Monday, June 26, 2006

veg box

The contents of the organic veg box this weekend:
1 onion
2 carrots
small potatoes
4 courgettes (zucchini)
cooked beetroot
curly lettuce
2 bananas
3 oranges
1 pear

It's delivered every Friday and it's different each week. My challenge is to figure out how to use it all each week.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My new cookbook.
Yay, Bob! I can't help exclaiming this every time I think of him. After some discussion in these pages recently (see June 15), I went searching to see how he has been doing lately. He's the Surreal Gourmet who taught me how to become an A-list caesar salad maker, how to create the delicious pear and Camembert quesadillas, and how to poach salmon in the dishwasher. I ordered his third cookbook online after the previous posting. It arrived today!

And Ant already had a look at the book and when I got home, I saw that he had created Bob's better chopsticks for me. How great are they?

My new chopsticks.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

living room picnic

Ant and I found ourselves with a night to ourselves and a DVD to watch yesterday. So we went to Waitrose (a more posh grocery store than we usually shop at) and purchased really nice food for a picnic. We decided to spend up to the amount we would spend eating out at a fast food restaurant, for example. That meant we purchased a nice bottle of white wine, poppy rolls, honey roast ham, and double Gloucester cheese with chives. We also got baby spinach and rocket leaves, with marinated artichoke hearts to go into a salad with cherry tomatoes. We set it all out on the carpet in front of the TV and enjoyed it while watching Munich. A lovely date night in!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Ah, Bob, wonderful Bob.


Chez Bob's Party Caesar

1/2 t salt
1 t coarsely ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 anchovies or 1 t anchovy paste
1 T Dijon mustard
1 egg yolk, coddled
1 1/2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1/3 c safflower oil (or other mild oil)
1 1/2 t red wine vinegar
1 1/2 medium-large heads of romaine lettuce, washed and dried
2 c croutons
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese

Coddle the egg by boiling a pan of water and then dunking the egg in it for about 45 seconds. Reserve the yolk and discard the white.
Add the first eight ingredients to a wooden salad bowl, one at a time. Beginning with the garlic, after adding each new ingredient, use the back of a soup spoon to grind it against the wall of the bowl and blend it with the previous ingredients into a smooth paste. It should take about fifteen seconds of muscle power to blend in each new ingredient. Yes, Caesar salad making will soon be an Olympic sport.
Add the oil and vinegar and blend well.
Just before serving, tear or slice the lettuce leaves into bite-sized pieces and add to salad bowl. Toss thoroughly with dressing.
Add the croutons and cheese, toss again, and serve.
Serves six.

The above is copied exactly from Bob's book, The Surreal Gourmet Entertains. This is the recipe that started Sonya eating salad. I used to make it when we house sat at Grammie and Grandad's.

We also made a great meal for her soon-to-be husband and in-laws, which included a cold strawberry soup.

Strawberry Soup

3/4 c sugar
1 1/2 c water
4 c fresh strawberries, halved (about 700g)
1 1/2 t grated lemon peel
2 t grated orange peel
1/4 c sherry (or orange juice)
4 T whipping cream

Combine sugar and water in saucepan.
Bring to boil on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for ten minutes. Cool.
Combine next four ingredients in large bowl. Add sugar mixture and stir.
Process in a blender until smooth.
Strain juice into a large bowl. Discard seeds. Chill.
Garnish individual servings with cream and mint sprigs.
Makes 3 1/2 c and serves four.

The soup was delicious. The recipe came from one of Sonya's books; a Company's Coming book about cooking through the seasons. We also served a spinach salad with strawberries and salmon with a cilantro sauce. As we were sitting down we learned that Kevin's mum is allergic to salmon. We hastily changed the plan by dragging something out of the fridge. And her in-laws brought a bottle of lovely wine, but we had no corkscrew! Ah well. Good thing their marriage didn't depend on our dinner.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

My cookbook collection.

food blogs and cookbooks

I've been having quite a fascinating time today following links in a Guardian article listing interesting food blogs. Chocolate and Zucchini is one I will be going back to again. On the 101 Cookbooks site, the author has a list of all the (many) cookbooks she owns. My own collection looks modest by comparison! We only have one cookbook in common: the Joy.

Here's a list of my cookbooks (or at least the ones here in the UK; left to right in the above photo).
  1. The Vegetable Bible (Teubner)
  2. Company's Coming Appetizers (Pare)
  3. The Joy of Cooking (Rombauer; two copies: 1931 facsimile edition and 1964)
  4. Flip Cook Chicken (Wilson)
  5. Family Favourites: Voth 2000 Cookbook (a family compilation)
  6. The Essential Wok Cookbook
  7. Pass Out: 80 Cocktails to Paint the Town Red
  8. The Surreal Gourmet Entertains (Blumer)
  9. Company's Coming The Beef Book (Pare)
  10. By My Side (Eustace/Weinstein)
  11. 'Tis the Season: A Vegetarian Christmas Cookbook (Blanchard)
  12. The New Canadian Basics Cookbook (Ferguson)
  13. More With Less: Suggestions from the World's Mennonites on How to Eat Better and Consume Less of the World's Limited Food Resources (Janzen Longacre)
  14. Purity Cookbook
  15. Chocolate and Baking


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