After the Storm

Well, that was a long one!  Moving along….

I came across a recipe for Salmon Rillettes in Food & Wine Oct./12.  I get a lot of magazines and usually just whip through them to cull prospective recipes I may want to try/cater with, etc.  I cut this one out because the picture looked yummy even though I am not a salmon person myself, my husband is and I can offer it catering as people usually request it.  This was fabulous!  I doubled the recipe as we were going out that night and I needed to take something to the party.  Paul eats a ton of food so I wanted enough to stay home for the next day.  It takes a pound of poached salmon (coho for me), 8 oz. of smoked salmon, butter, sautéed shallots, Tbs. sour cream, fresh chives, lemon juice, olive oil and paprika.  If you want to make it – and don’t have the Mag. write me, I’ll send the recipe along that I did.  Well worth the time!  I’ll tell you after the pictures the cool uses I got out of it.

First you need to know this technique.  Rinse the fish & lay over a small bowl.  It makes the bones stick up so you can just pull them out with tweezers – see the bones on the napkin?  wicked easy.

Here it is prepared – just some of it.

Really, really, really good – even I liked it.  So, I made this as an appetizer for a party on Saturday.  We got there late, like really late, after dessert.  There was some confusion not only on the time of the party but where it was…..we were off in la la land.  Embarrassing.  The salmon wasn’t necessary at that point but some ate it anyway.

Sunday we had dinner guests so I served it as an app. but kept a tablespoon per person aside and used it as a last minute garnish in the Haddock & Lobster Chowder that I made.  Big dollop of this sitting in the middle.  Outstanding.  Try it.  Paul wanted it as a sandwich before the party..goofy.

For the party that we got there too late for……I also made a Apple/Walnut/Rum Butter Cake.  Very rich. Old Silver Palate Cookbook.

That got divided up among the guests to take home for the next day… day was our dinner party and since we didn’t get any; I made another and served it with Elan Vanilla Frozen Yogurt.  It was nice but kind of sweet/rich for me.

Yesterday was an anxious day for everyone with that storm.  We spent most of the day hassling with Paul’s boat down on the dock.  He kept going back and forth readjusting lines, adding buoys, fender boards, etc. then at midnight was called by the dock owner who thought the boat was floating over the dock.  This picture I’ll put up is taken at noon during the day as Paul was checking it….it normally sits about 20 ft. down that wall it’s against.  All you see normally are the sticks.  So, with the extra high tide at midnight it was above where this is, scary!!

We have lots of friends on the water now heading south but they all holed up in various marinas along the way.  We were worried for them.  It’s awful being on a boat in a storm like that, really bad.  We were upset about the Bounty – and it’s the Captain that is missing now.  What a jerk… one out runs a storm, what an idiot to even think it was o.k. to do that.  They were not “caught” in it, they deliberately set out to try and “make the schedule” to reach the south.  Very stupid.  The owners are not commenting, right!

I’m growing my greens for the winter again – it’s so nice to see this everyday in the dining room.  Makes me feel like somethings alive.

Red Sky in Morning….Sailor Warning

Yup.  This was the sunrise yesterday.

Kind of has a onimous feel to it.  What we are concerned about is the flood tide.  Our boat is on a dock, inside dock between a wall and a dock but with the flood tide it could get stuck if it goes above the pavement that is on one side and being tightly tucked in it isn’t easy to get it out fast – kind of impossible.  A great winter/ice/snow place but not a flood tide place.  Oh well, we’ll see.  We’re checking it out at high tide today at noon to estimate how it will do with the 1 a.m. tomorrow morning that should be the doozie.

So, back to my california story.  While we were at the Stone Soup Farm doing their Farewell Party to the chicken owners I was checking out this lady’s office.  A very cool container in the middle of the field.  They took a really old, rusty, crappy container put it on the earth and started cutting holes in it.  Very cool.

Is that not the coolest office?  I want one.

The girls had lots of fun at the party…..the hammock was their toy of choice.

Another kettle of soup.  Super fun seeing all the huge amounts of stuff going in.  The chicken/coconut one had practically a tree stump of lemongrass in it.

I love the air out there…..beautiful hillsides, sage brush.  We were on the other side of the mountains from Oakland close to Sacramento in Vacaville.

Before I left there was a Halloween event the kids went to.  I bailed on that one – a street full of screaming kids.  Kelly took the girls with her brother and his son Issac.  Very cute little guy – so sweet, Spiderman.  Colbie & Issac, cousins! They call him baby Issac.

