Archive for the seasonal Category

Then

Posted in farm, food, nice things, seasonal with tags , , , , , on October 22, 2012 by bosquechica

After a particularly unpleasant week, the weekend brought me rest and work and numerous small satisfactions. The summer clothes are put away, the winter clothes brought out. The pellet stove is operational, the bosque is bright with fall. I spent both Saturday and Sunday in full-on cooking meditation.

Like meditation, cooking requires a focus on the present: 1/4 tsp this, 1/2 cup that, oven preheated to 350, cut, stir, blend. When the mind wanders, bring it gently back to the task at hand, to the present moment. Here are some of the things I made:

Blueberry-apple pies
Cauliflower mushroom soup
Butternut squash soup
Cauliflower planks, oven roasted with panko-parmesan crust
Tatsoi, simply sauteed with garlic

Unlike sitting meditation, cooking meditation is a dynamic form of the art. With the body continuously engaged, the mind can stay in the moment, can set aside discontent and desires equally. When the chatter starts, bring the mind, the breath and the body back to the spatula, back to the onion. Focus on the smooth texture and the warm orange color of the of the soup as you stir. By the time dinner is served, I am happily mindless (or is it mindful?) and completely present. And with meals-ready-to-eat for the entire week to come. What a deal!

I find that I often need to remind myself to be grateful for weekends (thank you, unions!), for my beautiful home, for the bosque as it changes and the cranes as they circle overhead. I am grateful also for my own common sense and for stopping my whirling stressy thoughts for awhile. Stand, breathe, cook. Not a bad mantra, really.

Bosquechica spring migration

Posted in nice things, seasonal, this-n-that, writing with tags , , , , on March 24, 2009 by bosquechica

Went away for awhile. Facebook. I admit it: I was unfaithful.

Facebook makes a continuous humming sound, like bees in their hives in high summer. Fascinating. Comments are short, relevance is questionable, connectivity is enticing but not necessarily functional.

I’ve located some long losts. That is fun. Had time to think about the function of this blog. No conclusions as of yet.

My writing group is up and running splendidly. We are weekly now, every Monday from 7-9 p.m. Good writing, energy is on the rise. My hands still go numb if I type very much. This is cramping my style, but is gradually easing up.

I love that this is spring. I love that I am on vacation this week. I love that I’m back involved in the dance and theater community at long last.

I’ll be back again when the study is more picked up.

Caprese salad with goat cheese

Posted in food, garden, how to, nice things, recipe, seasonal, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 20, 2008 by bosquechica

Ingredients:

Fresh tomatoes
Fresh Basil
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper
Fresh Goat Cheese

Preparation:

Wash and dry basil. Pluck into small leaves. Slice tomatoes, lay flat on a platter. Place basil leaves neatly and prettily on each tomato slice. top with a small bit of fresh goat cheese (feta, mozarella or chevre all work well). Drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and fresh ground pepper. Serve as an appetizer.

This recipe is a variation on the traditional caprese, which uses cow’s milk mozzarella. If you are a fan of goat cheese, you will find this variation absolutely delightful.

(Pictured is a mozzarella caprese from Wikipedia.)

Eggplant. I love it.

Posted in family, farm, food, garden, how to, life, nice things, recipe, seasonal with tags , , , on August 22, 2008 by bosquechica

Oven-fried eggplant. Quick, easy, tasty.

Ingredients:

1 Eggplant
1/2 C Grated Parmesan
2 T Mayonnaise
Salt

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425F.
Slice eggplant in thin circles (one-half to one inch)
Salt the slices and place them in a colander on their sides.
Let sit for 30 minutes. (The point of salting is to drain away the bitter liquids you sometimes get in eggplant. I’m not sure it’s really necessary if fresh-off-the-vine.) Rinse the salt off and pat dry.

Put the eggplant in a large bowl and add 2 T mayonnaise. Mix to lightly coat each slice. Add the parmesan and toss to distribute.

Lay the eggplant slices on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Place in oven on highest rack. Flip after 10 minutes and cook for 10 minutes more.

These come out light and crispy, and have been known to convert even the most fearful of eggplant-o-phobes.

We’ll have these for dinner this evening with rice and lamp chops.

Bonus round:
The French word for eggplant is aubergine. In Spanish it is berenjena.

Question:
I believe we have a regional variation on the Spanish word, but I cannot remember what it is. Anyone?

Nutritional Information:
Eggplant is one of those wildly healthy foods. Read all about it right here.

How to eat like a millionaire

Posted in family, food, garden, home, how to, nice things, recipe, seasonal, this-n-that, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on July 9, 2008 by bosquechica

Wow, I love this headline.

I’ll interview all my millionaire friends and let you know. Back soon.

Well, first of all, they tell me billionaire is the new millionaire, so I’m going to raise the bar.

Second — I was thinking it must be all about eco-friendly, sustainable, local food. Rich folk are locavores this week, right? Here’s the food-for-the-rich scenario as I had imagined it (turns out to have been entirely wrong):

“I’ll have my au pair drive to the farmer’s market to buy all the freshest just picked vegetables – the lettuces, the leeks and onions, the rainbow chard, the homemade pies, the early baby creamer potatoes, the hand-salted goat cheese. It can be a lesson in sustainable farming for my seven-year-old. Truffles dug up by my yard man’s farmer friend Joe. Corn and raspberries are hand-picked and delivered to my home weekly.”

