I’ve been back in the burbs now for about a year and a half and I’m actually, surprisingly loving it. I have lots of space to cook which I do now every day. I have lots of space to entertain, and cook for my friends; though the lack of large kitchen space in the city didn’t ever prevent me from cooking and entertaining. I definitely inherited the love of cooking and sharing the pleasures of food and wine from my parents, no matter how large or small my kitchen was . And I have lots of space to explore outdoors. I grew up here but didn’t really appreciate it until I came back. When you are a kid you don’t think about how lucky you are to live in a particular place. When you get older that’s when you start appreciating your surroundings, truly appreciating your surroundings.
Yes the city had the glorious Central Park, though I admit I didn’t really take advantage of its being just 2 blocks away. Being where I am now I have access to miles of walking trails and an extraordinary park with sweeping views of the Hudson. I now take advantage of the outdoors. When I was a kid the park across the street was where we played or braved the hill and trees in the snow on our flexible flyers. But it was also a place that we also knew you didn’t go into alone. And it wasn’t until some time later that we discovered that our instincts were right and found out that the Son of Sam also played there, though not the games we played sadly. Today this park, Untermeyer Gardens is a breathtaking place with, as I said stunning views of the Hudson River and landscaped gardens which rival any of the world’s great landscaped parks. Restored to its original glory this Persian Roman Garden it is a treasure. Follow the path down the hill and I mean down the hill and you wind up on the Old Croton Aqueduct. Again as a kid you’d never wander down to the OCA, in fact I don’t think I ever went that far. It wasn’t safe to wander into the woods. But today, the path is filled with people walking, riding their bikes, walking their dogs or running.
So what does this all have to do with food? Good question! On a recent walk when I should have been consumed by the beauty around me, all I could think about was what am I going to make for dinner. Yup, I knew that my walk ended in the parking lot of the local supermarket so I had about 2 hours to think about what’s for dinner! Shouldn’t I have been pondering the meaning of life while walking in the woods? Isn’t that what one does? Nope I think about food and what to make for dinner. I finally decided that Sundays are for a good roast and channeling my mom, I bought (as she would say) a cute little pork roast and some root vegetables. An easy, comforting meal to put in the oven while I watched football. No wine today, football watching calls for my favorite other beverage — bourbon. I the studded the roast with a mixture of garlic and fresh sage and rosemary — still had some in the garden, then surrounded the pan with a mixture of beautiful fall root vegetables. I then seasoned with salt and pepper and drizzled olive oil over all and gave them a good mix then put it in the oven at 375 F until the juices ran clear. Now that the roast was doing its thing I could concentrate on my reward! I made myself a fall cocktail made of fresh apple cider, spiked with a generous pour of Makers, added a dash of Fernet Branca and dusted with cinnamon. Roast in the oven, I could now concentrate on the cocktail and the game.
Mom would always make some sort of comfort meal on a Sunday, this would have been one of her favorites. She would have approved of my cute little pork roast.