Saturday, April 30, 2016

April 29, 2016 Lunch – Chicken Chowder and German charcuterie, Dinner – Cameron Estate Inn in Mount Joy, PA

April 29, 2016 Lunch – Chicken Chowder and German charcuterie, Dinner – Cameron Estate Inn in Mount Joy, PA

For lunch we ate a pretty standard Pennsylvania German lunch.  Corn chowder with ribblets with saltine crackers crushed into the soup and the table set with plates filled with coleslaw, chunks of Lebanon Bologna, cheddar cheese, nuts, slices of peppered beef rolled around a smear of cream cheese, and a couple of other local delicacies. 

  Sara Jane, the Birthday girl, and Bob, 90 and 92, before dinner in front of their dogwood tree.

We had a very interesting meal this evening at the Cameron Estate 
Inn.  


   The Lindemuths
 
  The last of the fresh Sauteed foie gras

  My dry Cesar Salad

  The lime sorbet



  The Roasted Duck with the glazed apricot and Orange zest sauce, the sweet potato bread pudding, and grilled asparagus 


    Suzette's Crabcakes and whipped potatoes and asparagus 

We started with three appetizers, a pear and brie quesadilla, local mushrooms Sautéed with shallots and garnished with Fontina cheese and baked in a puff pastry (which I thought was the best dish of the night because the puff pastry was the lightest and most flavorful I have ever tasted), and a fresh pan sautéed foie gras served with caramelized red onion Marmalade, bread points, and a Hershey’s chocolate-balsamic syrup (another classical dish prepared to perfection and the freshest foie gras I have had in a very long time).  We ordered a bottle of Cotes du Rhone that was not very good, so we switched to a bottle of Baron Rothschild Bordeaux blend and ended up with a bottle of Berringer Cabernet Sauvignon. We were luckier with the white, a dry Nobili New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.  We drank three bottles of it.

The entrée items were all interesting.  I ordered ½ duck with a sweet potato bread pudding that was slices of sweet potato and too moist bread soaked in egg and milk baked into a Neapolitan and Suzette ordered crab cakes with mashed potatoes.  We each had grilled thin asparagus. I ordered a Cesar salad made with sun dried tomatoes and real anchovies and no pepper.  It was interesting because of its dryness. The dressing and cheese clung to the lettuce, which I liked very much. 




The most amazing part of the dinner was the duck and the sweet potato Neapolitan.  They were both highly flavored with spices. The duck with apricot and orange zest And the sweet potato with cinnamon, cardamom, and a spicy curry powder.  Suzette looked at each other and said, “This is exactly what Dr. Freeman was talking about when he described the introduction of spices from the Orient into European Cuisine during the Middle Ages, the lavish, even excessive use of spices to enrich the flavor of food.”

We asked to speak to the chef and when he came out we saw he was young.  We questioned him about how he came to the decision to use the spices so lavishly.  He seemed to have come to the idea without much research, so we told him he had stumbled onto a Medieval goldmine of cuisine and about Dr. Freeman’s research and history books on the subject.

He seemed appreciative and we thanked him for being courageously creative.  We all left with a warm feeling about the meal and evening.

We went back to Suzette’s Mom and Dad’s home and ate slices of red velvet cake and I had a up of tea.

Bon Appetit

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

April 24 and 25, 2016 Sunday Brunch – French Toast and Bacon, Dinner – Vichyssoise with Garden Micro Greens Garnish



April 24 and 25, 2016. Sunday Brunch – French Toast and Bacon, Dinner –  Vichyssoise with Garden Micro Greens Garnish

Monday Lunch – Vinaigrette, Dinner – Grilled Marinated Lamb Chops with Steamed Cauliflower and a Tomato, Cucumber, and Onion chopped salad with a Sweet and Sour Dressing

Sunday morning Suzette worked in the garden.  After the news shows I joined her and we strengthened the strings contained the tender young shoots of peas, planted pole beans and lettuce, and folded the plastic sheeting we used to cover the raised beds during the winter.

At 11:00 I went to the kitchen to help Willy make brunch.  He wanted to make French Toast with the slightly stale French baguette pieces left in the fridge. We decided to fry bacon also.

