Those were the words declared by Agatha of A Good Hostess Knows When to Use the F-Word in an email to me after we settled on our yummy, wintery menu for our Friday night dinner: beet and parsnip soup with dill cream, parsley root gratin with gruyere cheese, and jicama, radish and avocado salad.
Our selections came straight from Simply Organic by Jesse Ziff Cool (don’t you love that name?), one of my favorite cookbooks. I love it so because it is finely divided into eight seasons, from first of spring through indian summer and all the way to deep winter. It makes choosing a good farmers market recipe easy.
And we were definitely into deep winter. I made a mid-work foray to the farmers market–a benefit of working near Union Square–but it was past three and many farmers had already packed up to go home. I don’t blame them, the high for that day was 23 degrees.
I packed my bag with root vegetables: parsnips, beets, beautiful and garish watermelon radishes, and potatoes. I picked up some yogurt and swiss cheese as well, and peeled my dollars off with frozen fingers. Poor farmers.
After work the snow came down hard, glinting underneath the streetlights, like glitter on the black pavement. Agatha and my roommate E picked up what they could at Whole Foods, but oddly, jicama and parsley root was not available. C’mon, Whole Foods!
We made a quick stop at the Trader Joe’s wine shop. Exiting, we bent our heads against the wet snow, but finally gave up and shared a cab home. I beg your forgiveness, readers. I had on spindly heels that day and was sure I would twist an ankle during the 20 minute walk home.
Back at the apartment, we poured ourselves glasses of red wine, and I settled E and Agatha in at the dining room table to chop while I bustled around the kitchen getting my mise en place. We nixed the salad, since we were short on root vegetables, and moved the radishes to the gratin. Problem solved.
The apartment filled with the smell of stewing and roasting vegetables. Outside the wind blew, but we were cozy in our little place.
I highly suggest you have a wintery dinner in like this soon. February is the perfect time to hunker down and let your body luxuriate in doing nothing. You know, hibernating.