Saturday, May 30, 2009
Tis' the season for fresh salad, and fresh ingredients, which after a long winter are now available from the local Growers Markets.
I headed down around noon today to get the ingredients to restock the GD we have been out of for well over a week. No small thing in this food oriented household...
Picked up some organic flat leaf parsley from Fry Family Farms produce stand and some fresh garlic so freshly picked, the skins were pure white and cloves still wet and packed with some serious heat. Along with some beautiful red onions, clearly the best purchase made on the way out, was a bunch of gorgeous Peonies for a mere three dollars.
Back to the garlic dressing, to provide a historical angle, it started with The Backroads' fresh salads and their incredibly delicious sweet garlic dressing.
We were hooked. They sell it there at the restaurant, but its ridiculously expensive for a small container, and they close down for three months in the winter.
Dave grows a crop of around 200 fantastic garlic each year, organic, huge and so tasty. Since I had the garlic to experiment with, I started working the waiters for clues to the ingredients. Coupled with some research online, I was off and running and eventually came up with this recipe.
My dressing varies depending on the amount of garlic I put in, and the heat the variety packs. Dave grows a mild sweet crop, but occasionally I will purchase some (like today) that is hot and adds a whole nuter' element.
We use it on and in everything, from salads to stir fry, grilled salmon, dipping sauce for home baked pizza, pasta, eventually, everything tastes boring without it poured on top, or worked into the recipe (must be the italian in me..) so I'm posting my recipe, I never measure specific, just general amounts, you can't ruin it.
Everything with garlic rules!
Roses' Garlic sauce/dressing
6 heads of garlic
one generous cup of EVO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
one cup of water (or more depending on the consistency you like)
about... 1/4 cup Cider Vinegar
about...1/4 cup or less of Brown Sugar
about ...!/3 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
a very generous splash of soy sauce
a generous amount of Kosher Salt and lots of Fresh Ground Pepper
....about two tablespoons each.
Get started by cutting the tops off three of the garlic heads and drizzle some olive oil on them, wrap in aluminum foil and bake in the oven until the kitchen has that fantastic smell of roasted garlic, about 30 minutes at 350. and let sit in the oven while it cools down. This can be done the night before or even a day or two before.
Start peeling the rest of the raw heads of garlic. I smash them with the knife-its supposed to make them more potent...
Squeeze the roasted garlic out through the cut tops, or strip them and put the raw and the roasted garlic together in the food processor along with the olive oil and process for a few minutes until combined, add the rest of the ingredients in any order or all at once, except for the water and process till thick and creamy. Then through the feeding tube in the top of the processor with the unit slowly running start adding the cup of water until it becomes a thinner consistency, if its too garlicky, add more oil or water to taste, I like mine totally heavy on the garlic....
Friday, May 29, 2009
Shocking how fast the week flys by, I haven't even had a chance to count how many ads I've designed over the past few weeks, in addition to an additional 8 pages to layout this month.
Up visiting from the Bay Area last weekend, Deb gave me some fantastic tips and coupled with the online InDesign classes I have been taking from Creativetechs, I am having a great time designing the June issue, even if it has eaten my life and any free time.
On the homefront, its raining blobs of cotton from my cottonwood trees. A gust of wind and it looks like its snowing. The driveway looks like a washer has overflowed and the suds distributed along the gravel. Every year I deal with this in a different way, I've learned the hard way, not to bend up and down and pluck every blob on the lawn up - I can't move the following day. Raking takes forever, mowing it clogs the engine, and I sure can't afford to have my lawn mower go down... I might try leaf blowing it into the blackberries bushes along the edge of the lawn, or talk to the nice lawn maintenance guy down the road and see if he has such a thing as a lawn vacuum for hire.
Moving on to less stressful topics, we finally made it to Medford this week for the Britts' seasons summer concert tickets. This has to be one of the most disappointing line ups of the past ten years. I didn't sign on to volunteer this summer, my job has limited my available time. I cashed in my raffle sellers prize from last summer in exchange for two tickets to see Elvis Costello, and we purchased tickets for the Indigo Girls, Pink Martini, and Michael Franti and Spearhead, back for a fourth year, can't wait to see them again.
Well, the sun is now rising, my coffee helping to motivate me, and I'm reminded of a quote I just highlighted in a story we are running this month on Aggie Pilgrim.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is our gift, and we better use it wisely.” Agnes Baker-Pilgrim
On that note, I think I'll wander outside, water the garden and take some pictures of the cotton everywhere!
Y'all have a great weekend, Ms Leah, hope you're not too sore to get back on those ponies and ride!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Last weekend we took a road trip up to Applegate lake instead of the coast as planned and explored a piece of paradise close to the California border.
Its finally settling into some warm weather and I'm analyzing the pattern I moan about in the winter as I enjoy the benefits of the brick house I hate for 6 months and love the rest of the year. This time of the year I love sleeping with the windows open and hearing the birds calling to each other in the morning. The day closes with crickets cricketing and the sight of bats circling overhead fading out to a starry sky that is a canopy of twinkling diamonds.
When winter rolls around I'm scratching my head why I am still here in the miserable grey weather that is the Pacific Northwest, but in the summer its a love affair.
The picture above is worth a thousand words.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I taught a class in iWeb this past weekend at The Guild, it was actually pretty fun especially creating the support sheets and learning some additional things via the awesome Apple videos. Here's the link to the excellent iLife tutorials http://www.apple.com/ilife/tutorials/#iphoto starting with iPhoto, these are for the 09' version, but you can do a search for previous ones.
iWeb is a fantastic program, smoothly integrating with iPhoto, and its so user friendly. Equally impressive are the templates in iWeb and also the iWorks program- so well designed and a joy to play around with. I hope to do a class in the future on creating a portfolio with Keynote. One of the other impressive features is the ability to export to other formats, pdf, to email, or a Powerpoint presentation that is PC friendly for those not on a Mac.
I'm working on the Young at Heart June issue and enjoying the creative process, just added an additional 8 pages to this issue and there are so many more ads being sold, I'm cranking out ads daily! I just completed working up a logo/type design and PR kit, with Pages (the print part of iWorks) for the next event Young at Heart is sponsoring in October, A Medford Senior Affair.
There are times that my muse is satisfied with the creative challenges of this job and other times I am challenged by the limitations. Today I choose to see the glass overflowing.