A Sunday Kind of Love – In the Kitchen

Happy Sunday my little onions. I hope that everyone is enjoying the day off, and that most of you are getting the beautiful weather that we are up here. My strawberry plant, jesus mary and joseph in a peach tree.. is flowering. I can only assume it’s doing so out of shock, awe and fright at the tender lullabys that I sing it, the accuracy with which I water it and the fear of the threats and expletives I spew at it when it doesn’t appear to be thriving.

Yesterday morning we ventured to the Farmers Market with G. and K. to witness the fruits (literally and figuratively) of other, far more superior gardeners labour. Due largely in part to reading Pollan’s “In Defence of Food”  we’ve been trying to eat a bit healthier and be a bit wiser about our food buying practices. As a result, my dear oblivious J. has been bombarded with Jeopardy like facts regarding the  nutrients in tomatos now as opposed to 20 years ago, the value of eating less sugar, and the benefits of more fruits and veggies. On the upside, this week he’s also been served up 5 fairly incredible meals (if I do say so myself) by his all too paranoid girlfriend.

That was how I found myself at home last night with a huge farm basket full of nantes carrots, baby fingerling potatoes, red, green and yellow peppers, fresh ground coffee, free range eggs, free range chicken, as well as pears, apples, walnuts and shallots. I’ve been enjoying so much the peeling and cooking and seasoning and growing, I couldn’t resist sharing some photos and making it the subject of this Sunday Kind of Love.

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{Apartment Therapy}

{Many many years ago my mother bought a big long pine kitchen table for our house. I remember how shiny and smooth it was, how it smelled, how all the chairs matched perfectly in color. Unfortunately for my mother, three destructive children and a soft wood table do not make for excellent companions. Throw into the mix that this was also the homework table, and we have, 20 some odd years later, a table that contains not only our history but also a record of our terrible math skills. It didn’t take her long to relinquish her idea of a pristine table (that, or she realized it was the table or her sanity) to children wielding sharp pencils and heavy hands. It still rests in our kitchen, heavy with memories and shine, dents and division. I’ve been looking for a while for a big harvest table of my own to lay my veggies and recipes on – the one above is pretty stunning.}

 

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{my free range eggs from the farmers market}

{We had these eggs for breakfast this morning and they just blew me away – their insides were bright bright yellow and they just tasted.. different. I know that’s hokey and silly, but eating them while we sat listening to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me (which is fast becoming a weekend tradition) they tasted so lovely. I’m itching to use them to make one of our families favorite desserts – Pavlova. In a discussion I had with my mother yesterday we both decided that if we could only have one dessert for the rest of our lives, it would definately be a difficult toss up between Pavlova and creme brulee. It reminds me so much of summers and family and history. It’s so easy and delicious, I’m sharing a recipe here.

  • 1 cup superfine granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 large egg whites at room temperature 30 minutes
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

Preheat oven to 300°F with rack in middle. Trace an approximately 7-inch circle on a sheet of parchment paper. Turn parchment over and put on a baking sheet. Whisk together superfine sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.

Beat whites with a pinch of salt using an electric mixer at medium speed until they hold soft peaks. Add water and beat until whites again hold soft peaks.Increase speed to medium-high and beat in sugar mixture 1 tablespoon at a time. After all sugar has been added, beat 1 minute more.

Add vinegar and beat at high speed until meringue is glossy and holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes.

Gently spread meringue inside circle on parchment, making edge of meringue slightly higher than center (the “crater” is for curd and fruit). Bake until meringue is pale golden and has a crust, about 45 minutes (inside will still be marshmallow-like). Cool for approximately 1 hour.

Devour with whipped cream and berries. }

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{Mr. PS}

{Jared was tasked with lugging my bounty around the farmers market, but was dissapointed in my choice of reusable bags – a large, lime and brown flowery print nylon bag that looked distinctly like a large purse. The poor guy attempted seven ways from Sunday to look manly carrying the potato filled behemoth, and settled on slinging it over his shoulder like a hobo and sticking his remaining thumb in his belt loop. For a more ergonomic and slightly more manly look, I think I’m going to get him one of these nifty bags. That, or a sticker to put on his back that says “My Other Bag is a Gun” so he looks macho.}

pears1

 {my pears and walnuts and apples}

{What started as a casual and useful interest has turned into a full blown obession, and I have Paula (yes you) to blame for it. About a year ago she gifted me the most beautiful pearly cream colored set of Fire King mixing bowls for a housewarming, after she heard I had been looking for them. It was wonderful, as my options for mixing bowls up to that point was primarily limited to either a tupperware container or a spaghetti strainer, neither of which on their own was useful and together only colluded to make me go insane. There is however, a saturation point. Bowls are only so useful up to the point where you can extract them from your cupboard without starting a vertible avalanch of FireKing, Pyrex and amazing. As in, I probably have a good two dozen. That being said, it does not stop me in the least from wanting this –

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{Because I’ll diversify. Into deviled egg platters. Via Aimee’s Armoire

 

mec

{Milk Eggs Chocolate}

{I’m a big fan of Unruly Things, and have to admit I hit it up at least twice a day to see what’s cookin’. Now that I know Alyson also has a food blog where I can actually see what is cooking, I’m guarenteed to be her #1 visiter soon enough. I love the simple yet stylish recipes and the beautiful photos. I’ve got plans already to make a few of the pies she’s posted, which will no doubt inspire a serious vintage pie plate collecting fetish as well.}

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{via ffffound}

{I can’t remember exactly which recipe it was, though I’m sure it was something that we loved as kids, but my mother would tell us that if we couldn’t be quiet while it was baking, that the recipe would be ruined and we wouldn’t be able to have any. Genius. Though she may have told a few kitchen un-truths, my mother always imparted the true value of a good wooden spoon for baking. There is a beautiful, well buttered flat wooden spoon that stood, and still stands, in my mothers arsenal of kitchen tools and your ears would ring with banshee like screams if she ever saw you reaching for it to stir something like spaghetti sauce. When I moved out she gave me one of my own, and I love that J. knows it is only for baking. Find some for your kitchen at Sur La Table.}

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{Po Girl}

{One of my all time favorite cooking songs is Po’ Girl’s “Cold Hungry Blues”  (this takes you to amazon and you can listen to a snippet!). Allison Russell and Awna Teixeira sound like distilled lemonade and front porches, and the stories they tell are beautiful and heartbreaking. I’ve had the amazing luck to see them a few times and they just get better and better. But Cold Hungry Blues is still my favorite, and standing in my kitchen with my apron on this song gets me everytime.}

 carrots

{the yummy nantes carrots I’ve been munching on while writing this!}

Alright folks, hope you’ve enjoyed. I wish you could all be in my kitchen and I could fill you up with yummy things and send you all home with a few bowls. *smile* xoxo

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “A Sunday Kind of Love – In the Kitchen

  1. I vote for “my other bag is a gun”! lol

    Beautiful collection of images and stories, and you make pavlova?? I might have to play with that recipe!

  2. It is amazing when you taste pick-your-own berries for the first time and realize that grocery stores have been cheating you all along.

    Also–the whole pyrex addiction thing is happening to me, too. Every time I go to Goodwill, I seem to find one…dangerous, it is…

  3. M

    i smile everytime i look at our table..
    nic’s math, your cursive handwriting, and that patch without any shine.. coincidentally caused by me spilling nail polish remover on it.

    *sigh* c’est la vie

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