Let me sleep until 10am and I will drive you wherever you want, was the only request from the Dr. on Saturday night. To honor this, I quietly got out of bed at 8:30am on Sunday, cooked the leftover paneer cheese in the fridge from the Newar chataamari recipe last Friday and concocted an egg breakfast with it and bacon. I made iced coffee to complete. At exactly 10am, I returned to the bedroom, jumped on the bed and woke the Dr. up like it was Christmas morning.
Scrambled egg with crumbled paneer
We’ve talked about using his car this summer for quick getaways until he has to ship it back to Los Angeles but we haven’t been able to plan a weekend together. I’ve been wanting to hike somewhere close by now that Vermont is no longer at the tips of our fingers so I’ve been gathering some driving directions for him to look over during his free time. (I’m the planner, he’s the driver!) He graciously woke up after I made a racket, shot down my idea of a 2-hour drive to Saugerties but agreed to the half-hour drive to Bedford, right along the Connecticut border.
After finally realizing where he parked his car–the Dr. usually has spurts of memory loss when disturbed from a deep sleep by a Filipina girl–we started the drive to the Mianus River Gorge Wildlife and Botanical Reserve. The day started out cloudy but after noon, the sun started to peek in through the tall trees. It was an absolutely gorgeous day for a walk in the forest.
Off the trail was the Havermeyer Falls
The Mianus (plenty of Jackass jokes, I know) River Gorge Preserve was the first Nature Conservancy Project back in 1953. Hemlock, beech and oak grow in the highland areas and mushrooms multiply abundantly. The ground was soft and the moss was all shades of green. We walked about three miles to the top where we were rewarded with clean, fresh air and this view of the gorge:
We continued down half a mile and reached the end of the trail. The water seemed pretty high because of the recent rain but nevertheless, it was a peaceful sight. A total of five miles later, we were back in the parking lot. It wasn’t the green mountains of Vermont but upstate New York served us well.
Formed by the rushing waters of the Wisconsin glacier about 15,000 years ago
Back in the city, we decided to eat a late lunch in the Bronx since we already had the car out. Unfortunately, the market on Arthur Avenue was closed so we ended up eating tacos from a Mexican dive on Crescent Avenue. They were delicious with our Negra Modelos even though the waitress, the owner and the cook were all standing in front of us while we ate at the bar. (They were curious as to what brought two Asian people in their restaurant.)
When we finally made it back to Harlem, we decided to stop by the Fairway on 12th Avenue to stock our fridge with fresh summer produce. I can’t believe I’ve never been there before! Like the other Fairway in the upper west side, the aisles are tight and claustrophobic but the main reason to go is the meat and seafood freezer room where you have the option to wear a jacket to protect yourself from the cold. You push your cart along the rows and rows of nicely cut meat. I had brain freeze just deciding which cut of veal to buy. Unfortunately, the seafood counter is small and they didn’t carry live crabs but every other cut of a cow and a pig were in there.
All kinds of steak; take a pick!
Cheese? How about some cheese?
The summer produce was equally nice. None of the fresh herbs soaked in a pail of water. No showers to make the fruits look shiny. Just in-season fruits and vegetables. I found some beautiful golden beets and haricots verts and remembered a Gourmet magazine terrine recipe back at the apartment.
The Dr. grabbed a bag full of arugula, nectarines and pears and helped me select a shoulder of veal for five dollars. Dinner later that night was delicious. I used this recipe and replaced the frisée with the arugula and substituted the walnuts with crushed hazelnuts. The veal took about eight minutes per side right under the broiler. A bottle of white wine was the perfect match.
Arugula with pear and mustard-sherry vinegar dressing
Veal shoulder tastes like offal because of all the blood running through that part
All of a sudden, waking up before 11am during his rare day off from the hospital was worth it. I can’t wait to make another racket next weekend.