An ode to the Strip and my CSA in the form of a sandwich...

I just have to say that I am the bomb diggety.  Bet you haven't heard that phrase in a while.  Actually, my stomach told me that I was bomb diggety, because I made a delicious, amazing, super fine sandwich complete with goods from our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program and from the Strip District.  So I suppose this is an ode to my creative luck with food, because that's what fresh food requires you to be - creative - and well I just happened to be lucky that my creativity worked out deliciously in my sandwich creation!!  

We went to the Strip District on Saturday as a family, and it was wonderful!  If you haven't been, let me just tell you about our trip and let you know that you need to go!!  I love going to the Pennsylvania Macaroni Company for pour-your-own olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  I love getting produce from Stan's Market.  I love walking through the throngs of people amid the hustle and bustle.  I just love the sights, smells, and people that populate the Strip on a Saturday morning.  Well, if 11:30 am counts as morning...  It's just such a neat atmosphere and I love immersing myself and my family in it. 

We set out to explore the Strip with Isaiah in the stroller and Annika in the Ergo.  We went to the Pittsburgh Public Market, which was a first for me, and I found a wonderful piece of art for my dad (cannot wait to give it to him!).  We strolled the Market and I noted that it was very much a hipster vibe, and I loved it!  After the Public Market, we walked down to the Mon Amiee Chocolate shop on Penn Avenue, passing DeLuca's, a popular breakfast spot and the mexican foods market.  Then we swung back around on the other side of Penn Avenue, enjoying the din of the crowd.  We went to Pennsylvania Macaroni Company, which was a necessary destination because I just ran out of the gallon of olive oil we got on our last trip to the Strip.  At Penn Mac, I went to get cheese while John and Isaiah went to get pour your own olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  The cheese line was pretty long, but sooo worth the wait, I mean just look at the selection! 

We ended up with six pounds of cheese, Parmesan, Asiago, Romano, Provolone, Feta, and goat cheese, a pound of dried sausage, a gallon of olive oil, a quart of balsamic vinegar, and a loaf of fresh bread.  I couldn't wait to get home to start cooking...  Or maybe just eating.  Delicious!  Then we stopped at Stan's Market and picked up lettuce, eggplant, zucchini, lettuce, kale (I'm hooked!), and sugar snap peas, which are Isaiah's latest favorite veggie.  What a wonderful feast!  

As we were walking away with our spoils, I said that the only thing we would have to go to the store for was milk.  We still had to stop back into the Public Market for smoked duck breast for John, but we didn't think anyone had milk for sale.  Once we were there, Isaiah and I walked around and found that a stand sells skim, 2%, and whole milk at the Market!!  The whole milk was from Pasture Maid Creamery in New Castle, PA.  It wasn't homogenized which means that the cream separates out of the milk, and in our whole milk was approximately a two inch layer of milk fat.  I couldn't wait to sample some of the cream...  YUM!  The skim and 2% milk was sold by Brunton Dairy in Aliquippa, PA.  Dairy fresh milk, ahhhhhhh!  So excited!  As a child, we used to have dairy fresh milk delivered to our house in glass jugs, and it was amazing, with the cream on top and all.  MMMMMmmmmmm!!!

Whew, that's a lot to say we had a wonderful time at the Strip and now about my sandwich...

We got home after a detour to Cranberry and the MoreFest at St. Thomas More across the street from South Hills Village, and I was hungry.  Luckily I had a variety of amazing foods to make up an amazing dinner!  I designed one delicious sandwich, so delicious that I had two for dinner, and I will now share it with you!

  • 2 slices fresh Italian bread
  • garlic scape pesto
  • slices of Asiago cheese, enough to cover sandwich
  • 2 or 3 thin slices of ham
  • fresh tomato slices
  • Romaine lettuce 
Spread one slice of Italian bread with the garlic scape pesto.  I made the pesto from the garlic scapes in my CSA using a variation of this recipe.  Cover the other slice with thin ham slices and slices of Asiago.  Toast both halves of the sandwich in a toaster oven.  After toasting, add thin tomato slices (mine were from my CSA share) and some Romaine lettuce, and assemble the halves.  I really enjoyed this sandwich, it was delicious!!!  Bon appetit!

If you haven't been to the Strip, go!  It's wonderful, but busy, on a weekend!  Lots of eclectic shopping stops and lots of wonderful finds.  On our next trip, John may want to sample the Leaf and Bean shop for cigars and coffee...  For me, the Asian and Mexican food stores are other possible stops.  What wonderful things have you found on a trip to the Strip District??


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