Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Antidote to Flying the Friendly Skies

Over the past six weeks I've traveled three times for work. Here's how it went:
Early May, Sales Conference in Florida:
Flight out fine. Sales conference went well. Flight home delayed, then cancelled. Arrival time of 1:00 p.m. turns into 8:00 p.m., including a flight past city of destination, and then a separate flight to double back to city of destination.

Mid-June, One Day Trip on Friday for Half-Day Meeting in Hoboken:
Flight out fine. Meeting went well; we all felt great about the outcome. Flight home delayed significantly, meaning that I would miss my connecting flight. No means for getting home that evening. I stayed in a Newark Airport Marriott, fell asleep watching a series of City in Terror documentaries of killers like Andrew Cunanan and BTK. Saturday morning put on same clothes from Friday, took 1:00 flight home to get home at 3:00 p.m. Entire Saturday morning's worth of plans with the boys shot to Blazes.

This week, One Day Trip on Wednesday for Some Meetings in Hoboken:
Flight out fine. Meetings went well. At airport, learn that flight back, along with almost all flights that night, cancelled. Stood in line for an hour and a half to get the quickest flight home, which was the next day at 3:00. Booked a hotel in Manhattan. Went to Macy's on 34th, which was feeling less than miraculous, to get clean clothes and pajamas. Also bought basic toiletries. Flight back delayed about an hour (on the tarmac), but I was grateful for this efficiency, as colleagues flying from a different NY-based airport sat on the tarmac that same night for three and a half hours.

On flight out, purse was searched, as the thermometer I'd bought a couple days ago appeared to be a cigarette lighter on the x-ray screen. The security advisor searched my purse, pulling from it the offending thermometer, a Luna bar, a stack of Lego's, a half-knit sock, and a crochet hook we used in a photo shoot a few weeks ago. Note to self to edit purse contents before flying again.

As a balm to my battered, travel-weary soul, I took M and T to our ritualistic Saturday stomping grounds, the local farmer's market. It was time to stock up for the week on greens and meat and whatever else was in season. Today the market and its local vendors, still-alive produce, and happy smiling Labradors seemed more magical and comforting than normal, having just suffered through a three-for-three bad airline experience.
In all, we:

* Got some fair-trade, shade-grown coffee from local vendor Hubbard & Cravens. T was ogling the ice, so the woman at the stand gave him a cup of ice in a coffee cup that he carried around the market, Yankees cap pulled down, looking like he was getting his first jolt of caffeine to meet the morning.

* Picked up some radishes from a local organic family farm. The radishes were tiny enough that I was advised to slice them thinly and put them on a salad; at that size they don't require cooking. Who knew? Lunch eagerly awaits...

* Checked off Phil's list of meat requirements -- New York Strip (I got crazy and bought tri-tip roast instead) and pork chops -- at the Royer Farm booth.

* Selected a tote bag's worth of salad fixings from Field's Farm.

* Got M a chocolate croissant from local vendor Scholar's Inn Bakehouse. He ate about half and decided he'd had plenty. Resisted the urge to rip said croissant from his hands, eat it whole, and lick any errant chocolate from his fingers. How I do love a good chocolate croissant.

* Said Hi to my friend Carla, who was buying what appeared to be a garbage-bag full of mixed greens for the week. Tried some of the mustard greens in her bag. The spicy bite is pretty interesting.

While I haven't been cooking much lately, my friend Katie just discovered the farmer's market last weekend and sent along the improvised recipe for a stew she made from local meats and vegetables. The weekend was rainy and drab, and the comforting stew would have hit the spot. Because today is sunny and gorgeous, I'm tucking away the recipe for the next overcast, grey day that requires comfort eating. Or the next time I have to fly.

Katie's Farmer's Market Stew

About a pound of sausage: lamb, pork, whatever you like
Three big tomatoes, cut into wedges
A few handfuls of green beans
A small bunch of chopped fresh oregano
A couple pinches of red pepper flakes
Boiled potatoes
To make the stew, Katie browned the sausage, and then added in the tomatoes. She cooked this down until it was "good and saucy." Then she threw in a the green beans, oregano, and red pepper flakes. When the beans turned bright green, she served it over boiled potatoes.
Next time I get home from another trip-gone-wrong, I'm whipping up a batch of this stew, plugging in The Thin Man, and detoxing.


Blogger Teresa said...

I have to fly this week for work. I hope we don't any issues, but it seems we have them more than not these days.

11:09 AM  

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