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Smorgasburg, Brooklyn - Scenes of a Modern Food Culture

Smorgasburg, Brooklyn - Scenes of a Modern Food Culture

A couple of weekends ago, as the weather thawed considerably, I finally made it to one of the best known outdoor food markets in the country - Smorgasburg. It has been running popular since 2011, and even extended its very Brooklyn roots to grace the neighboring county of Manhattan. For all that time, I had tried and failed to make a visit largely because I don't like crowds and mostly because I then lived in the less hip Manhattan borough. But, this year shall be hallowed since I made it in the second week of it's operation.

And, what a lovely visit it was! The market runs in different places on Saturday and Sunday. Despite not having visited the Williamsburg one, I am going to stipulate that the one in Brooklyn Heights on Sunday is the best one to be at. Simply because it is in a pier, by the water, a boardwalk and stunning vistas! What more can one possibly want as you leisurely walk about, grab food from different stalls and then mull over how content you are in the moment while overlooking the tall buildings of Downtown Manhattan where some....

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About Not settling in....

Umbrian Salad

It has been almost a week since I returned to New York...

Ostensibly, nothing had really changed around me. My neck of urban woods was barely touched by Sandy. As much as I missed the actual event, being thousands of miles away at the time, I had even little reminders of it in the UES life that is my everyday.

But... Something was different. I usually feel an overwhelming feeling of homecoming when I cross through customs and look at the familiar lines of yellow cabs ready to whisk me away back into the comforting folds of my home. This time, I felt none of that rush of relief or the happiness of being back. I was strangely empty....

British Afternoon Tea at Home

And, the feeling of the detachment continued as I tried to get back into the normalcy of my routine (or whatever little structure I can induce in my scattered and unscheduled day..). Running in central park was a non-event... Hosting friends didn't do it... Ok, going away on a trip again (I am in New Haven right now) does not help but that is just an excuse...

While i wallowed in this state of dis-belonging, i read some of my own previous posts that in some strange way journaled my metamorphosis of sorts. The reality, as it struck me in an epiphanic moment yesterday morning, is that I have changed..... I have grown.. Up!

Orange and Thyme Scones

In so far as I have tried to lead the last 20+ cognizant years of my life  with a rational and logical outlook, it has not really worked especially now... I have tried to tame, control and frame my life based on subconscious social norms, fear of failure and an yearning to break away without the courage to do so....

But, I am not that person.. I am quirky, crazy, emotional and quite irrational!! Yes, I am logical and rational too but I am more all of the former kept in balance by the latter. So, how can it possibly work if I try to make my life just the latter without much trace of the former... Repression... Bondage... That's how :) .. Yes, it's all clear now, isn't it?! I have to stop fighting myself!

Swiss Chard, green onion and Leek Tart

Fortunately, in a strange way, I am in the best city to do just that. New York is relentless in her pursuit to drive you into constant reinvention. So, guess what, my not feeling at home is good after all... I have to make a new home.. I don't what or how but I am going to find out by doing and NOT thinking... That is new for me and I am looking forward to it! :)

And, I know I can because of this. So wish me luck!! ;-)



Orange and Thyme Scones based on this recipe

Swiss Chard, Red Pepper and Spring Onion Tart based on these recipes

Blueberry Coffee Squares based on this Cranberry version

Buttermilk Strawberry Cake here - Always a perfect bake.

A Simple Salad in Umbria

Handful of fresh lettuce (I love Bibb lettuce for this), torn up
Handful of arugula or rocket
1 tart apple (like Granny Smith), diced
1 mostly ripe pear, diced
chunk of really good parmesan, crumbled
Handful of hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

For the vinaigrette
juice of half lemon
1/4 cup olive oil (fresher the better)
salt and fresh cracked pepper

Umbrian Salad

Toss together the leaves and fruits and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice while slowly pouring in the olive oil until it emulsifies. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and gently toss. Sprinkle the parmesan crumbles and nuts generously and serve.

Change..

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Is a must! Even if it is small, as long as it is relevant. And, everything is relevant :)

I like complexities in simple sentences. It sounds cool. It is also true :)

As you can see, I painted. Bright colors. Something about me. Everything about me. :)

It was called Freedom. Unshackle. Literally and figuratively. :)

It was not a day's job, I'll admit. And, I had help. A lot of it. It took a toll. Many thanks to those hands, I love them. Thank you many times over. I could not have done it without them :)

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My biggest change was my kitchen. Before, it was clutter. After, it is my pride. A sunny, cheerful space where I can linger, create and just be happy for being alive.

I wanted space. It was all about creating that. Visually and really. I need a lot of storage. As you can imagine, I have a ton of kitchen stuff. From everyday use to those just for photographs, yes, props!

I did not have enough kitchen cabinets space for all of that. I also did not have counter top space. They needed to be created. So, we did. My landlords are very accommodating and helpful. I try and repay bribe them with cakes :)

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Additional cabinets, Wall shelving with hooks to hang pots and pan from creating a cool yet homely look. I went for the country style. I always liked it. The irony of country in the city :)

Yeah, I think I am funny that way!

But, it was all fun! It was worth it. I love my house :)

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Share your creations tagging @ashafsk on Instagram and hashtag #MadeFromFSK