And, another fine week it has been. The garden beds were cleaned out of their leaves just in the nick of time. Literally, the last rake was retired for the winter at dusk on Wednesday and then came the rains. Pam Carter, the master gardener responsible for the beautiful planter boxes at the Bistro and her crew (most of whom are also master gardeners) close and open my garden each season. Pam is an “Edward Scissors Hand” when it comes to pruning, I am a hack. So, rather than my greenery look like it had a bad haircut she works her magic. She and “the girls” took tarp after tarp of fallen leaves into the woods and to celebrate the end of the gardening season we all enjoyed a glass of wine together and started the plan for next year. These women are so knowledgeable and I truly take pleasure visiting with them. I know the feeling is mutual as they all want “cooking lessons” with Mary.
Speaking of cooking lessons a best friend, JoAnn Clements, asked me a few months ago to teach her a few techniques, particularly fish preparation. So we’ve had a couple of kitchen sessions and as a result some great meals have been shared. Another friend kindly shared with me several salmon and halibut filets that her brother-in-law caught in Alaska. So, to use it I made salmon burgers that were out-of-this world delicious and a one pan Halibut Pot Roast. Both very easy, both YUM! For the latter I placed the seasoned and seared halibut on a bed of lightly sautéed julienne onions, red peppers, garlic, fresh thyme (still alive and well in the herb garden) and a few precooked new potatoes sliced. Sprinkle with a touch of white wine, pop into a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes and voila dinner is served. My personal preference is to use a cast iron skillet as I like the even heat transference and rustic look it brings to the table as a serving dish.
As a reciprocal favor Jo helped me catalog ALL my cookbooks which took most of a day. I think we spent as much time leafing through some of them as we did creating our list. The oldest is a little leather pocket guide “A Selection of Dishes and the Chef’s Reminder” a “High Class Culinary Text Book” published in 1904. It was a birthday present from my sister Liz. Another, “The Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook” a first edition published in 1950 evoked fond recollections of our mother’s pouring over their copies as they prepared the daily dinner. Which, by the way, they both cooked every day and for 9 people as each had 7 children. I love going through my cookbooks as most have a story behind them as many were gifts over the years. I recently learned that MSU has created a culinary library and I will at sometime “re-gift” my collection to them.
And more about cooking…our fall menu will debut sometime this week. Sharon and crew have been developing recipes and there are nice changes in store. Per usual the ChalkBoard Features are creative and delicious. As a Starter there is house made Pimento Cheese served with Celery Sticks and the Bistro Plates include seared Sea Scallops presented with a Savory Boursin Tart; a 1# Bone-In Ribeye topped with Grilled Onions and Mushrooms; Parmesan Crusted Turbot Accompanied with Soft Style Polenta; Swordfish Picatta Served with Orzo, Spinach and a Lemon Caper Butter Sauce and for Dessert Pumpkin-Goat Cheese Pie.
Niki and Pico are at my side keeping me company as I write and send puppy kisses to all. Z is his wonderful self and takes care of his “people” Courtney and me with love and kindness. Life is good!
Let’s Make Every Day A Million Dollar One!!!
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AT THE BISTRO!!!
Certified Executive Chef and Owner of Diamond Jim Brady's Bistro