Tuesday, January 11, 2011

how to poach an egg

The holidays came and went, and here we are back in real life. Which I love actually. I love being able to drive an hour and taste really good wine. Or pick apples. Or go a little further and be immersed in a big, wonderful city. Strawberry tea and the quiet of a Saturday morning is one of my favorite moments in life. Taking a walk with the husband, watching the light fade over the mountains. Coming home to the soup that's been cooking in the crock pot all day. However, there are always new things to try, new things for a new year:
  • I have never poached an egg. I can't quite believe it myself, but there always seems to be a safer, more familiar way to cook them. So, it's about time.
  • make more soup in my crock pot, especially with beans
  • can with my new canner
  • practice cooking Italian recipes - for the trip that will also happen in 2011.
  • mail order some ham
  • make some potato latkes

Monday, March 29, 2010

will travel for food

Have you seen the new BBC series Life? It's pretty amazing. I was watching a segment last night about African fruit bats that travel thousands of miles to eat the perfect mango. At a certain time of year, these mangoes ripen in a forest in Zambia. The bats start flying from their small swamps and groves, to gather in hordes and eat. Over ten million bats travel all this way just a specific type of food. They gorge themselves for several weeks and then fly back home, satiated for the time being.  So I don't feel so bad traveling three hours for an amazing meal. The Boonville Hotel is situated in a small town in Mendocino County, surrounded by farms and wineries. I read about it several years ago in a book about food, and saw it mentioned many times since then in blogs and articles. So, I formed a trip around the fact that I needed to eat there. We went. We ate. We are still recovering.

We started with tiny, chilled glasses of Rose wine and a plate of antipasta: prosciutto, cheese, toasted bread and olives. Next course was a salad of greens with tiny pieces of almonds throughout the leaves, topped with blue cheese dressing. I happily would have drowned myself in the main course, Coq Co Vin, which was served with thick homemade noodles. The chicken marinated for over 24 hours, and basically melted into the sauce. I can't even believe how good it was, and sitting here, two days later, I'm still kind of reeling. The icing on the cake, literally, was the dessert - lemon buttermilk cake with strawberries and cream. Definitley worth the trip. Maybe those bats are onto something.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

a nice breakfast

About two weeks ago someone in our household had a birthday, and requested this breakfast. Well actually, I didn't know it was going to be breakfast - we arrived at lunch time and ate what they made - which happened to be brunch. And it turned out to be amazing:  french toast with pecan butter and fresh fruit (and a mimosa for the birthday girl). The thing I love about this restaurant, in addition to the food, is that most of the ingredients are seasonal and local. Even the bacon. Which I also tried, thanks to my husband, who allows me to steal things off his plate quite frequently. Bananas aren't really local, so just ignore them, but see the orange slices up there in the photo? They're blood oranges, and the photo doesn't really do them justice. They are a beautiful, dark translucent red, and are in season right now. And thanks to where I live, they're also local. (It still amazes me to see oranges growing on trees in my own neighborhood). So, no new recipe for now, just wanted to share the experience. Happy birthday, whenever that is for you. Enjoy the day, and maybe some french toast as well.