We put 8 thick cut Kirtland Applewood smoked bacon slices into a large skillet and fried them. Then Willy and I mixed two eggs with about an equal amount of milk plus a T. of sugar, a dash of vanilla and two dashes of cinnamon in a pie pan.  He heated butter over medium heat and soaked the bread in the batter and then cooked the French toast over moderate heat until it firmed and turned a golden color. He also cooked the bacon to crisp.

I squeezed three glasses of fresh orange juice.  We watched Leicester beat Swansea 4 to 0 to take a big step closer to the Championship of the Premier League in England and then ate lunch.  Will Phipps came by to take Willy to soccer at 12:00.  We were both busy during the afternoon.  I worked on a pleading in my water case and Suzette went shopping for clothes for our trip.  

We snacked on ham salad on Ritz crackers around 5:00 so we're not terribly hungry and definitely did no want to cook.  We decided upon a bowl of cold Vichyssoise and Suzette went to the garden and picked tatsoi, cress, and chives, chopped them and! garnished each bowl of Vichyssoise with the chopped micro green salad;. a wonderful complement to the cool soup. As Suzette said, “Soup and salad all in one bowl.”  We liked the cool flavorful soup with its bits of chopped greens.  

April 25, 2016 I ate my usual yogurt, granola, milk, and blackberries for breakfast.  Aaron Lohmann came by at noon and delivered a check for my first distribution from the land development we are doing with the Village of  Los Lunas and SODA, so we invited Willy to join us and we went to Vinaigrette for lunch.  

I ordered my usual Frisée Salad.  Today I finally ordered it properly.  I said I wanted extra lardons and wanted them crisp.  The lardons were crisp and delicious, rather than soggy and greasy.  Aaron ordered an Omega Salad and Willy ordered a vegetable salad with half of a Reuben sandwich.  We all enjoyed our lunches.  I have concluded that what sets Vinaigrette apart from other restaurants is its sauces; its dressings, soups, and the sauces it makes for its sandwiches.  I said hello to John Lewinger and waved at our neighbor, Sandy.

   Willy's Rueben and salad

For dinner I had a package of about a dozen lamb chops I bought at Costco last Friday for $6.99/lb. and had marinated in red wine (St. Clair 2004 Refosco  that we had deemed undrinkable), 1 ½ T. Olive oil, and the leaves from several sprigs each of oregano and Rosemary.  The lamb had been marinating in the meat drawer of our fridge for two days in a freezer bag that I had flipped several times.  So they were a little mushy or saturated with marinade

We are at one of those inflection points before we go on a trip when we stop buying food and try to use everything fresh, which often creates strange combinations.  This Dinner was a good example of that.  At 5:00 I realized we were not going to eat the rest of the 6 or7 lb. baked ham in our garage fridge or the bucket of Vichyssoise that we have left, even though we have been eating them for the last week.  I had been calling Susan Palmer to give her and Charlie the soup and ham and finally reached her Monday at 5:00.  She was kind enough to come over with a large plastic bowl sufficient to hold the gallon of Vichyssoise,  We toured the garden and pointed out the cress, tatsoi, and chives that we had used for the micro green garnish plus all the salad greens and invited her to come pick.  

Susan demurred taking any ham, so I sliced about three lbs. of  it into sandwich thin slices and, following Susan’s suggestion, froze the bone with the generous amount of connected meat for use in the future to cook a pot of beans.  After Susan left, having solved the ham and soup problem, we turned our attention to the rest of the fresh vegetables in the fridge.  There was a head of cauliflower I had bought at Sprouts last week, a couple of cucumbers, and several large slicing tomatoes that became immediate candidates for consumption, so we decided to steam the cauliflower to eat with the lamb and then Suzette could mix  the remaining cauliflower with preserved lemon for a cold salad for another meal with the PPI lamb chops.  I decided to make one of my favorite salads of diced, cucumber, onion, and tomatoes marinated in a sweet and sour vinaigrette dressing.  We had two nice shallots, so I substituted a shallot for onion and chopped 2/3 of a large cucumber and two medium tomatoes.  Suzette made a wonderful German style white vinegar, olive oil, and sugar dressing and I tossed the ingredients in the dressing in a bowl.  I had picked six or seven chives during our garden tour with Susan that I thinly sliced and added to the salad mixture for color and another onion flavor. 




I deflowered the head of cauliflower.  Suzette put them into the steamer and started steaming the cauliflower flowerets. 

