Spring Cleaning

19 Jun

Isaac and I have been spending a lot of time Upstate recently.

Red, Green, Bike

First there was Mother’s Day and my step-sister’s new baby. Then there was Father’s Day. And there’s been a few other trips as well. It’s wonderful to spend time in the country, but it can also make the weekend feel even more compressed and shorter by adding six hours of traveling.

Feather, Birdbath, Reflection

On Sunday, we arrived at my mom’s house bearing gorgeous dry-aged steaks from Piazza Mercato for my dear old step-dad. He happily grilled them to perfection while I whipped up a batch of grilled radicchio, but that’s the most cooking I’ve done in a week.

Lilys, Ferns, Rhythm

We had planned to make a big picnic sandwich and a kale salad and pull up a spot on the hill in the park on Saturday to watch the sunset, but alas, the weather had other ideas. It rained and rained and rained and rained, so, even if it had paused just long enough for us to run down to the park, the earth would have been far too soggy for lounging. So we scuttled those plans and went out for curry instead. Flexibility! It’s what’s for dinner!

Purple, Flouncy, Transparent

So rather than a recipe this week, I figure I will indulge in a little spring cleaning. Plus, it’s an excuse to finally post all these pretty Upstate pictures I’ve been saving for just such an occasion!

Lacy, Sparklers, Celebrate

First, I’d like to send a huge virtual hug and a very real, very warm thank you to Ximena, of the always beautiful and entertaining Lobstersquad, for the wonderful drawing she sent me. It was the most wonderful surprise and I can’t wait to give it pride of place in my kitchen!

Leaf, Water, Trough?

One of the things I never expected when I started writing this blog was how fun it would be to trade “things” with people that I “meet” on the Web. First there was a beans for pickles exchange with Christina. Then there was a Helprin for M.F.K. Fisher exchange with Lily. Now, mushrooms for… what? I’ll need to think this one through.

Fronds, Fractals, Unfolding

Next, it seems like everyone is making pizza these days. Okay, maybe just three people–Luisa and Deb and me–but three’s a trend, no? I’ve discovered the joys of substituting pizza for bread in a meal. I’ve been making The Bread Bible‘s dough a day in advance, allowing it to proof and develop flavor by rising overnight in the fridge, then topping it with herbs and salt and olive oil, almost like a focaccia, as an accompaniment to, well, just about anything.

Stripes, Curves, Motion

It’s quick, easy, requires no stand mixer, is light, fluffy and incredibly tasty. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt anyone if you chose to throw some fresh mozzarella on there. Or perhaps some tomatoes. Or maybe a little sausage and peppers. Or a few mushrooms. Or maybe a little pesto. Or… Or… Or… The possibilites are endless. But one thing is for certain, the pizza dough in the book is perfection. If you have the book, try it. You can thank me later.

Hot, Soft, Perfume

Finally, I don’t know if anyone cared or ever even looked at it, but I’ve 86-ed one of the auxiliary sites that I started over the winter, the Granny Cart. I just didn’t have time to keep up with it, as I’m sure you four friends of My New York have noticed. I’ve been a bad blog mommy! But, it’s on my list of things to do, right after going for a run every morning, not staying at work too late and drinking more good wine. So, you see, I’ll get to it soon!

Twists, Turns, Peas!

So I hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures and I hope you’ll try the pizza and I hope you’ll forgive me my lack of attention to the other site. I also hope that any of my readers along the Mississippi and in other flood-affected places are okay.

Round, Straight, Art

Have a lovely week everyone!

14 Responses to “Spring Cleaning”

  1. Robin June 19, 2008 at 9:11 am #

    Ann your photos are gorgeous… and I love the idea of substituting pizza for bread, though I almost wish it required a stand mixer, ;)

    -Robin

  2. Lisa (Homesick Texan) June 19, 2008 at 11:14 am #

    I LOVE that bike! Is that yours? And I make pizza all the time. Now that it’s warmer, I’ve become partial to Mark Bittman’s stove-top method. The crust is light, crisp and bathed in olive oil. Plus making it doesn’t heat up the house.

  3. Ann June 19, 2008 at 12:51 pm #

    Beautiful photos! We make a lot of pizza in the summer with fresh tomatoes. Not so much in the winter (I’m not sure why, exactly).

  4. Christina June 19, 2008 at 2:42 pm #

    As always, friend, your photos blow me away. They’re so beautiful. I can smell the chlorophyll-rich scent of Upstate NY through the monitor as I look at these pics.

    You have a great week too!

  5. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) June 19, 2008 at 7:34 pm #

    Ah, the photos — I am breathing deeply and smelling the greenness.

  6. Sandie (Inn Cuisine) June 20, 2008 at 3:26 pm #

    I was a goner after your first photo. I don’t know why, but there’s something about old bicycles in natural settings that I just adore. Who would have know?! (An innkeeper submitted a similar photo to my blog a while back and it has quickly become one of my all time favorites!)

  7. Sandie (Inn Cuisine) June 20, 2008 at 3:26 pm #

    Geesh, sorry…that was “known” not “know.”

  8. Meryl June 20, 2008 at 4:01 pm #

    Enjoyed your photos — the crispness of the leaves and the dew on the leaves. A joy to look at.

  9. Maninas June 21, 2008 at 4:11 am #

    your photos are amazing…. really truly beautiful. and I love how you find beauty in little things. that’s exactly the style of photography I love.

  10. ann June 21, 2008 at 9:09 am #

    Robin — I know! If you want the recipe for focaccia, which very much requires a stand mixer, I’ll send it to you ;-)

    Lisa — I wish that bike was mine!! It’s one I spotted on one of our trips Upstate in a little town called Chatham. I almost didn’t take the shot and then I was like, no, I must, I’ll kick myself if I don’t. Now, this Bittman stove-top pizza method is one I must try out! Thanks for the idea, I missed that one somehow.

    Ann — Hehe! I’m so excited for real tomato season. And corn season. I wonder if anyone’s ever made corn & tomato pizza….

    Christina — It does smell damn good up there, I must say. Rich and fragrant and piney… It’s a great antidote to our icky city air.

    Lydia — :-)

    Sandie — Well, if anyone ever asks me what to get you for a present, I sure know what to tell them now!

    Meryl — Thanks so much!

    Maninas — I like yours too, and you’re right, there is a similarity in style. Thanks for the nice compliment.

  11. Toni June 21, 2008 at 5:17 pm #

    Ann – I’m a great fan of your photos – and these are, as usual, awesome! (I want that bike!) I just posted about a bread, and it’s one that I use the dough for pizza as well. But I’m like you these days – not much cooking is happening around here.

  12. willB June 23, 2008 at 8:37 pm #

    Here I go again… You really must get some kind of grill! Pizza done on one is fantastic!!! And it only takes a few minutes! Spread out the dough, oil it up with EVOO and toss it on the grill – turn it over, add toppings and in a couple more minutes – presto! (of course, you have to pre-cook the toppings) But what flavor! Like having that wood-fired oven in your backyard! And it doesn’t heat up the house. PS – I won’t even harp on the no kneading routine…

  13. grandeurliving June 26, 2008 at 3:58 am #

    You got a good eye. Those photos move me in so many ways. Keep up the shooting. Hey. I love that red bike. :)

  14. Julie July 2, 2008 at 9:05 pm #

    I’m catching up on back posts. Those are some beautiful green pictures. Spring upstate looks beautiful. And you have a Ximena drawing? Lucky you!!

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