Wednesday, June 23, 2010

a celebration

This past weekend was a celebration of my grandson's graduation from high school. Family arrived from out of town and on Saturday evening we gathered at my house - and ate - and ate----. While sitting around talking, nonstop, the pitcher of sensational margaritas (the recipe came from a friend) was frequently replenished, and two spreads were put out. There was a feta, yogurt and cream cheese mix, which included generous additions of fresh herbs, with lavash crackers to spread it on. Also, a chickpea mixture, with garlic, mint and lemon. I dripped a lovely, fruity olive oil over the surface before serving it with home made pita crisps sprinkled with zaatar before baking.
For the dinner itself my daughter the grillmeister did vegetables - onion, fat spears of asparagus and peppers. And I did a quick to make and delicious cappelini with sauteed shrimp - browned in garlic butter and cooked briefly in a sweet vermouth and cream sauce. Just before sitting down we grilled, two minutes on each side, thick slices of country bread lavished with an herb and garlic butter - ooh, so decadent and so good. Dessert was key lime pie and we quaffed a light, dry white wine throughout the meal. Such a good time.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

jewels from the garden

For the past couple of nights I've regaled myself with sweet peas from the garden. As I shell, more go directly into my mouth than into the bowl - so sweet. Last evening I tossed them with pasta, a pat of butter and some freshly grated grana padana.I started the meal with a few radishes plucked moments before , where they grow next to a gorgeous mix of lettuces - green oakleaf, red romaine, frisee and more, just now ready to harvest.The lushness of the garden thrills me with its utter lack of restraint.Tonight I'll cut some of the baby lettuces and dress them with a lemon vinaigrette, to accompany grilled salmon and more of those precious peas.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

beautiful berries

I just made my first strawberry shortcake of the season, with locally grown berries the color of rubies and so sweet they required almost no sugar. My mouth watered at the prospect,as it does every year;I could, if I permitted myself,make an entire meal of it. I made tender biscuits scented with lemon zest and while they were baking I crushed half the berries, leaving the rest whole. I added a bit of sugar and a hit of lemon juice and left the mixture on the kitchen table, as I wanted the berries at room temperature. The biscuits came out of the oven, I whipped an indulgent bowlful of heavy cream, split the biscuits, ladles berries over the bottom half, them some berry juice over the top, and passed the whipped cream. Aah, heavenly.