Then Suzette grilled the lamb chops to medium rare and I fetched a bottle of 2012 Famille Perrin Reserve Cotes Du Rhone red wine (Total Wine $7.99 or $8.99 less 20% on sale) from the basement and opened its screw cap. When the chops and cauliflower were  ready we had a lovely meal and watched the Antiques Roadshow and the Democratic Pennsylvania Town Hall meetings of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

After dinner Suzette made us chocolate ice cream sundaes by adding warm chopped hazelnuts she toasted in a small skillet with some sea salt to scoops of chocolate ice cream drizzled with Hershey’s syrup and garnished with fresh blackberries.  I put a dash of cognac on my sundae and Suzette sipped a glass of cognac with her sundae.  We finally sat down and watched the last of Hillary’s interview with Rachel Maddow and began to relax and realized we were beginning the transition from work to vacation, even though we both have two busy days of work left.


We decided to soak in the hot tub to accelerate the relaxation and went to bed a bit after 10:00.

Bon Appetit

Sunday, April 24, 2016

April 23, 2016 Brunch – Ham, Shallot, Garlic, Red Bell Pepper, and Avocado Omelet. Dinner – A Portuguese and Spanish Wine Adventure

April 23, 2016 Brunch – Ham, Shallot, Garlic, Red Bell Pepper, and Avocado Omelet. Dinner – A Portuguese and Spanish Wine Adventure 

In the morning we did research on the wines for the wine dinner at the Bistro and Suzette put together a slide show.  She also worked with Mario in the garden,who put new dirt into one of the beds in the old garden that he reconstructed this year with new wood and lights.

I decided to make an omelet with the ham we baked this week, so I fetched it from the garage fridge.  I cut a ½ lb. chunk from it and also several slices for sandwiches.  I diced the ham into bite size chunks.  Then I minced one of the garlic plants I pulled out of the tarragon this week.  I then diced two green onions and ¼ of a red bell pepper and salvaged some good pieces of two avocados that are rapidly ripening toward rotten.

I broke four eggs into a mixing bowl and added one small scoop of herbed salt,  two grinds of black pepper from the pepper mill, and a T. of water. I then sautéed the shallot, garlic, and bell pepper in melted butter for ten minutes to cook those ingredients.  Then I added the ham and cooked it for several minutes to heat it.  I added 1 heaping T. of Garduno’s green chile and cooked that for a couple of minutes.  Finally I added the avocado, stirred I into the other ingredients for a minute and added the whisked eggs.  I let the mixture cook on the stove for about five minutes until the bottom was firm and had developed a crust I then turned one-half of the omelet onto the other half.  It broke because it was so heavy and egg gushed out of the broken seam.  So I pushed the extra egg back to the main body of omelet and let it cook several more minutes until it was firm. Suzette came to the kitchen by now and served the omelet.  I drank Clamato with a squeeze of lime.


While we were cooking Willy started cooking his breakfast by sautéing four pieces of Applewood smoked thick sliced Bain (Costco) and the he peeled and finely diced two potatoes and sautéed them into cottage fries. At 11:00 Will Phipps showed up to help us move the furniture and rugs out of the dining room, living room, and foyer so the wood floors will be exposed for the re finishing.  

Suzette and I finished our omelet and Willy fried four over easy eggs and he and Will shared the cottage fries, bacon, and egg breakfast.  We then worked together to move all the stuff out of the front of the house, which took several hours. 

The front three rooms of the house looked very different and much larger without the furniture, like a large yoga institute.

Looking from the hallway through the foyer and living room into the dining room

AI 2:00 I took a shower and lay down to rest while Suzette showered.  We then dressed for dinner and at 3:15 drove to Gruet to pick up the case of wine I ordered for my wine club order.  Wine club members receive a 25% case discount. Since this year’s Rose was just released last weekend I ordered11 bottles of it and 1 bottle of the newly released 2011 Vintage Blanc de Blanc Extra.  I think the regular price for the new Rose is $13.00 per bottle and $30.00 for the Vintage Blanc de Blanc, so the Rose ended up costing around $10.00 per bottle and the Blanc de Blanc $22.50.  We intend to serve the 2015 Rose wine at my 70th Birthday Party this July.  

