Eastside Road, January 19, 2014—EATING EVERY DAY; but blogging maybe twice a week. It's not a New Year's Resolution or anything like that; it just seems to be what's happened here. I've only made one such resolution in recent years, and I've kept it — to drink a glass of water every morning is not as difficult as to overcome a certain degree of compulsiveness.
Anyhow we have been eating, every day, or nearly so:
Wednesday, January 15: After a day in the city, simply bread, cheese, and salad at supper.
Thursday, January 16: The fine Daube pictured here, which Patricia Wells calls La Broufade: Beef & White Wine Daube from Arles. It involves anchovies, capers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, cornichons, a bottle of white wine, a bay leaf, thyme, and a couple of pounds of braising beef. A daube is essentially a very slow-cooked beef stew from Provence. It is essential, I think, that it be cooked in terra cotta, under a lid. I favor a simpler one leaving out capers and pickles, adding turnips and potato, and cooked in a daubière, a somewhat more vertical ceramic pot: but this is a fine version, and this poêle from Vallauris, which we've had for forty years, did the job very well.
Friday, January 17: Back to Patricia Wells: I cooked the pasta sauce that so intrigued me when first I saw this book, Patricia Wells At Home in Provence (New York: Scribners, 1996): Provençal Penne, involving olive oil, onion, garlic, crushed red peppers, bay, fennel, tomatoes, and orange zest. Lindsey cooked the penne and sprinkled them with chopped parsley from the garden. Delicious.
Saturday, January 18: leftover penne.
Sunday, January 19: Out with friends today to brunch, which by the time we got there I, hungry, turned into a substantial lunch: very nicely sautéed chard; then a bowl of Bucatini, pictured below, with guanciale, tomatos, pepper, and Parmesan — and, as had also been true of the chard, plenty of red pepper flakes. No question about it: this place leans toward Calabria. I like it, though!
• Bull Valley Roadhouse, 14 Canyon Lake Drive, Port Costa, California; (510) 787-1135
Pinot grigio for whites, Barbera d'Asti for reds