living underground in the real world

No more store, day 18

(I’m not going to the grocery store for a month! Here’s the deal).

Saturday!

First of all, it was the busiest day in the history (all six days of it!) of the shop!

Oh and hey, you know how I was sort of terrified of customers? Did I ever talk about that on the blog? I know I bitched about it for weeks, if not months, on Facebook. I was scared of annoying customers, scared of losing my temper with customers, scared of them, basically, not getting what I do and that irking us both. But guess what happened?

Everyone’s been amazing!  I’ve only had one slightly annoying customer, and I already know her and already know she’s annoying, so does she really count?

The shop seems to be copying the model I’ve built for my life, which is that I work hard to draw the people I truly respect and love and who get what I’m about close to me, and then I steadily ignore the rest of the world. It’s a good life model, we’ll see if it’s a good business model.

Mostly people ask why we don’t have a sign. I tell them we’re getting one, in time, but the truth is that I secretly don’t want a sign. I want the shop to be a secret that you only find out about through word-of-mouth.

We’ll see if this plan works.

But what did I eat.

A croissant! Maybe even two! They’re small! And chocolate scraps, of course. Maresa was working in the shop, so we got a lot done. Having a helper is the bestest thing ever.

Then Aaron, whose name you might remember from when he basically built the entire shop, brought over some of his insanely gorgeous log-grown shiitakes to sell at the shop. RIDICULOUS. Can you believe I live in this world of contractors who grow shiitakes and best friends who make amazing cupcakes and everyone else who has contributed their ridiculous talents to making the shop wonderful? I can’t.

A farmer pal of ours stopped by the shop on her way home from work, and asked if we wanted a bunch of green tomatoes.

So for lunch I made us big salads with the homemade horrible mustard vinaigrette (Maresa thinks it’s OK [I made her eat a big raw spoonful of it, she almost died], but crazy spicy. I added a TON of sugar, and I think it’s slowly getting better.) to which I added some harissa in order to cover up the mustard, and fried us up some fried green tomatoes and shiitakes. This photo doesn’t show the label of my sourdough starter well, but it says “Shirley,” because that’s her name. I make fried green tomatoes with a wet mix of Shirley + water, and a dry mix of flour + cornmeal + s&p (and I never buy cornmeal—I grind polenta in the spice grinder to make it. So fresh! Do this! Do you do this? Do it!!).

Not to brag, but it was pretty much the bestest lunch ever.

For dinner I had strawberries and leftover cold fried green tomatoes and shiitakes, and also I nibbled on my Sula-cat’s nose a bit too, because that nose is FUCKING TASTY.

Off to “celebrate my freedom,” if you know what I mean.

And what I mean is: masturbate.

IT’S MY NIGHT OFF!

xoxo

l

7 Responses to “No more store, day 18”

  1. Randal Putnam

    Dr. Ruth thanks you for supporting her important work.

    Why polenta instead of dried whole corn kernels? Don’t the freshest flours and meals come from grinding whole grains? Whole grains are like little packages that keep oxygen from fat in the grains so it doesn’t oxidize. I know you know all about the grain structure, grain storage and rancidity, so I am interested to hear why you start with polenta instead of dried whole kernels.

    Cheering for your success in your no grocery store project.

    Reply
    • atsugal

      Ah! As usual, you are just a bit more hardcore than me. I use polenta because I can get nice local polenta, and I don’t have a grain mill like you, so it’s easier. But if I see any corn kernels, maybe I’ll get all Jimmy Crack Corn on ’em…

      Reply
      • Randal Putnam

        You are too kind. I do use a mill for big batches, but I have had luck tossing small quantities in a blade style coffee grinder. Not sure you’d ever do anything requiring a small amount of anything, but it is there if you need it.

        Speak to you soon!

        R

  2. lagusta

    I’m leaving a comment here in the name of honesty to say that for some reason at 1:30 am that night I ate a box of frozen spinach cooked with tons of salt, pepper, and e.v.o.

    Phew. I feel better now. That omission had been driving me crazy. Am I the only person in the world who loves frozen spinach? I think there is a special love for frozen spinach only chefs who’ve spent YEARS washing and chopping and stemming fresh spinach, and then washing it two more times because it’s still gritty, can have.

    Reply
  3. ecclescake

    Wow, here I am catching up on your blog a month at a time and doing a bunch of drive-by comments! But anyway, thanks to my Master Food Preserver/chef pal Ernie I have my own (LA native!) sourdough starter! Finally (huh, I just typed ‘funally.’ I kind of love it.) I can bread things like you do, and make those Bloodroot cakes I’ve been drooling over. My starter is named Midge, totally inspired by Shirley.

    Reply
    • lagusta

      MIDGE! Love it. I JUST today for lunch fried up some squash blossoms with Dr. Cow cheese inside (let me know if you want me to ship you any of that AMAZINGNESS, btw), and……

      ….I mean, my god.

      Reply

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