As members of the Gruet Wine Club one gets a free glass of the featured wine of the month each time one goes to the Tasting Room at the winery at 8400 Pan American Hwy., which is on the east side frontage road to I-25, just north of Paseo del Norte.

We sat at a table in the Tasting Room, which was very merry with folks enjoying tasting the wines?  Katie was pouring and offered us a taste of the new rose, which is 100% pinot Noir this year; less fruity, but more elegant and rich than last year’s blend with Chenin Blanc.  Suzette loved it and thought it would be perfect for the party because it tasted better as it warmed toward room temperature, like a good pinot.  Then Katie poured us glasses of the Blanc de Noir, which is April’s featured wine.  I loved it.  It was slightly pink and had the taste of pinot but also a lightness and slight sweetness.  It is a fabulous champagne.  


We had to go to Costco and then to Los Lunas for the Wine Dinner, so we could not linger at Gruet and left around 4:00.  Suzette bought ground black pepper for the Bistro and thin Coconut cookies for me and organic corn chips for her and Willy.

We arrived at the Bistro at the Center at 5:00.  I ate a bowl of the Caldo Verde and drank a glass of lemonade and talked to Barbara, who was waiting for dinner.  The soup was very spicy with black pepper, which took me several bites to adjust to.  I have sensitivity to black pepper and I often gag and can not swallow if there is too much in a dish, especially if it is uncooked.  Thank goodness the black pepper was cooked into the soup, so I was able to adjust my taste after the first bites numbed my lips.  This served me well when the first course of the dinner was served,because I had gotten over my gagging before dinner.  I can only guess what poor Barbara thought of my gagging on the soup.

Barbara had toured Spain recently so was excited about dinner, which she heard about at the Spa during her visit today.  

Suzette soon returned with the power point projector.  People started arriving and by 6:00 we were ready to start the meal. Suzette showed photos of Porto and Spain and explained that the wines were inexpensive, every day drinking wines.  I talked a little bit about the geography of Spain and Portugal’s wine districts and the types of grapes grown in each area.  Then Chef Kelly described the meal and dishes.  He emphasized that the meal was simple peasant cuisine.  The first course was a Caldo Verde (Green Soup), a simple caldo (clear broth) made with onions, potatoes, Linguica (Portugal’s famous sausage), sliced kale, olive oil, garlic and flavored with black pepper.  Chef Kelly is a masterful soup maker and this simple hardy soup wonderfully demonstrated his skill. The Caldo was served with a Spanish unoaked Chardonnay from Castilla, near Toledo, produced by Legado Munoz in the small town of Noblejas.  It had that distinctive chardonnay buttery flavor with a slightly off flavor that Suzette thought tasted like gum.  The JAP distributor thought the winery may have added some vegetable gum to the wine for some reason.  It was a pleasant wine but without the fruitiness or vibrancy of northern Chardonnays.

The next course was a seafood dish, a cup filled with clams cooked in a cilantro and lemon wedge broth with slices of toasted fresh French bread.  Again a wonderfully flavorful, simple, elegant dish. I took the clams out of their shells, removed the lemon wedge, and ate clams on the warm French bread as a warm tapa. 

The wine served with this course was my favorite of the evening, a Portuguese white blend including Sauvignon Blanc, something Broushet, and Albariño. The wine was light and fruity with an undeniable immediacy on the palate, a winner.

The clam dish also was outstanding in a wonderful menu.  The saltiness of the clams blending their juices with the cilantro, and lemon.  Neither i or Suzette had ever had clams with cilantro, but the combination was wonderful.  I was impressed that Chef Kelly created or found dishes that used fresh ingredients that expressed their best characteristics in creative combinations.

The entrée course was also a classic Portuguese dish of roasted chicken, garbanzo beans, onions, and tomatoes in a chili sour cream sauce, most popular in Brazil.  He did not include the Thai peppers that are traditionally an ingredient of the sauce, but brought us small ramekins filled with fresh chilis and instructed us to be careful in adding the chilis to the sauce. Neither I or Suzette added any chili and we both loved the dish.  The oven roasted tomatoes reminded me of the five course tomato dinner we ate at Christian Etienne’s restaurant in Avignon eighteen years ago on our first trip to France together. The Semaphore red produced in the Alentejo region south of Lisbon was better with the entrée.  It had a slightly chalky and, I thought, tannin flavor alone that evaporated when drunk with food.

