return of the farmers market at harvard

fresh, ripe strawberries

I was so happy when the email arrived in my mailbox announcing that the farmers market would be opening again on June 14th.  This is the one that takes place right in front of the Science Center building at Harvard, right near the yard.  What’s great about this year’s market season is that they are starting it at 12 noon now instead of 12:30 pm which makes it easier for people like me and my coworkers to take the shuttle from our Somerville office to campus and back within a lunch hour.  And that’s exactly what we did yesterday so that we could grab some fresh produce while checking out the new vendors.  Check out some of the goods we saw:

beautiful, colorful tomatoes

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I’m taking the “exploring clay” ceramics class through the Office for the Arts at Harvard with teacher Kathy King (one of the funniest people I’ve ever met!) this semester.  Yes I know, “another craft, Candice?” you ask.

project 1: cutting out the base of a tumbler

It’s going to be spread out over 12 Fridays and I’m excited about learning throwing skills, trying different glazes, and basically to get down right dirty working with clay.  Am I a geeky crafter?  Um, yes unfortunately.  Continue reading

science & cooking

The Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Alícia Foundation have developed a new General Education science course, “Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to the Science of Soft Matter,”  which recently began this Fall.  The course — which is unfortunately limited to currently enrolled Harvard undergraduates — will use food and cooking to “explicate fundamental principles in applied physics and engineering”.  So whilst I continue to wish that they offered this type of a course back when I was still in college, I will simply have to settle for attending the topic-related public lectures given by guest chefs and faculty affiliated with the course.
I’ve been helping out at the Monday night lectures with a couple of my old SEAS coworkers and it has been quite an experience so far.  Let me just say that when the organizer said it would be crazy to do crowd control, she was not kidding.  Seating for the lectures are on a first-come first-serve basis and people begin lining up way before the start time of 7 pm (think like before 5 pm, no kidding!).  I saw a woman cry because she couldn’t get in to see Bill Yosses (the current White House Pastry Chef)! 

The line beginning to form in order to get into one of the food lectures

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lines walking

“Lines Walking” is a solo art exhibit by one of our friends, Lennie Peterson. We attended the opening reception on Wednesday night and got to view some of his exquisitely detailed art at Harvard University’s “Three Columns Gallery”. Some of you may remember me mentioning Lennie after we received a seriously cool Christmas card from him last year (if not, click here).

The portraits celebrate the marriage of music and visual art, and are Lennie’s way of paying tribute to musical genius. The original artwork is six-feet high, with all details meticulously hand-drawn in pen, ink and oils.

One piece that was probably my favorite (certainly one we stared at for a long period of time) was his “Circle of Fifths” drawing. It’s in three frames and there is just so much detail in each inch of the paper (literally art within art), it’s quite incredible. Here’s one piece of the drawing:

And here is the work in full with a red circle pointing out where the previous scene is located in it.

As one person in New York told Lennie at an exhibit: “This is exquisite shit!”. It really is!

The exhibit is free and open to the public at the Mather House (10 Cowperthwaite Street in Cambridge, MA) until April 16, 2010. It features twelve of Lennie’s large 6′ x 3′ composer portraits and several other works including a collection of his pen and ink surrealisms and smaller portraits.

A shot of us with the artiste extraordinaire

farmers market, 09.15.09

Back to back posts about the farmers market?! Oh my! I figured that the number of days of beautiful sunny weather where it’s not hot and humid are probably dwindling down now that we’re getting close to the end of summer, so I took the 12:00 pm shuttle from our off-site location to the Harvard campus to check out farmers market finds and stretch my legs. It was such a gorgeous day outside where the breeze was just gently blowing, people seemed like they were in good spirits (lots of people smiled at me), and the farmers market was buzzing even before the official start time (12:30 pm … or as I learned today, when the lady in charge rings the bell).

The first thing that caught my eye today was this beautiful display of Concord grapes. They were the darkest shade of purple and looked so nice and plump. I was tempted to buy some but the bag I brought was quite flimsy and I think I would’ve had grape juice rather than whole grapes by the time I made it back to the office.

Seeing these little pumpkins reminded me of how quickly it seems like the year has gone by. Wow, before you know it, it’ll be fall and time for apple picking and pumpkin carving around here.

I thought these bottles of honey were really cute. Too bad I’m allergic to it. 😦

I kept eyeing these gorgeous dahlias at one stand, so I bought four stems on my way back to the shuttle. They are huge and just the brightest of colors. I put them on my desk when I got back to the office and I think just about everyone stopped in their tracks to comment on them. Simply stunning.

One of the other reasons why I wanted to check out today’s market was because the chef of Garden at the Cellar (a restaurant I’ve been wanting to try for a while now), Will Gilson, was going to be there doing a cooking demo and giving out samples. Alas, as you can see, the sign made it but he didn’t by the time I had to leave the market.

Of course, we had to make the traditional stop at the Danish Pastry House stand. They had this beautiful Epine baguette. I ended up getting us a huge loaf of potato bread that we ate with a salad for dinner tonight. It was delicious and so hearty.

Saw these kind of odd looking gourds at one stand.

Bought the husband some beautiful little tomatoes which he said were quite delicious and full of flavor.

I bought a nice salad mix bunch of greens, some bok choy, and green onions from this woman’s stand. She has really big bundles of fresh basil and other herbs available too.

