Tag Archives: brooklyn

Roadway restaurants, addendum

A few more I happened to see last evening. First is actually an action view of one I showed, empty, yesterday, the Longshoreman bar just a block from my house, on Columbia Street. Kind of a horse-country vibe with the white cross-gate fences and the potted plants.IMG_20200702_174105

Then a few from Court Street, heading south. You can see that the Frankies folks have colonized a long stretch of the block with an aggressively rough-hewn look, right opposite the smaller red-framed and -topped space.

IMG_20200702_175833And more along Court. This first one has country-house detailing, for those of us taking our summer vacation on asphalt. The benches let them use the sidewalk too.

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Roadway restaurants.

I’m interested in the ad hoc, quickly installed enclosures local restaurants have made to set up tables and chairs in the road, while indoor dining is still forbidden and presumably while and when it is restricted. The program, called Open Restaurants, allows a restaurant to claim space on the sidewalk, if it’s wide enough, or in the public road. (The program is run by the NYC Department of Transportation; the description is here. Restaurants do have to submit an application, but they’re allowed to certify themselves without inspection.) I am sure that within a few months these will be professionalized; I hear that the Upper East Side ones are already fancy. I saw these on a walk through Carroll Gardens, along Smith Street to Atlantic, west on Atlantic and back home—nothing scientific, just a slightly extended neighborhood stroll.

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Some more pictures.

 

Also 2018. Casey is practically in college now.

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Fib.

win_20160905_14_34_35_pro

People lie, have you noticed? Cell phones open a new channel for the untruth observer. Yesterday afternoon, for example, I was riding the Number 61 bus placidly towards home when the phone of the woman behind me rang. She started telling her caller about some bureaucratic errand she’d been on and then said, “I’m waiting on the sixty-one bus.” Did I hear that right? I thought. Maybe she said sixty-three? But no, she repeated, “I’m waiting on the 61 bus,” and while my mind spun trying to derive a scenario where one could legitimately be waiting for a bus while riding it, she doubled down by adding, “But not long, it’s moving out soon.” So no, it was just a lie; perhaps to confuse her caller about when she’d be home, or something. I don’t know.

The toy dragon is just for fun. I found him on the street. Rawr!

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Overheard in Brooklyn, Prospect Park edition

elmblossomAll these within a minute or so on a single path in Prospect Park:

“‘Bunnies and Twinkies,’ she said to me, ‘bunnies and Twinkies, that’s all I want you to think about.'”

“I could do the dark road, too, another time.”

“To steal a Monet . . .”

Witch hazel, red maple, elm, and cornelian cherry are in bloom. (Photo borrowed from the City Birder.)

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Overheard in Brooklyn, junior scientist edition.

On Union Street in sudden warm weather. A girl of about five, pushing her scooter along, her father walking beside her. Insistently: “The SUN doesn’t move. The EARTH moves.” Geez, Dad.

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Back in November . . .

Considering there were just two of us, I made a lot of different things for Thanksgiving. And practically everything had its own sauce. I made horseradish sauce for the roasted parsnips and carrots (ground horseradish, yogurt, cider vinegar — tangy) and “gorgonzola” cream for the butternut squash using leftover soft, stinky cheese (equal amounts butter & cheese, garlic, pounded with a pinch of salt; this was delicious). And for the steamed cauliflower, a whole tiny one, very cute: wait, what is this “sauce” on my list? Apparently I was supposed to remember and find the recipe. Hah! However, as I had two kinds of cranberry sauce and mushroom gravy in addition to the sauces above, I guess we were sufficiently sauced. So to speak. (I got the sauce ideas from Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Literacy, a book I had better buy so that I can quit renewing the library copy.)

The cocktail was cranberry shrub with seltzer, vodka, and Dutch’s Spirits’ Prohibitters (part of a set of three bought at the Hudson Valley Wine Festival last year); appetizers were radishes with butter & salt, olives, and artichoke hearts marinated with olive oil, lemon, and chopped olives. For soup we had passato di verdure from Beatrice Tosti di Valminata, mentioned here. Along with the parsnips, cauliflower, and squash, I made a rather unsuccessful, mostly classic stuffing using a nice bread from Mazzola’s, celery, onions, and vegetable stock. (It needed more stock, since turkey juices were not available.)  Z brought red Philippine rice and Mama Stanberg’s cranberry relish; the other cranberry sauce was the classic plain with a little medium hot pepper. We drank a granacha from Navarre, Lurra, with a sheep on the label.

I was going to make an apple crisp but in the end we ate some leftover mini pumpkin cupcakes and a Blanc de Calville apple from the Samascott orchard in Kinderhook. Oh my god, I bored everyone with my enthusiasm for this apple. Crisp with a bursting juice, and a winey tang.

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Crunching and jamming.

You remember that pear-ginger conserve I made, out of Melissa McClellan’s FOOD IN JARS book? Well, I made another recipe, nectarine-lime, and it was maybe even more delicious. It came out a gorgeous purplish-red color, too, surprisingly, suggestive of cherries or raspberries, but I figure it was all due to the nectarines’ skins.  The minced lime zest gave it a little sharp nip.

I had all the ingredients (except the millet, procured for 26 cents at the organic store on Court Street) so I made Smitten Kitchen’s vegan, gluten-free, nut-free chocolate granola bars.  So far I have not encountered any of my acquaintance with all those requirements, but the non-sensitive to whom I’ve offered the bars have enjoyed them. There are a lot of variable slots in the recipe: I used pomegranate molasses for the sweetener, tahini for the nut butter, coconut oil for the fat, dates and dried cranberries for the fruits.  Even cut with (gasp) corn syrup the pomegranate was, as I feared, somewhat overwhelming; if I make these again I will use honey and will change up the fruits, maybe to raisins and apricots. I’ll also reduce the chocolate further (I used a little less than the cup called for).  In pursuit of effective congealment I adopted the technique from the comments of heating the syrup briefly and melting the oil and tahini into it.  I baked at night, refrigerated the tin, and cut the bars in the morning, and they held together quite well. Half the batch is keeping safe in the freezer, individually wrapped purportedly for travel snack use, though I had one frozen last night.  I’d say they were a success, but not such a stunning one as to put paid to any thought of alternatives.

I’m giving you just a thumbnail photo, because why make an ugly picture any easier to see?

Granola bars. They taste better than they look.

Granola bars. They taste better than they look.

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Better macaroons.

betteroons

betteroons

In previous years I’ve used David Lebovitz’s recipe for macaroons, which calls (extraordinarily, I haven’t seen this anywhere else) for lightly cooking together the ingredients in a skillet before baking. This year I didn’t look up his recipe and just used the universally approved method that simply mixes the egg white with the dry ingredients and bakes.  And I have to say, they’re NOT AS GOOD. This morning I made a tiny batch of the Lebovitz method — of course I left out the flour; otherwise the only differences are the process and the addition of a little dab of honey — and they are not as macaroon-looking but they are charmingly juicy with a caramelized edge.  So good.  Thanks, David, it’s well worth dirtying a frying pan.

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Continuing the Passoverian theme

Should I have a tag for “Bad Pictures of Baked Goods”?

maca-maca-roon

maca-maca-roon

This morning I made a batch of coconut macaroons. It’s embarrassing how easy coconut macaroons are.  Almond ones, for some reason, cause me much more trouble, but I’m going to try for some of them later today or in the passover season and also want to make tish pishti, but these may have to wait, as I am required to produce a vegetable kugel for tonight,

Some of these macaroons have a little nutmeg and cardamom sprinkled in, with some coconut extract added. Nice, I think.

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