the woman in the yellow hat
On Saturday morning, red leaves of Park Slope streets filtered the sun,
Pausing for carrots (I like knowing I have the carrot tops in case I run out of parsley),
ramps and rhubarb at Wilklow Orchards,
I arranged all the beautiful things from the Grand Army Plaza market on the kitchen table: lilacs and green wheat, carrots, grains, ramps, rhubarb, asparagus, Evolutionary Organics eggs, scallions, and Milk Thistle whole milk, almost everything I needed for a “bowls of grain” party Sunday night.
I peered at the buds of the asparagus,
the different colors of the grains,
and headed out again toward the outdoor Brooklyn Flea at Ft. Greene, where I found green roof trays,
letters to spell all kinds of words,
and skeletal outdoor furniture.
A little later, I decided upon the yellow dress to be the woman in the yellow hat at a Derby Day party—it makes me happy to see everyone wearing beribboned, rosy hats.
Just before the party, I stopped in to Studiofeast‘s Korean BBQ event,
a nice bookend to a week that began with catching up with my friends Ethan and Catherine at a Korean restaurant,
and Mike was, as usual, competently plating beautiful food (he also cooks in A Razor, A Shiny Knife).
Sunday morning I picked up a croissant, warming it in the oven, making a pocket to spread with homemade butter and place a bit of chocolate inside for a pain au chocolat (I like these better in the classic croissant crescent).
The decorative green wheat on the kitchen table that I had found at Saturday’s market reminded me to begin cooking,
and so I simmered rice for pudding with heady vanilla beans.
Slowly, I created the bowls of whole grains I have been dreaming about: wheat berries simmered for an hour, then stirred with balsamic and sautéed red chard (these do not have to be soaked, ratio is 1:3 grain: water).
Then, green freekeh (roasted spelt) that does not need to soak (1:3 grain: water) simmered for twenty minutes with sautéed carrots and flowering broccoli.
Soaked brown spelt (about two hours, 1:3) simmered for about 45 minutes before meeting roasted spring asparagus and big, snowy pieces of chevre.
Farro’s sweetness (soaked three hours, 1.5:4, simmered 45 minutes) heightened with the slivered dried plums, chopped almonds, and roasted fennel.
Lastly, the rye berries (soaked four hours, 1:3, cooked 45 minutes) took to the ramps and glistened with oil.
Just as I was finishing the rye berries, my friends began to arrive, and Sarah, Fil, Kirstin, Noah, and Karen were all game for the different textures of each grain (the brined pork tenderloin also worked, was passed separately). They are all, by the way, lovelier than this—I was enjoying their company too much to take a proper picture.
For dessert, I spooned poached rhubarb over the rice pudding, and loved how these smart people filled the warm kitchen with their wit and laughter.
This morning, I glanced at the chive flowers in the windowsill, in various stages of bloom,
slipped one into the remainder of the rye berries with scrambled market eggs,
and then ate it (that’s the best sort of flower) and in a playful, warm way, it was all yellow.