The chef said there is a restaurant in Brazil that serves 500,000 plates of Peri Peri Chicken every year, to make us appreciate what a famous and popular dish the entrée was.


Finally, we were served parfait glasses filled with Baba de Carmelo, a caramel mousse made with reduced evaporated milk, egg yolks and whipped egg whites folded in.  Another simple delicious dish served with a vibrantly sweet, yet elegant moscato made with the La Ardilla White Muscat de Alexandria grape, whose light fruity sweetness was a wonderful complement to the creamy caramel mousse.  Suzette did a wonderful job of pairing the wines to the dishes for this meal, which both the wine and the food more enjoyable. 

I poured a small glass of Carvalhas Reserva tawny port, so each person could taste a tawny with dessert.


At $44.44 this was one of the best wine dinners for the money I have ever eaten.  The chef even said in his old restaurant, this would have been a $90.00 wine dinner.  God Bless Suzette and Chef Kelly and the Bistro.

My final thought is that this meal is an impressive example of how inexpensive wines matched with simple dishes of fresh ingredients prepared with creativity and skill can produce a wonderful result.  During the meal, Suzette said, I feel like we are eating in Portugal.”

There can be no greater compliment for this evening’s meal.







Wine Dinner
post content
Embark on a culinary adventure at the Green House Bistro & Bakery and sit down to a 4-Course Wine Dinner paired with newly selected wines from Spain & Portugal and listen to wine lover, Suzette Lindemuth, discuss the wines & food of this region. Ask your server for a list of our NEW wines
$44.44 per person, plus tax and gratuity
Call for RESERVATIONS 866-1936; Seating is Limited

THE MENU
COURSE ONE
Caldo Verde 
potato soup with kale, garlic,
olive oil & Linguiça
paired with Artisan Legado Munoz Chardonnay
 
COURSE TWO
Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato
 steamed clams with cilantro and
lemon butter 
paired with XODO
 
COURSE THREE
Peri Peri Chicken 
Portuguese chili spiced chicken
on roasted tomatoes, chickpeas,
red onions & herbs
paired with Alentejo Semaphore 7
 
COURSE FOUR
Baba de Camelo
 Carmel mousse
paired with Artisan La Ardilla
White Moscat

Bon Appetit

Saturday, April 23, 2016

April 21 and 22, 2016 Lots of PPIs and a New Recipe, Willy’s Irish Beef Stew

April 21 and 22, 2016 Lots of PPIs and a New Recipe, Willy’s Irish Beef Stew

April 21 Suzette and I decided it was time to stop buying food and finish what we have in the larder.  Since I had about 15 lb. of oranges in the garage fridge I decided to squeeze and drink orange juice for breakfast, which I have done for the last two days for breakfast.

For lunch on Thursday, April 21st I made a Miso Vietnamese noodle soup with seaweed, tofu, green onion, regular onion, the last baby Bok Choy, seven heads off shrimp,  two beef meatballs, rice and wheat flour  noodles, ½ of a zucchini, red miso, in a dashi broth served with mung bean sprouts, fresh cilantro, hoisin sauce and Shiracha.  

  The PPI Miso Vietnamese Noodle Soup

Beverly and Glen invited us to a concert at their house on Thursday evening.  They open their house to traveling musicians and this Thursday, Robin Cage was playing.  Robin was raised in Utah and plays piano skillfully and has a pleasant voice with a fair amount of range.  She also writes songs.  I guess she is in her mid thirties.  She sang two sets. On the second set she was joined by local percussionist, John Bartlitt.


Her covers of songs by David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, and Nina Simone were particularly compelling.

Beverly invited me to taste her Parmesan cheese, roasted garlic and olive oil dip on a piece of heavy rye bread.  She makes her dip with 1 head of garlic chopped and sautéed, a 5 oz. package of fresh Parmesan cheese, and a cup of olive oil.  The dip has a pleasant consistency and flavor.

Everyone brought something to drink and some brought food, like cookies and brownies.  There is a recommended donation of $10.00 per person for the entertainer. 

Before the concert I rode to Montano and back and showered. We did not want to cook, so we heated the PPI red cooked chicken and basmati rice and ate that with water for dinner around 5:30.

After the concert we drove to Lowe’s and I bought a gallon of milk.

