Grills and Thrills

Posted on Tuesday 21 October 2014

grilled wrap
Our own cucumbers and tomatoes, with lettuce on the side of the wrap.

Soft tofu marinated in white wine vinegar, no-salt spice mix and strong olive oil, along with carrots, walnuts and celery cooked with curry and a dab or coconut butter. A bunch of fresh spinach.

Deep in the Byward Market, good news! Memories reopened last Thursday in what was the little art gallery near what was the bookstore.

lemon meringue pie
I had a lemon meringue pie this good once in the 80s. It wasn’t as good as this in a way. This is a pie shell but it has an almond layer then raspberries. The lemon curd is fittingly tart. The meringue is perfectly browned. The shell reminds me of the flakiness of a cream horn.

It’s the sort of pie that makes one want to shake the chef’s hand (instead of shake the chef).

Sorry for the crummy photos that don’t do justice but had to make mention. They have a new pastry chef who they should cherish more than royalty.

Every dessert is a flat $8. They are a meal. We shared half of each.

carrot cake
Most carrot cakes disappoint.

I had a carrot cake almost this good once. It was 1992.

You can taste and see the carrot. This cake is not oily. It is not overly sweet. The cream cheese is balanced. The raisins are plump. It is dense but not heavy. It is not overly leavened. It is moist not sodden. There’s a hint of spice but not a spice cake.

The photo is grainy. It was late at night, a dark table, a dark corner, a dark cake. But a spectacular cake.

12:20 pm
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Beet and Beluga

Posted on Monday 20 October 2014

golden beet soup
A simple simple soup from baking 4 golden beets.

I like to economize on the oven, baking in off hours and a batch of things. I put in an onion, an acorn squash, a sweet potato, 4 beets and a garlic head. I don’t need to know how I’ll use them yet, just prepping ingredients.

Come morning I decided to make a golden beet soup. Peeled the beets, shucked the onion, reheated for a couple minutes in the microwave while the kettle boiled. Roughly chopped the beet and added it to the food processor with a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper, a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of light olive oil, half a cube of herb de provence bouillon cube and got that chopping. When the water boiled, added enough to make a soup texture.

While it was pureeing, a rough chop salad of lettuce, tomato, and cucumber. A dressing of black truffle olive oil, white white vinegar, squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of dried chervil.

That’s the last useable cucumber unless frost misses us and the wee one hits a growth spurt.

On the side a black pepper water cracker and some beluga lentils boiled to cook with 2 bay leaves per cup of lentil and one monster garlic glove.

Beluga lentil from Bulk Barn.

12:40 pm
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Mushroom Dumpling Soup

Posted on Friday 17 October 2014

dumpling soup
Made a broth soup with what have we todays: a container of mushrooms, a couple carrots, a handful of garden tomatoes, an onion. Considered adding a finely chopped potato.

Now it doesn’t look like a broth because once the dumpling goes on top it makes a sort of gravy-thickness of it.

I thought I’d better do something with the herbs before the frost gets them.

herbs chopped into dumpling batter
Chopped some parsley and thyme into the dumpling mix. Spooonfuls or ice cream scoops of it added on top of the soup on medium and then covered for 10 minutes will do.

dumpling plucked out
It is like steaming biscuits on top of the soup. They cook dry inside while also thickening the soup.

The recipe is part of this month’s Planet of the Scapes. I’ll append the link when I get it.

12:36 pm
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Today’s Daily Special

Posted on Thursday 16 October 2014

Quick improv dish to go with carrots: some leftover rice stir fried with onion, celery and corn added at the end.

ground cherries
The firm tofu was marinated in a sauce from a ginger powdered sugar oil, for lack of plum sauce existing, a long-soaked plum herbal tea made for water, a handful of boiled down ground cherries, some ketchup, lemon, anise, hot pepper flakes, and chili powder.

The tofu was grilled and the remaining sauce thickened and poured over.

It worked wonderfully with the sweet and hot and I’ll probably never be able to recreate it.

one garden day
From the garden, more tomatoes. Other people have had frost twice and hail once this fall. We’re born lucky I guess.

Ottawa people, the 18th is the advance election voting day, your 2nd last chance to vote at city level.

12:29 pm
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You Win Some,

Posted on Wednesday 15 October 2014

They can’t all work. Sometimes cooking mojo spontaneously converts to writing mojo or scrabble mojo.

The sweet potatoes run thru the mandolin were brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and got a few degrees too much heat.

The cucumber was turned with mustard, vegannaise and dill and a few bits of chopped green pepper and green onion. The cucumber is getting old on the vine, tough-skinned. I should have peeled it.

The orzo was cooked with a little herb and salt. Given a little dimness of cupboard and a little dimness of mind and what I thought was brown rice was mistaken for orzo. Luckily I noticed before they burned.

The lentils were cooked with a mix of marsala and curry, apple cider, chipotle, ketchup. The soft tofu was added at the end to heat through. It gave a muddied effect with too many competing flavours.

more garden
Forgot we had some turnip, and watermelon radish, carrot and kale still growing out there.

12:23 pm
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Thanksgiving II

Posted on Tuesday 14 October 2014

Tofurkey, and cranberries from an Ontario crop.

Not sure that I’m sold on Tofurkey. It is to the tooth like cheese curds. A good analogous food?

small spread
Stuffed in around it carrots, onion, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes. Made a mushroom gravy with a touch of toasted rice powder and thyme. And parsnips besides.

lattice attempt
Oh pie dear lord. A rhubarb and strawberry made with all whole wheat crust. Because we’re apparently out of white flour. Whoops. And white sugar. (The cranberry sauce was cooked with brown sugar instead.)

rhubarb pie with cashew cream
The best was my pie, with cashew cream on top.

Remind me that it would be unhealthy to live on cashew cream and orchard fresh apples.

12:04 pm
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Happy Thanksgiving

Posted on Monday 13 October 2014

crab apple jelly
What says harvest like preserves? Crab apple jelly made by my aunts.

indian relish and pickles
Indian relish and sweet pickle relish.


Mashed taters.

Frozen veggie mix.

rhubarb pie
Mom’s homemade rhubarb pie.

12:08 pm
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