When I woke up this morning at around 6:30, I began to write. And, as is often the case when I get up that early, I get hungry earlier. So I turned off the computer and went downstairs to make something I love - a frittata with Parmesan, garlic and tomatoes. A four-egg frittata. With two pieces of rye toast I'd bought at Crown Market in Hartford. That kept me happy for a few hours. I then decided to have a scoop of Talenti mint chip ice cream with the chocolate syrup I had just made, so that the syrup was hot and melted the ice cream. It was delicious.
That night, I drove to Mohegan Sun to see the Connecticut Sun play the Liberty, their first home game since the end of the Olympics in London. It was exciting to see our own Sun women, Tina Charles and Asjha Jones, come home with own gold medals. It was also pretty nifty that we beat the New York Liberty (after the loss a couple of days earlier in an away game with the same team).
But before the game, friends and I ate an early dinner at Michael Jordan's 23. Since the following day I would have to sort-of fast with clear soup, Jell-O, ice pops (no red or purple) or soda and drink two quarts of MoviPrep, I decided to have an appetizer of luscious chicken rolls, a medium-rare hamburger with grilled onions, sweet potato fries and a (shared) brownie sundae with chocolate syrup, whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.
When I am finished with colonoscopy, I will come home and have a bowl of this delicious soup, which I'd made the day before.
Chilled Cucumber Yogurt Soup with Pita Crisps
From Joanne Weir's More Cooking in the Wine Country (Simon and Schuster, New York, 2001)
Yield: serves 6
3 pita breads (8-inch diameter)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt
3 cups plain full-fat yogurt, drained in a cheesecloth- or paper-towel-lined strainer for 4 hours
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and coarsely grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 cups cold milk (2 percent is fine)
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
salt and freshly grated black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Separate each pita bread into 2 rounds. Cut each round into 8 wedges and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss together. Bake the pita wedges in the oven until crisp and light golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Prepare the soup: Discard any water that has drained from the yogurt. Combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the mint, the dill and the milk. Mix well. Add vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Chill until ice cold, one hour or more.
Ladle the chilled soup into bowls and garnish each serving with a mount of pita crisps in the center. Sprinkle with remaining one tablespoon of mint and serve.
Friends and I have a deal: when we travel via Hartford or Providence, I drive them to and from the airport, and they do the same for me. We pick whichever airport offers the least expensive flight.
I am truly excited when either of us choose Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks so we can stop at Crown Market in West Hartford. When I flew to Florida, we stopped and I got a chopped liver sandwich on rye to munch while I waited for my flight. A couple of weeks ago, we stopped and they got sandwiches for their flight, while I spent $62 on pastrami, corned beef and two big sliced rye breads (they freeze beautifully.) As a treat, they bought me a pint of chopped liver. The rye comes from Colchester Bakery, and the owner, Marc Bokoff, lives in Norwich, so, in a way, it's kind of local.
To the best of my knowledge, this is the closest true kosher deli within an hour of our homes (Rein's in Vernon is good, but it is further away; there is one in Woodbridge but it isn't that good). Crown has been around for seven decades. And, by the way, the pastrami and corned beef freeze well, too.
2471 Albany Ave.
West Hartford, CT 06117