Thursday, April 30, 2015

A different kind of Thursday

There are, it turns out, many ways to enjoy great weather. I think I've already given a full and hearty endorsement to a breakfast in a sunny room!


And of course, working in a flower field would be a terrific way to acknowledge copious amounts of warm spring sunshine pouring down from the heavens today.

But as I drive from one grocery store to the next (weekly shopping day, a tad early because I needed dinner ingredients for tonight), I remind myself that most every adult person who is not yet retired has to take in the sunshine from inside her or his place of work. Lunch hour may create an opportunity to take in the wonderfulness of this last day of April (but feeling more like late May). You'll be grateful if you have that.

In fact, my day is spent mostly indoors. The shopping always takes forever and, too, I have a dinner to prepare. My daughter's good friend who, over the years has become a friend of the whole family is visiting from out of town and add to this merriment yet another friend who lives in Madison and I have, quite by coincidence, a kitchen full of women (and a little girl). (And Ed.)



Fresh spring produce (fava beans, English peas, California berries, etc etc) -- they're all great, but you have to work your fingers deftly around each kernel, each nugget and this takes time.

I do take a short outdoor break...


Just to water the pots and to take stock...

(my favorite of the daffodils)

(the cheepers come running)

(newly planted field)

Otherwise, I make do  with glancing outside from my kitchen windows, loving the display of sunshine that I see outside.

What's for dinner? Some new things to consider:

Poulet Crapaudine -- a chicken split down the back and flattened with your fist (and a couple of weights from my exercise bar!). It's a great way to get a crusty skin and also to roast a bird quickly! (It's excellent with pan fried potatoes.)


Next, there is spring salad of fava beans, English peas, French beans, corn and tomato -- all in a sherry dressing.


And finally a Raspberry Verrine -- a dessert served in a glass dish, so that you can admire the layers of creme patisserie (lightened with buttermilk), smashed raspberries, gingersnap cookies and of course, fresh berries throughout.




You think I'm neglecting Snowdrop, don't you... Not at all! Here she is, being very much in the swing of things!


I remind her that laughter and jovial banter are a good thing. Something to look forward to in life.


I think she already understands the power of friendship...


By now, the beautiful evening has drawn to a close. All the women and the little one have left. I put away one last dish.  It's suddenly very quiet. Of course, quiet is good. I let go of everything and get ready for the next day. And the next day surely will be as good as all the ones leading up to it, no?


  1. Your prepared chicken reminds me of spatchcocking, though I'm not sure what you've done with the bird's back and breastbones. Looks very tasty! Any chance for a recipe for your raspberry verrine? I was just short of drooling with your description.

    How lovely that you have all these nice visitors periodically, and daughter and Snowdrop often. I tend to like a quiet life myself, but it would still be lovely to have visitors in once in a while.

    1. It is like spatchcocking. Cut off the back bone and flatten the young spring bird, marinate it, then brown it with weights on top and finish off in the oven. You must be super cool in the kitchen to have heard of the term!

    2. I like to learn new things when it comes to cooking and baking. I've never spatchcocked a chicken, myself, but might find reason to eventually. It'd certainly lessen cooking time.

  2. I like seeing the girls sitting around on the floor together, just like once-upon-a-dorm room, only with better wine.

    1. One of the friends is a certified sommelier so I finally had a chance to bring out some special bottles that not many would have even noticed. It was a good way to downsize my reserve! :) One failed the cork test, but the rest were very close to my heart -- from trips taken...

  3. Your cooking is amazing... fascinating, even just reading about it. Are you into heirloom tomatoes and such? Or does the Madison Farmers Market take care of that for you? I've only been on that walk around the market once... it was wonderful!
    Pic of the Day... Snowdrop and gals and wine!


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