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Work was very stressful this week. My first week on my own in the new role. Of course, it is also the week of many reports and deadlines and two office's worth of work. But, I survived.

Off to Zarzuela with F/K and my sweetie last night. F/K has been wanting to go to Zarzuela for awhile. Last night's tapas selection did not disappoint. Then accross the street for helado from the original Swensons and home for chattage. It got late and I was fading so she toddled on home.

Between the late night and the hard week we slept very late this morning. We got to the market late and so breakfast when we got home was in the early afternoon. Today I made more ratatouille. Not the fancy kind like I made for M&C's garden party last week (which was much fun). I just made the regular kind. While the ingredients are in season I may make another batch or two. I also roasted and peeled some peppers. So, a few bits of productivity today, but mostly a pleasant lazy day.
Laurel Scroll

Somewhat productive day

It being basil season I got (and the madbaker picked up) a dozen bunches of basil from the farm we subscribe to. So I made lots of pesto today to replenish the annual supply. I ended up filling three ice cube trays to freeze, plus having a bit more to put in the fridge.

There were sardines at the Farmer's Market today, so I've started curing a batch of them. They will be ready to take to the cooks playdate.

I started a second batch of 16th c style candied cherries. Some of the first batch will be heading north to the playdate. Also, this means more cherry syrup for my cute husband to make cocktails with.

I started a batch of pickled cauliflower and a jar of pickled cardoons.

I've put together most of my list of recipes to play with at the cooks playdate and updated the list of who is expected to be there.

I should start a new batch of vin de noix with the green walnuts I got from my favorite nut vendor.

I may also make some more slightly post period chocolate drink mix to take to the war too.

Himself has been helping Mr. Dave make assemble new tent poles for Mr. D and Ms. W's pavilion.

Not a particularly lazy Saturday :-)

Cooks Playdate -- Who is Coming?

Here is my updated list of who all will be camping at the cooks playdate:

Anna Serra … bringing sunshade
Ref … bringing sunshade
their kids
Eulalie (spelling?)
Ysabella (maybe)

Camping elsewhere, but planning on cooking

Gianetta and Sedany

Please let me know if there are any changes or additions to this list.
Laurel Scroll

(no subject)

Here is my friend Duke Alaric, one of Drachenwald's newer cooking Laurels, playing in a kitchen in a castle in Wales. This is a kitchen full of period style equipment and no electricity. I love/hate looking at Alaric's pictures of events. I wish we had such cool event sites.

Public Service Announcement

Tues. Nov. 8 • Jacques Pepin in conversation with Joanne Weir • Delancey Street Theater, 600 The Embarcadero. 7 p.m. $40 • (purchase of ticket buys you a copy of Jacques' new cookbook, Essential Pepin, which is $40, so basically the ticket is free! Books will be available for pickup at the event) • Call Omnivore at 415-282-4712 with Visa or Mastercard to purchase tickets

Essential Pepin: More than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food celebrates his life in food, the world’s most famous cooking teacher winnows his favorite recipes from the thousands he has created, streamlining them even further. They include Onion Soup Lyonnaise-Style, which Jacques enjoyed as a young chef while bar-crawling in Paris; Linguine with Clam Sauce and Vegetables, a frequent dinner chez Jacques; Grilled Chicken with Tarragon Butter, which he makes indoors in winter and outdoors in summer; Five-Peppercorn Steak, his spin on a bistro classic; Mémé’s Apple Tart, which his mother made every day in her Lyon restaurant; and Warm Chocolate Fondue Soufflé, part cake, part pudding, part soufflé, and pure bliss.

Buffalo Nose

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Various stuff ...

Last Tuesday we went to see the new musical at ACT of Tales of the City Our season tickets are for the last night of previews. Since, as the program put it, a musical has more moving parts, they have added another week of previews, so the official opening night isn't until this week. I think I had abnormally high hopes for the show. It is very good and I enjoyed it, but it was not an "oh wow" experience. The actors are good, the sets and costumes and staging and all that are good. The music is good but not as marvelous as I wanted. I think my reaction is partly that they need to tighten up the show (hence the extra week of previews) and partly that I wanted it to be more. It *is* a good show. I've always loved these characters since I read these stories in the newspaper when I was a kid. It is a good effort and I hope it gets good reviews and does well.

