Monday, March 31, 2008

Eating like peasants (again; still)

Breakfast: French toast, café au lait

Lunch: potatoes in broth

Dinner: Lentil-rice pilaf, green salad


Yesterday I helped a friend claim a pickup-load of stuff from the garage and backyard of a house that had been sold. Unwanted estate leftovers. I claimed a cast-iron trough, which will become a cactus garden, and a fine cast-iron griddle; and this morning I celebrated by making French toast: an egg, a little milk, two or three slices of sourdough, a teeny bit of butter. Delicious.

Lunch was the end of the potatoes and broth from our St. Patrick’s Day corned beef and cabbage, none the worse for the long wait. If anything, a more intense flavor. Perfect after a morning of gardening.

Dinner: lentils, olive oil, onions, garlic, rice, cumin, salt and black pepper, simmered an hour or so. And that green salad, of course. Mâche from our garden — I planted more today, and more arugula, too.

Preston Sauvignon blanc (the remainder of yesterday’s)

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Leftover mac&cheese (delicious)

Macaroni and cheese (see 3/28/08)
Swiss chard
Apple tart


It just gets better a day or two later. I’d forgotten how deep the flavors in Lindsey’s béchamel were, deepened by the Hungarian paprika Anandi had given us a while back. And the texture is improved, if anything, by the reheating, which crisps up edges of the pasta.
Swiss chard: as I mentioned a few weeks ago, it always brings Lindsey’s father to mind. He always had a few plants in his little vegetable garden, and from March until late in the season we never left a visit with him without enough leaves for dinner. Christmas colors; springtime flavors.


Apple tart: well, yes. Buttery.

Louis Preston Sauvingon blanc 2006 

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ravioli take-out

Ravioli; tomato sauce.

Canevari’s Ravioli, 695 Lewis Rd.,
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
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I’ve driven past the place dozens of times over the last fifty years and more: Canevari’s ravioli, in a little bungalow-turned-into-shop in a residential-small retail part of town, not far from Santa Rosa Junior College, and I’ve always wondered about their ravioli. Friends who live nearby were noncommittal about it. Today we were driving past, with other friends, and on the spur of the moment we decided to get a couple of trays for lunch. On the wall, a black-and-white photo from 1939 of an aproned Italian pastaficio, arms dramatically akimbo, and next to him a little boy exactly imitating expression and gesture. Today that little boy runs the place. As he emerged from the back room with boxes of ravioli and plastic containers of sauce Lindsey suggested we get instead some of the ravioli in the display case, already cooked and sauced: we’d only have to warm them up. You want those, the man asked, rather incredulous? Those are commercial. We stayed with the original idea, took them home and followed his instructions exactly: bring water to a boil, throw in the frozen ravioli, let the water come back to a boil, cook exactly five and a half minutes. I thought they were a little heavy on the nutmeg and the sauce oddly thickened, but generally okay. We’re eating peasant food, Richard said.
Louis Preston Barbera 2006

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Peas! Spring is here.


LUNCH WITH AN OLD FRIEND in the Café Chez Panisse today, and spring has definitely sprung. The salad (cardoons, mâche, mackerel on toast) was an intriguing study in textures and colors (my photos never do justice); Lindsey’s Steelhead Romescu with potatoes, turnips, and cress was even bolder and more intriguing (and made me think of Barcelona); the penne offered up my first peas of the year with little chunks of asparagus, a light dish, with just enough tasty cream to bind it. Tangerines and dates; then appletart with ice cream.

Pinot grigio from Slovenia


March 24, 2008

NOT EVERYONE LIKES THEM, of course, I realize that. But we find them absolutely delicious. We buy good ones, most recently the Scalia brand, boneless and skinless, from Italy. (I like Scalia anchovies much more than Scalia justice.) Last night, Lindsey's pasta alle acciughe: chop up the anchovies (or just tear them into little pieces with your fingers) and warm them in a little olive oil with some crushed garlic; then toss them into your just-drained penne

Before them, Lindsey's version of Succotash: frozen organic corn; frozen organic lima beans. Delicious.

Organic Zinfandel