Saturday, July 30, 2005

IMBB ~ TasTea Lamb Chops

Once again, jumping on the bandwagon, I decided to play along with IMBB this month, hosted by A La Cuisine. The theme is tea.
I drink tea not infrequently, Rooibos being one of my favourites and I purchase it from a local tea company. I don't know a whole lot about tea though, so I decided to throw caution to the winds and try something new ~ Lapsang Souchong. For those who have never experienced it, it is a powerful, smoky, black tea which just screams out for a culinary use.

I bounced a few ideas off coworkers and classmates and Rachel suggested I try pairing it with lamb. I don't know if there are pre~existing recipes out there, I just went for it and came up with my own. I ground the lapsang in my mortar and passed it through a sieve. I mixed salt and pepper into the now~powdered tea and pressed lamb loin chops into the mixture, making sure to coat both sides of the chop. I set that aside and combined red wine, gooseberry jam and a teaspoon of tea in a saucepan and brought it to a boil, turning it off and allowing it to steep after it had simmered for a minute. I strained this mixture, popped it in the refrigerator and headed off to get my hair chopped off. When I came back, I heated the oven to 400F and my grill pan to smoking. I placed the chops in the pan, just long enough to mark, about 1 and 1/2 minutes between quarter turns and flips. After the last quarter turn, it went into the oven for 8 minutes ( I like my lamb medium rare). I served them with the sauce, Swiss chard and beautiful pemberton potatoes.

Friday, July 29, 2005

The day Time Stood Still

Fridays are so very long. I am in school 8-6 and my brain tends to leave through the window around 2, just in time for purchasing. Anyway, let us start at the beginning ~ Intro to Baking. Yummy day, we made biscotti and Gipferls and Raspberry Bars (mmmmmm) and fancy rolls (again). I don't feel so confident in baking. Chef Susie is a strict marker and it kills me to get 16/20. I like her though. She has a sense of humour and makes her own jams and jellies, and doesn't mess around.
Here is our product all stacked up...

After baking, we move on over to purchasing. I was losing my mind.. the math was driving me to the point of hysterical giggles and getting snarky with my classmates. Also, I am not going to let myself have pencil crayons in class anymore...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Recipe Request

Understandably in need of recipe fix, this one is for Erika. Again, if any assistance is needed with converting measurements, let me know.
Calabrian Tomato and Bread Soup

International Cuisine ~ Italia

I love this class. This week we travelled to Italy. Unfortunately, we were only able to skin the surface of Italian Cuisine, which has much more regionalism than, say, French Cuisine. Group of four today ~ me, you-know-who from last week, Little Dan and Michael (worked with him in NARC week one). We made a fair ( I think) division of labour and got right down to work. i enjoy working with Dan and Michael and we laughed a lot and did stupid things but generally managed to keep it together. You-know-who stayed true to character, drifting off to parts unknown on a regular basis, skipping important steps, etc. We did our best though.
First Course: Calabrian Tomato and Bread Soup

This is an amazing warming and hearty soup with very few ingredients. Finished with olive oil and Parmesan Cheese, I think it qualifies as comfort food. Little Dan made it, and did a wonderful job, really gorgeous colour, etc.
The next course: Chicken Involtini with Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi and Zucchini Sicilian Style

I'll start with the Zucchini. You-know-who was supposed to be doing this one, but he forgot to soak his raisins, so it turned out a little chewy in the end. Basically, it is seared zucchini topped with a saute of raisins and pinenuts with olive oil and lemon. Tasted very good, despite my reservations.
The gnocchi (hiding under the chicken) I made. It was a challenge to shape as this gnocchi is flour and ricotta based with little chunks of pancetta and onion in it. It was delicious and well worth the effort. The chicken itself, we all had a hand in. Dummy made the tomato sauce, successfully! Michael jointed the chicken and prepared the stuffing. I pounded the breast medallions down and Dan seasoned and floured them before Michael stuffed and rolled. Another winner. In fact we had a great day and Soren said we all did very well today.
Tonight, I am playing with tea, lamb and my farmer's market haul.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

NARC ~ Cajun Day 2

I think I am getting a little too comfortable working with Rachel and Mary! Once again, our day went fairly smoothly, and I kind of missed that adrenaline burn. but our food was good!
First course: Mirliton and Chicory (actually, frisee) Salad