We had a lovely dinner before the show at Le Colonial It is a Vietnamese restaurant in the old Trader Vic's location and just a couple blocks from the theater. They always have very tasty food and the company, as usual, was excellent.

For the weekend part of the Memorial Day weekend, we had houseguests ... L&C and S&F. They arrived soon after we got home Saturday morning from the Farmers Market. Himself made a lovely breakfast for us all. My man makes very fine breakfasts.

We then went downtown to shop. We went to Lang which is an estate jewelry shop This is where my engagement ring comes from and a couple other lovely things himself has gotten over the years. They have most excellent sparklies there ... including many odd antique things including Victorian hair jewlery (made from hair, rather than to be worn in the hair).

We then went to Torso which is a vintage couture shop. It is in an expensive part of town, so nothing there is within budget, but they have many lovely things and the six of us had great fun playing dress up.

We stopped on Belden Alley for a little nosh of French bistro food. Then onward to Cable Car Clothiers for the gentlemen to look at suits and hats. Hats were purchased. Then there was unexpected rain and we got damp on the way back to the car. Homeward to dry off and warm up with hot buttered rum.

We then got all dolled up for a late dinner at Bix which is a most elegant speakeasy like place with lovely food and drink. We shared a variety of appetizers and I had duck breast done as a schnitzel served with spaetzl.

Sunday was another fabu breakfast and then onward to the Palace of the Legion of Honor. We saw a Magna Carta that still has W. Marshal's seal on it and some Roman mosaics from Isreal and the Borchgrave Pulp Fashion exhibit I enjoyed all the exhibits.

This excess of culture was followed by a late lunch and then our lovely guests headed home. Today had been hanging out at home and doing little household chores.

Fish Empanadas

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The MIL and SIL came to visit for the weekend. They got in Thursday and we went to dinner at the Jeanne d'Arc. A cute French restaurant near Union Square that has tasty food and medieval-oid decor. Then we watched Galaxy Quest which my MIL had never seen.

Then on Friday we went over the hill to Just for You to have crabcakes, eggs and beignets for breakfast. Then on the road, Hwy 1, down to Santa Cruz to ride the Merry-go-Round and the Bumper Cars. Then we had ice cream at Marianne's and drove back up 1. It was lots of driving but a fun day. Home to salad and Stardust, another flick the MIL had not seen.

Saturday we took them to the Ferry Building and then, since himself was tired, I drove them over to the East Bay to a garden nursery they wanted to see (both are avid gardeners) and then to the UC Botanical Gardens. Home and then off to Zarzuela for marvelous tapas. They gave us the special off-menu treat of deep fried boquorones (anchoives) ... piscalicious fries :-)

They flew home today.

In amongst all that I made another batch of cheese (raw milk, goat milk and sheep yogurt); made cultured butter (cream from the raw milk) which also resulted in buttermilk so there were oatmeal pancakes for breakfast today; I shucked *lots* of fava beans and made some fava paste*; and I pitted lots of cherries which are now starting the candying process**.

* Fresh favas removed from the pod, blanched to get the skin off, run through the food processor with olive oil, garlic and salt. Bright green and tasty.
** My usual 16th c style fruit candying process which also makes lovely fruit syrup.
Chicken Woman

Pretty Chicken

Today I am making Coq au Vin from an old stewing hippy chicken. When I chopped her up yesterday to put in the marinade her fat was a beautiful yellow. Just like lemon curd. It has been saved and stuffed in the freezer to render and use in tasty bits. Right now the very purple chicken is bubbling away. Daddy and the WSM are coming to dinner.
Fish Empanadas

Culinary Symposium -- What Great Fun!!!

As I mentioned, I'm just today catching up on LJ, so I've seen the other Culinary Symposium posts, but not done one myself, so here goes.

It was sooooo fuuuunnnn!!! Rafaella and Countess E and all the other people who worked so hard to put on this event did a totally fabulous and wonderful job. Yeahhh! Flayling muppet arms yeah!