New Recipe - When we returned home we found Willy in the kitchen making his favorite Irish dish, Irish Stew with Guinness. I helped him chop carrots, parsnips, and mushrooms.  He had already chopped and was sautéing beef, onions and garlic in a large pot.  After these ingredients were Sautéed he added a few sprigs each of Rosemary and thyme and a couple of cans of Guinness stout. Willy does not put potatoes into the stew because he prefers to serve the stew on a pile of mashed potatoes made fresh for each meal.

Friday lunch I had a hankering for a salad and wanted to use up the PPI salad dressings and salad ingredients in the fridge and the grilled tuna and have a healthy lunch with the lovely fresh greens from our garden.  At 11:45 I went to the garden and picked a basket full of greens that I tore, rinsed and spun.  I chopped and added cucumber, a Roma tomato, two green onion, and four oz. of PPI grilled Aji tuna.  I then made a Russian dressing by combining the PPI tartare sauce with the balsamic blue cheese dressing and added 1 T. of catsup, a T. of olive oil, and a tsp. of lemon juice.  The result was to my liking, perhaps because I was emptying the fridge as much as anything.



I sliced a piece of Fano baguette and toasted it and melted slices of Swiss Gruyere cheese on the toasted bread to make two open faced cheese sandwiches. I drank water with the salad and read the economics article in this week’s New Yorker about how large corporations are the newest progressive counterweight to the latest wave of Right Wing conservative anti-trans gender legislation.  This seems Iike a turning point culturally speaking toward more inclusive policies and away from previously LGBTG discriminatory legislation sponsored by the Koch brothers organization, ALEC.  According to the New Yorker article, large corporations are leading the way with their economic muscle by withdrawing their facilities and operations from states that adopt such legislation. The reason given in the article is that young workers will not work in discriminatory work places.  

Friday, April 22 dinner was pretty much the same story. I worked until 7:30 on the water case and Suzette had a busy day at work reorganizing her senior staffing positions, since her Spa Manager is leaving for a new job.

We snacked on the ham salad Suzette made Wednesday evening putting it on Ritz crackers around 6:30, which quelled our hunger. At 9:00 after a shower we started watching hockey.  Suzette mentioned dinner and since Willy had conveniently left the pot of his Irish Guinness beef stew on the stove, we decided to have a bowl of stew with a toasted flour tortilla for dinner with a glass of an Italian 2013 Sangiovese red wine Suzette brought home, among about a dozen bottles of wine from the Greenhouse Bistro, left over from the old wine list.  I guess you could call the bottles PPI, although they were all immensely drinkable.

  The ham salad


Later I ate a small bowl of the last of the Java Chocolate Chip ice cream with a splash of Kahlua on it.

The lighter food I am eating is beginning to make me feel better with the addition of regular exercise.  Pray for no wind or rain. 

Bon Appetit 



Thursday, April 21, 2016

April 20, 2016 Lunch – Polish Dog at Costco, Dinner - sauteed ham and zucchini with a baked potato

April 20, 2016 Lunch – Polish Dog at Costco, Dinner - sauteed ham and zucchini with a baked potato

I went with Willy to Costco for lunch at 1:30.  He ordered two slices of pizza and I ordered a polish dog, which i garnished with sweet pickle relish, chopped onions, deli mustard and catsup.  Then we shopped, buying lamb chops, pot stickers, frozen fruit for his smoothies, and toilet paper.  Up I also picked up a prescription, which was the main impetus for the trip. 

When we came home at 3:00 I discovered that my $6000 gain in the stock market had evaporated to a $2,000 gain, but the market and my portfolio were still at all time highs.  My portfolio is up 3% over the end of 2014 and 6% over the end of 2015, which is what I predicted it would achieve this year.  I will be pleasantly surprised if the Dow ends much higher, which can happen only if the world economy continues to improve.

Suzette came home at 3:30 and lay down to nap, after a bad night’s sleep last night and at 3:30 I rode to Rio Bravo and back into a head wind out of the North gusting to 15 mph at times, which put pressure on my legs.

