Sunday, February 28, 2010

Canned Sunshine

In flipping through past posts it's clear we're deep into winter. It seems as though there was so much more to write about in the summer and fall. The seasonal proclivities of FFHC seem to follow the seasonal trends of crops as well. Bountiful in the fall....lacking in the winter months. We still cook a lot but like the crops my creativity seems to be fallow these days. Unfortunate really since writing is the perfect cold weather activity.

Tonight we're having the second of what hopefully will be a regularly occurring dinner and a movie night focused on food themed films. The first featured "Chocolat." Following a dinner of grass fed beef and simply prepared veggies (including my new favorite quick braised cabbage) we had a dessert of chocolate fondue, naturally.

Tonight's dinner and movie are less closely aligned out of sheer laziness on my part. Watching "Mostly Martha" and eating pasta. Pasta's just such an easy way to feed a large crowd with ingredients that are on hand. I'm dreaming about farmer's markets and gardens but even in my more southern location these days that's months away.

The one sunny bright spot of the culinary landscape? The multiple cases of citrus fruit that arrived courtesy of a fundraiser for a local choir. The sunny bursts of citrus scents and color in the house might just help me survive until the weather turns. To that end...trying my first canning experiment under the tutelage of KF. Grapefruit marmalade is percolating away on the stove as I type. It smells wonderfully sunshiney. I'll let you know how it turns out, this is a multiple day project.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Fish in Favor

Anchovies appear to be having their moment. Evidenced here and here. Which bodes very well for the multiple cans of anchovies in my cupboard. I accidentally overbought them in a fit of overexcitement over a recipe for a romanesco cauliflower pasta dish this fall when it was in season. So pretty. And oddly, the first time I had actually cooked with anchovies. I had a hard to shake suspicion of canned fish for a long time. No more.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I had time to ponder the affects of snOMG 2010 (insert favorite snowism here, there were many) on my wintery trek to work today. Secretly the Northerner in me takes a small amount of smug joy in all this snow paralyzing the city.

I should probably be more understanding of the panic that gripped the city, given that this region is entirely unprepared for any significant amount of snow. The large number of flat roofs alone indicates just how unprepared. Don’t worry, I got my comeuppance yesterday when the skylight in my house succumbed to the large mound of snow on it and started leaking like a sieve. Smug Northern revelry officially stifled.

It will take DC a long time to dig out from under this one, but despite all the memorable images, inch counts and snow drifts still in evidence, the memory of the storm is largely fading for me into a pleasant blur of social gatherings. Specifically comfort food driven social gatherings. We clearly survived the storms by eating our way through them. (And maybe drinking a little way through as well.)The first round of snow over the weekend fueled some great impromptu neighborly feasts. Nothing like a fabulous, remarkably well coordinated, last minute Indian feast to beat the cold. Lots of heat. Yum.

Saturday morning IAG treated us to panko crusted deep fried soft boiled eggs with sriracha remoulade. And yes it was every bit as decadent, delicious and artery clogging as it sounds. Justifiable winter fuel in my mind and an experiment worth repeating.

I also learned how to cook polenta this weekend, and found myself wondering why it took me so long to get around to it. So easy. So delicious. And so very useful. We followed Bittman's recipe in "How to Cook Everything." It made a wonderful base for two slow cooked beef dishes on Saturday and Sunday. Nothing says “winter” in my mind like a slow cooker or dutch oven meal. Both were delicious-one winier than the other, but aside from that not terribly different preparations in the end. Also delicious: the chili WM and BO’G served for their Superbowl gathering. Great game.

Sunday morning JB whipped together some great sweetpotato hashbrowns with diced local bacon. Lovely with an egg on top. Not one of IAG’s super stylin deep fried kind, but an egg nonetheless.

The second round of snow Tuesday into Wednesday produced an avalance of baked goods. A yummy, sticky, chocolatey assortment of goodness that came with the added bonus of being largely delivered to our door by stir crazy friends. Hooray for intrepid neighbors!