GM and C and I flew up to Seattle, got a our rental car and then drove off to a lovely seafood place C had found on-line. We ate tasty fishies and watched the birds and a seal in the water. Then we got on the road for the site, with a stop at the grocery store for some supplies for our classes. We kept driving in the rain, through the woods, in the dark not sure when we'd get there. We were on the right road but we weren't quite sure how far along it we were supposed to go until C re-checked the map. Comments were made about the weather and that at least there wasn't any snow, when we got to the turn off for the site. On either side of the road to site were piles of cold white stuff. Burr.

We get to the main lodge with much hugs and greetings of An Tirian friends. We have been assigned to the party cabin. Woo hoo. Many fun people that I know and then I get to meet new fun people. There was much staying up late chatting and giggling and generally being silly. I got to sleep under Y-sabella and Eduardo :-) OK, not like that, they were in the bunks above me. The cabins were heated and not completely full, so I snagged an extra pad and was quite toasty in the bedding that our hosts had kindly provided.

My class on slightly post period chocolate was first thing Saturday morning. It went well and everybody got to drink some chocolate. With various people taking turns working the molillno we were able to work up a proper froth on the drink. I ended up making a second pot, since there were sufficient supplies, so that other folks sitting around the lodge could have some as well. All the info from that class has been posted on my Renaissance Spain blog (first and only entry so far) but I need to tweak it a bit to make the pictures come out right.

Over the course of the weekend I took several of Alys Katherine's classes. She came all the way from the Middle for this ... also to visit her offspring who lives in the area. I had taken her comfits class before, so that was the only one of her classes that I skipped this time. Her pictures, recipes and info from both Ivan Day and from the kitchens at Hampton Court were very inspiring. More cool projects to try ... just what I need :-) At the very least I will strive for prettier pies.

I also took the wonderful class on 16th c. German food by the wonderful K who I had only known from LJ previously. Tons of interesting stuff and a thorough study of a neglected source. Very cool.

The class schedule was packed with other interesting sounding classes that I didn't get to take, but that's why you keep going back to these things, so you can learn more fun stuff :-) The breads, fermentation, Roman stuff, Viking stuff and street food all sounded good too, so I hope to see them offered again.

The track of academic style papers was also a hit. If/when the Culinary Symposium is done in this neck of the woods next year, we must include this. We've already picked a theme ... service. How food was served in whatever part of period a person wants to study, or how a particular dish is served, or any other variations on that theme that folks come up with.

Sunday morning sitting in class I looked out the window and saw snow falling. It wasn't snowing hard, just enough fluffy white bits to be picturesque. The site was a densly forested camp that was very pretty and not too spread out.

The food was all tasty, especially Saturday dinner provided by the Madrone Culinary Guild.

Saturday night was a late night in our cabin after dinner, when various folks from other cabins joined us for snacks and drinks. I brought some cheese I'd made, some 16th c style candied fruits, a fruit cheese that I'd purchased at the farmers market and some vin de noix that I'd made several years ago. Lots of other goodies also floated around the room.

Around mid-day on Sunday every one (except the hard working and wonderful autocrat team) were heading out. We now had Y-sabella in tow, so the four of us set out for the Pike Place Market before our evening flights out of SeaTac. We hit all three of the spice vendors in and around Pike Place as well as stopping for a bit of a nosh. Good shopping. Huge crowds ... I think it was a rare sunny day, so *everyone* wanted to go to the market.

Delayed but uneventful flight home.

Up too darn early the next morning 4/18 for the annual earthquake celebration at Lotta's Fountain. Still one survivor showed up. The acting police chief is actually tall enough to place the wreath on the fountain. A good rousing rendition of the song "San Francisco" this year.

Too much sleepiness and waaay too much work this week has delayed my LJ participation.

Much planning and plotting for next year's Culinary Symposium, hee hee :-)


(no subject)

The week before the Culinary Symposium (see separate post in a little bit) was very busy, well, at least by standards of my generally not overly cluttered days :-)

That Monday was an important meeting for my sweetie that I tagged along to for moral support.

Then Tuesday was ACT with the usual suspects. The play, No Exit, was much better than our previous outing to ACT. Here's the review from the paper

Then I spent two days in Fresno and environs on a business trip. This seems to have been productive and I got to stop in and visit some of my farmers market friends at their farm It was nice to visit with them and I got a tour of the farm.

Then back to the office for a morning of meetings and then off to the airport for points north. That's why I did all my class prep for the symposium the weekend before.