Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rego Park Locavore


After a scant, 15-year hiatus an old friend and I had lunch in New York last week. It was a beautiful Spring day. Our plan was to catch up and cook a locavore-ish meal together. Back in the day we slaves in the factory of fashion in New York. Now we're slaves to food, she in Rego Park with her family and me in the country with friends and farm animals. She now works as a caterer and blogs in "Grapes and Greens." (photo: Deborah Soffel)

When Deb came walking down the hall on the 18th floor of my friend's place, she looked pretty jaunty with her saunter and spray of flowers. Girlish squeals ensued then the brief silence ....

"Oh, are these up?" I said of the lilacs. And she said, my New York friend, "At the bodega, they are," and with that we resumed our friendship. 
Rego Park and New York City are vague on the point of provenance. The man who sold me the broccoli rabe at the farmers' market referenced an unknown county in upstate New York. In Rego Park, at her neighborhood market, Deb asked why a mountain of bananas was referred to as "local." An employee responded with "that's what the sign says lady.."
I show her my food for lunch, broccoli rabe from the farmers' market in Union Square. 


She brought herbs from her garden in Rego Park which we spread out over the counter, and marveled over. Then she pulled out the tofu, local, perhaps from Chinatown, and then she pulled out some red quinoa. Local to her kitchen, good enough. 


The apartment we had to cook in was the home of an ineligible bachelor with little in the way of amenities. The larder stocked only with Nutella and no wine glasses, pepper or place mats to be found .... just some Japanese cups and a glass with a painting of a pole dancer on it....but we punted, like back in the day, and made a decent show of it.

Reunion Lunch: Rabe & Pink Quinoa

Reunion Lunch via Rego Park

what

1- bunch brocooli rabe (Union Square Farmers' Market)
1- cup red quinoa (the store)
Herbs including mint, oregano (deb's garden, Rego Park)
1- block tofu (Chinatown)
how
-Open wine (20 sec)  
-Prep veggies (5 min) by trimming stems of broccoli rabe and dicing herbs.
discuss friends (ongoing)
discuss old boss (20 min)
discuss ex-husbands (10 min)
discuss deb's recent wedding (20 min)
discuss lack of spices & decide herbs will do (2 sec)
-Cut tofu up into little cubes and brown in olive oil  (2-5 min)
-Put quinoa in pan with water and cook (20 min)
discuss families (ongoing)
discuss food and/or sex (ongoing)
-Stirfry broccolli rabe in to small pan with olive oil (5-10 min) in two batches
discuss books (ongoing)
discuss jewelry (2 min)
Set table 
discuss politics (20 sec)
discuss dan barber and Stone Barns (4 min)
Plate. Deb surrounded a mound of quinoa with a wreath of broccoli rabe studded with fried cubes of tofu  and we are so local to one another the meal was memorable.


Eat with additional discussion.