last night's dinner was well worth the 2-3 hours of kitchen work. the chicken was delicious...all craggy with herbed breadcrumbs and zippy from the mustard. the braised leeks were the melting, tender essence of allium and the squash gratin was so autumnal and comforting. here are some pics:
the tarte tatin was probably the best iteration of the recipe that i've ever made. i used crispin apples (also called mutsu) and at first i was a little concerned that they had cooked down too much. as i ate the tarte, the jammy tartness of the apples against the hearty flake of the oatmeal crust turned out to be a winning combination of textures.
bwong brought me some red fife flour, whole wheat and white. red fife is hugely sexy and popular in the toronto food demi-monde at the moment, fulfilling all the prerequisities: locally grown, rarified, small farm success story, heritage strain brought back from obscurity...it's gotten the stamp of approval from THE purveyors of toronto taste, james chatto and jamie kennedy. i'm going to wait until my starters are ready and then do a grape starter loaf with both the usual organic hard flour from the bulk store and the red fife white. then i'm going to use my whole wheat starter and do the same with the bulk organic whole wheat flour and the red fife and do blind tastings. it's best to be scientifical in these kinds of ventures.
here are what my starters are looking like. i accidentally forgot to feed my whole wheat one after the suggested 12 hours. it was starving!!! but starting to show signs of life. i vow to be a better parent from now on. bwong is insisting that i name them, but i'm not going to name them romulus and remus, sorry. whole wheat baby i'm not sure about the name. any suggestions?
the grape starter was looking pretty active, with bubbles spotting the surface and some fizzy activity. i'm going to name this one "spumante bambino."
today i've got a dodgeball DOUBLE HEADER!!! but first me and the dotytron are going to drive around looking at prospective performance spots. we've got two parks lined up and this historic museum. so frustrating the limited number of cute, individual spots in toronto. i mean, there ARE spots, but the city just won't let you do anything. they'd rather it languish in the feeble hope that the ten members of the public willing to rouse themselves on a saturday late afternoon to go see one of toronto's forgotten sites should have an experience unblemished by people's nuptials. laaaaaaaame!
yesterday was oodles of fun with hanbo and dr. rei. it was nice to talk furniture with people. lately i've been neglecting my financial, knitting, craft, and food blogs in my blogrolls and have become unduly fixated on design blogs. i think the tantalizing nature of the housing market right now is spurring me to thoughts of having my own place to finally realize and centralize my design aspirations. i'm feeling REALLY inspired and unfortunately, we're maxing out the space in our home at the moment for new acquisitions...plus it's really hard to buy anything if you're dealing with temporary, loaned space. i want to have an idea of what i'm working with before i shell out the ducats. i want to be able to paint the walls and do it up proper. le sigh. someday.
sunday breakkie was a fridge cleaning exercise that resulted in toasted "western" sandwiches. i used spanish chorizo in the toasted western and green pepper, white onion and garlic, sauteed in a pan...added beaten egg, made a messy, flat omelette/pancake thing, and then slid that between some toasted, buttered white. it was tasty.
tonight i'm making mushroom barley risotto with braised collard greens with bacon. we have SO MANY LEFTOVERS right now. it's a good thing i'm not cooking on monday or tuesday. we have to slog through the backlog somehow.