Garden State

When I learned that we were moving to New Jersey, I had visions of smokestacks and industrial neighborhoods and I imagined our neighbors would look like this:

Or worse:

Imagine my surprise (and delight) when I realized that we live in a rural, agricultural area with horse farms and vegetable stands lining most of the traffic-free roads.

Who knew Jersey peaches and Jersey tomatoes were a “thing”?  I certainly didn’t, but now that I do I go to the farm stand above often and walk away with a full bag of fruits and vegetables for less than $10.

Last night, I made a “farm stand dinner”; brown rice salad, which sounds boring, but is so refreshing when it’s 150° outside.  I make brown rice in the oven (best method to cook brown rice EVER) and then top it with fresh tomato, cucumber, basil and an extra-lemony lemon vinaigrette.  I assemble this salad while the brown rice is still warm so that it absorbs the vinaigrette and sort of smooths out the acidity.  We also ate corn on the cob, because Jersey corn is so darn good and my oldest daughter asked that we eat it every night for the rest of the summer.  So far, I’ve kept my word.  (Of course, I made that deal three nights ago.)

So, I was totally wrong about New Jersey.  I guess I must look pretty stupid.

– Catherine

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