Sunday, April 3, 2011


Lentil ragout tonight, over pasta with crispy kale strips. True to form, I didn't consider how much 250 g of lentils actually was before I chopped an amount of vegetables proportionate to that, but oh well. I see nothing wrong with some extra mushrooms and mirepoix, though, and plus, I got extra practice on my brunoise.

And then I made green tea swirl bread. It had a good richness to it thanks to a little butter worked in brioche-style. My only criticism is that the loaf was quite small (the opposite of my usual problem with recipes). It didn't fill my loaf pan even after a good long second rise, which is fine because I can only give away so much bread, but not so fine in terms of aesthetics. Okay, not the only criticism: there wasn't enough salt. I thought twice when I saw that it only called for a quarter teaspoon, but even given the small size of the loaf, a third to a half a teaspoon would have been more apt.

A lovely friend* gave me and Andy a wedding present that is right up my alley: The Geometry of Pasta and The Flavor Thesaurus. The thesaurus is a fantastic compendium of flavor combinations.  There were some that I had never thought of but that sound delicious (goat cheese, caper, and beet salad; blueberries and blue cheese; chocolate and thyme; I'll stop now). There are some I had thought of and now feel way too self-satisfied about (watermelon and cilantro, the entry for which is rather amusing). And then there are the combinations that the author warns against, either because they're trite or because they're unpleasant, or both ("Chocolate & strawberry: Not all it's cracked up to be. [...] Doesn't a strawberry dipped in chocolate just look like a fruit wearing big underpants? And aren't they the sort of thing corporate raiders feed to call girls in cream-colored hotel rooms?"). Basically, this is a book that is going to occupy way too much of my attention. I can't wait to throw a dinner party once the glory that is summer produce really kicks in.

Plus, it has a ribbon bookmark. I've always had an enormous pro-ribbon bookmark bias, which is part of the reason why, as a seven-year-old, I continued to read Snugglepot and Cuddlepie despite the fact that it terrified me.

*She's lovely even when she's not giving me presents, don't you worry. I'd actually spent the evening pouring wine with her at a fundraiser for an upcoming production of Henry Purcell's The Fairie Queene. It's in June, and I have a sneaking suspicion it's going to be fantastic; don't miss it!

1 comment:

  1. Credit to the Strand for carrying an awesome cookbook selection. My own favorite from browsing the Flavor Thesaurus was "chocolate & almond: the taste of parental guilt"