Recipes CSA Madness & Eileen’s Crispy Greens

Riddle me this, reader… It’s never taken me more than 10 minutes to complete my annual Community Supported Agriculture program signup. So why did I just return from a CSA signup session that took TWO HOURS? What’s the sudden public obsession with local vegetables? Should I blame Michael Pollan? Mark Bittman? Alice Waters? The recession? The FDA peanut recall? All or none of the above? Maybe this is the year in which investments in financial markets feel more risky than investments farmers' markets.

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Video Treat: Dual Lion Dance in Chinatown
Video Treat: Dual Lion Dance in Chinatown

On a quest for a golden ox in Chinatown today, I ran into two lions. No lie. These things happen in Chinatown. Sadly, I didn’t find the golden ox I was seeking (not every quest ends in success) but you can see the lions for yourself — I caught them on video. The dancers are from New York United Lion & Dragon Dance Troupe. I particularly like the way they flick their ears and pay attention to lion-like mannerisms.

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The Pizza Oven on a Flat-Bed Trailer
The Pizza Oven on a Flat-Bed Trailer

I cooked with Dave Sclarow at Tabla back in the day. He was always a handy guy and a solid cook (he’s now running the kitchen at Lunetta in Brooklyn), but he recently got in the NY Times and various other publications for what essentially amounts to something of a novelty act: he built a wood-fired pizza oven on a flat-bed trailer. Voila! It’s porta-pizza! Actually, it’s kind of a brilliant way to bring an enormous wood-fired oven to the people, wherever those people happen to be.

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Egg Cream: No Egg, No Cream. Still Good.

“When I was a young man, no bigger than this A chocolate egg cream was not to be missed Some U-Bet’s Chocolate Syrup, seltzer water mixed with milk Stir it up into a heady fro', tasted just like silk You scream, I scream, We all want Egg Cream” — Lou Reed from Egg Cream If you ever move to New York — and lots of folks do just that each year — you are bound to encounter the classic beverage that goes by the name Egg Cream .

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Old Mr. Boston and His Bronx Cheer

Flipping through my Old Mr. Boston De Luxe Official Bartender’s Guide (1960 edition, naturally…), I was struck by how many random place names pop up in the cocktails. There’s the Alaska and Alabama cocktails, but with no explanation, Old Mr. Boston gives no such honor to Arizona or Arkansas. Baltimore gets representation in the form of both the Baltimore Bracer and the Baltimore Eggnog, but is there a Brooklyn ? No.

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What’s In The Box? Part II

It’s week two of my half-share CSA distribution. The local weather’s been alternating between gorgeous sunny days and violent thunderstorms recently. That has to be affecting the local veggies. The first shipment was heavy on lettuces. So what’s in the box this week? Arugula Zucchini… big ones! Chinese cabbage (flowering, but still tasty) Mesclun lettuce mix Red leaf lettuce Pea shoots

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What’s In The Box?

Oh, anticipation! I haven’t felt so giddy since I was a kid at Christmastime. Several months ago, I signed up for my local Community Supported Agriculture group (that’s a CSA to the regulars) and, swoon! the first delivery arrived last night. One of the things I love about CSAs is how closely it ties us to the local environment. Here’s what was in the box this week: Red Lettuce

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Visiting the Brooklyn Flea: Fresh Cannoli and More

[to Rocco who has killed Paulie in the car] Miss Ginsu: Leave the cannoli. Take the gun. Oh yes… let me add my voice to the massive city-wide swoon over the brilliant new Brooklyn Flea. Part craft fair, part food festival, part reliquary of the bizarre, the Flea is my new favorite Brooklyn tradition. From pulp fiction to papusas, the Flea offers something for just about everyone. The roomie and I spotted a black leather analyst’s couch, the jawbone of some large mammal (a horse?

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Recipes Ten Thousand Picnics, One Custard Baklava

Our extended cold, damp spring was all forgiven this past weekend. For those of us who stuck around for the holiday, three glorious days of sunshine, blue skies and idyllic chirping birds reminded us that New York can actually be a pleasant place to live. From my informal survey of city parklands, I estimate there were roughly oh, somewhere in the neighborhood of ten thousand picnics happening around the city this weekend.

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Travel Supping Outside on the Lower East Side

Dear Miss Ginsu , It’s so beautiful this week, I really can’t justify going indoors. Can you recommend any good restaurants with outdoor seating on the Lower East Side? -Sun Seeker Dear Sunny , Have you considered enjoying some impromptu take-out in one of this city’s fine park spaces? Sadly, the spots you source seem a scanty selection! And, frankly, I want them all for myself. But in the spirit of generosity and good karma, I offer up what I know:

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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