Seize My Tomorrow

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Learn my yesterday. The wise words of Barbie as The Island Princess keeps on giving. A proper rain with thunder joined us for lunch. When the kids see rain, they suit up and run outside.

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Someone left his gumboots out in the rain.

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Tosca is not fond of thunder, but followed the kids anyway. Lucy was singing that darn Barbie song. Tosca wasn’t bothered. I can’t get it out of my head and whistle or sing the chorus repeatedly.

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All in, the lightening is close. Thankfully, Brent squished that Barbie earworm out of my head by “jukeboxing” me with a horrible Supertramp song. Jukeboxing is a game we play when you try and get the other family member to hum the song you secretly plant in their ear. He got extra points for a Supertramp Jukebox. I don’t remember the song, but as I rolodexed my brain all I could come up with was this…

Working Out The Egg Cup

 
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I think it’s less than 46mm.  Any biggger, a bit tricky.  Any smaller, cute, but no cigar.

 
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Also, big arse lettuce from my personal Lettuce Queen connection.  This beauty is bigger than Minty’s head and has two hearts.  Oh, I loves me some lettuce hearts.  Oh,  I feel a Kylie song coming on …

Mince: Chili Edition

Mmmmm. Chili!

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This is actually a Heston Blumenthal chili recipe lazily executed by me.  I customized it to suit the family.  We use grass-fed beef from our farm Grasspunk.  I actually don’t even remember the recipe.  It goes a little something like this.

Chop some onions.

I finely dice my onions if I’m making this for my son Otto, otherwise he’ll pick each and every onion out griping at me the whole time.  Tonight’s chili was for grownups, so I did big fat chunks as quickly as possible.

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Then prepare some garlic.

I’m not a garlic basher.  I think that’s a sad way to go if you’re a garlic.  I like to chop off the top and peel.  It falls off similarly to the garlic bash method.  Then I thinly slice.  One could crush the garlic into the chili.  Mr. K will tell me that crushing is the best way.  I…

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Mince: Gascon Spring Roll Edition

Mmmmm. Spring Rolls!

Girl On Grill Action

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I suppose these are technically Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls, though beyond using Vietnamese rice wraps and Vietnamese rice noodles, I sort of went with it Gascon style.

Get the filling started.  Boil the water for the noodles.

Filling:

  • Local Grass-fed Mince
  • Duck Fat
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Fish Sauce
  • Grass-fed beef broth, what, like two cups?

Load up the pan with some duck fat and chuck in your mince.

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DSC_0233Add verte-blanc-orange when things seem all browny.

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After the mirepoix gets acquainted, add a splash of fish sauce, the beef broth and begin prep for the wrapping.

Pull out a galettes de riz sized bowl and fill it with warm water.  By this time, your noodle water should be ready.  Get the colander ready and then boil your noodles.  Quick! take them out.  They don’t need long.DSC_0248

With the noodles done and the filling done, you should be ready to…

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Convoi Exceptionnel

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We were a little late picking up Minty and Z today. A combine of Brent looking at the cows and me missing my opportunity to get in front of this beast. It’s harvest time, so the harvesters are out. I imagine it’s a lot of work driving these beauties. I imagine there are a lot of giddy farmers. Sitting up so high, slowing people down. Us little guys have to pull over or drag behind forcing us to look at the French countryside and think about what cheeses to lay out for cheese course. We have a nice cheddar straight from England, yum. Minty will remind us for years about this time, the second time, we were late.

Minty: “Remember that second time you were always late?”

Me: “I wasn’t that late, Minty.”

Minty: “Yeah, that second time I remember. You were late that second time.”

This, we will be reminded of for ten years not including the half life period.

Green Machine

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Our neighbor grew some salad like it was going out of style.  Though, in our region of France, salad is most definitely not drifting to the sale rack.  There are so many ways to take salad, it takes a sip of wine and crazy thoughts to resolve.  I love salad.  Love it!  With fresh greens like these, I keep it simple with some fat and a dash of vinegar. Okay some salt.  Oh! is that tomato ripe!  Then I crunch back and enjoy.

This particular head of lettuce was so gorgeous, I pulled Brent aside from his busy day and said, “LOOK AT THIS LETTUCE!!”  I suppose after however many years of marriage, he “yes deared” my impulse and we all moved along.  But, I couldn’t believe that Fiona, our neighbor, grew such a lovely beast.  It’s beautiful and I can’t wait to tuck in when I unveil my first attempt at Spring Rolls.

Pickled Peppers

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I’m not a pickling person. I don’t have a pickled past. I love pickles, yet I have never pickled. My husband loves pickled herring. If I have no pickled herring or cornichons or capers, my fridge feels unbalanced. In September, when life ( or Robert ) gives you a lovely bag of peppers, make pickles! … or so I’m told.

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I grew up near the penultimate exit off I-5 before you drive into Mexico. Pickled jalapeño compliments most Mexican food, so I was keen. I followed the recipe exactly and I suppose I wait.

