February 12, 2011

Farm Fresh Diary

February 12, 2011

Woke up early today to my tummy craving something savory for breakfast. I thought for a moment and then an idea popped into my head: farmers' market dim sum. "Yes, farmers market dim sum sounds like a deliciously brilliant idea," my tummy said to my head. And my head agreed.

Before I could indulge in my dim sum breakfast, I needed to pick up a few other things:

Apples. I've decided to stop buying apples from the supermarket because I'm constantly disappointed by them. I ran out of money last week during my trip to the farmers market and so I went without apples this last week. And boy did I miss them. Today I picked up 2 pink ladies and 1 fuji, and I'm looking forward to munching on them this week.

Mandarins. Easier to peel and more predictably tasty (in my experience) than oranges. If the sample mandarin slice is an accurate representation of the mandarins for sale, then I am going to be very happy with the ones that I picked out. We'll see.

Breakfast for Evan. He wasn't so keen to the dim sum idea, so instead I set out to get him some potato paratha. Unfortunately, the stall from which I usually buy this was just begining to set up when I arrived. I didn't want to wait for them to set up and so I searched for an alternative. My search ended about 30 seconds later when I found a vendor giving out samples of vegan bolani. Now, I couldn't just buy a potato bolani without trying it first--how terrible would it be, I thought, if I bought this bolani and Evan didn't like it. We don't eat vegan very often (read: at all) and so I had no idea what difference a vegan preparation would have on this type of food. The samples were delicious! Evan liked his bolani and I don't think he even realized it was vegan.

And last but not least, my farmers' market dim sum:

Tru Gourmet Organic Dim Sum offers a wide variety of treats: dumplings, pot stickers, buns, pancakes...They all looked so good that I didn't know where to begin. So I took the easy way out and ordered the Chef's Choice Sampler: 10 dim sum selected for me by the Tru Gourmet crew. At $15 this decision was a bit of a splurge, but when you think about it, it was also a great deal. The price and quantity of dim sum per order varies slightly: some were $5 for 3 pieces, others were $4 for 2. And seeing how I couldn't make up my mind on which dim sum I wanted, the Chef's choice won out as the best option for me.

The girl who completed my order was kind enough to describe what was in each dumpling, but I have to admit that I don't really remember. All I can say is that most of them had some type of seafood, one had pork, one had chicken, two were filled with leafy greens, and they were all delicious (except for the one with mustard greens).

As I walked home I thought about my breakfast to come and decided that the only thing that was missing was some condiments. I quickly whipped up two dipping sauces: sesame soy sauce with green onions, and sambal oelek soy sauce. I ultimately ended up combining the two; very tasty and perfect for my dim sum. Though I made sure to take a small bite of each morsel before dipping them into my sauce so that I could experience them in their true, uncarved block* state.

After a dim sum morning Evan and I are off to check out the Chinese New Year celebrations in Oakland Chinatown. So I guess it's looking more like a dim sum day. Delicious.

* Tao of Pooh reference.

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