Food


Banh Mi

Divine Banh Mi from Neighborhood Noodle

moon

Chasing the moon.

stalagmite

Neighbor's dryer vent stalagmite.

stalagmite

It is about a foot tall.

brandywine

The Brandywine Inn in Grand Rapids

lobby

Waiting for Jim in the lobby of Calvin College.

lobby

I like blue.

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curry powder

Roasted and ground this morning for dinner tonight.

(Click to enlarge.) Sesame seeds; cinnamon, oregano, thyme and cloves; pecans almonds and peanuts; tomatillo, avocado leaf and tortilla.

Stephen and I reunited for Thanksgiving and a bit of a culinary frenzy. Thursday we cooked a sublime feast of tikka-inspired turkey, pretzel rolls, cranberry chutney, mashed potatoes and roasted brussels sprouts. Friday featured left-over mashed potato bread (for turkey-cranberry sandwiches, of course) and Saturday we took a trip to Honey Bee Market in Detroit’s Mexicantown with an eye to tackling mole.

Toasting the seeds extracted from various dried chiles (with a bit of tortilla).

Spurred on by the direction in Rick Bayless’ black mole recipe to, “now do something that will seem very odd…turn on an exhaust fan, open a window and toast your seeds…until burned to charcoal black,” we hit the kitchen.

We were there for hours.

Guajillo, ancho and pasilla chiles; now seedless and fried crispy; then soaked; eventually pureed.

We chopped, toasted, blended, fried, soaked, and simmered – much of the time with the fan on and the back door open.

The much-used blender; puree of tomatillos; puree of toasted seeds and nuts; puree of banana, onion, garlic, spices and burnt toast.

And in the end, we got a silky, complex, just spicy enough, slightly sweet sauce that formed the basis of the best enchiladas I have ever made.

Mole in the cooking-down stage; finished silky mole; tossed with cooked, shredded chicken; in the final dish.

Was it fun?  Yes.  Did we set off the smoke alarm?  Only two or three times.  Do I want to do this again in the  near future?  No.  But, fortunately, I still have three containers of mole in the freezer.

easter eggs

Grownup eggs.

easter bunny pancake

Buncake.

macaroons

Milk-chocolate-covered macaroons.

When was the last time I colored Easter eggs? Well, it was last night, thanks to Jessica and Peter. That’s her lovely cityscape there…almost too pretty to eat.

This morning, it was time for pancakes and somebunny came to call. What, you’ve never made a pancake shaped like a mysterious chocolate-giving rabbit?

Speaking of chocolate…

Baby beets after steaming and peeling.

Baby beets after steaming and peeling.

Aw, man, how can these little babies be so flippin’ gorgeous and tasty, too!  Honestly I was just cooking, on a holiday, in my pajamas, and my salad made me clamber outside to the deck and pray for the thunderstorm to hold off so I could photograph my food.  I mean, come ON.  Lovely, lovely creatures, beets.

Sliced with their steamed greens.

Nestled in their steamed greens.

Topped with lightly pickled red onion, blue cheese and ground pepper.

Topped with lightly pickled red onion, blue cheese and ground pepper.

We’ve had a rather cool summer, but things are now starting to grow in earnest. (Click to enlarge, if you dare.)

Baby corn.  The plant is about two feet high.

Baby corn. The plant is about two feet high.

A pole bean.  The plant is about 6 feet high.  It would be higher if I let it climb the garage wall.

A pole bean. The plant is about 6 feet high. It would be higher if I let it climb the garage wall.

Bean flower.  Nothing there one day, a dozen flowers the next.

Bean flower. Nothing there one day, a dozen flowers the next.

My tomato plant is about 7 feet high.  Tomatoes have been green for ages.  Not a lot of sun lately.  Theyre organic brandywines from my CSA.

My tomato plant is about 7 feet high. Tomatoes have been green for ages. Not a lot of sun lately. They're organic brandywines from my CSA.

Outgrowing my tomato cage and headed for the roof of the garage.

Outgrowing my tomato cage and headed for the roof of the garage.

I have mint in a pot on the porch.

I have mint in a pot on the porch.

Basil, too.

Basil, too.

garlic pulled and waiting to be loaded in the bin

garlic pulled and waiting to be loaded in the bin

Jim and I went to pick garlic at my farm today.  Came back with sunburn, gifts of zucchini and garlic, and bellies full of hamburgers (with roasted garlic).  Danny used the plastic lifter to uproot the rows of garlic, and we just had to pull them out and clean them up.  Lifter broke on the last row, though, so I attempted to wield the pitchfork.  Not my strong suit.  Still, with a dozen or more volunteers we managed to harvest 120 bushels!  The small bouquet in my kitchen smells divine.

(And no, the rip in my jeans was not because of mishandling the fork.  Instead I caught them on a wire on a greenhouse table, about thirty seconds after Michelle warned me about the wires on the greenhouse tables…)

See also: my previous trip to Maple Creek Farm and what I did with their strawberries.

staceys ventilated jeans and the pitchfork

stacey's ventilated jeans and the pitchfork

"farmer" jim

bouquet of garlic

stacey's bouquet

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