This salad got mixed reviews from me. The dressing itself was so good ~ roasted yams and onions blended with dijon, red wine vinegar and olive oil. The salad I wasn't so sure about. I am not sure if we had bad squash or what, but I found it had a faintly musty after taste. The crispy yam bits seemed slightly out of place, but maybe I just have something against deepfried things... Rachel did a beautiful job of turning her squash into a flower, but I figured I shouldn't post it as it is HER work.
On to the next course, something new ~ a palate cleanser

This was a granita made with rum and whisky, lemon and sugar. Mary got to flame off a cups worth of booze. Which, surprisingly, takes a fair bit of time. If I hadn't been up to my elbows in lamb carcass, I would have taken a picture of the pretty blue flames. After the flaming, freeze the mix and scrape it as per a regular granita recipe. Its best served in little melon ball scoops in martini glasses, but we only had narrow glasses available. Finish with a sprig of mint and you have a delicious and refreshing course.
Finally, the main. Lamb stuffed with mussels, spinach and rice served with Macque Choux and Braised Swiss Chard. Chef Christopher showed us how to debone a lamb shoulder and offered the opportunity for two people in the class to try it. Apparently, I was the only one who was really gung-ho to do it! I am always eager to learn new things like this ~ I may never need it, but it is nice to know. The lamb was stuffed with mussels, which I was a little dubious about. Rachel gamely prepared the stuffing and then rolled and tied the roast as well as making the sauce ~ funny how the vegetarian always ends up with these tasks. She made the chicken livers yesterday. Anyway, we served with two delicious sides, the swiss chard and the Macque Choux. (read creamed corn with diced tomatoes). I ate so much

Next week ~ Tex-Mex. Can't wait.
Editing to add: the lamb wasn't nearly as obnoxious as I thought it would be. In fact, it was quite tasty, with no discernible fishy~ness.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

NARC ~ Cajun Style

Moving on through the US, we hit Cajun country. Today's menu: Mock Turtle Soup and Blackened Redfish with Salsa Fresca and a Pave of Grilled Plantain and Red Pepper.
I am not sure I understood the point of Mock Turtle Soup ~ why wasn't it just callled oxtail soup?? We also had to make the little crackers that topped it and a chicken liver pate to top the crackers! The soup was actually pretty darn good, if a little rich, but i wasn't to keen on the chicken livers...

The second course was entertaining, to say the least. The salsa was amazing a pineapple and red pepper salsa with cilantro. The plantain was too green and really too starchy for the use we made of it, but the fish! The rub, well, I don't know what it actually tasted like because I took that "blackened" descriptor seriously. I got my pans smoking hot and started to fire the fish into them. Flames start shooting up. I kid you not. I had to go on, so I just continued to add the fish to the pan, then moved on to the next one. More flames. Copious amounts of smoke, I was sure the fish was ruined. But i carried on, finished cooking it and plated it. Apparently, it was good!! And it was fine to play with fire.

On teh burn front, my face is starting to look really ugly and peel and itch. I'll see if I can dig up a picture...
Here we go...

Blogging By Mail

Organised by Nic over at bakingsheet, blogging by mail was a fun way to swap goodies with fellow bloggers (and non) the world over. I can't resist swaps, mainly because I love getting parcels in the mail, so i signed myself up. I was assigned a non-blogger in Utah, and I hope she got her stuff. My parcel arrived today, from somewhere in California and a blogger I haven't heard of yet, Mariko of supereggplant. It grabbed my attention right away qith the cute packing tape ~ I want some!

I opened it up to discover a wealth of candy goodies. I ate the gummies already, love the blackcurrant pastilles and the tin they came in ( I have a weakness for candy tins) and I am working my way through the rest of it

At the bottom, though, was the best part. Homemade chocolate marshmallows! We ate them for dessert tonigh, sitting on the patio and I lit a candle so I could toast one ~ omigod....

Thank you Mariko! And Thank You Nic!

