01 June 2009

The Best Laid Plans...

J woke up Sunday morning with a hankerin' for something sweet. So much for my soft boiled eggs and asparagus plan. I had an awful lot of apples to use up so it was pancakes with sauteed apples (with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla) for the big guy. I had soft boiled eggs with some toasted leftover ciabatta - yum. Life is better with toast, isn't it?

We spent much of the day outdoors, planting the final seedlings, fertilizing everything, and doing general garden maintenance. J put together his outdoor armoire/shed (I say armoire. He says shed. Potato-potato - let's call the whole thing off.) The big project was taking all of the tomato hanging baskets down to fertilize them. That's a lot of overhead work. One of the hanging tomatoes didn't make it (not bad for 12 hanging pots), so we replaced it with a seedling left over from our already-crowded garden. Let's hope the little one takes.

I headed inside while J worked on the cars in his manly way (changing oil and other fluids and plugging two tires with nails and screws in them). It was time to cook up a mess of applesauce. Thirteen apples, half a stick of butter, a fair amount of brown sugar, kosher salt, cinnamon, and cognac later, I was whizzing the soft, fragrant apples (pink lady and red delicious) in my Cuisinart. (Sorry Teri, it's not a KitchenAid). Man, that stuff is tasty. It's sweet and soft and tinted a faint pinkish-brown (pink = apple peels, brown = cinnamon). If we don't eat the rest of the apples by the end of the week, another batch of applesauce will definitely be in order.

While the applesauce cooled on the counter, I cleaned out the Cuisinart (Teri, calm down!) and whipped up a batch of hummus. I usually don't like the stuff at all, but I've been craving it like crazy this week. Fortunately, I always have several cans of chickpeas handy and J likes keeping lemons in the house for his soda habit. With a little garlic, olive oil, tahini, kosher salt, and a lot of Tabasco (a Cajun girl's pantry staple), I had a big batch of hummus in no time. I toyed with the idea of sending J out to scoop up some pita chips before I remembered I had some low-fat whole wheat pitas in the house. I cut them into wedges, sprayed them with canola oil, salted them, and slipped them into the toaster oven until they were crispy. Awesome! They were so crunchy and toasty delicious.

Dinner was not going to involve a compromise to suit J's sweet tooth. I was making pasta with poached eggs for sure. I switched up my recipe this time to include the shallots and young garlic we picked up with our share. I also threw in some of the asparagus. Penne was the lucky pasta of the day. I cooked down some onions with the shallots, young garlic, regular garlic, and (you guessed it) tons of red pepper flakes and a generous glug of olive oil. Before everything burned, I splashed in a glass of a tasty local white wine. That reduced to a chunky amber-hued syrup while the penne cooked. I tossed it all together with some pasta cooking water until the penne was fully cooked and coated with the good stuff. Off the heat I added some olive oil, lemon juice, chopped chives (fresh from my garden), and fluffy shredded Parmesan cheese. I plated the pasta in bowls and snuggled a couple of poached eggs on top of each. A fresh grinding of black pepper was the finishing touch before I popped open the yolks and coated the whole bowl of pasta and veg in their velvety lusciousness. Boy, was that tasty!

J was kind enough to put all of the food away (he ate well, so I didn't feel guilty about refusing to get off of the couch after dinner). Our fridge is bursting at the hinges full of food from the shares and my cooking spree this weekend, so life is good. I'll grab some of the tomato sauce from Saturday and the whole wheat ravioli I've got tucked into the top shelf of the refrigerator to whip up a quick dinner tonight. I may toss the pea shoots with lemon juice and olive oil for a light salad on the side. One thing is for sure...it's applesauce for dessert!

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