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Lucy packed the peppers with dill, pepper corns, garlic, onions, carrots, peppers and tried to make them look perty. I filled them with hot, bubbling vinegar mix and sealed them tight. I know I’ve not met prize winning pickledom, but I have high hopes that these beauties will taste nice next to some ground beef, cream and some Substance P.

Substance P

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I loves me some hot. Hot Thai, hot Indian, hot Mexican, hot hot hot. I don’t get to heat up the food much because our kids are too young to take it on. They have so many brain cells accepting and filtering too much emotion, too much growing, too much sibling and too much flavor in food. So I secretly spice my food up on the side. Brent spices up his farmer’s breakfast, but his heat level is about an eight. Mine, is at eleven. For whatever reason, call it “lizard”, on our first date, I tested his palate. After a day of coffee and walking, a silly scarf and general courting, we went to the pizza place. There, I ordered “The Firestarter.” This was a lovely number of typical pizza bits with jalapeño and pineapple. I loved it. I think Brent liked it too. I never once noticed sweating or fear. “Hey. This guy ‘s good.” Great date.  He drove me back to my car that was filled with boxes and furniture because I was moving somewhere and I had to get my friend to the airport.  This was my back-up plan.  I accepted an airport run to get out of the date should things not go so well.  Things were going well. I was a bit late to leave, but she made it there in time.  In hindsight, this heat test was a great tactic to see how far this dude would go.  If he can withstand super hot pizza, can he move cows with big horns?  Can he pound in fence posts during a drought?  Can he parent our crazy children?  Yes, he can.

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Substance P is a neuropeptide that is an important part of pain perception. It’s the “owie” neurotramsmitter. Substance P is a hot sauce I make when our amazing gardner friend lays down bags and bags of GORGEOUS hot peppers. I know it’s coming. I feel that September sun. The peppers are ready. The peppers are ready at the same time the pears are ready, so I enhanced Substance P with a fall peary flavor. I think it’s nice.

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I’m still working out what’s in Substance P, but for now we have:

– hot peppers of some description or whatever Robert brings over
– pears
– ginger
– garlic
– cider vinegar
– black pepper
– fish sauce
– tomato paste

Fish sauce and tomato paste == Umami. Not directly, but close enough. The sauce came out good. I need a few more tweaks. I’m enjoying the slow heat. At first it’s “meh,” then the heat slowly sneaks up on you. This is my favorite type of spice. I added it to Grasspunk Mince and some peppers and mushrooms and shallots with some cream. The heat worked in nicely with the ingredients. I think I could have added some more.

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Notes To Self and Outline Comments:

– Always use gloves when working with peppers.  I’m lazy or courageous or more likely stupid and did not use gloves when working with 74 red hot beauties.  The heat seeped underneath my nails.  I can no longer wash my hands without cringing.  Water on my hands feels hot.  Really hot.  I hope this goes away.

–  “We are The Neuropeptides!  Are you ready to rock, Seattle?!”

– Substance P could be a SuperVillian

– Substance P has no problem with pink plating

– Tasting and perfecting a brownie recipe is easier than tasting and perfecting a hot sauce recipe.

– I think a Neurokinin A sauce should follow for the heat impaired. A zesty fun sauce that can be friends with Substance P without taking it too far.

 
– Hey, this guy is good.

Charlie Brown Love Circle

DSC_0133Last night, Otto read his poem while I was cooking Bolognese.  Were I to write a recipe on how to make Bolognese, I would absolutely include  the part about your eight-year-old son reciting a poem in French as you bubble your onions in butter.  The dish surrenders to this whispering and yields six portions without despair.

DSC_0137Also tossed in some bread without yeast.  I suppose you could call them Roti but made with Einkorn and deep fried in duck fat, so I don’t know what to call them exactly.

DSC_0135As the bready beasts were bubbling away, this is when we talked of Marcie.  “Marcie is in love with CHARLIE!” Lucy lays down.  “Charlie loves Peppermint Patty!” Lucy says.  “I thought Marcie loved Peppermint Patty?” I add.  “NO!  Charlie Brown loves the little redhead girl,”  Otto corrects.  “Peppermint Patty loves Chuck.”  “Why is the ‘Little Redhead Girl’ called the ‘Little Redhead Girl, anyway!?'”  Good question, Otto.  Things, other than Bolognese, got a bit heated.   Otto has been reading the Peanuts Gang.   He loves the adventures of Snoopy and Woodstock.  He puzzles about this redhead and all the dialog between girls and boys.

DSC_0141They go ’round and ’round trying to map out who loves whom.  Tosca, still working her award winning Retriever Chameleon Tile move, is wondering when that bubbly bread might fall …. uh be done.

DSC_0139Siamese is synaptically strengthening cuddle mode.

And this is “Pyro,”  Otto’s Halloween costume.  It’s not even October and I’m off sewing or buying stuff for the nextest holiday.  Lucy is busy committing us to the big evening dress.  I must admit, I admire her planning.

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