Today’s post kicks off the second segment of my EAST series, and we’re tasting China!
This dish is all sorts of noodle-pulling goodness.
Long Life Noodles, or Longevity Noodles, represent a long unbroken life. They’re a must-have at joyous events in Chinese culture, like the Chinese New Year and, more importantly, at birthday celebrations. Some noodle variations are actually meant specifically for birthdays — Longevity Noodles being one of them. (Fun fact: On the bottom of the box of Longevity Noodles I purchased, it actually reads “Longevity noodles are an appropriate birthday gift”. My birthday is December 2nd, FYI.) Serving these noodles to someone bids them a long life with prosperity and good luck. But because the long noodles represent a long life, cutting the noodles symbolically shortens your life.
I went to the Raleigh farmers’ market in hopes to find cucamelons (the hunt continues…), but instead, I brought home garlic scapes.
I’m not even mad.
Up until this point I’d never even *seen* scapes in real life. I’m telling you, moving to Raleigh has opened me up to a whole new world of what I like to call “unicorn produce” and it’s nothing short of amazing. These lovely scapes are from a family-owned farm from Selma, NC, Kidd Farm. They’re automatically a winner in my books because a) they practice sustainable agriculture and b) they specialize in elephant garlic. They’ve been growing the stuff for the last 15 years and are one of very few farms in the area that grow it. Truth be told, the ginormous bulbs of elephant garlic are what caught my attention at the stand in the first place and, as I approached, I noticed the scapes. I was so excited about the scapes that I forgot to buy elephant garlic. (Womp womp.) Until next time.
Given my lack of experience with garlic scapes, I had no plan for them until I was 3/4 of the way home and it hit me: PESTO.
It wasn’t until the other day when I realize I didn’t have a fish taco recipe on this blog. Like hi, how sad. Not only is this a pescetarian blog, but I’m also kind of/sort of a taco aficionado. My husband and I are total devotees to Taco Tuesday and we hit up our neighborhood taco joint weekly in order to celebrate the taco. How could I let this happen? (I do have a shrimp taco recipe, though. Just sayin’.)
Last week I hit up Facebook and asked you, my readership, what you wanted to see more of on this blog. I’m *really* glad I did this, because sometimes as a blogger, my mind is just a jumble of ideas with no concrete plans. Some of the suggestions I received were flippin’ brilliant, and now I feel more inspired than ever! So, if you were a part of that, THANK YOU.
One of my pals suggested fish tacos, and a light went on in my head almost immediately: jerk fish tacos. And when I perused the Raleigh farmers’ market this past weekend, sweet peach salsa came to mind — sweet peach salsa with tangy locally-grown green tomatoes.
It may seem a little offbeat to bring the word “gourmet” to a dish where the star is from a can, but if you love sardines, you know this makes sense. Also, can we just go ahead and scratch “canned” off of the list of bad words along with “frozen”? Not all that is canned or frozen is of lesser quality.
Last week I revealed that I’ve excitedly jumped into a partnership with King Oscar — and I couldn’t be more thrilled! Working with reputable seafood companies who promote quality products and sustainability was my main goal for 2017, and I’ve hit the jackpot twice now. (Another announcement soon, y’all!)
A few days after my reveal, in order to get a sense of what the response might be like for my King Oscar content, I asked my personal Facebook friends a simple question: Who likes sardines?
Squash blossoms were on my list of “unicorn produce to get my hands on this season” along with romanesco, watermelon radishes, and cucamelons. (I’ve yet to find cucamelons and I’m getting pretty salty about it, to be honest.)
Back in the beginning of April, I helped my friends till and plant their garden. Like, a real BIG garden — not an urban container garden like mine (though no disrespect to container gardens, mine is blooming like mad right now!) Over the weekend, I visited said friends and paid a visit to their crop; I wanted a proud veggie mom moment. And omg. I can’t tell you how excited I was (and how confused my friends were) when I spotted these highly sought-after squash blossoms.
It sounds fancy, and it looks fancy, but if you’re a gardener and you’re growing zucchini, you know that these blossoms are accessible, easy to harvest, and meals that include them aren’t as pretentious as they look. Sometimes I struggle with making meals look approachable because I love gorgeous produce and fresh ingredients, but all of these things are easy to snag if you know where to look.
This pizza is as easy to assemble as it is pretty.