I arrived home at 4:20, took a shower and dressed.  While I was dressing, Suzette washed and pierced several russet potatoes and put them in the oven to bake.  We then drove to UNM for the Medieval History Department Lecture by Prof. Freedman on Medieval Cookbooks.  It was an interesting lecture in two respects. First, it dealt with mostly German Cuisine, which he acknowledged is currently “under appreciated”. Second, there were few formal cookbooks.  Most cooking manuscripts were thin and described converting ingredients into things that were different than the obvious, like a fish that has 1/3 fried, 1/3 baked and 1/3 boiled or making a castle with turrets with a different animal in each turret, like a stuffed swan, a suckling pig, etc.
Normal people ate something called muss most of the time that combined grains, meat, and vegetables into a one dish meal. 

Also, there was much more pork fat used in cooking than now.  In the question and answer period Prof. Friedman answered answered two interesting questions.  To a question about sugar he said that crane sugar originated in India, but did not grow well in the relatively dry climates until it was taken to the Caribbean, where it thrived and its production took off.  He also mentioned that Americans eat approximately 120 pounds of sugar a year, which is more than most other countries, mostly in sodas and prepared foods.  The other interesting question dealt with Jewish food.  Professor Friedman, who appears to be Jewish said that Jewish food, “Tended to be both similar and different.”  That there are many similarities between Sephardic cuisine and Spanish Cuisine and that Askenasi Jews tended to cooked like the Germans, but there were unique dishes common to both like gefilte fish is similar across all groups of Jews.  For the gastronomically curious here is what appears to me to be an authentic “Jewish” recipe for Gefilte Fish.  My mother would make it for Passover with carp, which she claimed was the most authentic fish to use.

This recipe comes from the Food Channel

My Mom's Legendary Galicianer (Sweet) Gefilte Fish from Food.com: http://www.food.com/recipe/my-moms-legendary-galicianer-sweet-gefilte-fish-186793?nl=email_share

Galicia was a short lived independent region in what is now Poland and Eastern Europe, which at the height of Ashkenasan culture was within the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
After the 5:15 lecture at around 7:00 we returned home and I fetched the ham from the garage fridge and cut slices for dinner and chunks for ham salad.  Suzette sliced up two zucchini and Sautéed them with the slices of ham in a skillet for a two dish meal with one of the baked potatoes. 

We watched NHL hockey. Since there are still 16 teams competing in the Stanley Cup Finals, there is lots of hockey being played these days.  I am rooting for Dallas, but not very avidly. It is also interesting to watch the New York Islanders to see if Jagmar Jagr can still be a dominant presence on the ice.

We drank the last of the Chilean rose and then opened the bottle of Josefina California Rose of Syrah I bought recently at Trader Joe’s for $6.99. The 2013 Paso Robles vintage seems more fruity to me and according to Suzette, “has more complexity.” We both like it, but I miss the drier wine produced in prior years.  By the way I am excited to pick up the case of recently released Gruet still rose waiting for us at Gruet Winery.  We will serve it at my 70th birthday party on July 3.  


At around 9:30 I ate several chocolate covered almonds with a glass of cognac mixed with Courvoisier and Suzette and I studied wineries in the Seneca and Lake Cayuga area of the Finger Lakes we will be traveling to at the beginning of May.

We went to bed about 10:00.

Bon Appetit

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

April 19, 2016 Lunch – Salad and Swiss Cheese sandwich, Dinner – Grilled Teriyaki Marinated Tuna steak, As ian Cole Slaw, and sauteed string beans, bean sprouts, and red bell pepper

  April 19, 2016 Lunch – Salad and Swiss Cheese sandwich, Dinner – Grilled Teriyaki Marinated Tuna steak, Asian Cole Slaw, and sauteed string beans, bean sprouts, and red bell pepper

I did not eat breakfast. By 11:30 I was really hungry, so I went to the garden and picked a basket of greens and made a salad with green onion, tomato, cucumber, and a tarragon vinaigrette dressing that i freshened up with a chopped sprig of tarragon and a garlic from the garden..  I also sliced and toasted a piece of baguette and melted slices of Swiss Gruyere cheese on them.  I added a bit of lemon and mayonnaise to the dill mayonnaise sauce for the artichoke to freshen it up and expand the quantity and we ate the PPI artichoke for lunch.
 Buddy arrived and joined me for lunch.

I wanted to get some fish for dinner.  I called Suzette to see if she would like some sashimi.  She said, “I would prefer to grill some fish,” so I went to Sprouts and bought two nice tuna steaks weighing a total of 1.3 lb. for $7.99/lb., a red bell pepper, some string beans, and a cauliflower.

