A new year has started, and so has cooking from a new cookbook for the Rainy Day Bites Cookbook Club. For this month, we are cooking from Small Victories by Julia Turshen. On the surface it might appear that it is a simple, back to basics cookbook, explaining basic skills with straightforward recipes. Oh it is so much more than that.
It’s Winter. We had a late start, but then it came with a vengeance. The temps had been bordering on unbearable (for us weak Torontonians) The wind was whistling away for a few days in a row. But this Monday seems to be pretty decent (until this evening when freezing rain is due!) The laundry has been started, so the cats will be in their happy place before long (sleeping in the fresh out of the dryer towels!)
Borscht is a funny little soup. Beet soup. It’s pink. Or magenta. A staple in Northern and Eastern Europe. The kind of soup that your Oma or Babushka would make. It’s truly a cozy, comfort, stick to your ribs kind of soup. And one of Jim’s favourites. So it’s just a matter of time once winter gets here before he is asking for it.
Seriously, the wind sounds ominous today! The sky is dark despite the hour (10 am as I write this) and the snow is whipping around in a funnel here outside our balcony. It’s January. And it’s a real Winter day. And thank goodness we have citrus!
Bread. I love it. I’m not sure about it’s feelings for me though. Somewhat ambivalent, I’d imagine. But that doesn’t stop me from pursuing this relationship. I have accepted that there will be times that I will pay for indulging my bread cravings. But thus far, I’ve accepted the consequences. And for the most part, the side effects are momentary and bearable. So no gluten free for me!
One September morning when we were visiting Amsterdam, I got a message from Teri Turner, the force behind the No Crumbs Left food blog. She is an amazing cook, and an enthusiastic support of all whom she comes across in the foodie world. And I am happy to say that we had met once in person, in Chicago. This time around, she was inviting me to attend a special workshop/retreat she was planning for December, in Napa, California.
For a dessert that I really only bake up once or twice a year, it has a pretty hard to forget name. And hard to pronounce! (Fish-de-kakah, don’t laugh!) I can’t explain why I don’t bake it up a few times during the winter months, because it is a joy to whip up, and has some of my all time favourite flavours: marzipan and cardamom. And visually, it’s a stunner. It always makes me feel like a snowy day in Sweden or Norway when I decorate it, and makes me wish for a fireplace and fair isle sweaters.
The first day of 2017! And it’s a lazy day. Tomorrow I will plow full steam ahead with healthy dishes. But today, being a Sunday, it’s the last chance to relax the rules a touch. Time for Brunch.
So I present, The Bloody Caesar. Like the Bloody Mary, only better! And uniquely Canadian. So unique, that for the most part, if Canadians are visiting the States, and try to order one in a restaurant, they will be hard pressed to find a bartender who can make one. First of all the bar tender will think you want a salad, with bacon, cheese and romaine lettuce.
Meatballs. Little self contained orbs of goodness. A movie was named after them. A song was written about them. Even a 70’s rock star was named after them. Oh wait… that was Meatloaf. Sorry…oh, close enough.
We can’t imagine a good dish of spaghetti and marinara sauce, without a few meatballs nestled comfortably on those pasta ribbons.