Last week I went out and got us a carving pumpkin (not yet carved) and our annual sugar pie pumpkin at Gordon’s. I have a plan for Halloween dinner, but we’ll see if I change my mind before I get there.
And coming soon: NaBloPoMo!
‘Tis the weekend for barbecued ribs and potato salad. And it actually looks like the weather is going to be beautiful for the Fourth of July, can you believe it? Of course, the mosquitoes have been hellish this week. We’ll have to smoke them out with the grill.
Or just plan on hunkering inside and eating lots of potato salad. We’ll see how it goes.
What’s on your Fourth of July menu?
For those who have not had a large Rubbermaid container of leftover curried eggs to work through this week, and are therefore not completely burned out on them, here’s a recipe (I omitted to include it in my Easter brunch report, obviously a mistake).
Ideally, this should be done with freshly found Easter eggs, wet with dew, delivered to the kitchen by victorious children, anxious to get back out into the fray. The finished dish will be ready by the time all the hunting is done, assuming you’ve begun the prep beforehand.
If you have no children or Easter eggs available, however, you can boil eggs just for this purpose. You could even make them sometime other than Easter. I won’t tell. Continue reading
We had a rather fabulous Easter brunch (I say modestly) at our house yesterday. It was an excellent way to spend the morning, since the day turned out aggressively wet and windy. Not good egg-hunting weather.
Curried eggs, from the original Vegetarian Epicure, are a must in our family for Easter. They’re some trouble to make, but worth the effort. The eggs are stuffed with their own yolks, which are mixed with sour cream, fresh dill and sauteed mushrooms. The devilled eggs are then baked in a curried bechamel sauce with a sprinkling of paprika.
Jon made his sour cream coffeecake, which turned out spectacularly well. Continue reading
St. Patrick’s Day is coming right up! For us, this week generally means playing several musical gigs in a row, driving across a variety of high mountain passes in snowstorms, and drinking a lot of wine, but I realize that this isn’t most people’s idea of the holiday. However, to get in the mood in advance this year (and to provide photos for an article I was writing), I made up a batch of Irish soda bread and some beef stew to go with it. And damn if that wasn’t the best beef stew I have ever made! The bread wasn’t bad, either.
A holiday that we like to celebrate in this household is the festival of Brigid, otherwise known as Imbolc, Candlemas or Groundhog Day. To us, it marks the break between the dark days of winter and the rise of spring, as the days get longer and the garden begins to bloom again. Even though we know it’s going to keep raining until July, just the fact of being able to walk home in daylight is pretty exciting.
Earlier in the day, I celebrated by going out and doing battle with blackberry vines and cutting back the hellebore leaves. We have hellebore flowers coming up, as well as the first glimpses of snowdrops and violets. Hurray, flowers!
Afterwards, we had a little cocktail hour. Continue reading
For some time there has been a page torn out of a food magazine stuck to our refrigerator door. I found the photography compelling – a deep red background, with pieces of steak in a deep red sauce in the foreground – strangely effective. And the recipe itself sounded like something we would like: broiled skirt steak, rubbed with sumac and served with a port-pomegranate pan sauce. It needed only the proper occasion, and Jon’s birthday immediately suggested itself.
As of last year, I decided that cassoulet would be my New Year’s Day tradition, beans being good luck and all. Cassoulet 2008 was thrown together with leftover pork roast and andouille sausage – it was very tasty, but I wanted to experiment a bit. I found a good-looking formula for cassoulet on Kate Hill’s blog, and followed the instructions loosely.
I was going to use duck confit this year, I swear, but the co-op sold out of the stuff, then closed early on New Year’s Eve. We made do with sausage and a small slice of uncured ham. I didn’t have any ham hocks or bacon to flavor the broth, either, so I used some of our good roasted turkey stock from Thanksgiving. The final result wasn’t particularly meaty (or fatty), but the beans had a wonderful deep flavor – they soaked up every bit of broth I gave them. I didn’t use any breadcrumbs for the top, but the crust turned out fabulous. Continue reading
The weather was too nasty to travel, so we had Christmas on our own. I got let out of work early on Christmas eve, and we had a nice early cocktail hour – Jon made Corpse Revivers and we finished off the sweet potato and beet chips from our last dinner party, with dangerously addictive spinach dip from the co-op deli.