Ah Mother Nature…she can be kind and sometimes cruel.  Today she was kind to me – I was feeling better, at least good enough to walk to the mailbox and venture up Queens Boulevard to buy, dare I say it, some food!   Clementines from Spain were first on my list, followed by apples, a new variety I have never heard the name of “Pinova” from Washington State Apple Growers.  Haven’t as yet tasted it but in appearance, they resemble the Honeycrisp which has been my favorite apple for several years.

Let’s see, I also bought a multi-grain sliced bread for toasting, buttermilk (with the intention of making biscuits) and tuna in olive oil.  The tuna in olive oil became my lunch, on toasted thin-sliced delicious bread from a bakery in northern Queens called Solina.  They make great breads – especially their ciabatta.  Ah yes, several heads of garlic and I guess that’s about all.  Not bad for an obsessed food buyer.  Although helping me through the store without buying much more is the fact that it isn’t a great food store – except for the breads they sell from Solina bakery!  Not being tempted to buy more was definitely influenced by the quality of the store.  But it was close to home and after not being outside for almost a week (first it was too much snow and then Mother Nature’s Wrath on my body) it was okay for the items I bought.

Tonight it is breaded/baked pork chops, sauteed green cabbage, (both shopped from the freezer and refrigerator, respectively) and I’ll make a small portion of applesauce using the new (to me) Pinova apples.   I am still “shopping” from the freezer and it still looks as full as ever.  Is someone sneaking food into my freezer?  Hmmm….

Somehow I am finding the strength to cook dinner while getting through this germ attack – washing my hands even more than I usually do to try and prevent my germs from spreading and invading my husband.   I’m just glad to be feeling well enough to cook.  I really do miss it when I’m not in the kitchen creating food for us to enjoy.♠

I’m already thinking about the weekend – specifically Saturday evening – and what to cook for our weekly “special dinner”.   Saturday evening dinner has somehow evolved into a special event – I cook something out of the ordinary, and sometimes not, we listen to “Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor on public radio, have hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, and a suitable wine to enjoy with whatever I have created for dinner.  I have a simple formula for choosing which wine to serve with dinner (for the most part anyway) and that is to choose a wine from the country of the cuisine I have prepared.  Spanish food?  Spanish wine.  French food?  French wine.  Seems to work for us.   I will admit that I don’t always follow this formula – sometimes I just want to have my favorite Zinfandel – by Green Meadow, or Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve by Yellow Tail regardless of the cuisines’ origin.  Yes, even a hearty chicken dish or strong flavored seafood dishes can hold up to the flavors of Zinfandel and Cab.  At least at our table.

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