Today's lesson from the kitchens here at Gravlax West:
If you are pre-cooking a pastry shell in a tart pan in preparation for making a shallot and chard quiche and happen to notice that a crack has developed, no amount of wishing is going to keep the egg from leaking out and cooking on the sheet pan. The result will be more akin to a flaky, Comte-laden pizza surrounded by baked eggs.
Also of note:
Scrambled eggs baked on a Silpat are remarkably uniform in color and texture.
I find myself inclined to hang our pot rack in spite of the vast cabinet storage in the new kitchen. I think part of the issue is that the cabinetry is designed more for contractors than efficiency. They were just nice enough to impress a potential buyer on a quick walk-through, but they don't have much else going for them. For instance, nearly all of the cabinets under the counter have two shelves (the bottom and then a half shelf midway up to the top) and a single drawer which limits just how useful they can be. Better, they're vinyl coated particle board, which places some pretty serious limits on possible hacks.
Because I'm just that anal I believe in interactive journaling, y'all may be faced with a a photo of the space with a request for assistance in mapping our gear.
We've arrived safely in Corvallis, OR and have emptied the car in an attempt to fill some of the ample space of our sprawling ranch (house, not cattle). We are now seeking out dinner while contemplating how to spend the evening in a way that doesn't involve our sitting in camp chairs and staring at each other over likely very good local brews.
Nothing quite saps one's passion for gardening like a neighbor liberally spraying Roundup (or some other equally noxious herbicide) on the decorative ferns immediately behind your plot and slowly watching all of your previously healthy plants struggle to make chlorophyll. The good news is that we have virtually no pests. The bad news is that it's probably because our garden is POISONOUS.
However careless and inconsiderate their actions, technically our neighbors did nothing wrong. They were landscaping and made use of the tools that gave them the best results - dead ferns, no digging. It is exactly the sort of thing that makes me want to flee the city for greener pastures.
Last night marked the first harvest from our vegetable garden, a fact which made me extraordinarily proud in spite of having virtually nothing to do with it. We haven't even staked out our raised bed, but we have a composter, and healthy kale is growing out of its side. I'm not even sure what part capable of laying down roots ended up in there since we almost always use our kale stems as stock base, and to the best of my knowledge nothing resembling seed went to the pile.
You have not lived until you've had a drunk townie chick at a Bruin's playoff game vomit on you from a row back. Even then, that experience will not be truly sublime unless her boyfriend denies that he knows what happened and doesn't think to help her away from the area until several minutes later when she loses her balance and falls onto your row.
I'm struggling for some pithy intro for our ingredient, but in my addled state, I don't have the tongue for it. Suffice to say that this months theme has often been used as a symbol of spring and of life. One might even say that there is a whole world contained within...
As V mentioned, we'll be running on Saturday, April 17th. Just to clarify, we'll open doors to competitors at noon if you need time to prep, and to everyone at 1PM. The plan is to do first plating at 2PM and to proceed at a reasonable pace from there. I realize that we're cutting it close, so if we're all amenable, I will announce our theme within the next 24 hours.
At the head table: V Craig Justin Nora
And in the kitchen: Noah Bonnie Ry Pete
If you know of anyone else who might be interested please point them here.