I just hate it when this happens. I’m innocently minding my own business when various forms of food jump out from behind the bushes and attack me. You guessed it—I’ve found more things to love.
(1) Seeded baguettes from Leonora Bakery.
I was waiting in the dermatologist’s office, reading an article in Washingtonian magazine about local food sources. One of the things mentioned in the article was the baguettes at Arrowine. “How convenient,” I said to myself, “I’m only a few blocks from Arrowine.” So after the dermatologist burned some offensive items off of my body I consoled myself with a stop at Arrowine, a shop in Arlington on Lee Highway that features wine, cheese, and other gourmet foods. (http://www.arrowine.com/) I was just going to buy one of the infamous baguettes, but the man behind the counter told me there were even better baguettes and directed me to a basket of bread behind the counter—the Leonora baguettes. I humored him and bought one. How good could they be? Ummm . . . it’s about a ten minute drive home and I ate almost an entire baguette in the car. I went back the next week to make sure they were that good. They are that good. The baguettes are delivered warm to Arrowine on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. You can get them delivered directly to your home for a minimum order. (www.leonorabakery.com/HOME.html) So I can be a shut-in and still have baguettes? Dangerous.
(2) Pete’s Crazy Chicken Blend.
I found this on that trip to Arrowine too. It’s a dry spice rub with an unlikely magic blend that includes things like wasabi and paprika and maple syrup. Go figure. I marinated chicken breasts in a simple mix of olive oil, lemon juice, and a very generous portion of Pete’s Crazy then grilled the chicken. Drop dead delicious. It comes from a spice vendor, the Spice and Tea Exchange, that sells online as well as from retail outlets. (www.spiceandtea.com) Just looking at the website makes my imagination run wild—like how can I use green chile sugar?
(3) Rancho Gordo Heirloom Beans.
You knew about heirloom tomatoes, of course, but did you know you could buy dried heirloom beans? I can’t even tell you how I ended up at the Rancho Gordo website. I don’t know if was the work of the Lord or the work of Satan. (http://www.ranchogordo.com/) Rancho Gordo makes beans fun again. (Maybe for you beans have always been fun but for a while I had lost the fervor.) There is a wide variety of beans as well as chiles and rice and spices. I got some Tiger’s Eye beans (Ojo de Tigre) and some flageolet beans to make cassoulet. Tomorrow I’ll make the Tiger’s Eye beans into some sort of slow-cooked bean concoction but the cassoulet is on hold until cooler weather.
I was not compensated for any of these product endorsements. Doggonit.