As I type this, I am also spoon-feeding sweet potato and kale bisque to two stuffy-nosed cuties. The kids and I are all sick with colds- so not life-threatening, but enough to make me want to cry. This has been going on since Wednesday afternoon, but today is really the high-point. Which, I suppose, means we’ll all be feeling a little bit better by tomorrow!
Yesterday I had plans to meet my friend Viki and her sister in New York, along with her friend Martina and her daughter Sophie. I wasn’t sure if we were going to go, since we were all feeling a little under the weather, but the thought of sitting at home with two sick children and nothing to do was more than I could handle. It sounds ridiculous, but it is actually easier to take them out of the house sometimes because they’ll be entertained by whatever we’re doing- as opposed to at home, where they can get bored and fussy. So at 8 yesterday morning, we were New York-bound!
We picked Luis up first so the kids could spend some time with him before he went to work. We parked the car in the west 100’s and walked to the park to find a playground, stopping at Whole Foods along the way for some lunch and indulgent snacks.
Oh, gnosis. I am such a sucker for the Whole Foods food bars and raw chocolate that I don’t even go near either of them on normal shopping trips. Everything always looks so delicious and vegan options abound- but they are both hugely overpriced. Yesterday was a special occasion.
We noshed and played while enjoying the gorgeous weather. I am so tired of this summer’s constant oppressive heat- it was refreshing to be outside and feeling comfortable. We were all feeling a lot better being in the fresh air and sunshine.
After the playground we met up with Viki, her sister, Martina, and Sophie, and headed further into the park to find a field to lay in. Bliss!
I had met Sophie once before, while Viki was babysitting for her, but I hadn’t yet met Martina. It was sooo nice to finally meet her and Viki’s sister, catch up with Viki, and watch the kids play together! Although I spent a lot of my time digging grass out of Carolyn’s fists and mouth. Girlfriend eats EVERYTHING!
After our picnic, we said our goodbyes to Martina and Sophie and walked up to the Reservoir.
I used to run here when I lived in New York. It is one of the most beautiful places in the city. It’s funny, because the breathlessness that I feel when I look out over the reservoir is the same feeling I get driving through the farms and fields here in Pennsylvania. Two completely different places, but the same caliber of beauty in the landscape.
After a bit more strolling, we headed downtown to meet Patty for dinner and. I had a vague plan in my head for the and part of our evening, but as far as dinner, we weren’t so sure. We ended up passing a restaurant called Wild Ginger that advertised as being vegetarian, and figured it was worth a try.
Miso-mushroom soup- everything I could have ever wanted, in a bowl. The broth was light and soothing, and the mushrooms were so fresh and flavorful.
Patty got the pumpkin soup, which was equally as delicious. There were big chunks of soft, warm pumpkin sitting in a lighter peppery broth. Delish.
We also split an order of the summer rolls, which we plan on re-creating the next time Patty comes to visit. They were so light and refreshing, relying on the sauce for bold flavor- which WORKED, let me tell you. It’s a crime that these only come two to an order.
Jack got a bowl of coconut rice, which actually wasn’t very coconut-y at all, but still very good.
For my entrée, I got this delicious brown rice/veggie bowl, the name of which I can not remember. It was delightful, and simple enough that it can definitely be recreated in my own kitchen. Steamed kale, soft tofu, black seaweed, acorn squash, broccoli, carrots, and chickpeas- all over brown rice and served with a mildly spicy herb-y green dressing. Wild!
Patty got the mango salad- mango, peppers, asparagus, and sprouts all over mixed greens with a mustard dressing. The mango was perfectly ripe, and all of the greens were so fresh. These people knew what they were doing- it was vegan fare at its finest, fresh and delicious.
And now here comes the and to our evening. There is a place on Broome Street- a mythical place out of which comes some of the most delicious confections, vegan or otherwise. I hadn’t yet had an opportunity to venture down there, but when I made plans to go in yesterday, I knew there was only one person who could join me in such an experience.
My very first visit to Babycakes. It was definitely a spiritual experience- they don’t allow photographs inside the store, but I’ll tell you I spend a good few minutes taking it all in. It’s a small shop with just a few cases, but they’re filled with some of the most delicious-looking cookies, doughnuts, cupcakes, and even moonpies. It took me a while to order, but I told the girl behind the counter that it was my first time, and she was super patient and kind.
I ended up getting a gingerbread doughnut, a chocolate mint cupcake, and a cookie sandwich with chocolate chip cookies and vanilla cream. All vegan, all delicious, all gone by this morning.
Patty got a brownie and a moonpie. We shared the moonpie, the doughnut, and a cup of peppermint tea when we got back to the car. It was the perfect ending to a great day in the city.
I actually saved the cookie sandwich and the cupcake to share with Jack this morning. He was super patient waiting for me to take a picture of the cupcake (check out his little hands all folded and waiting!). He was not so patient with the cookie sandwich, so no picture of that. Whoops.
I’m so glad we went in yesterday, even though we weren’t feeling quite up to speed. I would have been so upset if Viki had gone back to L.A. and I hadn’t seen her, and spending time with Patty was like plugging myself in and recharging- I got home feeling totally wasted and sick as a dog, but better in a way. I just needed to connect for a day.
Now I’m off to wipe noses, play with Brios, and prepare for some weekend canning. I’m thinking I’ll put the huge pile of corn in my fridge to work in some sweet corn relish on Sunday 🙂