13 August 2006

Apricots, Tomatoes, and Lots of Pink Icing

I did muster enough energy to do a little baking on Friday, but waited to clean house until today. Apricot Poppyseed Muffins with fresh orange zest -- I altered the recipe's fruit component because I couldn't find any dried cherries at the store, only apricots. Still not bad though! Currently, comfort food is bubbling away in the oven...Creamy Mac, Chicken, and Cheese with Spinach from my Foster's Market Cookbook. It's a husband favorite.

This fall a new store is opening in our neighborhood: Marche' -- an artisan foods market. I am jumping for joy (inside) about this for two reasons. One, I love to cook and it will be wonderful to have a gourmet shop just down the street to get my fill of crusty breads and interesting cheeses. Two, the new market will be owned by Margot, who also runs our all-time favorite restaurant in the city (a few blocks away from our house.) Inside, there’s exposed brick and Tuscan colors and unbelievably delicious food that changes daily. The ingredients are always fresh and exotic – in a home-y and creative kind of way, not an intimidating one. We almost always split a homemade dessert. Out front, tangled sunflowers a mile high grow wildly, and boxes of fresh herbs sprout from window boxes. If I had an unlimited eating-out budget, Margot Cafe would be my choice at least 9 times out of 10.

I noticed the “Opening Soon” sign for Marche’ on Saturday, while Jeremy and I were strolling the neighborhood at East Nashville’s 3rd annual Tomato Festival. It was fun to see so many people out and about (though Jeremy accurately pointed out that almost everyone was white---not at all an accurate representation of our diverse section of town.) Kids with bright red face paint, tomato costumes even, mulled along the Woodland Street Bazaar with their fists wrapped around giant roasted turkey legs and hot dogs, ketchup dripping down their chins. There were artist booths and samples of salsa, and special tomato cake sold at the local coffee roaster. Scribbles of sidewalk chalk pointed us this way and that…we followed the arrows to a photo exhibit and then I had my toenails painted in bright red polish at Magnolia salon. Jeremy sipped a tomato martini (yick!) and waited for his chair massage. We ran into a few good friends as we watched a parade of veggie-clad participants and their unamused dogs marching down the street to the beat of the Tomatofest band.

We ended the afternoon at a birthday party for Zoe Weigel, who celebrated by smearing pink icing across her face, followed by a bath in the kitchen sink in front of nearly thirty guests. Having never been to a one-year-old’s birthday party before, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, especially seeing all our friends’ babies and toddlers scurrying around the kitchen floor. It’s so rare that I actually feel TALL among a group, but for that hour or so, I did.

This was definitely a weekend out of the ordinary, but somehow it made the craziness of last week seem all covered up in sweetness.


Christine said...

I would like to seize this moment to publicly announce that my mom dressed me as a tomato for Halloween in first grade. It was a Jersey tomato. Complete with a green paper "leaf" hat, rotund stuffed red felt body, and black tights and patent leathers sticking out from underneath.

I think I would have fit in nicely with your neighborhood festival...

That market sounds AMAZING and I can't wait to visit it...and YOU, hopefully someday soon!

Jenni said...

Mmm, I loved Margot, too. Their store will be nothing but amazing, I'm sure.

I love my husband, but I do not love his martinis. I cannot imagine a tomato martini being good!

amy said...

I am envious of that little market opening near you! It does sound wonderful. Kierst, I have to say, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blogs over the past few weeks. Your blogs and photos bring a smile to my face!

Um, and I am cracking up at the image of our Stine dressed as a Jersey tomato! :-)