On Wednesday we had a very interesting lunch. It started as a recipe from Cooking Light, except we didn’t use any of the same ingredients. Theirs called for Serrano Ham, Manchego, sourdough bread and arugula. Instead, our quick trip in the rain and wind to Plank Road yielded multigrain bread, prosciutto, and Crotonese cheese. All good, nonetheless. On the bottom, a piece of toasted multigrain was spread with grainy mustard and just a little mayo. On top of this, the ham, and a grating of cheese. All that was heated under the broiler, then topped with some mizuna picked from our garden, a sliced apple, and a little grainy mustard vinaigrette (using Triple C from Kozlik’s).
One complaint (dare I say excuse) we often hear about not making homemade bread is that it’s so much work. We disagree of course, since we love breadmaking and it doesn’t feel like work as it can fit in around dinner-making, book-reading, or blog-writing.
However, in an attempt to tempt the non-bread-bakers out there, I decided to try some batter bread this week. Confession: I have never made this kind of bread before. Also, I must admit that I adapted the original recipe before even trying it, as I had some buckwheat flour we wanted to use up. You can find our version here.
But with fall arriving full-force, we weren’t willing to give up swordfish for the season. This version was grilled, but on a tabletop grill. We served it with some blue fingerlings and steamed carrots, topped with a peach-pear salsa tossed in a mustard vinaigrette.
September is tomato-canning month. After putting up dozens of jars of diced and ground tomatoes, salsa, and sauce, we still had more tomatoes that needed to be used. We were incorporating them into breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Here, some tasty huevos are nestled in a spicy tomato stew – a great way to add some zip at the start (or end) of your day.
Lightly saute a diced onion and a couple of hot peppers (we got these ones from our garden, but the selection is wonderful these days at local farmer’s markets). Then dice 2 or 3 large, juicy tomatoes and add them to the pot. Reduce the heat and simmer until the onions are soft. Crack in a couple of eggs for each serving, cover the pan, and continue to cook until the eggs are just set.
We at ours with a side of homemade multigrain toast.
We love being lucky enough to walk out in our neighbourhood to buy food. Sometimes it’s from small shops where we know the proprietors and they know the source of the food they’re selling. Other times, we’re lucky enough to get it direct from the farmers. Even luckier, is that we’re never truly hungry.
Today groups around the world are celebrating World Food Day. We’ll be giving thanks for the food we have, and doing our part to support our local food bank. We hope you will, too.
The cold weather is here. Soup season has definitely arrived. After church today we wanted something to warm us up before heading out to rake the leaves (again) that the blustery day has loosed on our yard.
We had some leftover chicken broth, pureed pumpkin, and bacon (yes, leftover bacon). Along with some potatoes, beets, a shallot, and some chili powder, we had the makings of a warm, delicious soup.
Well, although we had a warm, sunny Thanksgiving, it will turn chilly soon enough. So we’ve been busy gathering what we can from the garden, preserving, freezing, drying and cooking the fruits of our labours so we can enjoy them all winter long.
With a bumper crop of basil, we decided to make some pesto. Here’s what you do:
In the food processor, chop some garlic (1-3 cloves, as you prefer it). Then add a couple of good handfuls of basil leaves, about 1/3 cup of walnuts, and a couple of ounces of parmesan cheese, freshly ground. Traditionalists use pine nuts, but walnuts are always easier to find, especially in the fall. Besides, they appeal to our frugal natures. Pulse it until it’s coarsely chopped, then, with the food processor running, pour extra virgin olive oil in the spout until it reaches a thick, saucy consistency. Store in mason jars, topped with a layer of olive oil, in the fridge for a week or two (add more oil each time you take out some pesto), or in the freezer if you want to keep it longer. Simply thaw it in the fridge the day before you want to use it.
We love the many uses of pesto – as a base for pizza, tossed with some pasta, rubbed on a chicken, or mixed into a homemade vinaigrette. We could go on and on…but instead, we’ll stop for now (and maybe make some more pesto).
The 1948 Disney movie of Johnny Appleseed talks about all the things you can do with apples. With a nod to the apple song, let’s talk turkey! Turkey sandwiches and stews, casseroles to feed the crew, tasty pasta for a group, and last but not least, turkey soup!
After carving the turkey, we put the carcass on to simmer in a big stockpot. When it was done, we removed any remaining meat from the bones, and added this to strained stock with some aromatic onions and garlic.
We brought the stock back to the boil, and then added some brown basmati rice. Last but not least, what would turkey soup be without turkey? After turning the heat back down to a simmer, we put the turkey back in, gave the whole thing a good stir, and let it simmer until the rice was cooked and the vegetables were tender. We’ll make a meal of it today, and put the rest in the freezer for a cold winter’s day when our tummies need warming.
Thanksgiving around our house means two kinds of pie (pumpkin and apple), cranberry sauce (homemade, of course), squash, mashed potatoes, green beans, carrots, gravy, and of course, turkey with dressing. Whether it’s held on Sunday or Monday, it’s all about family. (Psst: Happy Birthday, Kathryn!)
Here’s a picture of this year’s succulent bird, before dinner. We’d like to share more photos, but we were too busy cooking, carving, chatting, and eating.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!