Archive for November, 2014

I’m dreaming of a white Thanksgiving

November 27, 2014

The east coast got hit with a big storm the Wednesday before Thanksgiving this year. It started raining in the late morning, which soon turned into freezing rain and sleet. By late afternoon, it had turned into real and proper snow, which kept coming down heavy into the night.

Wednesday, with the snow coming down

Wednesday, with the snow coming down

Early forecasts were predicting up to ten inches of snow, but we were lucky. In all we only got about two inches, and the next day, though chilly, was enough above freezing that we started to see a little melting.

This makes me glad that we have started having our family Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday (for reasons of convenience and family scheduling). By the weekend, the roads should be clear for driving and we should have no trouble cleaning out our driveway.

Thursday morning, two inches on the ground

Thursday morning, two inches on the ground

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Kitchen day

November 8, 2014

I’ve spent pretty much all day in the kitchen.  After several very busy weeks, it was quite satisfying.  The result is: two pies (one apple, one pumpkin) cooling to be put away in the freezer for the winter, a pot of beef stew for next week, and a big pan of chicken stir-fry for tonight and the next few days.

October dinner: Plenty, Yotam Ottolenghi

November 3, 2014

My officemate gave me a new cookbook for my birthday, Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi, a book of vegetarian recipes with international inspiration. We dipped into our new book for this month’s dinner.

A flowery table  for our vegetable dinner

A flowery table for our vegetable dinner

For the main course, I made stuffed zucchini. The zucchini are split lengthwise and stuffed with a filling of rice and pine nuts. To go along with the main course I made cucumber salad with smashed garlic and ginger. Both were very good and surprisingly satisfying. I’ve never been a great fan of vegetarian food, but this cookbook might change my mind.

Stuffed zucchini and cucumber salad

Stuffed zucchini and cucumber salad

For dessert I made pear crostini. I can honestly say that this is the strangest dessert I’ve ever made, but it was also very good. The base is toasted slices of sourdough bread topped with a paste of garlic and pine nuts. Grilled slices of pear go on top of that, followed by cheese, then the whole thing goes back into the oven. The thick slices of bread topped by thick slices of pear turned out to be rather awkward to eat, but the combination of salty and sweet was unexpectedly delicious.

Pear crostini

Pear crostini

First snow

November 2, 2014

We’ve had a run of dark, cloudy days.  That was good for Halloween when the heavy clouds gave the day a nicely spooky atmosphere, but it’s just getting worse.  Yesterday it started raining.  Overnight that turned into freezing rain and sleet, and today it’s properly snowing for the first time this season.  Normally I’m excited for the first snow, but right now I’d happily trade this for some cool late-autumn sunshine.