Food List update
So I admit, I’ve been a bad blogger recently. But it’s worse than you even know, because I’ve completed a variety of goals on my Food List 2010 and haven’t even written about those. But, in thinking about it, that’s actually okay in a few cases because the results of the tasks were sub-par enough that they wouldn’t warrant writing about here anyway. Sigh. Sometimes even the best-intentioned dreams don’t actually materialize with satisfying results. But in any case, here’s an update:
Make fresh butternut squash ravioli
I have always, always wanted to do this. I love squash ravioli almost more than any other pasta dish, and we’ve generally enjoyed making fresh pasta. But I was horribly disappointed in our results. The filling alone = pretty decent. Pasta alone = pretty innocuous, as long as the texture is good. Butter/sage sauce = delicious. All three together = blech.
We’re guessing the filling wasn’t flavorful enough once paired with the starchy pasta enclosure. But considering butternut squash won’t be back at the market again for a while (and considering that the process was a little chaotic – as depicted by the photo above), I’m not sure if we’ll give this one another try this year.
Make a fresh fennel salad
Last summer, our garden overflowed with tomatoes, herbs, chili peppers. Yeah, we had some nearly complete misses with our eggplant and a few other things, but it was our first attempt and in general we felt pretty good about our gardening abilities (especially considering our other activities last summer …). But our winter garden was almost a complete disaster. Our largest carrots struggled to reach more than two inches long, and the beets were basically non-existent. While we chose our house partially because of the yard to have a garden, we didn’t really take into consideration sun exposure until after we had moved in, and the little area of yard that gets sun (up against the neighbor’s driveway on the side of the house) apparently doesn’t get quite enough in the winter to make much of anything. Sigh.
We had planted two fennel that I’m pretty sure grew less than one millimeter in the months they were in the ground, and one night I grew sick of waiting and made a fresh fennel salad with supremed oranges and mint. It would have been pretty fantastic with better fennel, but our sad little stunted specimens didn’t quite do the job.
Eat Baguette and Cheese in Paris
Check, check, check. About ten times over. Now before desire overwhelms me, let’s move on.
Fry Cheese Curds
Anyone who has been to our house for a party in the last couple of years knows this doesn’t come out of nowhere – cheese curds are a Big Deal where I come from, and I’m quite pleased to say my dad has a good source for the delectable little nuggets of joy, and ships them or brings them along with him when he comes to visit. For the wedding last year he brought 5 pounds of fresh curds and about 20 pounds of frozen breaded ones (regular and jalapeno). We’ve experimented with a quite a few dipping sauces, but I have to say our best discovery yet has been to broil the jewels instead of deep fry them. We broiled up a huge batch at our annual Easter party this year, and better start doing it more often to clear some space before the next delivery arrives.
Make an interesting ice cream
For a while a few months ago I was on an ice cream roll, to the point that I had to ask Brett to not let me make it until after we get back from Hawaii (hello “newlywed fifteen,” meet bikini). But I found a couple of true treasures – a fresh mint ice cream taken directly from David Lebovitz via Molly (the green stuff in the photo below, from Easter this year, photo courtesy SFang) and a balsamic (yes, as in the vinegar) vanilla that I improvised from a thorough google search.
Each were absolutely incredible (if I do say so myself) – the mint ice cream was herby, subtle, fresh, and ridiculously smooth (which made the rather sub-par dark chocolate ice cream also seen in that photo even more disappointing), and the balsamic ice cream was sweet, tart, perfumy, and a perfect pair with a strawberry tart (now if I could only remember how I made it, damnit). Both are firmly recommended and will definitely show up at our house again (maybe with chocolate and strawberry swirls, respectively?).