Eating Every Day

Friday, August 29, 2014

Hot dog

hot dog.jpg
Eastside Road, August 29, 2014—
CE N'EST PAS la meilleure photo: eh bien; on ne peut rien y faire. Il s'agit d'un hot-dog simple, avec tous les attributs que nous aimons: la moutarde de Dijon, piccalilli, cette belle choucroute de Lou Preston, oignons hachés. Tout sur le chignon parfait, du Downtown Bakery and Creamery.

Et avec elle, de belles tomates en tranches, et regarder ici: penne restes d'il y a des jours ...

Ensuite, salade verte, bien sûr; puis un cookie et un peu de chocolat

Pas cher Barbera d'Asti


Eastside Road, August 28, 2014—
WHO COULD COMPLAIN about leftovers like these? The beefsteak was grilled a few days ago, over charcoal; here it's cold and sliced, and served simply, as you see, with sliced tomatoes. And dressed with the salsa I made a few days ago, originally to serve on boquerones. It's simply finely chopped carrot, shallot, celery, and pepper — I'd used Padrones, because they were at hand — covered in Champagne vinegar and a little bit of olive oil. Delicious. Shallot and beefsteak are an Elective Affinity.
Cheap Zinfandel

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Eastside Road, August 26, 2014—
PERHAPS THE LAST salmon dinner of the year: it's growing late in the season; the salmon are getting fat. Do they prepare, I wonder, like bears, for a lean winter season? Well, I don't, and while I know fatty fish is good for the health, I don't find it all that pleasant on the palate. Cook does her best with it, I have to say; she broils it to just the right point, and that lemon wedge adds nice tang to it. And Dave's fishing business is certainly something to support; he's a significant part of the local farm market community.

But still.

Nancy's marvelous limas, on the other hand, retain their late-spring texture and flavor — her Middleton Gardens site, over west of the river, has an almost magical terroir; everything she provides is full of flavor. And these were the nicest Green Zebra tomatoes we've had: close your eyes and you might almost think them red.

Green salad afterward…
Cheap Pinot grigio

Monday, August 25, 2014

Simple supper

Eastside Road, August 25, 2014—
SINCE WE'D HAD a late lunch out — hamburger and french fries, pint of ale, yes, we do things like that from time to time — supper was a simple affair, beginning with this first course: raw carrot, a couple of peppers left from yesterday, a plate of boquerones with that vinegary mirepoix salsa I told you about yesterday.

We went on to a green salad, and bread with olive oil and salt; and ended with a simple course of summer fruit — nectarine, peach, figs. I do love summer.

Rosé, La Ferme Julien (Var), 2012

On the patio

Chuck on the grill
Eastside Road, August 24, 2014—
COOK'S SISTER is in town visiting; let's ask the neighbors up to join in an al fresco evening. We got a small boneless chuck roast, cut it in half crosswise, salted it and re-wrapped it in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Then I built a charcoal fire to slowly roast a mess of Jimmy Nardello and Padron peppers over, then the beef, as you see here. I seared it quickly on both sides, then cooked it slowly, quite high over the coals, seasoned only with the salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Chuck is tough, of course, and it would have been better to get it a few days earlier and marinated it, I suppose. But there's other things for jaw muscles than talk-talk, and the flavor was fine — especially with the red wine we had, a perfect match for grilled beef.

Before the main course, almonds and boquerones — I dressed the latter with a salsa made of mirepoix (finely diced celery, shallot, carrot, and Padron pepper, soaked in Champagne and sherry vinegar with a little olive oil); afterwards, green salad, then broiled figs drizzled with honey.

Rosé, La Ferme Julien (Var), 2013; Cinsault, Preston of Dry Creek, 2009 (optimal!)
Roasted peppers

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Oh, and I forgot

Eastside Road, August 23, 2014—
LUNCH YESTERDAY, with my favorite neighbor, a bright, sympathetic woman I've known all her life — can it be getting on to sixty years? We ate in town, and started with these delicious boquerones, in lots of good olive oil, strewn with mirepoix, with red pepper adding piquancy to the usual onion, leery, and carrot. A thing to remember.