As I looked into it, I realized actually that’s how I eat, and I am not a millionaire. Or billionaire. Plus, I don’t have kids, an au pair or a yard man. Wish I did – at least a concierge or something.

How do the very wealthy eat? I did some light reading, and this is what I found. Let’s go look at some of the finest restaurants in the most expensive cities in the world:

According to selected menu items listed in the SPellegrino 50 Best Restaurants in the World, the very wealthy might be eating at this very moment:

Snail Porridge
Bacon and Egg Ice Cream
Warm lettuce hearts soaked in vanilla brine
Sheep’s milk curd seasoned with hay and toasted fern
Beef roasted with the embers of vine cuttings
“Macaroni and Cheese” (butter-poached Maine lobster with mascarpone-enriched Orzo Pasta)
“Oyster and pearls” (a sabayon of tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and White Sturgeon Caviar)

This convinces me that I am not a billionaire. However, thanks to the beautiful farmer’s market in the small village where I live, I do eat like a millionaire of home-grown tastes. Very sensible of me. Only without the yard guy or the au pair.

With that in mind, here is a recipe for your basic pasta primavera:

Pasta Primavera

Ingredients:
Pasta
assorted fresh spring vegetables
goat cheese 
herbs de provence:

Preparation:
Set your pasta water on to boil. Prep your vegetables – chunky or thin sliced, as you prefer.

This is what we had yesterday:

  • Onion
    Garlic
    Yellow bell pepper
    Yellow squash
    Zucchini
    Fresh oregano
    Herbs de provence – chervil, rosemary, savory, lavendar, tarragon, marjoram, mint (variations are common)
    Goat cheese

Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil at a medium-high temperature. When these are soft and clear, add each vegetable in turn. Denser vegetables first. Don’t abuse your vegetables by mashing them about with a spatula or boiling them to death. Add a generous splash of vermouth or white wine. 

Drain your pasta and dress lightly with oil or butter.

Plate the pasta, sprinkle an ounce or slightly more of goat cheese on it. Spoon the sauteed vegetables on top of all that. Add salt and pepper.

Serve hot, with a glass of chilled white wine. Have some while you are cooking, too, if it seems advisable.
Light mixed green salad on the side.

Life can be relatively easy, can’t it?

Summer fruit in Tuaca

Posted in chickens, community, family, farm, food, garden, geese and guineas, how to, nice things, recipe, seasonal with tags , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2008 by bosquechica
melon boat

melon boat

Choose a variety of ripe summer melons:

Cantaloupe
Watermelon
Honeydew
Crenshaw

Add some other fruits:
Strawberries
Grapes
Cherries

Other ingredients:
Tuaca
Fresh mint
Juice

Cut one watermelon lengthwise in half to be a melon boat.

Using a melon baller, make a colorful selection of balls. Place in melon boat. Slice and add your other fruits. Add juice (orange, mango,  or watermelon) and a small amount of Tuaca (or Triple Sec, the usual choice), just enough to enhance the flavor of the fruit. Chop the fresh mint and sprinkle on top. Serve chilled in small bowls, on your patio, with your family and friends at a weekend barbecue. Save some for brunch on Sunday morning. Give the melon rinds and other fruit scraps to your geese and chickens!

What’s good for the goose is good for the gardener

Posted in farm, food, garden, goose talk, life, pets, recipe, seasonal with tags , , , , , , , on July 4, 2008 by bosquechica
Green carpaccio

Green carpaccio

This morning, I was reading Orion Magazine while eating a mushroom and parsley omelette. There was a review in the magazine of a book called “Recipes for Geese and People” by Natalie Jerminjenko (reviewed by Eric Wagner).

No recipes for goose, cooked or raw, will be found in this book. Rather, it is about the overlapping foods of people and geese. Nice. Pointing out our common ground — quite literally — here is a recipe for a green “carpaccio” taken from the review. In this case, the recipe references the habit geese have of walking on and smashing the fresh green grasses and other growing things in their environment and then eating them fresh, flat and juicy.

Carpaccio typically refers to raw meat (usually beef), smashed flat and thin in parchment paper, then sprinkled with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. As you might expect, though, this carpaccio is vegetarian (as are geese).

Here’s the gist of the recipe as reprinted in Orion, modified and paraphrased to suit my mood.

Take a variety of fresh greens — chard, spinach, cabbage, mint, basil (whatever is appealing and available). Wash, trim the tougher stems, blanch briefly in very cold water and pat dry. Lay the leaves flat on a sheet of parchment paper (sturdier leaves on the bottom). Cover. Smash with your hands, then with a rolling pin. Basically you’re massaging the greens to pull out the juices. Peel the paper off, lay flat on a plate, drizzle a bit of olive oil and lemon or balsamic, salt and pepper and serve, as a pesto, or on some very thin crispy crackers, I would think.

I should say that although I am not vegetarian, I am a bit tender about geese (you will know this is you have been reading along). So for me this is a friendly concept that reinforces my sense of geese as part of the larger flock of social animals. Geese and ganders as gourmands not viandes.

What\'s for dessert?

What's for dessert?