BY AMY Z. QUINN One might think that, living as I do way out in the part of South Jersey that puts the garden in the state, that I wouldn’t have to travel far for a good farm market fix, even at this time of year. And that’s true, to a point, but sometimes it’s worth it even for us country folk to venture into the city to shop for that which is fresh and fragrant. (No, I’m not talking about buying weed here, get your minds out of the gutter.) My personal favorite stop for a fruit-veggie-flower fix is either of Produce Junction’s two locations, on Easton Road in Glenside or Bryn Mawr Avenue in Wynnefield. The latter being the site of a drop-in last weekend by myself, with sisters Mafalde and Concetta (not their real names) in tow. I drove back to the Jerz with the backseat of my Toyota full and only about $30 lighter in the Coach.
Let’s see, I snagged: potted Easter flowers far enough away from blooming that they’ll actually make it to the holiday; ripe tomatoes on the vine, a clutch about the size of home plate for a couple of bucks; a bag of sliced white mushrooms that would probably cost at least a five-spot in a supermarket; red peppers begging to be roasted; a giant bag of clean, cut cilantro for two bucks and a handful of avocados at a both a price and state of ripeness that one wouldn’t feel bad about mashing up a few for a homemade facial mask. OK that’s not what I do, but like I said, you could. The sisters scored enough in the way of pantry staples, like potatoes and onions, that they can split the haul between their two small households for an even better bargain.
A note about Produce Junction: Tempting though it may be, resist the urge to subvert their strict “pay for everything in its place” policy. The five minutes it may save you are not worth the disapproving looks you’ll get from both the stroller-pushing yuppies and the well-dressed African-American ladies stopping in on their way home from church.
With this wealth, suffice to say, the eating was good at Mom’s house this week. All that avocado and cilantro left me for an immediate craving for an omelette I had years ago at French Roast in the West Village, when my friend Blondie lived in Brooklyn and it wasn’t yet a cliche to do so. . We’d save just enough money from whatever we we’d done on Saturday night to afford stopping there for brunch on Sunday morning, where we’d eat surrounded by guys who all could have been Evan Dando.
I’m not kidding when I say that every time we ate there, I ordered the same thing, a Tomato and Avocado Salsa Omelette. Their version was huge, usually too much to finish, and laced with shredded gruyere cheese. The only complaint I ever had was that cheese — the gruyere’s sharp edge was sometimes too much when paired with a strong cup of coffee.
In the interest of saving some time in the home cooking, skip the salsa-making unless you have some of the homemade kind left over from the party you had the night before. Cheese-wise, I’ve been using shredded sharp white cheddar, though queso blanco would work well if you want to get all authentic-like.
1 tbs low-fat milk
1 tbs butter
1/2 ripe avocado, sliced
2 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
3 tbs shredded cheese
Scramble the eggs w/the milk and some salt and pepper. Heat the butter in an 8″ nonstick pan until the bubbles subside. Shake the pan around to spread the butter, then add the eggs. DON’T TOUCH for 30 seconds. Using a silicone spatula, lift the edges to allow the egg to fill in underneath. When it’s about halfway set, layer the fillings on half, then fold over. Turn off the heat and cover for 1 minute to finish melting the cheese.
*Means ‘fun for the mouth.’
[Avocado Blues by Oliver Wetter]