Strong Women and Whiskey

not for the delicate palate

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Location: Oxford, Pennsylvania, United States

I've found that if you speak as if with authority on nearly any topic, most people will believe you. This frightens me.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

photos, food, and friends

Roasted Cornish Hen with Black Olive Tapenade and Herbs
Doug's "boss" (also a friend) came to dinner sometime in the past month or so. This was a winner, and so easy. I can't remember everything else from that dinner except the smashed potatoes that almost got forgetten. I always cook too much food!

My take on "le Oeuf Jeannette" from Jacques Pepin's book The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen. Very good, especially since our eggs are so fresh. I substitued stone ground mustard for Dijon, and really enjoyed the added texture. The dressing (made from leftover filling and some vineagrette-type ingredients) was light, yet rich and creamy. A bit high cholesterol, but a good dinner nonetheless.

I have a new love in the world of root vegetables: the parsnip. I'm not much of a carrot-eater, so the flavor, when described to me as carrot-like, did not sound like something I would go out of my way to prepare. I'm very glad my brother and his girlfriend got me The All Year Cookbook, by Shirley Gill for Christmas. Not only is it a great cookbook that focuses on seasonal cooking, but it's got lots of pictures. I like pictures. My only complaint on the book is that it leaves out the occasional step that many cooks understand is integral, but a less experienced or more literal cook would question. Regardless, this Spiced Parsnip Soup is creamy, fragrant, and showcases the subleties of the humble parsnip with a little exoticism. It's a little rich for every-day cooking, but distinctive and simple enough to add a memorable touch to a dinner event. I've already tested it on company twice. :) I discovered three days before Easter that Doug and I would be hosting Easter Dinner. I was determined to keep it simple, but somehow it still took a whole day of prep work and cooking. This is some of it --
-- not to mention the Easter-cannoli. I did yellow and green. They turned out really pretty.
Easter tree adorned with some handcrafted ornaments bought in Germany by my mom before I was born. We have no forsythia yet, so maple branches worked.

The absolutely appropriate "Wild Kingdom" shot.

Hasenpfeffer. I had planned to cook this for Easter dinner, due to my dislike of the "Easter Bunny" horsecrap -- my plans were derailed by my mother who refused to participate. I haven't had it in years (like 15). This bunny was actually a farm-raised organic bunny purchased by a reputable butcher for a small fortune. While it was very tasty it did make me ponder two things: 1) we need more friends that hunt and 2) whether we should raise meat rabbits since even *I* was willing to pay exorbitantly for this one. The basic premise is to cook up a marinade of vinegar and spices, marinate the critter overnight in it, then cook it in a pot whilst adding the strained marinade to it. It's finished with a roux of flour and water and then sour cream before serving. Really, very good, and a farm-raised/proffessionally butchered rabbit was missing the sometimes strong "wild" musky taste as well as bits of hair that home butchers usually miss.

.... but Oh! the betrayal of the Easter Decorations.

Our recent rainy weekend yeilded a few hours of sunshine on Sunday. We had a regular munchkin photo-shoot with my godson, Morgan. Apparently he's been watching his Dad clear downed branches out of their yard, so he was excited to help Doug and I with some of ours. The photos turned out really well, I'll be posting more either here or on The Baby in the Mirror.

My friend Mike came up from Arizona where he is honing his musical and technical genius for the whole weekend. I miss him again. Good times.

This face.... I don't even remember what my handsome husband was saying at the time. But this is the face he makes when he is saying something that borders on sarcastic and is likely taking a complete tangent from the remark he should be responding to. Yes, we see this expression a LOT around here. :)


Blogger Erin said...

LOVE the pics, L!! I have to tell you, I was originally taken aback by the rabbit recipe (probably because we see rabbits at work, as pets), but then I thought: how is that any more gross or sad than chicken, duck, cow, pig, etc? Still meat that once had some sort of personality, right? Anyhoo, thanks for sharing. :o)

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Courtney said...

Yum! I'm with Erin on the rabbit. ?Now I really want a canolli or 2 or 3.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Angela Martínez said...

Bet your pet rabbit was a bit terrified of you after that dish!

Really great pictures, L. Your place is turning itself into a regular bed n' breakfast, eh?

Can't wait for my turn! *doing happy dance*

3:33 AM  
Blogger westcoastmama said... made me hungry just lookin at this. You're so good. *hug* great pic of Doug

10:33 AM  
Blogger Mother Raven said...

Morgan is getting SO BIG... almost as tall as your silo now! That was such a beautiful day. I also miss Mike and I didn't want to let Mike go back again!

I'd post Morgan pics on his blog since it hasn't had any updates in a little while.

2:38 PM  
Blogger MikeC said...

Dang! Alls I ever get is hungry coming to these pages! LOL

12:10 AM  
Blogger THe Q, said...

hey, this is dave. like the photos. i wrote a little something on mine. a few actually. um,,, yeah. let the others know.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous doug said...

Thank you Mary, I am gorgeous, aren't I?

9:59 PM  
Blogger James E. Cooper said...

Hasenpfeffer! I remember a Bugs Bunny cartoon with big pompous king wanting to capture Bugs Bunny to make hasenpfeffer, and he kept yelling that word. Hasenpfeffer!

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey L. Would you X post that M pic?
Thnx, R

8:44 PM  

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