It’s been a pretty awesome week.Last Friday was my birthday, with all the obscenely frosted cake that it implies. Then, Wednesday was the first afternoon market of the year at the Durham Farmers’ Market.
Petey worked just about his whole nursing career on the third shift, from 7PM to 7AM, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And, I’ve something to say about folks who work the night shift.
One Tuesday morning my mom called about 9:30 to check on The Kid, who’d been up in school in Vermont a couple months. She woke us.
It wasn’t the first time, or the second, and I got a little snappish. And so did Mom.
First, she called me a “lazy thing”, for being asleep at that time. I explained we’d gone to bed at 3AM. So, she asked why Petey and I didn’t go to bed earlier on Mondays. Because when Petey had gotten home from work on Monday morning, he was exhausted and slept until 4PM.And if he switched his sleep to a more conventional schedule every Monday, he’d have to flip it back at the end of the week. And, I’m no sleep expert, but I’m guessing that after a couple months of poking his circadian rhythm with a sharp stick, he’d be insane or dead.
I will end with this entreaty. If you know someone who works when the rest of the world is sleeping, have a heart. Don’t visit during the day. Don’t ask them to give you a ride, or babysit, or be functional at 1:00 in the afternoon. It is the same as someone showing up at your house at 3AM on a Wednesday to try to get you to have pizza and binge watch “Stranger Things”.So, have a heart. That person you don’t bug when you think they should be out and about in the middle of the day might be the person manning the emergency room when Grandma falls and breaks her wrist on a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
My point was that the Saturday farmers’ markets are just too early for some (me). Which is why the Wednesday market makes me so very happy.This year, there’s a plan: each time I visit, I will purchase food that I’ve neither cooked, nor eaten. I will then pick the brains of both the farmer, and fellow buyers as to preparation.
Last Wednesday, I bought escarole. It’s a bitter green beloved by Italians and is big in bean dishes and Italian wedding soup. I chose to sauté it.
Garlic Lemon Escarole
4 slices bacon, cooked crispy and reserve 1 tablespoon of grease
4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
2 large bunches of escarole
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup toasted pistachios
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt & pepper
Wash escarole by filling sink with cold water. Swish each bunch and drop into water. The detritus will drop to bottom of sink. Wait a few minutes then gently remove escarole without disturbing dirt.
While escarole is soaking put garlic into large skillet with bacon grease and cook on medium-low until garlic browns. Remove garlic and set aside. Turn to medium.
Pat dry. Cut into 2-inch pieces. add to skillet, and cover. Cook 8 minutes or so until completely wilted.
Remove cover, stir in pepper flakes and pistachios, then cook until tender (5-7 minutes).
Take off heat and stir in lemon juice. Season, taste and season again, if needed.Plate and top with browned garlic and crumbled crispy bacon. Serves 4.
Thanks for your time