Jim and I drove out to East Hampton this weekend and had a lovely time despite the rain (and rain it did, especially on the drive out, when big chunks of rain fell, and I remembered that I needed to get new windshield wipers). We did a lot of cooking, but only recipes I’ve posted before, so instead of a recipe today, I’ll just jabber on about some fun things to do in East Hampton, should you be out there this summer. The East Hampton Farmers Market (in Nick and Toni’s parking lot) was top-notch; the Horman’s Best pickle guys and their “red flannel pickles” alone were worth the trip. (The pickle guys are also at other farmers markets this summer.) These pickles, in a sweet brine with red peppers, would be worth mail-ordering if the pickle guys offered that, but I’ll certainly be trying to replicate them this summer. If anyone has tips on sweet brine for pickles, let me know (and if the pickles guys themselves would like to send me the recipe—or a pickled present—my email’s on the left.)
We also went to Napeague Beach in Amagansett; Jim and I have been going there since our first summer trip to the area, when we spent a week in his grandmother’s garage-cum-apartment and fell in love. It was rainy and cold on Saturday, Jim got his feet wet, and I grabbed my polaroid and took some expired-film-shots.
Which is all you’ll get today, since I also got some great photography advice from my favorite photographer this weekend, and I’m waiting until I have a day off to do any photographing of my food, and that day off hasn’t happened yet. But actually, I’ll give you a look at one of Ken’s (one that hangs on our living room wall), and then you can slip away from this post and go off to his website to oogle and ahh. (And if you happen to be in Amagansett this summer, you can check out the Pamela Williams Gallery, a gallery that often exhibits Ken’s work, and always is fun to visit.)
Finally, and you don’t need to be in East Hampton for this, we had a lovely engagement party at my—soon to be bona-fide— aunt and uncle’s house. There was lamb tava, and gorgeous cheeses, and mojitos made with the mint growing outside, and talk of Food Inc., which is what you should be watching this weekend. I know I’m preaching to the choir on a food blog, but I imagine a lot of people could eat better, more locally and ethically, then they do. So let’s all watch this movie, and have the fear of God E. coli put in us. Let’s all remember that if we eat out at a place that serves meat from industrially farmed animals, we are doing things inexplicably horrendous and unethical, things we would never, ever do to a living, breathing, thinking animal—but are doing through buying the meat and supporting the torture. Now, I understand that not everyone lives next door to humanely raised cattle, hogs, and chickens—I’m very fortunate in that way. But I believe it’s almost always possible (and certainly possible for anyone who has a computer, and the internet, and the leisure time to sit around reading food blogs) to eat ethically. Take the money that you would spend on cheap meat and spend it on a smaller quantity of humanely raised meat. Mail-order. Search your area for farmers, where you may end up finding cheap, humanely raised meat, and where you’d definitely end up meeting people, making friends, feeling better about your choices, taking more care in your food, having it taste better and be more satisfying, needing to eat less, losing a few pounds, and fitting into that gorgeous black bathing suit this summer. No kidding.