This is a crazy thing for someone who cooks for a living to admit but, up until last week, I had never made meatballs.
Actually, that’s not technically true — thanks to my Viking roots, I am an old hand at Frikadeller, which are essentially Danish meatballs.
But what I’m really talking about here are Italian meatballs. You know, the ones drenched in tomato sauce and perched atop a twist of spaghetti or piled onto Italian rolls with tons of cheese and broiled until bubbly.
Yesterday, I ended up pretty deep in the back of the fridge while on reconnaissance for dinner. And somewhere between clearing out the meat drawer and finding the lost mayonnaise in the crisper, I had a mathematical epiphany. OK, it was actually more related to food than numbers, but still, it showed up in my head as this unalterable, absolute equation:
Ground Lamb + Eggplant + Bechamel Sauce + Mozzarella = Moussaka
There’s only 1 problem. No one around here likes Moussaka. But we do love pizza – I found 2 pre-made balls of dough when I took my search to the freezer — and when you start saying Moooooooooossaka Pizza over to yourself over and over (while rocking out to Synchronicity I on internet radio) caution gets thrown to the wind and you realize that somethings are just meant to be.
You know you’re living the good life when the first thing out of your husband’s mouth as he’s walking through the door home from work is “Do you want some fresh crab?”
Dinner was already made and I was just pondering taking a break with the last of that bottle of white in the fridge, but it’s hard to say no to a bag full of rock crab pulled from the water not an hour before, cleanly killed and beautifully cleaned by our friend, and Howard’s colleague, Sam.
So instead of pouring the wine into a glass, I brought it to the boil in my stock pot, along with a couple of bay leaves, some peppercorns and a few fennel seeds. Five minutes later, my delightfully unexpected crab bounty was steamed, shocked, strained and set aside in the fridge for the next night’s dinner.
And then I pulled out the corkscrew. Nothing like a glass of vino to make an already great life near perfect. Continue reading
This plate is a feast for the eyes. And I don’t mean the food. It’s the hand-crafted platter I can’t get enough of — I am truly the luckiest girl in the world to have been given this as a symbol of my friendship with its creator, artist Wendy Dunnett, aka The Button Lady of Pender Island.
I wish you could pick up this gorgeous platter to hold it’s reassuring weight in your arms; to watch the shine shimmer across its surface as you tilt it toward the light; and to marvel at the textures as you run your fingers and thumbs over the starfish and shells that glorify its rim.
Come to think of it, you can caress this plate in your very own hands if you’re on Pender in the next few weeks. I take mine to the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays to show it off and serve up a few Turtle Brownies (filled with a generous dollop of caramel and garnished with pecans). Continue reading
Have you been to Pender yet? Why not? We may be a little rock adrift in the ocean, but this little island has a lot going for it!
Artists, musicians, storytellers, gardeners, scholars, builders and adventurers alike are all proud to call Pender Island home.
And it just keeps getting better — because now there’s 2 new great places to pick up a sandwich or two for lunch on the run. Continue reading