Saturday, July 23, 2005


I decided I wanted to play with squash blossoms tonight (anyone in Vancouver looking for them, you might find them in the Granville Island Market). i have never cooked with them before and I was going to a friend's house for dinner with six wee blossoms. I dug in their fridge and produced a filling involving pinenuts, mystery cheese, fresh basil, s&p and a little mayo for binder. I piped that into the blossoms, eggwashed and then breadcrumbed them. I heated some oil in a pot and proceeded to fry them. I had a little accident during production (photo following). But the end result was damn good, if I do say so myself!
Now to the ouch part. While frying the little buggers, I dropped my flipper in the pan. Hot oil hit my face and neck. The worst spot is on my left cheek, but I have a solid blister on the right side of my chin and some perfectly round red dots on my chest.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Baking, week 3

Oh my god, I am not sure how long I can keep riding the sugar and carb roller coaster. Every Friday morning is our Intro to baking class and I tend to eat my product for "lunch" before purchasing. Today we made Blueberry muffins, (delicious) cranberry orange scones and sour cream coffee cake
Unfortunately, I had to leave school early today as I succumbed to a horrible bout of allergies. Sadly, I missed half of purchasing (sarcasm alert!).
I came home and made myself a big comforting pot of soup with smoked chicken stock, snow peas, italian parsely, rice and egg. And green Tabasco, of course. Fell asleep for a couple hours and am starting to suspect that the evil cold has gotten me ~ not allergies.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

International Cuisine ~ Suisse

Week three, exploring the culinary history of Switzerland. My general impression is that it is a very middle of the road country ~ Centrally located in Europe, their cuisine is influenced by so many different countries and cultures. We had three dishes today and an interesting group setup. Soren, perhaps remembering my meltdown or Rachel's long chat with him, decided to put the two of us together, with one other guy. Guy picked consomme ~ first course. Also known as Fladli Suppe, apparently, this dish was a rich beef consomme garnished with a chiffonade of crepe. If anybody knows consomme, they know that it should be crystal clear. And you need about 8oz/serving. Well, despite the fact that I gave the nameless boy a very clear recipe, he decided to do things his way, and neglected to strain through a cheesecloth. I even asked him if he had forgotten. As he was ladling, I noticed there wasn't enough broth ~ I asked if he had followed the recipe exactly ~ no. As he went to ladle into my bowl, I snapped. I am sorry, there was no way I would dare serve a cloudy, unstrained consomme and i refused to allow him to serve me. I grabbed a cheesecloth and a sieve, strained and served. My bowl was clear, the other two nasty, cloudy and flecked with stuff. I think i hurt boy's feelings. But you know what, I don't care.

The next course, mostly Rachel, was Raclette with green beans, poached egg and Bundner Fleisch. All good stuff if you ask me.

Final Course ~ Zurcher Art (Pork Tenderloin with a mushroom cream sauce). Very rich, very very tender, served with potato rosti, baby carrots and cauliflower quenelles. My course.

After school, I went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, came home to drink wine and discuss Jane Austen with Katie and sit~up and wait for Emily to stop in on her way to Korea. Crawled to bed very late....

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

NARC~ South, Day Two: Fire Drills and Pulled Pork

Feeling really morose today, not sure why. Okay I am. I have become increasingly frustrated with some of the students in my class and with the administration of the school. And, apparently, it is beginning to show. We had a fire drill today, not just the school, but all 20~something floors of our building. It was a beautiful sunny day and it was almost painful to stand on the street for those short minutes, knowing we had to go back soon.

As we are standing around outside, Soren asks me to come by his office when we go back "to pick up recipes". When I arrive, he asks me to sit down and then proceeds to ask me what is wrong. I was momentarily stunned ~ he actually noticed! And I almost started crying as all my frustration started to well up, unchecked. I swallowed it, muttered something about being frustrated and feeling demoralised and not wanting to talk about it. I know, I should have let loose. But I was so unprepared for this that I needed to stall. I might go talk to him tomorrow, now that I know that he actually cares. Anyway, I feel a little shy about this next part, but I just had to share. Not only did I make the "honour roll" last quarter, but I was also the top of my class! I was completely stunned ~ obviously I have very little faith in my abilities! Anyway, enough of the shameless back-patting and and on to the nitty gritty - FOOD.
Today was a very edible menu and I was feeling very matchy-matchy on my plating, as you will soon see. For starters, Watermelon and Watercress Salad.

The next course was a less than thrilling peanut soup

And finally, Pulled Pork with Slow Cooked Greens and Buttermilk biscuits.

I got to work with Rachel and Mary this week and it was an absolute breath of fresh air. Almost too relaxed....
Tune in tomorrow for more melodrama! Swiss Style.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Wierd Snacks?

So, am I weird? One of my classmates introduced me to this a few months back ~ watermelon sprinkled with fleur de sel and drizzled with olive oil.