Afterward, Romano beans and sausage, and a plate of jamón, and flatbread with bacalao. And on the way home, why not step into a favorite local shop and buy a couple dozen of these marvelous white anchovies, these boquerones, and see if I can reproduce the dish for Cook?

Bravas Bar de Tapas, 420 Center Street, Healdsburg; 707.433.7700
The Cheese Shop of Healdsburg, 423 Center Street, Healdsburg

I read the most amazing thing the other day in a book review in the San Francisco Chronicle:
[Amanda] Petrusich's writing sometimes soars above the mundanity of her travel notes from her visits… which feature her weird habit of describing what kind of breakfast or lunch they ordered.
Really: what better insight into the person you're writing about than what and how he orders his meals?
sausage.jpgTHEN TONIGHT IT WAS down to our local city for dinner with friends. I'd called them: What are you doing for dinner? Grilling sausages outside, came the answer. Just what we were thinking of doing, I said. Bring yours down, he replied; I'll fry up some potatoes, I have some Jimmy Nardello peppers to throw on the grill…

As you can see, the sausages grilled up just fine. They were Franco Dunn's sausages, of course; you don't get any better than that. On the left, Provençal sausages; on the right, something with a little more spice. With the peppers and potatoes, a fine meal.
Viognier, Preston of Dry Creek, 2011; Cheap Barbera d'Asti

But not blogging every day…

broiled salmon.jpg
Eastside Road, August 23, 2014—
WE EAT EVERY DAY, even the "fast days" (which are generally though not always Tuesdays: when we have only breakfast and, at tea-time, tea and perhaps a handful of nuts). But I seem to have given up blogging every day, because there have been too many other things to attend to. I'm sorry. I'd like this blog to have something of interest to someone, every day; but…

Let's recapitulate, then. We returned from a quick tour of Seattle and Portland a week ago today, and were content that day with one of those marvelous jambon-on-buttered-baguette sandwiches we always try to get at Mix, in Ashland, on the way down. Lately instead of thyme-infused butter they've been made with Dijon mustard-infused, which is fine; though I did like the thyme a lot — time to do that ourselves, I guess.

Last Sunday we bought the salmon you see here, which Cook simply broiled in the gas oven, serving it with a good dollop of Larry Forgione's barbecue sauce — it turned up in the pantry — Nancy Skall's unbeatable lima beans, and some sliced tomato.

Monday I frankly don't recall; that night we went out to see The Hundred Foot Journey, about an Indian restaurant set up to compete with the one-star across the road in a Provençal village; a very sweet movie if perhaps a little hokey. Tuesday we fasted.

pesto.jpgWednesday, though, was my birthday, and we feasted. I spent the morning making a big batch of pesto:

Alas without pine nuts from our own trees — another matter to get to soon — but with very good ones from Spain; with three big bunches of basil, good garlic, local olive oil, and good Parmigiano Reggiano and Locelli's amazing Pecorino, good thing we bought a lot of that last time we were in Italy.

pesto setup.jpg

There were old friends visiting from New York, and a couple of old friends of theirs who were new and welcome to us; we ate out on the patio, and after the Champagne you can be sure we had plenty of white and red, thanks to John and Linda.

And to celebrate further, that evening — Wednesday — we drove into town with friends to our favorite local restaurant where I had a burrito al pastor and a beer.
omelet.jpgNEXT DAY, NOTHING NEEDED beyond a simple omelet. My first was a disaster, of course; I hadn't made an omelet in months; I was using a favorite pan that hadn't been used in years; I used only olive oil, recalling that wonderful closing scene in The Big Night. The second omelet, pictured here, worked out a lot better, because I reverted to butter, which I have more experience with. Inside, just a little grated Parmigiano, salt and pepper. Lightly buttered toast, of course, and sliced tomatos: what more needed?

Then yesterday we had leftovers from my birthday, fusilli con pesto — I do like this pasta; I'll try to find out from Cook what brand it is, and post that tomorrow. If, that is, I get back to maintaining this blog properly…