Last night I slept sitting up, shoulder-to-shoulder with a grumpy man from eastern Europe (or, at least I think he was based on his accent) and a sweet lady from Alaska. We soared above the country on a red-eye flight, napping in spurts punctuated by jolts and jumbles of a turbulent flight. Even after we landed, it was more than three hours until I arrived on my doorstep.
It’s good to be home. I was on a whirlwind, amazing business trip, that you will hear more about in bits and pieces in the coming weeks and months. The experience was incredible — as was the useful knowledge I came home with. If you were wondering why I haven’t posted in days, that’s why. Although I hadn’t intended to fold a blogging break into the business trip, it was necessary. Sometimes a break just has to happen — planned or not.
During some semi-planned downtime yesterday afternoon, between my last meeting and my late-night flight home, I photographed the sign you see above. Big and bold, you can see it from blocks away … a promise of locality and seasonality. It’s the Public Market sign found on top of the Pike Place Market in Seattle.
The promise above the market where vendors set up stalls with their wares is clear: Meet the Producer. It’s a sentiment that is close to my heart — and one that seems to be an undercurrent in Seattle. Cate, who was also on the business trip, and I both noticed it. Local foodstuff is used in restaurants, carried in stores and even sold in an airport store. It seemed to be the norm not just something paid lip service to. I couldn’t help but fall in love with the solid devotion to local there.
But Pike Place Market? That’s something else. I’ve read and heard that the market is more tourist-oriented now though, so locals just don’t head over there as often. It’s light on the parking and is only open until early evening, making it easy to miss. It’s sad, especially because having fresh food available so conveniently all year round is nothing short of a blessing. I wish we had our own Pike Place here.
Today I am in re-entry mode: catching up with work that had to be postponed while I was away, struggling through the day on next to no sleep and catching up with my family.
All of this brings me around to dinner. Earlier I thought I might order a pizza to make life simple for us. But with my eyes dangerously heavy, staying in for dinner is the only way to go. I played with the idea of a simple rice bowl, but even that was too much for tonight. So my way-too-tired-for-anything solution is to rework leftovers.
Fortunately, my dear husband left me a big bowl of pasta for lunch today — that I didn’t eat. I am going to reheat that, chop it a bit and toss in some quick veggies to bulk it up. It should be enough for the kids. And then I will serve that with the simplest of salads. It will be a fast, barely made dinner … but it’s perfect this time.
Sometimes, leftovers are the ultimate for dinner.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.