Tables And Vegetables

5 Jun

There are a few things in life that really do go without saying.

But since I’m a little short of ideas for this week’s post, I’m going to say them.  Even a bad day at home is better than a good day at work.  Sometimes the best dinners are the ones you can’t plan for.  A venti Starbucks iced coffee is a great way to jump start motivation.  Ethan Allen, no matter how hard they try, will never be hip.  We desperately need furniture.

Furniture.  Our house is nearly devoid of it, and it’s one of those things you really need to have before you invite people over to spend the weekend.  We have a bed and a table, a few bookcases, many assorted chairs, only one of which is very comfy and very pretty and the couch upon which the turkey sat.  And that’s it.

I have no idea how to go about furnishing a house, let alone a house way out in the middle of nowhere at which we only spend two days a week.  There is no furniture left from when my mom and step-dad combined houses.  It all either went to the Salvation Army or my step-sister.  And I have no idea what happened to all the furniture that used to furnish the houses of my relatives that have moved on, to greener pastures or smaller houses.  I think my family very seriously thought I would never settle down.

So the family route is out and shopping is proving difficult.  In the past we would spend entire weekends perusing stores and comparing fabrics here in the city, but not these days.  Our days are devoted entirely to the outside world of the house, and when we do try to shop in the Capital District, we’re always utterly disappointed.

But I guess I’m really just lucky to even have this problem right now.  I mean, I could not have a job and then I’d have all the time in the world to look at furniture, but no money with which to buy it.  So really, I should focus on the important things, like what to do with all the produce that has started bursting out of the garden.

We discovered this week that radish greens make an excellent dinner sauteed and mixed with white beans, olive oil and lots of lemon juice.  And French breakfast radishes are actually delicious for breakfast, sliced thinly and layered onto a piece of thickly cut and buttered bread.

And then there’s that dinner we didn’t plan for.  The plan was to marinate some turkey thighs and grill them and the broccoli raab in a foil pouch.  But that was not to be.  I ran out of foil and the turkey wouldn’t cook, so it’s a damn fine thing we were also grilling some harissa-marinated lamb leg steaks to eat later in the week.

While the turkey thighs finished in the oven, we sat down to the spicy smoky meat and garlicky raab.  I tossed some soft baby lettuces and thinly sliced radishes with dill and coriander and garlic chives and a dressing made creamy by a shot of goat’s milk kefir.  It was good and easy and delicious.  Now if only finding a couch were the same!

So, do you have any furniture-buying tips? What about interesting new ways to use the early spring bounty from your garden?  Feel free to share your tips and hints in the comments.


8 Responses to “Tables And Vegetables”

  1. deb June 5, 2009 at 5:42 pm #

    I feel equally overwhelmed whenever any furniture is needed. I am not trained for this; I don’t have an “eye”, or, um, deep pockets. And yet I always want things that I won’t feel the need to replace in 4 years, because they were hip or cute, but in a temporary way. Helpful? No, sorry, probably not. Wait, affordable and cute and well-reviewed! I always wished we’d bought that, but my wariness that it might be trendy regretfully talked me out of it.

  2. WillB June 5, 2009 at 6:59 pm #

    Two words: tag sale. You may be pleasantly surprised. Or if you prefer, try Huck Finn’s in Albany – walk around and you may spot something on moving day – that’s how my wife found our dining room table – and we weren’t looking for it! They were setting up a new display and the one on the floor had to go. Like your little finches say, “cheap cheap!” (Sorry, I had to). Here’s my favorite way to do those fresh asparagus spears – just grill them and toss with olive oil and a little salt and pepper – as an extra treat, drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar over them just before serving.

  3. Yesica N. Cook June 7, 2009 at 6:45 pm #

    Hi! We’ve been lucky with ebay, most of our furniture is from there (sometimes shipping costs can be high though – but if you have a car and shop local you could pick things up yourself instead). Before I moved in, my now hubbie worked with a decorator friend of his – she had some great ideas like taking an old ugly thing you already have and just painting it. On her instructions he painted a dresser gloss black, and two tables matt red. And tiled another one. If you take a look at her website ( and go to the portfolio, then click on the “Hoboken” pics you can see. It really didn’t take much money or time. No food tips for you – I’m just a beginner, but love your blog!

  4. Christina June 7, 2009 at 10:28 pm #

    We’ve found a lot of our favorite furniture at a local swap meet. We also have a carpenter in town who does beautiful work at a reasonable price. Believe it or not, it is true!

    I’m so happy you’re able to eat from your yard. Hooray!

  5. ann June 8, 2009 at 6:26 am #

    So, apparently the best way to find furniture is to complain to the Internet that you can’t find furniture and then go shopping in a place where you’re sure you’ll never find furniture. Good times! Just this weekend we found a couch and a dresser! I’d have to say it obviously comes back to all your good advice and good vibes. Thanks everyone.

    Deb — That is the cutest set of furniture ever! We actually considered Macy’s for awhile, but since we couldn’t put butt-to-cushion we kind of forgot about it. Can’t wait to see how you design the nursery. Just don’t go the Jane Austen Zombies root. The kid would be so confused!

    Will — We went to Huck Finn’s once, exactly at closing time. It looked promising but overwhelming, so I think we’ll be heading back there very soon! I’ve been keeping my eye on tag sales, but just haven’t seen anything yet. But I’m willing to keep trying!

    Yesica — Hi! Welcome and thanks for stopping by. The ebay advice is good, and a source I hadn’t considered yet. Thanks so much!

    Christina — We made delicious radicchio pasta last night. The radicchio are going *insane*! I wish I had your carpenter! He sounds like quite the catch :-)

  6. Toni June 8, 2009 at 11:20 am #

    Yard sales. Craig’s list. Get furniture so you can invite your neighbors over, and that’s how you deal with spring produce which will not freeze well. Freeze the rest.

    French breakfast radishes???? Never heard of them, but what a great idea! I need to look for the seeds here, but somehow I doubt that I’ll find them.

  7. Cheryl June 9, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    I second Craig’s list. The people getting rid on nice furniture *really* need to get rid of it. I have been storing *beautiful* furniture for a friend of mine who moved to a much smaller place where it wouldn’t fit. She posted a sofa and matching love seat on Craig’s list and I showed it in my garage…Sold to the first person who viewed it…$300 for furniture that originally cost $2,000…

  8. Becky and the Beanstock July 2, 2009 at 3:18 pm #

    In some ways, buying furniture is worse than buying a car. And I think the sales people are more insistent with the pitch. Ah, good luck to you!

    Beautiful photos — I love the way they punctuate the story. Also thanks for the idea with radish greens. This year I’ve decided I’m going to eat them, and I’ve been trying to figure out how ever since. Pesto is good.

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