatoes, and just used what I had stocked in the fridge. Did I mention it cooks in about 30-45 minutes? That’s right, this dish is table ready in less than an hour. Not too bad when you’re talking about a potato gratin.
This picture was taken in Parque Güell, (Güell Park) with the beautiful city of Barcelona, Spain, as its backdrop. I was visiting the city over the summer, and I was fortunate enough to have a guided tour of the park by my cousin Karina. Not only was it my first time in Barcelona, but it was the first time I’d ever met my cousin. I did not know what to expect as she spoke no English and I speak Spanglish. After giving a tour of the park she asked, “Tienes hambre?” (Are you hungry?) After a long, hot day in Barcelona I said, “Claro, que si!” (Of course!) Then the most amazing thing happened. Karina said she was going to make an authentic Spanish dinner. I had to hold my composure, I was too excited to finally get a home cooked meal.