NARC ~ The South

This week, we move on to the southern US. Second week with Chef Christopher and I actually like him, I think. He doesn't treat us like children who need to be coddled, he makes us fend for ourselves. Which seems to irritate some people in my class ~ one in particular whined and rolled his eyes so much today, I was ready to strangle him. Stop whining!! Get on with it!! Who said life was supposed to be easy?? Anyway, enough of that, on to the food. First course : Hoppin John Salad

One of my classmates decided that we are making pornographic food this week between the Hoppin John Salad and the Carolina Pulled Pork! I quite enjoyed the flavour of this salad, although I found it to be a little ugly to plate. At least we got to use baby lettuce instead of big butter lettuce leaves.
This was followed by Grilled Quail with Fried Green Tomatoes and Roasted Tomato Sauce and a "Grits" souffle (really made from cornmeal). The Quail was very easy to throw together as were the tomatoes. The challenge was the souffle and the time we were given to cook them was incorrect ~ they were slightly undercooked, but still delicious. I will try them again at home.

Monday, July 18, 2005


I have been drooling over cookbooks at Barbara~Jo's for the last month and I came to a decision today. Every dollar I don't spend on bus fair, diet coke, smoothies, magazines and other indulgences will go into my cookbook fund. Every once in a while, I will get to treat myself to a brand new cookbook! I am starting a wishlist already and I'll mark them off as I acquire them. Make note of this day. I have a feeling a few years done the road I will be questioning my sanity and wondering when I thought it would be a good idea to buy a trillion cookbooks..

Friday, July 15, 2005


Fridays are the longest day of the week. I came into ittired already from my long haul at work, so was unsurprised when I hit the Diet Coke before 9am (filthy habit I have picked up in the last month ~ need the caffeine). Baking was fun and relaxing, got to work with Helen, which I always enjoy. We made:


fudgy brownies

braided rolls.
I actually loved making the braided rolls, once I got the hang of it. Unfortunately, Our Baking class is 8-1 and purchasing is 1:10-6pm, so we had only enough time to throw our junk in our lockers, grap textbooks (and more diet Coke) and run to the next class. Between the carb overdose from baking and the caffeine crash from the Coke, I actually nodded off a few times in purchasing!!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Sugar High Friday ~ Honey

Well, during my two weeks off of school, I got hooked into the blogging world. And when I saw the latest edition of SHF announced, I knew I had to get on the bandwagon. I mean, its honey!! How could a person resist. I obsessed over it for a few days, rolling ideas around in my head, trying a few things out etc. the final result:

Ginger~Honey Mangoes with Honey Mousse and Ginger~Honey tuille. Is that enough honey for you??
The honey mousse was lifted from an epicurious recipe, the tuilles were a two day trial and error project that required some assistance from my favourite forum,and the mangoes were a last minute addition, chosen for their appealing colour. I marinated them for about 12 hours in a a mixture of honey and ginger. Here are the recipes:
Honey Mousse lifted directly from the epicurious recipe.
Ginger Honey Tuilles
Honey tuile
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup honey
1 cups flour
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 egg whites
2 teaspoons ground ginger
Cream the room temp butter, blend in the honey and add the flour, ginger and sugar. Beat until smooth and chill.

Make a template of your desired shape. Spread the tuile batter thinly into this shape and repeat as many times as you can. Bake on a silpat mat at 300' until lightly golden, 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and wrap around a rolling pin or other round shape so that the ends overlap slightly and seal. When cool they will be set hard. Remove from form and set aside.

International Cuisine ~ Russka

Our culinary journey around the world continued today with a stop off in Russia. Apparently, most of what we identify as "Russian Cuisine" is actually the food of the nobles and largely influenced by the French! Judging by the description of what the "great, gray masses" ate pre-revolution, I should be glad we were focusing on this dishes of the aristocrats. The first course, however, was a peasant dish. Borscht ~ and what a comedy of errors that was. Shon, one of my group members, decided he was going to do the soup. It was the easiest thing, so I figured it would be safe. I was wrong. HE started it 20 minutes before we needed to serve and I ended up refusing to let him add potatoes because they would never have cooked out... it came out okay in the end, much to both of our surprise!

