Hello, Three Day Weekend

I love weekends. Three day weekends especially. No alarm clocks, no schedule, no WORK – complete bliss.

This morning we headed up to Evanston for the farmer’s market since the one in our neighborhood doesn’t start until next week. I was after morels. Unfortunately, I came home disappointed. I might’ve gotten some if we went early (we didn’t get over there until after 10:30) but I really needed to sleep in this morning. I spoke with my favorite mushroom vendor there though, and she confirmed my fears – this season is no good for morels. Just too cool. Morels like to grow in hot, humid conditions. Well, we’ve had the humidity this season but not the heat. The supply is incredibily limited, and a lot of foragers are just keeping them for themselves instead of selling them. And can you blame them? I’d do the same thing. At any rate, she said they’ll likely have a few again next week, but I’ll have to get there right when they open because they’ve been selling out of them almost immediately. The one bright spot is they’re not charging super high prices even though the supply is severely limited. They’re letting them go for about $30.00 per pound, which is a steal considering how rare they are this spring. So if I can hold onto a $20.00 this week and convince myself to wake up at 5:30 next Saturday… I might be able to get myself a little pile of morels for my once-a-year proper coq au vin.

Fortunately, the market had plenty of other goodies on offer that we availed ourselves of. Our mushroom vendor did have some fine looking criminis, so we got a quart of those. Some mushrooms is better than no mushrooms. We’ve been doing them on the grill a lot lately. We also picked up some green onions, Rose Finn fingerling potatoes and some beef kabob cubes. We looked at flowers too, since we’d like to get a couple of spots of color out on the deck, but we didn’t see anything that caught our eye. Maybe next week.

While in Evanston, we popped over to Market Fresh Books, which is having a killer sale this weekend since they are closing their second location. You can get a whole grocery sack full of books for only $20! I was able to pile in 42 before my husband cried uncle and had to drag me from the store. Apparently I’d been in there an hour – but it only felt like a few minutes! I got a few books for me, and a major haul for the kiddo – I scored THIRTY vintage Golden Books! I also got a couple board books, two of which are Dr. Suess, and some activity and learn-t0-cook books (for when he’s older). Each book came out at just under fifty cents each – what a score! You can’t touch vintage Golden Books for that price on Ebay. And they’re all in near-perfect condition. There are a lot left, so if I were you I’d head up there today or tomorrow! They are my favorite used bookstore of all time, and this is an unbeatable deal.

Once we got home from our Evanston adventure, we had some leftover Cincinnati chili for lunch and then I rearranged the deck and potted up the last few plants we’ve acquired in the last week – have a dozen strawberry plants and some hops. (Stay tuned for the pics of the deck, in it’s “finished” state). And then it started raining, even though all the weather reports called for a sunny, warm afternoon. I spent some time relaxing and reading and listening to the rain until it got to cool to sit out (even with a blanket) and then retreated indoors, where I now sit. It’s relatively quiet for a Saturday in the city – it’s still raining a bit, and the birds are chirping outside and it’s nice. I might work up the motivation to hit up the grocery store in a bit, but we’ll see.

Tomorrow I plan to make a big brunch – barbecued pork with jalapeno corn bread and breakfast potatoes – I’ve been craving something different. It’ll be the home version of what I usually get at our favorite brunch spot. Then we may head over to Andersonville to do a little thrifting – I’m always on the lookout for canning jars this time of year, and books and Saveur magazines as always, and now – baby things. Plus I’ve got a bag or two of things to donate myself. If it continues to be cool, I’ll bake some bread and do up a coffee cake or muffins. And I’m going to work with a whole duck this weekend – rendering the fat, confiting the legs/thighs, freezing the breasts for a later dinner and making a stock out of the carcass. Keep your eyes peeled for that post before the weekend is out.

And Monday, just relaxing at home. Spending some time outdoors as much as possible – hopefully the weather turns around! We’re going to grill some kabobs for Monday dinner. I might get started on cutting the quilt blocks for my son’s baby quilt too, especially if it remains gloomy and cool. All in all, a perfect weekend.