It has now been over three weeks since Sandy hit, and while some parts of New York City and the northeast are still in recovery mode, for most people in the five boroughs (save, perhaps, Staten Island) life has essentially returned to normal. Power is largely returned, offices have reopened, every subway line is running (albeit with service changes).
Even the weather has stabilized a bit. Sort of. We went from the most devastating storm in the city’s history to calm skies, to a blizzard, to an unseasonably warm and sunny weekend. I can only speak for myself, but judging from the number of people out on that beautiful weekend, I don’t think I was the only one overjoyed to ditch the puffy coat and recharge my Vitamin D.
Naturally, the thing to do on a glorious Sunday is to take a walk. So that’s what I did. I put on my walking shoes and marched myself over to the Manhattan Bridge, where the DUMBO Smorgasburg was doing a brisk business.
It was my first time at this new Smorgas post, and while DUMBO seems a tad smaller than it’s sibling to the north, the offerings were still appetizing and inventive. Also pleasing to see was that almost half of tents were hawking some sweet good. There were doughnuts and candy, macarons and macaroons, pies of all sizes, even homemade pop tarts. So many choices, so little space in my stomach…
With all these options, which did I go for? The adorable mini cheesecakes? A slice of s’mores pie? A four bite tartelette?
No, none of these. Instead, I went for… a granola cookie.
You know how supermarkets put the produce aisle closest to the entrance of the store because proximity to all that fresh, colorful produce makes you want to buy more? I think a similar effect happened when I walked by Jean & Kate’s granola stand, with their cutting board of granola cookies placed front and center.
These cookies looked like they had come right out of the over. Like the best oatmeal raisin cookies, they appeared moist and chewy – nice height, a uniform golden brown. Perhaps the clincher was the bounty of plump, garnet-colored dried cranberries peeking out from the oats and sunflower seeds.
These cranberries made it all the way from co-owner Jean’s family bogs in Massachusetts, and they make Craisins look like the pre-fab imposters that they are. These berries are mouth-puckeringly tart but also taste resoundingly like cranberry (no small feat). They were a perfect counterpoint to the mildly spiced, nutty cookie, which was so soft that it easily pulled apart, yet chewy enough to make you earn the bite.
You could eat this cookie and feel virtuous, or you could eat this cookie and just be impressed that something as unassuming as a granola cookie can be so deeply, hearteningly satisfying.
Jean & Kate
At the Brooklyn Fleas, Smorgasburgs, and other assorted markets throughout the city.