I went home and made a teriyaki marinade by heating 5 T. each of saki, Aji Mirin, and regular soy sauce and 1 T. of sugar until the sugar dissolved into solution. I let the marinade cool and then placed the tuna steaks in the pot that I made the marinade in to marinate.  

Suzette came home around 5:30 tired and hungry.  After we inspected the garden we decided to cook at 6:00.  We decided to blanch the string beans and sauté them with mung bean sprouts, shallot, garlic, and, red bell pepper.  I chopped ½ of the red bell pepper, 1 shallot, four small cloves of garlic and snapped the ends of the string beans and broke them into bite sized pieces.

I sautéed the shallot, garlic, and red bell pepper in 2 T. of butter and ½ T. of olive oil for about fifteen minutes.  I steamed the string beans and after Suzette put the tuna steaks on the grill she added the string beans to the ingredients in the skillet.  I simmered the ingredients covered for several minutes to heat the ingredients and when Suzette brought the grilled tuna in I added a handful of mung bean sprouts to the skillet and cooked the ingredients covered for another five minutes until the bean sprouts seemed to have heated and cooked a bit.  

While the fish was grilling and the vegetables sautéing, I added 1 tsp. Of sesame oil and 1 ½ tsp. of Aji Mirin to the PPI carrot and cabbage Cole Slaw Suzette had made.
 
  
We served the three dishes with a glass of water for a simply delicious dinner while we watched the PBS program, “Ten Cities that Changed America”.  We ate ice cream for dessert while we watched the N.Y. primary Election results.   If New York is representative, it looks like the candidates for the general election will be Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. 

Bon Appetit

 




April 18, 2016 Less Is More wonderful, A PPI Day

April 18, 2016 Less Is More wonderful, A PPI Day

The lesson of this day is eating less and working more can be healthy.

I ate my usual breakfast of granola, yogurt, and milk with three last of a carton of slightly dehydrated blueberries around 9:00.

I reviewed a real estate transaction all morning and started on the final edit of the Response we needed to file in the LRG water case at 11:45.  I told myself, I would wait to eat lunch until I finished my edit of the Response.

Finally I sent it to my client at 3:00.  Willy was making pot stickers and I decided to make something quick so I could stay at home, because I was waiting for a call from my real estate transaction client, so I discussed with Wily the possible disposition of the Red Cooked Chicken and determined that we had only two pieces left, which meant less than enough for a dinner and just the right number of pieces for him and me to each have one piece.  He was fine with me eating one piece for lunch, so I heated one PPI Red Cooked Chicken thigh with ½ of the PPI rice in the microwave and deboned the chicken into bite sized pieces and ate them and the rice with chopsticks around 3:30.  Willy also shared a couple of his sautéed  pot stickers with me, but they had an industrial slightly processed taste that I did not like.

Then I got my call from my real estate client at 3:30 and resolve her transaction issues with her and her realtor.  At  4:00 I received back the Response from my water client.  I did the final edit of the Response and filed it at 4:55 p.m.

Suzette arrived at around 4:45 because we had decided to attend a lecture at UNM’s Medieval History Food lecture series at 7:15.  We took a tour of the gardens and I decided to have a snack of the potato soup s I had made yesterday, so I picked five or six chives in the garden and fetched the pot from the fridge in the garage and ladled a bowl of cold Vichyssoise. I thinly sliced the chives and garnished the soup with the chives.  Suzette also took a bowl of soup, so that became our dinner.  I had a second bowl, which I later regretted when I began to experience pain in my stomach during the lecture.

The lecture by Prof. Friedman from Yale dealt with the demand for spices in Europe and the trade in spices and their place in the economy and diet of Europe.

After the lecture at 9:00 we went home and Suzette soaked in the hot  tub and I watched Stanley Cup Playoff games and a Real Madrid soccer match and then my stock portfolio.  

At 10:30 I went to bed and slept well and did not wake due to my body working to process a big dinner.  I felt wonderful in the morning, which I attribute to one or more of several factors, taking vitamin B-12, D, and a multi vitamin as suggested by Dr. McVeety, getting the Response filed, and/or eating less food.  In any event I felt wonderful the next morning and think less food is part of the reason.

Bon Appetit