What activity isn’t made better when some girls are thrown into the mix? We’re talking dinner parties, thrasher metal, early-morning sex, firefighters…I could go on. Last night’s dinner proved a particular Girls-Times-Three treat.
Emily, my roommate’s five-year-old daughter who visits on the weekends, joined me–along with Anita, a best friend who is living with me in SF this summer. The three of us sang bodacious songs (Miss Mary Mac-Mac-Mac), prepared a jalapeno-heavy vegetable melánge, and taught Emily choice phrases, such as “Gurrl, you crazy.”
We inaugurated the evening with a visit to Bi-Rite Grocery. Why haven’t I mentioned this boutique, farm-fresh grocer before? Founded in the Mission District in 1940, the inimitable Bi-Rite Grocery provides organic, sustainable, local, hand-crafted, in-house provisions and foodstuffs that range from the artisanal quotidian (a reasonably-priced loaf of green-olive bread from San Francisco’s own Acme Bread) to the élite (Point Reyes-based Cowgirl Creamery French Fromage Blanc cheese).
Anita and I focused on the produce section, where we picked up delightful items, such as:
Rainbow Chard: Dem bones, dem bones. This salty, bitter green boasts full, glossy leaves and bright yellow-and-pink stalks. Nutritionally, its remarkable vitamin K content offers bone benefits, such as inhibition of cells that cause bone deterioration and activation of non-collagen bone proteins. Nifty.
Sweet Potatoes: I’m a sucker for these tasty, creamy tubers. Offering over two-and-a-half times the daily nutritional requirement for vitamin A, these beta-carotene beauties help the body eliminate cancer-causing free radicals and function as an anti-inflammatory–specifically for individuals with arthritis.
Heirloom Tomatoes: Decidedly non-commercial, distinctively ancestral tomatoes derived from seeds passed down from generations of farmers. Not to mention a vitamin-C binge–say what, say what.
Back at the ranch, I danced and giggled with Emily (I’m a sucker for adorable five-year-olds), while Anita whipped up a tuber-tastic dish with sweet and purple potatoes. That’s right, purple potatoes–a little boutique, a little steep, but delightfully starchy with fantastic color. If you thinly slice potatoes, you can toss them into a cast-iron pan with a splash of water, which steam perfectly in about seven minutes. Boiling whole potatoes is out. Thin slices are in. Once softened, she threw in some Stonehouse Hot Chile Olive Oil, jalapeno, cilantro, and sel gris.
In another pan, she sautéed dino kale (Rainbow Grocery Coop-sourced), rainbow chard, more jalapeno (we dig the hot-hot heat), garlic, and olive oil.
With produce on our side, we filled our plates, complemented by a hefty dallop of local/organic/sustainable Straus Family Creamery whole-fat, plain, mouth-cooling yogurt and the Mission District’s own Casa Sanchez steamed corn tortillas.
Fats and fibers make fabulous Friday-night fare. Bon Appétit.