Thursday, July 15, 2010
yeah, I'm gonna marry a carrot
Okay, so it isn't a carrot, but wouldn't you marry this roasted garlic?. Especially if you'd grown it yourself in your very own garden and then harvested it triumphantly? Like this?
And for the honeymoon wouldn't you want to spread it on french bread and eat it with soup?
There hasn't been a whole lot of recipe-heavy cooking around here lately. Ingredients are fresh and need minimal messing with. And the heat wave took what little cooking desire I had and punched it in the face. Quick meals have been the order of the day, the less heat involved, the better.
But I did want to put up a post about how exciting it is to be eating out of the garden again. For example, my lonely little strawberry plant yielded exactly six strawberries, but boy, were they ever delicious. I ate three of them, some unknown human or animal ate one, and I gave the remaining two to the Man of Science, because I am nice like that.
Besides the strawberries and the garlic, we have been enjoying fresh herbs with almost every meal. Earlier in the season I got some very weak looking mint seedlings from the Hope Garden, and I stuck them in a pot on the front steps and asked them nicely not to die. As usual, good manners led to success and they survived and thrived. I spent a lot of evenings during the heat wave drinking glasses of ice water with mint sprigs jammed into them, which is perhaps the most refreshing drink ever.
And tonight! Tonight I harvested a ton of mint, cilantro, and basil to make the filling for some spring rolls along with some fried tofu and shredded carrots. Which was delicious, in case you couldn't have guessed.
The best way I've found to get the garden grit out of herbs (and other greens) is to drop them into a bowl of cool water and just leave them there for a few minutes. Then gently lift them out and let them dry in a strainer or on a tea towel. A bit of a pain, but way better than sand in your spring rolls.
And afterwards there may be enough mint left for a cup of tea.
-The Man of Science and I went to a local restaurant called Atelier for his (slightly belated) birthday dinner and I was so impressed. Past experience with "fine dining" restaurants has made me a bit cynical about their willingness to make a vegan meal. Some places have staff who will just sigh heavily and bring you some pasta covered in olive oil and overloaded with salt. But Atelier's website said they were willing to accomodate vegetarian and gluten free diets, so I forged ahead and asked them to make a vegan meal. No one batted an eye. I guess because they specialize in non-traditional cooking (their whole thing is molecular gastronomy) they are very willing to experiment. We were served amazingly delicious dishes that weren't just meat dishes with the meat removed. There was tofu and chickpea cakes for protein as well as amazing vegetables (some from the restaurant's own on-site garden). The complicated dishes were extraordinary, but so were the simple ones (I can't wait to try to recreate their fresh green pea soup with mint. ) So Ottawa vegans looking to splurge, this place is worth your money.
-Some non-food experiences that I've enjoyed in the last week included: seeing Joan Jett and the Blackhearts play an incredible show at Bluesfest. When the first two songs she played were Bad Reputation and Cherry Bomb, I knew it was going to be a good time. And on Monday night Megan and I went to see an amazing band from Chicago called Hollows. They were so good we stayed awake and upright for the whole show, even though we both hadn't had enough sleep the night before and the band didn't finish until after midnight.
-Blog Out Loud went very well. I wasn't too nervous and people laughed at my crazy story about trying to teach my first boyfriend how to make rice. Megan and I got lots of compliments on our non-intentionally similar outfits.
This Time Last Year: Ginger Chocolate Cookies FTW