Zoe went as a lamb but someone thought she was a passing cloud with occasional sprinkles (water bottle spritzing).  When she came home from the party there was hardly a puff left on her – a train wreck with outfits.

At one point I noticed a dam chicken in the kitchen…..these guys come to the door to visit and I had left the door open not knowing they were frequent visitors…weird.  Zoe just loves them, squeezes them and chases all the time.  She’s a farm girl for sure.

And, food at last – actually I have a ton of food stuff to share, recipe for Salmon Rillettes that is to die for but….gotta go so if we have power I’ll put that up tomorrow.  My photo below are some greens I scrounged out of our almost wintered garden for a salad last night….so crispy.  I made a lemon/balsamic/mustard/sugar/olive oil dressing and then promptly forgot the spicy peanuts and feta I was going to serve on it but…it was just awesome as it was.






Well, that was fun.  Flew out on Friday, home on Wednesday.  We packed quite a bit in and I got tons of girly q time.  Man are those pumpkins precious!  They are very precocious now and verbally excel although the pronunciations were kinda funny.  Colbie, who is almost 5, was asking me where the gulls were in the pirate story we were re-reading.  Counted the gulls, three each time on each page.  “Nani, where are the gulls?”  Ahem….she was saying “Girls” and I just wasn’t getting it.  Very funny – we were looking at each other like the other one was crazy.  She was getting so exasperated with me that her little, teeny, tiny nose freckles were expanding.  Once we ironed that one out I explained Girls are too smart for that nonsense – the boys in the book were eating raw fish and hard tack.  Girls are smarter than that!  I didn’t see any chocolate on board.

I took out Jesse’s old Alto Sax and his keyboard….tee, hee.  They loved it.  Even Paco who sang for the first time – actually howled.

So I ask you….what is not to love when this is what greets you at 6:00 in the morning?

First thing on Friday after we settled in……always amazes me, I left here at 8 a.m. and got there at 11:30 a.m. whole day ahead of me, totally exhausted.  But, anyhow we went for a bit of a hike up into the woods just above them.

That is that San Fransisco Fog rolling through with lallygagging Zoe bringing up the rear.  Paco is off crashing through the woods; an endless runner.  By the way, this hill is so much steeper than it appears, switches back and forth till you come to the top with an amazing panoramic view of San Fransisco/Oakland and North Sausalito with Napa off to the right.  Cool place.

Saturday we went to Stone Soup Farm up in Vacaville, just outside Sacramento.  This farm provides the very expensive eggs for all those yuppified chefs out there to the tune of $8.00 a dozen no less.  I believe the woman has been in business for 6 years? Well, she’s done, it’s too hard to run the farm….water is a problem.  It’s very dry farmland in between two beautiful hills, very clay, rocky soil.  gorgeous land but if you don’t have water…hello.  She was telling me she is going to grow Lavender for sale.  Where is her head at?

They had a pretty much private party with a few paying guests (we were them and perhaps 20 others).  It was very small but with a fun country band, three kinds of soup, bread, some roasted veges and hibiscus beer.  Eclectic.  We had fun with the girls, met some nice people, walked among the chickens and olive groves.

The soups were made in these huge kettles over an open fire.  One was a Chicken/Coconut, a Tortilla Soup and a Rancho Gordo Stone Soup that was made in a cast iron skillet on a bed of coals on the ground.  They didn’t dig a pit they just put the coals down and kept adding them.  Very easy.  Delicious.
More pictures to come but I’ve got to get some dinner roasting……later tater.


All Sorts of Baking This Week

I’m supposed to be resting my back but the only way my back feels o.k. is flat on it and who can get anything done?  So, I just keep moving.  Walking is good, bending is not, sitting is absolutely impossible.  I was knitting on the porch standing up the other day…weird.

I made these scones with the starting recipe coming from The Standard Bakery.  Actually I made theirs first then tweaked the second batch to be more like what I make….I added whole wheat flour, tons of chopped ginger, buttermilk and who knows what else but they are fabuloso!  Pumpkin/Ginger Scones ready for the oven with Sunflower Seeds on top.

While wandering through the garden I dug up some more carrots.  Geech, I thought I was a “carrot failure” person as we had none this summer but they are there, just hiding.

After I cleaned them up… know, there is nothing like that fresh smell of earth!  I washed them, sliced them lengthwise tossed them in a bowl with chipolte hot sauce, a dribble of olive oil and molasses then roasted them.  Nice with the chicken stew we had as leftovers (most of the week).

