Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

This one's a keeper.

Remember all the veggies that we bought on Sunday at the Farmer's market.
  I said, yesterday, that I wanted to make a vegetable galette with all those tasty little squash that we got at the market and some of my abundant tomatoes from the garden. .
I started with this recipe and made some major changes for lack of  ingredients.
The dough was pretty basic accept that it called for cream cheese. Never did that before, but it sounded good, so I tried it. I did half unbleached all purpose flour and half whole wheat. I also put wine vinegar in the ice water, like my mom always did, and looked it up to see why. Lots of controversy on this and endless discussion on the subject. Some folks even use Vodka. Amazing.  Take a look at this link. I, personally, don't think it matters what you put in the ice water, but I will continue to use wine vinegar because mom always did it and I'm kind of partial to my mother's old recipes. She made excellent pies. Why change something that works. There is one thing I have never done. I don't use LARD, for savory pies, like she did. She never used butter, either, until her neighbor made a pie for us using butter. Then, once in a while, Mom would make a crust with butter. But not often. She always used Crisco.  I like butter in the crust, especially for fruit pies. It's delicious. You have to like what your are cooking or baking. It's too much work to create dishes that you can't tweak to your liking.
I used cottage cheese in the filling because I didn't have any ricotta. I didn't have any mozzarella so I just didn't use any substitute for it at all. I didn't have fresh thyme. I used some dried thyme and added some dried Tarragon too. I layered the sliced squash and then covered them with  thin slices of tomato and topped it all with some olive oil and some hard Irish cheese that I get at Costco.
I always use a whole egg, not just the yolk, to wash the dough with. The rest is up to you.
It turned out beautiful... and RUSTIC. I felt very European and creative.
This Galette is so beautiful and the fragrance in the kitchen is to die for.

This beautiful open vegetable pie and a salad were a wonderful dinner.
I can't tell you how good this was. Do try it.
It makes quite a mess, but you can clean it all up while the Galette is in the oven.
Then sit down and have a glass of wine... and another with dinner.
I think that next time I will use less of the filling and more vegetables, but all the same, it was a great dinner and a wonderful way to use your excess vegetables. This recipe is very adaptable. You can really use any vegetables you want. I forgot the fresh basil. That was almost a sin. Don't forget the basil.
Please try this. It's sooo good.
And remember 9-11 today. Remember how it happen and why. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Hudson Hornet and Beer Bread

 I have to act like I don't like things, sometimes. You know... not showing  enthusiasm for something that brings a passionate twinkle to my husband's eye, when I know that it's another really expensive proposition...  so that the Prospector doesn't get any ideas about buying something that will require a lot of money (which we don't have) and will also require WORK. ( That was a run on sentence wasn't it?)  I tried with "other woman", our '38 Chevy. I have to try discouraging this passion in him for OLD CARS or we would have an "vintage car" lot in our driveway and we would be BROKE. I'm not being cruel, I'm being the same way he is when he doesn't get excited about the antique buffet that I want at the local antique store. The one that needs refinishing. The one that will cost twice as much by the time I get through restoring it. I understand passion, I really do, but enough is enough. One old car at a time.
The Prospector may be good at a lot of things, but fixing cars is not one of them. So if we invest in an old car, like "the other woman", it's not just the initial cost of the old car, it's the "restore and make it road worthy" part that becomes a budget breaker.
So today we drove into town to pick up some veggies, garlic and other things at the local Sunday Farmers Market. We went to the hardware store and then, when pulling onto the highway, the Prospector, as if he was being drawn by an invisible rope, turned right instead of left and headed for the Auction House car lot. I should have known what was going on. I should have known that this was about another old car.
This is what he HAD TO CHECK OUT.
It's a 1952 Hudson Hornet.
 It's a very cool car. Reminds me of my old Buick Roadmaster that I drove around in high school.
I like the sun visor over the windows, the real, solid chrome bumpers...

 The very cool hood ornament.
 and the "hornet:" insignia.
 It's a BIG car and it's in beautiful shape.
 We looked. We checked out the price... $8000... and we left.
Sometimes you just have to be brutal about these things. You just start walking back to your own car and don't say anything.
 I actually would have liked to trade the Chevy for this Hudson. It's all done. It's finished, reliable, drivable and... it's BLACK. I love black cars.
So if any of you want an old '52 Hudson Hornet for $8000. please drive up to Jackson, CA. and BUY IT, so we don't have to look at it sitting there... waiting for someone to want it. It would be the right thing to do.

We went to the Farmer's Market and got more vegetables than we needed but that's OK. We will eat them all. There is no tomato shortage, here in the garden, but we needed some good vegetables and fruit for dinners. It's still hot and the tomatoes are still doing their thing.
I think I will make a vegetable galette tonight. Sounds good doesn't it?
Isn't this a bountiful photo. Just makes you want to eat something.
 The bread is a rosemary, walnut beer bread. Oh my... we couldn't resist. My daughter in law baked some bread when I was down in the Bay Area a week ago. It was Ciabatta bread and it was beautiful. I don't make bread, so this was a really treat. When I saw this beer bread I thought about my DHL's bread and found myself buying  the beer bread... just until my grandchildren's mom shows me how to do it myself.
And at the same booth, calling my name, were some raisin, pecan cinnamon rolls. I did exercise some restraint. I only bought two of them. I could have bought the whole pan. Do you think it will help if I take a long hike tomorrow morning BEFORE I eat the cinnamon roll. Do you think that it will balance out the calories? NO? Well... I just thought...
Then we drove down to the Mokelumne River. The water was very high. Lots of water being held back. P,G&E has a power house at the end of Electra Road and they regulate the water that comes down the river. Sometimes it's high and some days it's very low. 
I asked if anyone had seen the PELICAN and a woman, who was fishing from the bridge, said that it hadn't been there for weeks. She said that it turned down a blue gill a few weeks back. Grabbed the fish out of a net, and then dropped it in the river. Guess the Pelican is a trout lover only.  Picky bird.
Hope it comes back. I still want to get some photos of it....maybe, with a trout in its mouth.