meatless meatballs roasted porcini with gremolata gluten-free chocolate chip cookies venison with morel sauce

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archive for September 2006

three and three

Thursday, September 14th, 2006

Jeremy turned 33 today. Happy Birthday, love! I picked up some goodies from Whole Paycheck and whipped up a simple dinner tonight per the Birthday Boy’s request.

I made spicy tuna handrolls, maguro sashimi, pan seared scallops with saffron beurre blanc, and for dessert – tiramisu. A sampling of the flurry of activities:

lovely hunk of tuna (maguro), pan searing the scallops

mix the mascarpone filling, layer the tiramisu

**Jump for more butter**

hillbilly story

Thursday, September 14th, 2006

Kell and I have been discussing seafood of late. We are both seafood WHORES. But what’s so exciting is to explore what the other side of the globe likes to nosh on from the sea. Those yabbies are beautiful, and I was delighted to learn that Kell used to fish for yabbies as a kid. Because I too was a seafaring huntress in my youth…

If you live on or near the Chesapeake Bay, you have probably heard of the famed Chesapeake Bay blue crab. There is a joke (I guess it isn’t really a joke because it is true) that people who crab on the Maryland side use bull lips for bait, and people who crab on the Virginia side use chicken necks. Someone told me this in junior high and guffawed while I stood there with brow furrowed and wheels turning… I used chicken necks.

It’s remarkably primitive, yet effective. Tie a string around a raw chicken neck. In a pinch, you can grab some piece of dirty old string stuck on the pier from a previous crabber – as long as it doesn’t break. Chuck the chicken neck into the water while holding on to the other end of the string. Wait. Sometimes you wait for the string to wander in a direction counter to the current, other times when the gettin’ is good, you just slowly begin pulling the string in. As the chicken neck rises, there will usually be a crab clinging to it, eating, moving its happy mouth parts to suck in the treat. Typically you don’t want the crab to be scared away before you scoop it up with a net. I have memories of the hungrier and bolder crabs who clung to the chicken as you dangled it in the air because you forgot a net that day. Drop crab in bucket – resume crabbing.

For the more invested crabber kids, we tied our strings to the pilings along the dock, and monitored as many as 5 strings. A good way to keep you off the streets.

My father who is far more industrious than the average crazy person, purchased a crab pot – or a cage. Leave it for a few days and come back to harvest the crabs. One time we hauled it up and had caught two eels (well – not really caught, they slithered out easily enough). Another time we had caught a giant mud cat and my dad took great pains to release it without harm.

I still think the manual version of crabbing is a great activity.


Monday, September 4th, 2006

Feels like fall and I welcome it! Evenings down near freezing and daytime highs around 60-70. I like making large pots of soup or stews that last for several days. Today I finally made myself cook up a batch of beef stew. What I love about beef stew is that you use the cheap cuts of meat and slow cook them until they are falling apart. Cheap cuts like chuck or rump are tough, but have the best flavor and are ideal for slow cooking. The tender cuts like tenderloin or ribeye are far better for dry heat – great texture, but not the best in flavor per se.

start with fresh ingredients

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