Yesterday in order to clean off the kitchen counter I needed to roast off the rest of the stuff that has accumulated…..lots of yellow beets, squashes and sweet potatoes our friends brought up from North Carolina.  Before we headed out to a Gundalow Event last night at the crazy time of 5-7, right smack at our dinner time; I made roll ups as a snack with the stuff.  Spicy tortilla, chili aioli, shredded cheddar and squashes.  Perfect.

And, I saw a recipe in Food & Wine for some tasty roasted nuts…..a way to use my sage in the garden.  I always plant sage and then never use it.  This works.  I’m saving it for Thanksgiving.

The recipe called for 2 C. nuts (I did 4), 3 Tbs. olive oil, sprig of rosemary (I had parsley instead) and lots of sage, can do.  Nice.  Even though I used 4 cups it’s kinda greasy but perhaps that is because they were already roasted, not sure.

O.K. other than food….and when I could sit down… I’m leaving tomorrow for California to see the girly q’s (3 and 5 years old now) I made them Aprons from scrap material from previous dresses I had made them.  Wicked cute.  I can’t wait to see them.  We’re planning on doing some SERIOUS BAKING.  I’ve been waiting for them to grow enough to food play with me.  This is it.

And, last but not least – in fact, probably first in my heart….a new weaving project.  I belong to a group on Ravelry (an online knitting/weaving community).  Well, I had decided to join a table runner project group that was supposed to be done in September….missed it, back problems, too much work, etc.  But, I kept at it when I could.  Of course I took on way too much – should have just put on a zip of a warp, threaded it and wove but oh no, I had to do it the hard way……40 threads per inch 818 of them.  Try winding sewing thread for yards and yards.  Brutal.  But, anyhow – got it wound a month ago, took a month to get it to weaving stage, yesterday sat down and wove 14.5 inches.

A beauty, no?  I’m pretty excited.  It’s 19″ wide and will probably be about 70″ long, perhaps more.  I can’t remember how many yards I wound on but there is enough for two runners I suppose.  I owe out some wedding gifts to kids friends so that’s where these will go.  They are woven in cotton – really, as thin as sewing thread.  Lovin it.

I won’t be writing now until next Thursday, the 25th.  We’ll be playing, reading lots of books and Colbie tells me we can go up to the store to get coffee – there happens to be a candy store next to it….hummmm.  Saturday we’re going to Stone Soup Farm….famous farm that has sold all the eggs/chickens to those foo foo restaurants out there, organic, whole grain, etc. type of stuff starting with Che Panize for the past 30 years but they are tired and closing up shop so as a last harrah they are having a huge “family” picnic with music, etc. at the farm and all the restaurant people will be there.  Jesse snagged some tickets for us in the nick of time.  I’m thinking this could be a blast!

One other thing on my agenda… weaving friend, Sharlet, from Cool, California (that really is the town name) is coming across the valley to go and spend a day in the Mission District of San Fransisco with me.  That’s where all the food things are now and Tartine Bread Company.  Oh so trendy, probably will gag me but just the same, I’d like to see it.  That will be Sunday.  Adios amigos.

Saturday Pizza

Just a zip of a post but I had to show this!  Dinner going in the oven.  Lemon Pizza, who would think?

How delicious!  I saw the idea in the Saturday morning paper but, of course, didn’t have what they had so I used what I had.  It’s just a crust (I had a some dough in the freezer).  Set the oven on 550. Rolled out the two crusts and put a bit of shredded cheddar on both then on the lemon one – feta, basil leaves & thinly sliced lemons, oiled the edge.  The other one: sauce, turkey pepperoni.  Fini.

That lemon pizza was truly delicious.  Very different with a nice twang to it.  Mr. Grumpy even loved it.  We ate the leftovers with coffee for breakfast – feel like I’m European now.  It’s so exciting to find something out of the ordinary on a yucky, rainy day here in no where land.

I’m crazy this week with a new warp ready to be woven; making aprons for my grand babies whom I’m going to visit on Friday for a few days (California here I come!)…..we plan on cooking lots together.  The girls are almost 3 and almost 5 now and they, genetically, LOVE food also.  Yea.

Today…..pretty neat, we’re off to The Peabody Museum in Salem, MA to see the Hat Exhibit.  Art Deco all sorts of cool hats from long ago – ladies hats I think but who knows.  A great rainy day project probably will all my other zillions of best friends.  You know how museums are on rainy days.