Sunday, December 15, 2013

From the Tee-Tiny Experimental Kitchen- Cherry and Mincemeat Sauce for Duck, Chicken, Turkey or Ham

I bought half a roasted duck breast in the frozen food section at Publix, and tonight I am re-roasting it. I like fruit sauces with duck, and I made this one tonight. It is simple to make, requiring only 1/3 stick of butter, one cup of pitted Morello cherries, and a tablespoon of mincemeat.

Melt the butter, toss in the cherries and the mincemeat and heat through on low heat. Mash the cherries a bit for extra juice.

The amounts I used would sauce two portions. Double or triple if you are feeding more.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Tee-Tiny Experimental Kitchen- Mincemeat with Cheddar in Puff Pastry

Apples love Cheddar cheese, and mincemeat does too. I made up this recipe this morning as an alternative to mincemeat pie, and it is easy and tasty and would feed four or five.

The pictures tell the story. Thaw out a sheet of frozen puff pastry. Roll over it a few times with a rolling pin then place it in a greased or sprayed 6 inch souffle dish. Dump in 13 oz., or 1/2 jar mincemeat. Then put 2/3 cup grated cheddar on top of the filling. Fold the pastry as shown, give it a wash of melted butter, then put it in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or so or until the crust is browned as shown in the photo.

Good for a holiday brunch or breakfast.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Gerald Finzi

I have listened to classical music all my life, and thought I knew most composers. I was disabused of this idea this past Thursday.

I went to Kroger to get enough cat food to get us through the ice storm, and when I left the parking lot I was held up by a school bus and a frightening line of traffic. I sat, waiting for an opening to pull out. I had our local NPR station on, and gradually as I listened I realized I was listening to one of the most beautiful and mournful piano pieces I had ever heard. I had no idea what it was, or who had composed it.

My apartment is only 3 minutes from the grocery, and when I parked the piece was still playing. No force on earth could have made me leave the car then until I found out what I was listening to, and I waited to the end. The announcer said it was the "Eclogue for piano and strings". I thought he said the composer was" Finney", but I soon found I had heard wrong.

What would we do without You Tube? I keyed in "eclogue" and up came "Eclogue for Piano and Strings Opus 10", by Gerald Finzi, a British composer. And there the music was again.

The person who put up the video of the eclogue first heard it as he was driving. But he was driving in rush hour on the Massachusetts Turnpike, which I am sure is a hell all its own. He says he was so affected by the beauty of the piece that he had to pull off onto an off ramp.

Finzi died young, and perhaps this accounts for the elegiac mood of this music-

Look this up on You Tube. You will not be disappointed-

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How Are You Going To Keep Them Down On The Farm-

I was reading an email from my brother tonight when my eyes drifted to an ad on the right side of the AOL page. An ad from William-Sonoma's "Agrarian" division.

The ad showed an elaborate green designer chicken coop with wheels.It costs almost $1500. The ad boasted that the coop was predator proof,which I guess in upscale urban neighborhoods means that your maid can't get into it. The wheels presumably allow you to wheel it around on the roof of your condo down in the Gulch.

Now anybody's uncle can put up a chicken coop after spending a few bucks at the farm supply store, but that is just not the Brentwood way of doing things. Williams-Sonoma reassures the purchaser that the coop arrives with "white glove handling", and that the people who deliver it will set it up.

Now the local, sustainable crowd who call carrots "veggies" and too many damn squash a "bounty", are not going to be satisfied with just a coop.

They will want accessories. Louis Vuitton egg collecting satchels.. Chanel work boots.Ruffoni copper chicken feed pails. They will need their own magazine as well- perhaps something along the lines of "Town and Chick Country"

And who thinks they would be satisfied with chickens from Dixon or Joelton either. They are going to want heirloom chickens from France. Sustainable, bountiful chickens fed on a diet of heirloom veggie scraps. Chickens who cluck with European flair.Bilingual chickens. Unfortunately these chickens will need to be educated as well. Someone will need to teach them that that fat ring tailed creature with the mask is not the family cat, and does not have the chickens' best interests at heart.

I knew this was coming. I knew it when I saw an article in "Where Women Cook" that showed a lovely young woman dressed in white organza and black work boots standing in her own special chicken house. If you want to wear white in a chicken house that is your choice, but remember that up in Fairview people are laughing at you.

Well, not really at you.

At the crystal chandelier you installed to keep the chickens from straining their eyes.

Monday, December 2, 2013

First Class Passenger Berths on the SS Moby Couch

Scalloped Potatoes and Leeks

2 leeks

2 medium gold potatoes

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

Sea salt to taste

1/2 stick butter

Slice leeks into 1/4 inch thick rounds and arrange them in the bottom of a 9 inch casserole. Then thinly slice the potatoes and arrange them on top of the leeks. Salt lightly. Sprinkle the cheese over the potatoes, then cut up the butter into small pieces and place on top of cheese. Add 1 cup of heavy cream over all.

Bake for 35-40 minutes in a 400 degree oven, or until potatoes are tender.

Not a diet dish, but who diets over the Holidays?

Easy to make, and a nice change from leek and potato soup.

Beautiful to look at as well.