Category: Food & Fun

New year’s resolution update

Our new year’s resolution was to not buy any wine and only drink what we already had in our collection. So far, we’ve only been half-way successful. Two and a half months in, we haven’t bought any wine. Yay! But thanks to wine leftover after two parties and a generous gift from our realtor, we hadn’t touched the wine in our collection. Boo!

That changed last week, when Nick stopped by Grape Choice, where our wine is being temporarily stored, and brought home a case filled with some real gems.

We tried to remember when we bought the bottle pictured above and concluded that it must have been around the time we got married. As we took the first sip, we were blown away by how absolutely perfect it was. We thought about how some things have to take time in order to be good. They need to be fostered and fermented.

In a few weeks, Nick and I will celebrate 20 years together. (Crazy, I know!) Maybe it’s the nostalgia talking, but I think like wine, relationships get better with age, too.

With the right amount of tending, our hard edges soften and make room for acceptance, forgiveness, and respect. We learn to savor the unique qualities of our friends and partners instead of wishing they were something else. Our patience, loyalty, and connections grow.

Let’s drink it in!

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Painting with chili

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One of the counters in our kitchen happens to be copper-topped. When our pot of red lentil chili overflowed the crockpot earlier this week, it painted a beautiful pink and green splotch. If the counter could talk, it would start it’s first story with “once upon a time, Nick and Carry had a tasty dinner.”

Not going as planned

Hard boiled egg mess

There is much to be said for failure. It is more interesting than success.
~Max Beerbohm, Mainly on the Air, 1946

Our new house came with three lovely chickens. I had the idea of making pesto deviled eggs earlier this week (after an inspiring snack at the Nordstrom holiday shopping event). Unfortunately, I appear to really suck at making hard boiled eggs.

How can a seemingly simple task be so bizarrely confounding?

The standard technique – placing eggs in a pot of boiling water, removing the pot from the heat, and letting the eggs cook for 12-14 minutes – has failed me twice! I hate over-cooked, green yolks, so I cooked them the first time for 12 minutes. The eggs were hard to peel and the yolks were only half-cooked. The next time I tried, I left the eggs in the water for 15 minutes. The results were no better, as the above picture demonstrates.

I made the pesto filling with the yolks, a cup of basil leaves, a few tablespoons of walnuts, a couple shavings of Parmesan, and a spoonful of Veganaise anyway. It was super rich and worked great as sauce for pasta and veggies. All in all a happy failure.

I still can’t figure out what’s wrong with my hard-boiled egg cooking technique, though. Is there a difference between home-grown eggs and commercial eggs that would account for the difference? Do I simply need to cook them even longer?

Good thing the ladies keep laying more eggs. I have a feeling I will be able to keep experimenting until I have the technique down pat.

Knee Update

I know many of you are waiting for pictures from Death Valley. I still haven’t had time to download them from the camera. Here are the most recent posts from my other blogs to keep you busy in the mean time!

Kneed to Know

 
What Carry Eats

A slow-food vegan Thanksgiving

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I love Thanksgiving. It’s one of the few holidays without baggage. It’s a low-commitment gathering that says, let’s just break bread together and enjoy each other’s company.

One of the things I would change about the meal though, if I were hosting it, would be the way it’s served. Instead of having every dish available at once and piling food on your plate until it is grotesquely full, I would serve the meal in courses. Small plates brought out one at a time. It would be a meal to linger over and enjoy.

Nibbles
Herbaltinis or champagne
Toasted marcona almonds

First course
Mixed greens with carrots, apples, & pickled beets

Second course
Roasted Brussels sprouts with pistachios and capers

Third course
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with sautéed leeks and mushrooms drizzled with sage brown butter
Kale with cranberries, fennel, and walnuts

Fourth course
Raw apple crumble
Sweet potato apple pie ice cream
Espresso and mulled wine

Four courses sounds like a lot of work for a hostess, but I think it can be done pretty easily:

It would be simple enough to make the gnocchi days or weeks in advance. They can be frozen, uncooked, until you are ready to drop into boiling water. The desserts and sage brown butter can also be made several days in advance. The morning of, I’d make the two salads, prep the sprouts for baking, and sauté some leeks and mushrooms.

Cocktails and toasted almonds would be available for everyone as they arrived. When we were ready for dinner, I’d pop the sprouts in the oven and serve the pre-plated salads. After a 30 minutes, we’d be done with salads and ready for the sprouts. Mmmm… The gnocchi cooks in about 2 minutes, while you heat the pre-cooked leeks and mushrooms and sage butter in the microwave. Serve that with the alongside the kale salad. Finally, dessert comes out of the fridge and freezer for a nice finish to the meal. Mulled wine or espresso would be nice with this dessert, to contrast the cold crumble and ice cream.

What do you think? Could you pull this off? What else would you serve?

And in case you missed last year’s menu, it’s a bit more traditional.