Monday, May 3, 2010

No shopping experiment update/Pedrick Produce/artichokes

I haven't cooked very much unusual stuff lately, so there's not much to post here.  Nonetheless, the no-shopping experiment is going well.  I'm into the home stretch.  The frozen fruit is getting eaten, and the frozen veggies are gone.  I cooked a roast tonight.  It had been in the freezer for a year and a half, but it tasted ok.  I've got a few pork chops and a turkey left.  The turkey is getting cooked on Mother's Day, and a lot of the unopened canned foods and dried goods are getting donated to the postal service food drive.
I visited Missy this weekend.  As usual, I stopped off at Pedrick Produce on the way back.  It's in Dixon, a few miles from Davis.  They specialize in really cheap produce.  You can get a great deal, if you don't mind buying big bags of whatever is in season.  It's usually very fresh, and I end up buying huge quantities and sharing the bounty with my parents.  My favorites are the watermelons for $0.09/lb, and cherries and asparagus for $0.99/lb.  Other items of interest are the extensive selection of grains, beans, dried fruit, candy, seasonings, etc.  There's also a wide variety of hot sauces, homemade style tortillas, and pies.  It's always really crowded, but it's worth the wait.  I recommend stopping there if you're on Highway 80.
Anyway, the no-shopping experiment means that I haven't hit up the dried goods lately, but I still pick up produce.  We're at an in-between season here.  Strawberries are going strong, but it's been rainy so the quality isn't up to par.  I scored some pears, mangos, and jumbo artichokes.  The artichokes were 5 for $4.  If I'd gotten them at the farmer's market they'd cost at least $2/each.
I cooked them up tonight since my parents were coming over for dinner.  They take about an hour, but are easy.  Just cut off the stem* and top, place them in a pot, and cook in salted water with a bit of lemon juice until tender.    Serve with melted butter, balsamic vinegar, or salad dressing.  These were the first ones I've had this year, and it really hit the spot.

* The stems are pretty tasty.  Cut off the discolored end, peel, and cook with the artichokes.

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