Well-Kept Secrets

1.) The Denver Art Museum is sparsely populated on Friday nights
The Denver Art Museum is open until 10 p.m. every Friday night.  We went last night, and it was fantastic, especially for people (like me) who prefer to see art sans crowds.  There was a handful of other art-viewers, but I don’t think we looked at a single work at the same time as anyone else.  This might be due in part to the fact that they’re between big exhibitions, but I was quite content to see the Clyfford Still show and “Color as Field,” as well as the old favorites from the permanent collection.  I can certainly see, from a budgetary perspective, why they don’t open both buildings so late (the Ponti building closes at 5), but it would be nice…

2.) Sunflower Market is really cheap
Okay, so we all know it’s cheap (if we shop there), but I think we forget the degree to which it is cheap.  It is very, very, very cheap.  Today I went and picked up some ingredients to a.) test out polenta, b.) test out fennel-and-something sorbet, c.) make shrimp creole, rice, and collard greens for a southern-themed “Culinary Saturday” tonight, and d.) buy all of the contents of this week’s Door-to-Door organic delivery.  I spent $50 or so, but it turns out that $18 of that was on the shrimp (stupidly I didn’t look at the price, but I’m probably $18-glad that I don’t have to shell and devein them).

…I was surprised to see that I spent under $14 on all of the fruits and vegetables that would have been in the $22 Door-to-Door delivery…  If you’re interested, here’s the breakdown (all fruits and vegetables were organic):

  • 1 bunch carrots with greens – $1.29
  • 1.54 lbs yams – $2.29
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce – $1.49
  • 5 bananas (the delivery specified 4, but I bought 5 small ones) – $1.17
  • 2 Fuji apples – $2.49
  • 2 Bartlett pears – $1.45 (I actually got D’Anjous, but they charged me for Bartletts — not sure what the price should have been)
  • 2 kiwis -$1.00
  • 1.35 lbs organic onions – $2.01 (Door-to-Door would have delivered 1.5 lbs this week, which would have cost just a little more)

They didn’t have mizuna greens (I don’t even know what mizuna greens are, but certainly will check them out), but unless mizuna greens are ridiculously expensive, I saved a lot of money by buying this myself…  I spent $13.29 instead of $22 minus the cost of mizuna greens.  The only difference I would be concerned about is that the produce at Sunflower might not be as local, but really, when it’s winter and you’re buying kiwi fruit and bananas, it’s pretty safe to assume it’s not local…  And I would have to go to the store anyway, and the truth is I’m not so ridiculously busy I don’t have time to go to the store (I kind of love it, actually).

It’s not even 2:00, and I’ve made the following today (note that this is more than I typically make in a month):

  • polenta (setting in the fridge for a bit longer, until I can cut it into squares and bake it)
  • stewed collard greens (with extra spice added, somewhat accidentally — Sorry, Lacey)
  • shrimp Creole (sans the flour — should have bought some cornmeal or something instead, but, alas, I did not.  I’m not as excited about this one, but we’ll see…)

Sometime later this weekend I’ll test out the fennel-and-something sorbet, sans ice cream maker…

One more well-kept secret:  A good knife makes a big difference.

Pictures of culinary escapades to follow…

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Well-Kept Secrets

  1. Yes Sunflower Market is so amazing. I love that they offer so many organic foods too. I am not totally organic, but it sure is nice to have an affordable option. They also have reasonably priced vegan stuff. We always go hog wild in the Sunflower Market.
    Good luck with your cooking endeavors.
    Did you love the “Color as Field” show?

  2. Grats on your happy cooking and shopping adventures. I don’t think there are Sunflower markets here in Loveland, but I think I went to one when I was in Denver once. It’s cool that they’re cheaper than the exclusive health food store prices. I love those places, but they are pricey. I generally shop at the Vitamin Cottage, Whole Foods or King Soopers. King Soopers is OK. There’s one right down the hill from me. It’s just so close. It has a decent amount of organic stuff, but it’s nothing amazing. I am not as political as perhaps I should be about where I shop, but I try to shop local and organic at least some of the time.

    In any event, keep on cooking! Sounds tasty.

    Happy Monday?

    Your Uncle,

    Hannah

  3. It’s not really for political reasons that I shop at certain grocery stores. They’re closer (unless I count the Albertson’s down the street, which is actually really expensive), and I have trouble buying things I can eat at regular stores because their selection of gluten-free, dairy-free foods tend to be slim and pricey. I should go to Sunflower more because I like their philosophy, especially now that Wild Oats is owned by Whole Foods. I like Vitamin Cottage, too, but it’s not as convenient, and doesn’t have as wide a selection of produce… but they do keep their nuts in the fridge, which makes a BIG difference!

    Re: Color as Field, I actually didn’t see that part of the museum until the very end (I thought the whole north building was closed, but they did have the first floor open for that show). I have to say that in general, Color Field painting isn’t my thing. I do love Rothko, though, and was excited to see his work. A few others stood out for me. Larry Poons gets on my nerves. What were your thoughts?

    And yes: It is a very happy Monday of no work. I’ve been looking forward to this little holiday for weeks, and the only bittersweet part of it is that it won’t happen again until the end of May…

  4. One more secret Nicole and I discovered recently:

    The thrift stores in the DTC have AMAZING stuff!! And on Saturdays everything is HALF PRICE!

    The wealthy suburbanites in the surrounding areas give away a whole lot of new clothing and would never be caught dead in a thrift store. I’m wearing a very nice Hilfiger dress shirt today that Nicole paid $1.00 for.

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