Sunday, June 26, 2011

a little piece of a national treasure

It is rare that I spend all day fulfilling my grocery shopping list.  Of course, it is also rare that I go alllll the way across town to Trader Joe's - in fact, it's been about 3 years since the last time I set foot in there.  It's not that I don't want to - I would love to be a more frequent shopper, but after today's adventures, I am more convinced than ever that I will not be able to indulge in that fantasy until one of two things happens:
  1. I get a job in center city that allows me enough time on weeknights (purely by virtue of reducing my commute by 2 hours) to stop in after work, instead of trying to navigate SEPTA's horrendous and never-on-time bus schedule on a Sunday, when the buses run half as frequently as they're supposed to which is already on a 75% reduced schedule.  When you do the math, you should probably be able to figure out why it took me all day to go shopping there and Whole Foods.
  2. Mister and I move closer.  Not out of the question, but not likely.  Even if we do, it won't be until March[ish] of 2013.
I'm hoping for #1, but I'm sure I've kind of given that away already.  In any case, after today, if I had foursquare, I'd be the SEPTA Queen.  Forget about Mayor - I passed over that with the third connecting bus.  Granted, this was all kind of a public transit fail, but I did get to and from Trader Joe's twice (I had to go back because I realized when I got home that the cashier keyed something in wrong and overcharged me quite significantly).  Speaking of which, the service at TJ's is pretty stellar - the girl who rang me up was cheerful and conversational and the lady who corrected my payment did so with a smile and without asking for some kind of proof that I didn't buy $25-worth of Blue Danishes (whatever that might be).

In case you're wondering, the purpose of my trip was to get the only vegan chorizo in Philadelphia for one of the recipes I'm making this week.  I figured, though, that as long as I was there, I may as well see if I could score some lower-priced, still-high-quality produce, etc.  That seemed like a good idea when I thought, "hey, the store is on Market St and dozens of buses come down Market St, so I'll just hop on one with my bag o' groceries to get back home."  Refer back to my comments regarding the frequency of bus service on Sunday afternoons if you don't feel like reading about how I carried my groceries about 15 blocks without the assistance of a bus.  And to think I've been complaining about the 7 blocks I now must walk to return from Whole Foods....

Anyway, with a fridge full of veggies, I decided to make the Vegetable Chili Bowl from The Low GI Cookbook.  It was actually written by Margaret Fulton and then contributed to the cookbook.  I had heard her name before, but they say you learn something new every day and today I learned that Margaret Fulton was made a National Living Treasure in 1998.  May we all strive for such lofty goals!

Mister and I dug into our bowls of chili with the help of organic corn chips from TJ's that cost less than the multi-grain Tostitos I usually try to use to assuage my guilty conscience.  It was a tasty little combo and the chips had a lot less salt than Tostitos, which I didn't realize was so overwhelming until I realized how subtly perfect these chips are.  We were pleasantly surprised by this chili.  I have begun to approach the recipes I chose from that cookbook with hesitance and an expectation that it won't be as exciting as I want it to be.  

I'll admit - I'm relieved to be coming to the end of these recipes, but I appear to have saved the best for [almost] last!  The fresh parsley was a nice touch and I was really happy with the way the two beans came out - I don't think I've paired chickpeas and kidney beans in the past.  It's a good, light, summer-appropriate chili, since the peppers make it sweet and the zucchini lightens up the flavor significantly.

With 20 cookbooks, it's no wonder Margaret Fulton is considered a treasure - especially if half of them are as good as this summertime chili was!


  1. Ha, I never understood foursquare until I read this post. :P

    Kidney beans and chickpeas are certainly not a popular combination - I'll have to try them together some time!

  2. see? it looks like you learned something new today, too! Glad I could help ;)