Any way I look back at these last few weeks, they will be a turning point in my life.
I've been working a lot, wrapping up a business and moving on to other things. I realized it's as hard and exhausting to open up a place as it is to sell and close it. My days of being a Cafe owner are over, for now at least. I'm very happy with my decision.
There's an almost romantic idea about entering the food business, especially a cafe/pastry shop, that more times than not is far from the real thing. But I don't want to dwell on that part. I'm moving on, with another layer of experience and a whole lot of things to look forward to.
I spent three years in it and now it's time to focus on my textile business that I never stopped doing simultaneously with the cafe, and some freelance food gigs that I'm very excited about. And I will keep on telling everyone this blog is a job too so I can dedicate a lot of time to it without sounding food obsessed. Which I am and happy about it, but really, if you're reading this you're the only ones who understand what I mean.
Even now that I have more time, I wonder how on earth are people able to put these 'street installations' together. Unless they get paid of course.
Over these last couple of months I found myself without much time to dedicate to my blogging friends. I cherish my bond with them and no comment or visit to their blogs is an automatic action. So when time is short, reading posts in full and getting into the story or recipe is not easy.
I hope I will start to have more time again. I'm sure I will.
One post I had overlooked was about Italy, a country I adore. Marissa, my wonderful and amazing friend who writes Pinch and Swirl, has embarked herself in a food adventure with a fellow italian blogger. The ragu she posted is unbeatable. I made it this week and will become my perfect, go-to recipe from now on. She also has a blog where she tells the story of her 65 days in Italy.
Another side of closing a food shop is the amount of edible stuff that remains. Some you perfectly calculate, some you don't care because you will use them anyway like bottled water or butter that can be frozen, and then the stuff that you will use but have no real place to store in the meantime.
I mean, twenty lemons I'm fine with, but there's no more space in my fridge to keep them well until I make a wonderful cake or a dozen of them really. Add to that a lot of ginger,
4 pounds of sour cream,
cream cheese, spinach, grapefruits, brie cheese,
ham... talk about being a food hoarder.
So I'll just pretend I received my weekly CSA, which I kind of understand what it is but don't know really how it works, what I do know is that it involves a huge amount of surprise vegetables and fruit which nobody knows really what to do with and start frantically looking for recipes to use them.
Today's recipe used the spinach, cherry tomatoes and bacon. I will eat it again tonight, because leftovers from the leftovers is a sad, sad situation.
BROWN RICE SPINACH SALAD WITH BACON DRESSING
barely adapted from Betty Crocker's Cookbook, 1969 edition
Makes 2 servings
2 cups cooked brown rice (or any kind of rice you like)
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, chopped
2 Tbs sliced almonds, toasted
½ cup cherry tomatoes
¼ cup chopped pancetta or bacon
¼ cup canola oil
1 Tbs sherry vinegar
1 Tbs soy sauce
½ teaspoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste
Mix together brown rice and spinach. Divide evenly between two serving bowls.
In a small skillet, over low heat, cook bacon until it is lightly browned. Remove from heat and add oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and pepper to taste to the same skillet. Add salt if needed.
Divide cherry tomatoes and almonds between bowls. Dress each one with half of the bacon dressing.