The next course was prepared by one of the least communicative group members I have ever worked with. He did his bit and then prepared to pack up his tools while the rest of us slaved away!! I kindly suggested that he might work on one of the other dishes... Anyway, his dish was pojarski ~ a glorified Chicken Nugget!
Finally, the dish I got stuck with: Salmon Kubayalka (or something like that). Basically, it is spinach, mushroom and rice stuffing, hardboiled egg and salmon baked in puff pastry. My fish was perfectly cooked, but the puff pastry could have gone longer.

It was a bloody long day though, because after I finished class, I had to dash over to work and do a 2-7:30 shift. By the time I got home, I was exhausted and my feet were ready to explode. So it was a nice surprise to find a parcel from Nic of Baking Sheet. Inside was some drinking chocolate, some eating chocolate and some biscotti! What a wonderful surprise ~ and I must have that recipe!

To make the evening perfect, after a light dinner of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches (comfort food!!), Rob made a nice hot foot bath for me and finished it up with a foot rub. What a way to unwind, eh?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

NARC ~ MidAtlantic Day Two

Today was a MUCH better day. We went into class prepared for an extra long demo, so I had the long cooking stuff on the stove/in the oven before Chef Christopher started talking. Everything went really smoothly. Too easy almost~none of that crazy, heart~pumping adrenaline that you get when you are in the you~know~what... Menu was Vichysoisse, Waldorf Salad and Shrimp Cakes with some sides.

The soup was my project. I realised as I sat at home tonight that I have done pretty much every soup we have made. Its not a deliberate choice, it just happens that way. Anyway, vichysoisse is a chilled potato and leek soup garnished with cream and chives. Here is my rendition of it. Positive feedback from the chef: good taste, good consistency. Constructive criticism: when using whole chives as garnish, be careful not to cover the whole soup ~ let them run up on the edge of bowl if necessary.
Waldorf salad ~ not my cup of tea, I am afraid. It was delicious, but exceptionally rich and I LOATHE salads that require a bed of lettuce. I didn't make it, so I won't share criticism.

Shrimp cakes with matchstick potatoes, baked cherry tomato and spaghetti squash. The shrimp cakes were excellent, very moist and flavourful. Everything else was pretty self~explanatory. I plan to make those cakes again, though. They were GOOD! Anyway, I am almost deliriously tired, I should stop typing before I become incomprehensible.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

NARC ~ Mid Atlantic Cuisine

This week, we focussed on the Mid Atlantic Cuisine. We also met our new chef~instructor, Christopher Klutzinger. I am going to reserve judgement for now because I have only met him once. I am nervous though ~ what if we have another Tim on our hands??
Anyway, back to the menu. First, Corn Crepes with Pan Smoked Shrimp and Asparagus.

The crepes were a little too dark because someone didn't chop the corn before they put it in the crepe batter and it tore everytime I tried to flip one. So I just cooked the hell out of them on one side and then flipped them onto a plate. The shrimp was the highlight of this dish, delicately smoky and perfectly cooked. I think if I had been given the opportunity, I would have plated this differently, but the demo went way over and we were scrambling for time. I'll save the rant to the end of the post...
Next, the main course: Pennsylvania Pork Roast with glazed vegetables, Dill Dumplings and Spinach Timbales.

The pork was pot roasted and was amazing ~ tons of flavour, very tender, etc. The dumplings were good as well, but I would have changed the herbs to match the pork roast. Spinach Timbales were ...interesting. They took far longer to cook than the recipe said, and were a nightmare to unmold, but I liked the way they tasted.
Now, on to the rant (It just wouldn't be a post from me without a rant). Class went over, way over. 5:30, I started washing dishes for all I was worth. People stood around and bitched about how late we were going to be. I was washing so fast, my heart rate was way up, I was cursing into the steaming sink and the few lucky souls who got to do dishes with me were treated to a run through of every bad word known to man. I took an hour for us to wash those dishes, and when I finally lifted my head from the sink, dripping with sweat, half the floors weren't clean, there were plates with food on them sitting around. I nearly lost my mind. Thankfully, Rachel gave me a lift to Granville Island so I could have a few drinks in honour of Stephanie's imminent departure for Japan.
Post Arts Club, I was whipping up a quick dinner for Katie, Rob and myself. I pulled a pan out of the oven, warned Rob and Katie not to touch and then proceeded to grab the searing hot handle. When I realised what I had done, I dropped the pan and it hit the floor, shooting hot fat at Katie's leg. teh moral of this story? I am not sure, but I think not cooking dinner after G&T's fits in there somewhere.
We did get to enjoy my SHF entry for dessert!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Intro to Baking and some research on the side

Last of the new classes and the one I am most concerned about ~ Introduction to Baking. I am not concerned because I think I am a bad baker necessarily, but because I will be marked according to my groupmates performance. Which is scary if I end up in a bad group. (So far, so good). Today was very simple, two recipes. The first was Sweet Dinner Rolls, yeast dough with a little egg and sugar added. We did first rise, knocked it down and then scaled little 40 gram balls which were proofed in a fancy, state of the art proofing oven, then egg washed and baked. Someone in our group had shaping issue, but we don't know who because we didn't mark them...

