Cherries! Duck! No dice.

Despite my sweeping announcement after last week's Greenmarket demo, I am not cooking meat at this week's demo. And not for lack of trying. I dreamed up a seared duck breast recipe with a red wine, sweet cherry sauce that I thought sounded amazing. And it was seasonal, too. The photo above is from last week's Greenmarket, where there was a veritable sea of cherries, stand after stand, and I know that sweet cherry season in New York lasts into the middle of July. The duck breast was coming from a producer that sells meats from farms upstate. It's perfect, right?

Well, no. I sent my recipe to the organizer of the Greenmarket, and where he usually says, "I'll make 100 copies for Monday," he said, "Hmm. Seems kind of complicated." He asked that I do a carrot recipe instead.

Of course at first I was disappointed. I was set on making my big leap away from leafy salads. I was breaking into new territory. I was shaking off the monotony and moving on to something exciting, freeing myself of the drudgery of making a variation on the same thing every week.

I should say that I am not known for my patience, and this is probably why it didn't occur to me that it is impossible that I'll be making leafy salads at the Greenmarket every week, forever and ever. I'm using ingredients that I find at the market, and eventually there will be no fresh curly green lettuce or spicy arugula to be had.

Like many Americans, most, probably, I grew up eating produce from grocery stores. To vary my eating habits from week to week meant only that I had to vary my shopping habits. Despite knowing that the whole point of my demonstrations is to cook what's available at the Greenmarket, and being delighted by that idea, I find it's not so easy to shake that sense that I should introduce variation by looking for something different to buy.

To make the duck recipe I proposed, I was going to have to bring to the market a bottle of red wine and chicken stock (made in advance from some anonymous chicken.) I was going to have to thaw the duck. In that light, it does seem kind of complicated.

So now, if I would like to make something other than a leafy green salad made from fresh local ingredients, one way to make that happen is to do nothing. Wait. And as the weather heats up and then cools again, I'll have other options. In time.

That said, I am not doing a leafy green demo with the carrots. Instead, I am focusing on just the carrots themselves, using a French preparation to glaze the carrots as they cook. But I am glad to be reminded to focus on what is at the market right now, one ingredient at a time, and treat the produce that's in season like the temporary pleasure that it is.

I think I'll go have a leafy green salad.

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