Since we moved, Whole Foods is the biggest, closest grocery store to us. There was a Whole Foods where we lived in Vancouver but we never shopped there because of the plethora of convenient, high-quality, cheap, small grocery stores. Even though I had been in a number of Whole Foods, walking into the one in New York was a totally different experience. I felt overwhelmed for the first time since moving to the city. There was so much stuff and so many people buying that stuff. However, once I was able to repress how overwhelmed I felt, I was definitely intrigued by the varieties of peppers, apples, pears (etc, etc) that I had never heard of. There were also a lot of fruits and vegetables that were less commonly available in grocery stores back home (I tried sunchokes for the first time!).
During my most recent trip to the store, a small punnet of fresh black figs caught my eye. Even though I have seen fresh figs, this was my first time buying them. The main reason for buying them was to make this fig and granola yogurt bowl. It has taken some time for our blender (smoothies!) and pots (oatmeal!) to arrive so my breakfast routine has changed. Other than cold cereal, I have been eating yogurt bowls. I load up the yogurt with the same delicious seeds, nuts and fruit as I tend to do with my oatmeal or smoothie bowls: figs were a perfect addition.
There’s something about cauliflower, artichokes and asparagus that are completely delicious to me. They make me salivate just thinking about them, and have since I was a kid. I realize now that this is kind of weird but I bet that my sisters would say the same. What does this random assortment of vegetables have in common? My mom always served them with a sauce that was basically just mayonnaise, sour cream and lemon juice mixed together. As kids, it was the best thing ever. We would practically fight over the stuff. We couldn’t get enough.
I find it amazing how entrenched we can become in some of our habits and how, at the same time, we can create new ones if we are forced to. What made me come to this deep, philosophical realization? Cereal. I think I have eaten cereal for breakfast pretty much every morning of my entire life. Of course, weekends bring about variety like eggs or french toast but during the week it was always cereal. I pretty much binge on one brand for a while and then cut it out completely, moving onto the next one. Lately, my go-to has been all bran with some sort of fruit, mostly bananas. Every morning, I wake up and almost sub-consciously I reach for the cereal box. I couldn’t imagine eating anything else. Even when I discovered the best green smoothie ever, I still couldn’t integrate it into my breakfast rotation.
I cooked brunch for 12 people this weekend. It was my first time ever cooking for such a large number and I was pretty excited about the whole thing. My goal was to prepare dishes that weren’t too difficult to make in the first place and would just require heating up when it was time to eat. I definitely didn’t want to be cooking eggs to order (who would?). I went with this rosti for the potato element, and these corn tortillas for something approximating lunch and a salad in one, for the sweet element I went with a yogurt parfait. Most of the people I was serving don’t really like eating sweets so I thought that yogurt, fruit and granola was a healthy, sweet alternative.