Thursday, September 8, 2011

Raining again.  No gardening yesterday or today.
Cooking, when all else fails.  My gorgeous plum tomatoes are lending themselves to a flavorful sauce.  This is a noodle-less lasagna recipe where eggplant is substituted for pasta.  The secret is in the slicing of the eggplants - they must be cut lengthwise and paper-thin.  Sharpen your best knives!
Everything is coming up tomatoes!  These are my tomato breads and even though the one on the left is kind of wonky, trust me when I tell you that the flavor is magnificent!  The recipe is labor intensive, but well worth the trouble.  I also made a pot of our favorite chowder because the local corn is so delicious this month.  This one freezes well and is  a special treat deep in December when the flavors of summer are only distant memories.
Fresh corn, crab and shrimp.  Oh, and some poblano chilies.  Speaking of food, I had the happiest discovery recently.  About 15 years ago I lost my favorite cookbook.  This was a traumatic event!  Everything that I'd cut my teeth on, every great recipe that I'd gathered and had success with when newly married, was in this small volume.  I looked for it in every bookstore I visited for years.  Last week I went on ebay.  EUREKA!
Well-worn, a bit shabby and fragile, (parts of the plastic binding actually collapsed as it came out of the box) but all mine!  Leafing through - there it was - the recipe that I had wowed the family with one memorable Christmas celebration in Millbrook.  Even after all of these years I can call up in detail the white linen on our Charles Webb dining table, the black woven placemats, Waterford crystal and sterling, fresh sorbet, my little baby nephew Matthew - the first grandchild to arrive on the scene!  It's amazing how one small book can stir the imagination and trigger happier times.
Can you believe that this one actually called for monosodium glutamate!  Times have changed.  Mary Anne, if you are reading this - what would one substitute for MSG?  (LOL)

While waiting for breads to rise and soup to simmer, I sat with a vintage silk kimono that my cousin had given to me long ago.  Taught by Pauline how to disassemble a kimono (and there IS a proper way to approach this, believe me), I gave over my afternoon.
These kimono are stitched entirely by hand.  One finds silk thread as well as a sturdier cotton thread throughout the construction, impeccably placed stitches - the kind of work rarely seen in this country, truly mind boggling.  Sometimes you'll find a piece of paper or a twig in a pocket which begs the questions ... who wore this garment?  What were their dreams and hopes? 
 My plan is to line a navy linen vest with some of this scarlet silk.  Just staying busy on a rainy day!


JelliDonut said...

Get your guest room ready--I'm coming to YOUR house for dinner tonight!

LOVE that kimono!

Zoey said...

How exciting that you found your book of cooking memories --priceless!

That bread and chowder look scrumptious. I can just imagine how delish it will taste in December!

Suz said...

ha!'ll have toshare a room with me...cause I'm moving in!
My my my what a busy beaver you are
Where's buddha's scarf...?
How can you disassemble such a work of art?
is it that bad of shape?
Love how you found the cookbook
I was wondering if it could have been yours...guess not
but heck....I'm a writer...we think that way
have a wonderful evening with all that good food

Anonymous said...

Take out that MSG, lighten up that butter load, and we've got ourselves a new family tradition - Spinach Mellenthin! Or better, Spinach Jody!