And lastly, a shot of one of the flowers while I waited for the shuttle to depart back to the office.

I must say, quite a nice way to enjoy a lunch break on a nice summer day. 🙂

farmers market, 08.25.09

My coworker and I decided to take the 12:00 pm shuttle from our off-site location to the Harvard campus to check out farmers market finds. I had also heard that one of the chefs from Hungry Mother was going to be creating a free food sample during the first hour, so that made for even more of an excuse to get out of the office, stretch our legs, and enjoy the beautiful summer day.

The first stop was at the Danish Pastry House stand. I love to buy fresh bread and pastries from them whenever I visit the farmers market.

The double chocolate cookie is Tony’s favorite from them. I bought us a nice long loaf of French bread for dinner to go with this big head of lettuce that we made a salad out of.

We were tempted to buy some of these beautiful azaleas. So many pretty colors that would make a gorgeous bouquet.

I ended up getting a ball of fresh mozzarella from Fiero di Nonna (so sweet and good!), a couple of small yellow tomatoes, blueberries, and a cucumber. And then we stopped off at the “live cooking demo” table where there were two chefs from Hungry Mother putting together a dish they called “Caveach”.

It was made with bluefish, watermelon pickle, fresh market veggies and herbs. I couldn’t eat any of it (stupid watermelon!) but my coworker and Tony said that it was quite delicious!

It’s funny how free food (or anything labeled “free” for that matter) will attract a crowd. I took about ten other shots but they all came out blurry because some woman was in my way and she actually bumped my arm a couple of times as she was [apparently] excitedly waiting for the samples to be done.

Sure did look yummy, huh?!?!

Unfortunately, we had to go back to work and couldn’t stay out longer to enjoy the beautiful weather. It was finally nice and sunny out without being too humid.

Don’t forget – the farmers market at Harvard goes on until mid-October. Each Tuesday from 12:30 to 6:00 pm. Check it out if you can!

to market, to market …

I made it over to the farmers market at Harvard this afternoon. Click here for more details.

I love fresh stuff like this!

farmers market at harvard

I was delighted about being able to check out the farmers market at Harvard this afternoon. Since our office is now located in Somerville, it will be really difficult for me to get over to the campus during the daytime, so I’d probably be stuck with slim pickings by the time I got there right before they close up shop.

Here are some pics I took with my camera phone of some of the goodies:

I was tempted to buy a new basil plant today since ours has pretty much run its course (hey, it lasted nearly a whole year so not too shabby!). Maybe next time I’m at the market (or if my husband reads this post on his way home today after work … lol).

Okay, so this photo title alternative could be: “the table that caused Candice to run to the bathroom” …

I think I started feeling itchy just looking at these beauties!

So what did I end up bringing home, you ask? A bunch of wonderful finds. Fresh green leaf lettuce that was just picked this morning (the woman described how tender the leaves were as she bagged the head for me); a freshly baked baguette to go with dinner tonight; a tomato that weighs one whole friggin’ pound (no kidding! I think I jumped back a little when I saw the guy put it on the scale); a 3/4 pound yellow squash; 3/4 of a pound of organic snap peas; a large bag of lavender; and a quart of beautiful strawberries.

The downside is that I can’t eat half these things but I hope my husband will enjoy them! I’m thinking about making a nice salad out of the tomato, snap peas, and a can of chick peas. You know, served cold, maybe with a chopped up red onion and some sort of vinaigrette. Have any suggestions on the vinaigrette? It would be really nice to make this later in the week to take up to my in-laws’ house for the 4th of July holiday, but I’m afraid the fresh vegetables won’t make it that long. Hmmmm.

Oh and more pictures. 🙂

If you get the chance to stop by the farmers market at Harvard: it happens each Tuesday from 12:30 to 6:00 pm from June 16th through October 27th ,and it’s right outside Harvard Yard (close to the Kirkland Street side). What’s neat is that you can sign up for their newsletter here and you’ll get an email the day before letting you know which vendors will be at the market and what they plan to bring from their farms.

Can’t wait to have that bread with a light salad tonight! I’m going to try a recipe I saw Giada make on the Food Network the other day. It’s called “cheesy baked farro” but I’m going to make a couple of substitutions since I don’t know what farro is and/or if I’m allergic to it. Will definitely post the results here later. 🙂

harvard yard

I walked through Harvard Yard this afternoon to run some errands during my lunch break and snapped this photo with my cell phone. We got lots and lots of snow, but they do a nice job of clearing the walkways for us. Definitely not as much as many of the suburbs and the Cape got, but still taller than knee high for this little person to walk through.

staff holiday party

We had our Harvard Art Museum’s staff holiday party last night at the Queen’s Head Pub in the basement of Memorial Hall. The pub and Crimson Catering did an awesome job with the decorations and food setup, and we had a great turnout.

Part of the festitivies this year included a raffle drawing for staff members where they could pick from one of six prizes to win. Elissa and I had a blast putting them together — they were a hot chocolate set from Burdick’s; a holiday cookie baking set from Crate & Barrel; a cute martini set complete with a mini shaker; four AMC Gold movie passes in a popcorn bowl; a beautiful Snow & Graham 2009 calendar; and two tickets to the Bruins vs. Canadiens hockey game in January.

Tony was able to join me and I think he had the most fun at the decorate-your-own-gingerbread station. 🙂