Friday, September 28, 2007

Pawpaws and Pickled Kielbasa

Pawpaws were available Thursday at Earl Livengood's when he appeared at the Fairmount & 22nd market. Earl's buddy Sam had a bunch of small, very ripe ones on display, but had some larger, not quite as ripe (but still ready) specimens in the truck available. I took three and let them sit on the counter overnight, then turned them into pawpaw chiffon pie, which was smooth, perfume-y and rich (pureed pawpaws and gelatin mixed in after custard had thickened, then whipped egg whites and cream folded in after the mix began to set). Since the three large pawpaws I purchased were a bit shy of a full cup, I pureed a banana to stretch it out. The resulting product still had a pronounced pawpaw aroma and taste which, after all, is banana-like.

Maybe Earl will have some Saturday at the RTM. If it does, grab them. Pawpaws make great ice cream, too.

The corn we picked up from Earl was still quite nice, especially considering the season is basically over. The Brandywine tomatoes were still tasty, too. He also has chestnuts available.

Today I introduced an English friend to the wonders of Tommy DiNic's roast pork (rabe and cheese); she was instantly won over, both by the sandwich and the variety of foods available at the RTM. She's got some great seafood in North Devon, along with lamb, but nowhere near the diversity of fresh food products as here. She observed, however, that the shrimps and other shellfish back home would cost in pounds sterling what we pay in dollars -- in other words, twice the price.

Since it's apple season I invested in some sharp Canadian cheddar ("rat cheese") and brie at Downtown Cheese. Either will go well with the Cox Orange Pippins I brought back from my New England trip.

A key focus of the RTM's marketing plan in coming months is to target new condo residents in Center City. They've identified 5,000 such households and will be sending them oversized promotional postcards now, before Thanksgiving and Christmas, and again in the spring, coupled with a giveaway. The idea is to make sure they are aware of the market, especially the Sunday hours.

Signs posted in the former Foster's space would lead one to believe the market has found a tenant ("Coming Soon..." but without any additional hint.) RTM General Manager Paul Steinke has been trying to lure another kitchen hard goods retailer and indicated a couple of weeks ago he was negotiating with one which would enable the market to retain the show kitchen space as a separate entity.

Benuel Kauffman has got unpasteurized apple cider again. As well as orange and white cauliflower, and those elongated red beets about which I always rave.

AJ's Pickle Patch featured pickled kielbasa today. Great beer food. It brought back great memories: a mere four decades ago I regularly consumed the vinegared sausage at an off-campus Irish bar ("Terry's") with draught PBR.

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