Sunday, April 19, 2009

In Communist Russia Bread Bakes YOU!

Behold Billy... the proud father of a brand new wee loaf of Russian style black bread. This is the first time he has ever made bread from scratch. The little loaf came out of the oven at like ten o'clock last night and we promptly devoured half of it before it even had a chance to see the light of day. And of course now that it has seen the light of day... it's a goner. It was really, really good heavy bread made with molasses, coffee, cocoa powder, 9 grains and rye and wheat flour. The recipe came out of Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian Cookbook. It is an awesome resource book. And of course please note that Billy is wearing his "Communist Party" t-shirt for the complete Iron Curtain baking experience.

Yesterday was one of those days that we spent fiddling around in the kitchen for most of the day. I was craving fresh and crunchy at dinner time so I created a variation on a salad we had tried while visiting with my parents. The original recipe came out of The Veganomicon (another favorite)and was a raw beet and parsnip salad in a pineapple vinaigrette. Last night I made it a bit more complicated using chopped raw beets, jicama, celery, carrots and fennel. I also added in roughly chopped almonds. I made the dressing from pineapple juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, kosher sea salt and one clove of fresh garlic shaved on a microplane grater. You toss chopped fresh mint into the salad at the end of prep and holy crap is it good. We paired it with a single baked falafel patty and a simple corn tortilla quesadilla with nothing but good provolone inside.

And finally.... do you like pickles? Pickled stuff? Weird pickled stuff? Because last night I made these.....

What the Hell is that right? It's a Ball jar filled with pickled grapes with cinnamon and black pepper. I got this recipe off Smitten Kitchen (as usual.) I grew up eating pickled stuff out of my Grandma's garden so when I saw this I had to try it. They were super easy to make and wow are they bizarre to eat! As Deb on Smitten suggested they are awesome with a cheese course. If you click over to Deb's site her pics are much better than mine and you can see more so what you are dealin' with.

I will leave you with a few shots from our sunset walk here at Russian Gulch from last night. We have an Indian Paintbrush flower which is native only to the Mendocino coast line which I am in love with...

They are really flourishing out on the headlands in the park right now and they are so visually striking against the spring greens. Another brilliant, gorgeous one is the Scotch Broom....

Hmmmm... but if flowers are not your thing maybe I could satisfy you with a little doggie style Sumo wrestling match?

The above scene caused me to get yelled at by a park ranger. She was trying to drive through and they refused to leave off fighting in the middle of the road where they are technically not supposed to be off lead for obvious reasons. Rudy has some work to do if he wants to catch up with Ranger's totally legit Sumo belly.

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