One of the many benefits of making your own crusty loaves of bread on a regular basis is a plethora of bread ends to turn into the very best croutons ever. Honestly, I have been spoiled forever and will never buy a box of them again. Not that I ever really did before.
So I made some. And remember those spiced nuts I put away for a salad later? Well this is it. I had so been looking forward to a big salad since that no-shop drought… Mike went and bought a box of organic salad greens. I finely cubed a butternut squash and roasted it, and had some soft goat cheese. The whole thing was orchestrated like a perfect salad symphony.
And when the time came to assemble it, I pulled the box out of the back of the fridge. W had been playing with the temperature control, cranked it up as high as it would go, and the greens were frozen. Solid.
So I ran over to the market, but they only had Romaine. Which was a bit of a letdown. But I made up for it by – drumroll, please – instead of sprinkling the spiced nuts overtop, finely chopping them and then rolling walnut-sized balls of soft goat cheese in them to coat, making little goat cheese truffles that were crunchy-spicy on the outside with a soft interior; they would have been great for a party plate, but worked perfectly atop a salad as you can cut through them with your fork like soft butter.
Really, you could do this with any kind of soft cheese and finely chopped toasted nuts, and any variety of spiced or candied nuts, given a pulse (do it gently to avoid making nut butter, although that would be pretty damn tasty too) in the food processor.
Good news! I have been scouting out some stuff for FSF, and have been promised some fun and yummy things. Which I will wait to have delivered into my own hands before I give away.
Meanwhile, I’ve been pondering whether my idea for this week’s Free Stuff Friday is completely silly or not. (I imagine opinions will be split on the matter.) But I keep coming back to not – because of the whole idea of our food having a history and a story to tell. So this week I’m going to instigate our first (and perhaps only, depending on how it goes) Free-for-All Friday and give away 40 year old sourdough starter that originated in the kitchens of the Banff Springs Hotel, to anyone who would like some, complete with instructions on how to keep it going once it takes up residence in your own fridge. And of course you can then pass it on.
Depending on how this goes I’ll either spend a morning delivering jars all over town, or we could coordinate a coffee somewhere, or something. (We’d be like the groups of moms with babies, only all with jars of smelly starter.) But if you love the idea of a sourdough starter and want to get your own going from this monster, here’s your chance. Put your name in, and next week I’ll compile them and figure out the logistics.
And as a consolation prize for those of you who are not in town (or don’t want starter), I’ll draw for a copy of One Smart Cookie. (I take all your comments and then use a random number generator to pick a number – or sometimes I yell downstairs to Mike and say “pick a number between 1 and 58!”)
This week I’d love to know about those dishes that have a story to tell. Perhaps a history in your family, or with friends; those that have been handed down from past generations, or anything you do for a particular holiday or season. Or… whatever you ate for dinner last night.