Ah yes, slow to recover from my common cold….but also slow to recover from my addiction to buying food.   Since I wasn’t able to actually go out and food shop myself, I had a surrogate follow my addictive path to buying food.  First was according to a list which I emailed to my husband, who was filling in for me during my common cold ailments.  He is very good at sticking to a list, much better than I could ever be, although he is learning.  He arrived home with several more items than I had emailed, all edible with the exception of one – a pot of 4  yet to be opened daffodils – how sweet is that?  Three days later and all 4 have opened making my window sill in the bright sunshine, even brighter.  Flowers do help to heal the spirit.

Backtrack to Saturday – there were a few more “things” I didn’t put on Friday’s list, but left them for Saturday so they could be bought at our one and only sort of upscale food store in Forest Hills.  Okay, we do have Trader Joe’s nearby, but that’s not what I needed.  This list consisted of tomatoes on the vine (the only ones to buy in these cold winter months) cherry or grape tomatoes which seem to taste good all year round, D’Artagnan organic chicken, (which I just cut in half lengthwise – one half for tonight’s dinner and the other half stored in the freezer)  scallions,  a Cajun seasoned smoked salmon from Echo Falls for a nibble with cocktails before dinner, Skim Plus (our milk of choice), ground bison from D’Artagnan, haricots vert, baby zucchini, parsley, cilantro, imported green and black olives, blueberries (yes I know they aren’t in season but these from Chile are very nice so please forgive my carbon miles) Sabra hummus, and I know I’m leaving out a few items, but do you see what has happened?

I can feed my obsession without even leaving the apartment.  Although I missed the actual shopping experience itself, there was no doubt I had not an ounce of strength to shop myself, and so my surrogate has kept the obsession alive!

I said that I would report back on the exact timing of grilling (outdoor electric grill) the Moroccan seasoned rack of lamb – well I guessed 5 or 6 minutes on each side over a high heat?  Well, wrong, it should have been more like 4 or 5 minutes on high tops for medium rare.  They were just slightly more done than we usually enjoy, but Australian lamb is so delicious anyway, it did not make too much difference to the enjoyment.  The rack of lamb was small, with each rib meat area being no more than  1-1/2 inches.   Sometimes rack of lamb has a larger “eye” of meat on the rib bone – that’s from an older (larger) lamb.

Sunday – no big deal around our home for Valentine’s Day – everyday is Valentine’s Day, well, minus the diamonds.  I felt well enough to prep our breakfast/brunch and husband cooked the eggs perfectly, adding grated Mahon cheese from Menorca, (Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean) into the scrambled eggs.  To enhance the experience, we had Nueske’s newest bacon – Cherrywood Smoked Bacon- just as delicious as their original applewood smoke bacon and other products.  A toasted/buttered bialy (non-New Yorkers need to go to the link)  Almost forgot….I also made  home fries.  That’s a dish that varies from diner to diner in NYC which thankfully still has lots of diners owned by Greeks.  I love to go to diners for breakfast foods.  It’s almost as if Greek immigrants “invented” the New York diner.   My way of making home fries is to finely chop a shallot, saute in olive oil, then add cubes of Yukon gold potatoes ( I like small cubes about 1/2-inch in size), adding a sprinkling of Spanish smoked paprika, salt and black pepper and chopped cilantro.  I cover the pan and let the potatoes cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat.  Toss potatoes around in the pan, cover again and cook on low heat.  The small cubes will cook to a tender bite in another 10 minutes.  Taste as you go along – that’s the only way you will know when the potatoes are done to your taste.

Dinner was a non-event.  I wasn’t that hungry nor did I have much of an appetite, and my husband also just wanted a nibble.  His “nibble” was a British stand-by – baked beans on toast.  British style baked beans are not what American’s have come to know as baked beans.  These baked beans are indeed produced by Heinz, but they are in a lovely light tomato-ey sauce, not the barbecue style sauce we American’s are used to.    My “nibble” was a small version of a pan toasted muenster cheese and Italian ham sandwich, with half of a Honeycrisp apple and peanut butter.   Sounds like I might be expecting?  All that was missing was a sour pickle with strawberry jam !

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