Asparagus Gratin from “Rules of Civility” (Novel Food No.36)

summary: asparagus from “Rules of Civility” by Amor Towles; so many books to read; brief review of “Rules of Civility”; fascinating premise for a book; information about Novel Food;

I’ve often wanted to belong to a book club! But because I get new books from the library (we have less and less room for new books on our bookshelves), it means I can’t always get hold of the latest best sellers that are so often on various book club lists. Or, if I do get hold of them, I don’t really want to read because the books don’t pass the “must grab my attention by the 1st page” rule. So I was thrilled to see the rather open-ended book club that Simona (briciole) and Lisa (Champaign Taste) started in 2007. (How did I miss noticing this until now?!)

I may be late to the party but I’m so excited to be here at last!

Novel Food No.36: Asparagus Gratin from “Rules of Civility”

Asparagus Gratin

[T]he [subway] train gets under way; it comes to one station and then another; people get off and others get on. And under the influence of the cradlelike rocking of the train, […] your mind begins to wander aimlessly over your cares and your dreams; or better yet, it drifts into an ambient hypnosis, where even cares and dreams recede and the peaceful silence of the cosmos pervades.

Earlier this year, I read Amor Towles’ wonderful novel, “A Gentleman from Moscow”. I didn’t want to put the book down and I didn’t want it to end. It is a stunningly beautiful tale. And how. It took me ages to finish because I kept flipping back to read and re-read particularly lovely sections. So, naturally, with Towles’ novel, “Rules of Civility”, I was expecting to be uplifted in the same way. (continue reading )

Running Wild with Rosemary Raisin Bread (BBB June 2019)

go directly to the recipe

BBB: Let's Keep Baking summary: waywardness – again…; recipe for Wild Focaccia with rosemary and raisins – based on Judy’s County Fair prize-winning Rosemary Raisin Sourdough Bread recipe; commercial yeast in sourdough bread? I think not; outdoor baking; information about Bread Baking Babes;

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Rosemary Raisin Sourdough Bread

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

BBB June 2019

If the bread is intentionally made to be completely flat instead of a loaf, can it still fall into the category of the BBB’s June bread?

Or should I be asking if it is “intensional”? :lalala:

intension indicates the internal content of a term or concept that constitutes its formal definition;
In logic and mathematics, an intensional definition gives the meaning of a term by specifying all the properties required to come to that definition, that is, the necessary and sufficient conditions for belonging to the set being defined.
-Bo Bennett, Logically Fallacious, The Ultimate Collection of Over 300 Logical Fallacies

In my defense – and a weak defense, it is – I WAS going to make Rosemary Raisin sourdough buns. But then, suddenly, the weather shifted for a moment. It was gloriously sunny and warm for a second. We had to use the barbecue to bake the bread! (I know; I still could have made buns. Shhhhhh!! Don’t say anything!) (continue reading )

Patrushka cake variation: banana walnut

summary: banana walnut cake with cream cheese icing; variation on Patrushka Cake; origins of the name “Patrushka Cake”; I love the internet!

According to some sources, [the cake is] also known as Patrushka cake, which offers more than a hint of Eastern European origins. – Blair K, Slovenian Roots Quest, June 2015

Should I burst Blair’s bubble? Do the K’s need to know why it’s really called Patrushka Cake and that its origins are half way around the world from Eastern Europe? :-) :-)

banana walnut Patrushka cake

Our vegetable/fruit store has a shelf near the cash register with baskets of various things they want to sell off. Each basket costs $1.

We often get the tomatoes they sell – there is nothing wrong with the tomatoes except that some of them may have a few bruises. They make fantastic tomato sauce.

One day, a while back in the early spring, there was a basket of bananas. They were just starting to ripen but had a few bruises. Of course we bought the basket. Who wouldn’t? It was $1 for around a dozen bananas. Organic bananas!

T decided to make cake, but because eggs were at a premium (our friends’ chickens were on strike because spring wasn’t springing), he used the mashed bananas and chopped walnuts to Patrushka Cake, because the recipe doesn’t call for any eggs.

(continue reading )

No fiddling around!

summary: I ♥ spring; fiddleheads; generosity of friends;


I love fiddleheads – the only thing wrong with them is that it is very very difficult to get the sand out. – me, blog from OUR kitchen, 100 Canadian Foods to Consume meme, October 2008

Last month, when I was buying eggs from our friends who live on a sheep farm north of the city, I was told there was a bonus for me. Along with 2 dozen gorgeous eggs, I was given a large bag of fiddleheads picked that morning. She reminded me, “There isn’t really any sand; just give them a good rinse before steaming them. They’re really good with butter and garlic!

Oh yes! That’s right! I had forgotten that there would be no sand. And she is right. The fiddleheads that she and her husband gave us last time (in 2010) were beautifully firm, with zero sand. This time was exactly the same.

And they were delicious! Tasting of spring: newly green and delicate. (continue reading )