Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Midwinter Feast

In addition to being a culinary collector, I'm a cookbook collector as well. I don't know if I have quite 101 cookbooks, lined up there on the (full) shelf in my kitchen, but I certainly have a lot. I have way more recipes than I could ever hope to prepare in the sixty or so more years I plan to live. They are tantalizing things, and often, perusing my cookbook stacks with a cup of tea, they inspire me into conjuring a menu. And what's the fun of conjuring a menu if you never prepare it? And, furthermore, what's the point of preparing a full dinner party menu for two people?


Hence, this menu was conjured, and yesterday it was prepared.

Black Bread:Bulgarian Spicy Tomato Soup with Dumplings (top picture)
Georgian Vegetable Torte (also top picture)
Stewed Mushrooms (not pictured)
Hot Apple Compote:

It all started with the bread. Who among us could bear to pass up a bread recipe calling for, among other things, potato, chocolate, rye flour, caraway, nutmeg, cinnamon, and coffee? It promised to be "as inviting as the twinkle of an eye," and, well, it was.

Other highlights included:

A husband who just won't cooperate (even with my mom!).

Lots of love time for Pete.

That's Patrick's Grandma, Pearle, in the picture. Starting next month, she's my boss. It's going to be my job to sit with her, keep her company during her long empty days, and listen to her stories. I'm looking forward to it: she's a spry old lady, still so full of wit and humor. She's someone I can try out recipes on, someone I can share my love of doing things by hand with. When she was growing up, doing things by hand was the only way to do them, without electricity or running water. I think I'll be learning a lot from Pearle.


Wildrun said...

Oh, I think it's a cool shot of Patrick and you! Whether he intended it or not.

Kristina said...

Thanks! I won't let him know that, though. :)

Anonymous said...

ooh i'd like to know more about this mushroom dish (and the apple compote! is that meringue I see on top??) and I love 100cookbooks too! have you ever read ?

ChristyACB said...

Okay, those dishes sound so fab, I'm over here drooling! Can you divulge the sources of the recipes? Hmmmmmm?

Kristina said...

Madsilence-- thanks so much for the link! That looks like a great site I hadn't found before.

Christy-- my recipes came from two sources:
The Vegetarian Hearth
Sundays at Moosewood
Thanks for the kudos!

Kami said...

I don't know if it is the same soup you sent over with Patrick, or a different one...but whatever soup it is, I am eating it right now for lunch and L-O-V-I-N-G it...I may need to make out with it soon! Thank you sooooo much for homemade yumminess!

Kristina said...

You are most welcome! The soup I sent you is actually minestrone, not the spicy tomato stuff. I sent those leftovers home with Pat's parents.

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