Sunday, August 25 2019

nostalgia, market, and gnocchi

Dear Journal,

Good morning! Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. On Friday, we had the interns and Andrew over for the end of the summer pizza party I had been promising. It was a great time, and it was actually pretty easy to get two pizzas in and out of the oven with all the extra help. It was a great evening of reminiscing.

Talking to newly graduated interns must have put me in a nostalgic mood. Later that night, I was procrastinating cleaning up after the party by hanging out in the basement with Marissa while she cut frames. I started rifling through my "keep's sake" bin, which is filled with photos, school papers, notes, and strange little trinkets from my childhood. I have an old coke I got on a train going through the grand canyon, and it's still filled with coke. As I explained to Marissa, it's not valuable or anything - I just made a pact with Kelly to not open our respective coke bottles. I think it was just to bother Sarah, who immediately opened hers and quickly drank it on the train. But there it is twenty years later still unopened, and I'm pretty sure Kelly hasn't opened hers either.

We went to bed late on Friday, and gave ourselves a late start Saturday morning. I finished cleaning the kitchen from the party, and made some Dutch babies. We were eating a big breakfast because our plans would take us on a bus to the Farmer's market. Now this was technically our first time at the Weekend farmer's market, but I had walked by the much smaller Wednesday market plenty of times, so I was expecting about a dozen vegetable stands, and maybe a food cart or two. I had no idea that on Saturday's during the summer, they shut down the whole square and the booths pretty much wrapped all the way around the capital. It was a bit of a fiasco. Rodney, Marissa, and I quickly got overwhelmed waddling through the crowd. But we regrouped at Starbucks, and after spending some time in the AC drinking familiar coffee, we got a second wind and perused the rest of the shops. We picked up some kale, cherry tomatoes, apples, and a beautiful stalk of sunflowers. We also picked up a bag of kettle corn to share before heading over to the terrace to conclude our day on the square by having a drink with our friend's Alex and Cassie. It was their sixth anniversary on Saturday, and we were pretty honored they were spending time with us. Being long time Madison locals, we've grown to trust their perspective on Madison, and it was a relief to hear them validate our frustrations with the over-crowding at the weekend farmer's market.

After catching the bus home, Rodney, Marissa and I took a long nap, waking up some time around 6:30. I was loosely committed to cooking something for dinner, but that ship had sailed, and we decided to walk to Ian's pizza. We had been out and about all day, but the dogs would appreciate the exercise, and they get plenty of attention when we walk to the new location in our neighborhood.

This morning, I'm pleased to say we made it to church. We've had a bit of a dry spell, but with the help of bacon, hot coffee, and me weaponizing our toddler into the most persistent alarm clock ever devised, we made it to the early summer service.

So that's been the weekend thus far. In a few moments, I'll go get started on making ricotta basil gnocchi. This is another suspenseful redemption recipe. I tried Gordon Ramsay's potato gnocchi a few months ago, and it resulted in such a spectacular, sopping, burnt failure that we ordered Domino's. This evening, I place my trust in Chef John, who discloses a egg, cheese, and flour based gnocchi that promises to be a lot less complicated. We're also turning our farmer's market haul into a simple raw kale salad, so even if the gnocchi doesn't turn out, at least I've finally earned my "Madison Farmer's Market Hippie" badge eh?

Hope you all have a great weekend.