Monday, May 16, 2011

A Summer Preview: Burrito Night.

We have lately been having these great summer-eqse days, bright hot sun, perfect for afternoons in the garden, getting sunburned & tricking oneself into believing that it is July. But of course, it isn't, it is May in Massachusetts. Right now it is 50 & raining & will apparently stay this way for the next five days.  
There is a while to go before pleasures such as swimming & sunbathing & eating garden tomatoes, for example. I love this rainy May weather too, but I'm just saying, one can get addicted to 70+ afternoons gardening in the sunshine. (With a hound dog napping on your napa cabbages). The problem is, after one of those afternoons, a girl wants actual GARDEN FOOD. & no luck yet, most things are just tiny baby seedlings. 
We have got some radishes, spinach, garlic greens, but we are a while from tomato basil city. 
What to eat then, leaving the garden muddy & delightfully hot & looking for satisfaction? On this particular Saturday, BURRITOS. 
First, I will admit upfront that I am a burrito snob. I am a Californian goddammit & you just don't get food like George's Drive-In here. You don't. Ali? Are I not right? That shit was off the hook. 
Every time I give in & try a burrito place here on this coast that's supposed to be "just so great, so authentic" I am deeply disappointed. Not naming names, but really, sorry Noho. Massachusetts does not equal burritos. Taqueria Cancun, Pancho Villa oh where are you? Oh right, still in San Francisco where you belong. I'm the impulsive idiot who moved back to New England & left all that food bounty behind.
5.7.11: Pre Summer Burrito Night.
I seem to have a lot complaints here. I'm not intending to. Describing what led to the creation of  a meal gets complicated sometimes (food shapes our lives). 
To simplify: it was unseasonably hot, we built raised beds out of mulberry lumber all day, & I wanted a good burrito. (Because I am a burito snob & never get one unless I make it myself). 
So, we broke the "no food out of season, especially tomatoes" rule & went to Stop & Shop & bought tomatoes & cilantro & avocados. Oh well. At least everything we needed cost next to nothing by some reduced produce miracle. Cause you know we are CHEAP.
I think both my summer produce longing & my burrito angst both come down to salsa, truly. Good salsa. Homemade salsa. Why why buy salsa? & Why is the salsa at any random hole in the wall place in Cali so divine & the salsa anyplace here tomato water? Why?
So yeah, I was reasonably tan for the first time in a year & I broke down & bought crap grocery out of season tomatoes & made my own salsa, to eat on a giant burrito (I make great salsa, FYI). Whatever. It still was delicious, helped along greatly by a jar of pickled jalapenos from last year's garden that I recently found in the back of the fridge.  Ah, the magical joys of food preservation. Better than unicorns.
They were steak burritos, with pinto beans & onions, grilled red peppers, homemade guacamole & salsa, chopped lettuce, fresh cilantro, sour cream, cheese, & of course, tortilla chips & Mexican beer (Dos Equis). 
Tons of leftovers, so I ate one wrapped in aluminum foil at work for lunch the next day & also felt like I was back in SF, heading out for lunch in the Mission (Sigh. ALMOST). 
This is the food one wants to eat when sunburned & pleasantly exhausted & starving from gardening. 
Things are just gonna get better. Our tomato plants are in the ground, people (one each of every heirloom variety we could order on the internet, & lots of the regular ones too).  Our basil & peppers seedlings are started. We are actually beginning to enjoy the delicious, incomparable pleasure of eating food we grew.
Bring it on, Summer!

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