They were very salty tasting when they were hot, but as they cooled, they became mildly sweet and soft. We also got to learn about the science of yeast dough and baking, which was neat.
The next recipe was our choice from three cookie recipes (which I plan to share next week): Flourless Chocolate Cookies, Cinnamon Butter Cookies and Peanut Butter Sandies. Our group opted for PB Sandies ( Because we all love peanut butter). The sandies were not too peanutty, not too sweet and nice and crisp.

I may have accidentally brought some home. (We aren't allowed to bring home food from school ~ we can eat as much as we like on site, but nothing can leave the third floor. New Rule.)
After class, I ate my leftovers quickly in the short break and then it was on to a (shortened) Purchasing Class, for which I was completely ahead and was bored out of my mind. After class, I stopped by the library to pick up the first of many books I have requested on the history of food.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Dinner Experiment ~ Steamed Tofu

I was feeling creative, so I decided to try steaming Tofu. I marinated it for 24 hours and then steamed for 20 minutes in the marinating liquid. The result was flavourful and the leftovers were even better.

International Cuisine ~ Scandinavia

I think I am really going to like this course. I know some students were dozing, but I was soaking up every little detail about the evolution of traditional cuisines. I think I am going to have take some books out of the library for further research. Anyway, we had a light cooking day because of a long lecture. Very simple really, Baked Dill Cured Salmon with Creamed Potatoes and Pickled Cucumber. Photo to follow. Also, I should add that a new feature is available on request ~ recipes! I plan to set up a separate blog for recipes, but for the time being, I will only post if requested.

oh, and I didn't even know my school had an honour roll or Dean's List, but it does and I am on it!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Melon with Citrus and Candied Ginger

Not school related, but a recipe request. It doesn't specify what kind of melon, but the ones in the picture appear to be canteloupe or musk melon.

Melon with Citrus and Candied Ginger

3.5 pounds melon (1.75lbs net after seeds and rind)
3.75 cups sugar
1 orange
1 lemon
3.5 ounces preserved ginger

Choose ripe and fragrant melons. Cut them into eight wedges and remove the seeds. Remove the flesh and slice the melon. Rinse and scrub the orange and lemon in cold water, slice them into thin rounds and cut each round into four. Remove the seeds. In a bowl, combine the sliced melon, citrus pieces and sugar. Cover and allow to macerate fro 1 hour.
Pour into a preserving pan and bring to a simmer. Return to bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Next day, pour preparation through a fine sieve. Bring the collected juice to a boil, skim and continue cooking on high heat. The syrup will be sufficiently concentrated at 221F on a candy thermometer. Add the fruit and preserved ginger. Bring to a boil once more, skim and boil five minutes stirring gently. Check the set. Pour into jars and seal.
From Christine Ferber's Mes Confitures

NARC Day 2 ~ Corned Beef, etc

I learned today that I don't care for New England Boiled Dinners. Something about Corned beef just turns me right off. It ought to be in a sandwhich, not sliced in slabs on your plate, drenched in creamy horseradish sauce. All the same, I did take a picture.

My favourite part was the salad. A Watercress and Butter Lettuce Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette. First of all, I want to talk about the apple cider vinegar we used. It made my stuff I use at home look like plain white vinegar. A French Cider Vinegar, it was rich and fruity, almost balsamic~like. I for one, am converted. I made a simple oil and vinegar dressing out of it and tossed the watercress and butter lettuce in that. Finished the salad with dried cranberries, toasted hazelnuts and Granny Smith Apples.

On to the anecdote of the day. Remember the boy who stole my paring knife? Well, we had to work together again today. He looked at my paring knife, said "Oh, you found your knife?" I said yes and we left it at that. He knows that I know and also that I have no desire to make a big deal out of it. I hope. Who knows, he may be plotting my demise as we speak.