You know, I have all kinds of weird feelings about moving. I still feel homesick for Boston every day. I miss my job. I miss my friends. I miss being able to text my crew at lunch and, at the end of the workday, meet everybody at our favorite bar in Harvard Square where we’d drink Aviations and eat pate and talk about everything under the sun. I was that person. In my defense, the pate was really, really tasty. And I got the recipe before I left.
But there are upsides to Detroit too. Our place is gorgeous. You really can’t beat it. I look outside and see the trees and flowers and pool and feel so happy every single day. The kitchen is wonderfully laid out, opening right into the dining and living spaces so that when I cook I don’t feel isolated. We get to reconnect with so many loved ones, friends and family we’ve only seen a few times a year for the last decade. I’ve missed them so much.
The mosquitoes are heinous. My ankles are being chewed up this very moment. In the entire ten years I lived in Boston, I don’t think I was bitten by a single mosquito ever. Sigh.
So, let’s talk about the great things I’ve discovered so far:
1. Eastern Market.
I mention it first because I have photos. So, yay. In Boston, farmers’ markets are almost always between June and September and from 10-6 Mondays-Fridays. So, tell me, if you have a job, when can you go? You can’t. And it’s frustrating, if you care about local, fresh, sustainable food. Here, though, we have Eastern Market, open every Saturday all day and year round and selling the most stellar produce, meats, and additional stuff I’ve ever seen. We’ve gone every Saturday we’ve been here, because we’ve decided this will be our grocery store. We love supporting local businesses, and the products are so much better than you’d find with national brands.
Instead of card tables lining the sidewalk, like we had in Boston, Eastern Market has gorgeous sheds full of booths selling really high-quality foods.
There are also vendors who sell eggs, meats, cheeses, flowers, flours, spices, breads, wines, nuts, and every other thing you might need. This week, shopping at Eastern Market, we spent $50 on food for two for seven days. Everything is fresh and of the highest quality, and the money goes to support small businesses in Michigan. You can’t beat that. In Boston, groceries for two would’ve easily run us $150 for one week. Awesome.
On Monday I used some of those groceries to make dinner for my in-laws. They love carnitas, and how could I say no to that? All recipes were from Truly Mexican by Roberto Santibanez. I made his guac, pico de gallo, and, of course, the carnitas, served with Mexican corn salad. The only difference was, instead of boiling the corn, I roasted it husks-on at 450 for 20 minutes. I think it tastes better that way: more concentrated and intense. My father-in-law brought handmade tortillas from Mexicantown and I can honestly say these were the best tacos I’ve ever had.
Two quick notes on other cool things I’ve found:
2. Detroit Passport To the Arts: If you’re younger than 45 and interested in Detroit cultural events, buy one. I did last week and I’m so excited. They offer discounted tickets to tons of shows around town, plus after parties and talkbacks and things. Performance art is kind of my thing. I love it. LOVE. IT.
3. The Rust Belt Market in Ferndale is having a food truck party tomorrow night. I’ll be there will bells on. Can’t wait.