Friday, November 13, 2009

Extra Extra - Starry Fork to Begin Poking into New Areas

Friday the 13th of November, perhaps an auspicious day. So I will at some point very soon have a home computer and start updating much more frequently, but it's been pointed out to me that perhaps I don't need a second/alternative blog for my forays into current events, local politics or popular culture.

The Starry Fork can and will poke into whatever subject is the most fascinating at any current time.

And after all, it's only 90 days now until the Blimpy Shames* arrive on Vancouver's un-sunny shores, I don't think there will be any lack of things to talk about.

In today's news, it is unclear whether Militant Penguin was entirely spared by the fire that razed a group of businesses all housed in the same building. RIP Slickety Jim's Chat N' Chew. I liked your raspberry jam and your crazy menu names. My girl Ange would also like to give a shout-out to the equally dearly departed Kishu - while I personally was not a fan, even from Montreal she is missing your cheapass takeout sushi.

*note: Blimpy Shames is my euphemism for that other thing they will sue you for using the real name of. You know the thing. Big Vancouver party, coming up in February.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Giving Thanks

Hey, I don't know if I mentioned this before, but thanks, dear reader. I'm greatful to have this forum to put out my ideas about cooking and gardening, and food is always better within a community.

One thing I do really love about holidays is the tendency for them to bring families together. We had a Thanksgiving dinner here at my parents' house this year, and though the ever-extending family was spread out over a few different cities, it was really excellent to see the members of my family that could make it. We had an enjoyable evening, with everyone lingering around the table after dinner, satisfied from a wonderful meal, to talk and talk and talk.

Above, you see my mother and I hard at work preparing the stuffing for the turkey. This year we used LOTS of mushrooms (button and shitake), lots of onions, celery that I grew in my garden, some locally baked bread and just about every herb that we have in the garden.

I can take no credit at all for these scrumptious looking pies, which my parents made the day previous. But let me assure you, they taste even better than they look!

Hope that you all had a delicious long weekend as well!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Eggs Flamenco

Behold! Eggs Flamenco! My favourite thing to eat for breakfast. Bar none. (Yes, that does indeed include bacon). It's basically a fresh tomato sauce, with bell peppers, onions and/or garlic, some chili sauce for heat, and the eggs poached right in the sauce. mmmmmmmmmm

It's pretty nice to have access to all this gorgeous homegrown garlic. It's time RIGHT NOW for garlic planting, so if you can, get out there and get it done. It's on my to-do list for tomorrow, I swear. Cook up your onion, get the garlic chopped and ready.

Add some sliced tomatoes. These babies are from the garden, one of mom's and half of one of my dixie golden cultivars, saved from blight and ripened in the nick of time. These don't take long to cook, since you want to keep it fresh. Add the peppers, garlic and chili (we use sambal oelek). Then make little pockets in the sauce, put the eggs in, turn to a lower heat and put a lid on it for about 3-4 minutes.

Which all comes together in a very short amount of time to give you the finished product, all rich and saucey and delicious. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Belated birthday supper

So what became of that fabulous ripe Dixie Golden tomato I grew this year? You'll no doubt be thrilled to hear that I supped on it as a part of my birthday celebrations with my parents this year.

At my request, the menu was steak, and my mom wanted to try the tomato jus I posted about a little while back. I don't think the steaks came out quite as well this time, I may have been crowding the pan a bit, and also the tomatoes were a bit cut-up, so they released a bit more liquid into the pan during cooking than the ones I used last time, which had never even seen a knife.

We also put some green onions into the sauce, which was a nice addition.

Served with stir-fried vegetables. The broccoli was cooked with a bit of chopped tarragon, which lends an interesting effect. Probably better the more you like tarragon...

But without a doubt, my beautiful tomato was the tastiest thing on my plate. Well-grown. Happy birthday to meee.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

An Embarrassment of Tomatoes

Shortly after completing my last tomato post, and smugly satisfied at using almost all my outstanding garden tomatoes, I went out to water my plants.

And came back in with another large bowl full.

Now, don't get me wrong. What with the advent of today's cool grey misty rain, it's clear that tomato season is coming to an end. I'm going to treasure all these little gems, and try not to waste any due to laziness or poor dinner planning.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tomato Envy

Lately it's all I can do to stay on top of eating all the tomatoes that are being thrown at me. Not only are they cheap and fabulous in the stores and farmers markets, but my mom and my cousin's boyfriend are constantly on me to eat the overflow tomatoes from their gardens, and my own dear heritage plant even seems ready to deliver a ripe tomato in the next couple days. ohhhhh yeah baby!

Come with me now, on a tomato tour around the garden and kitchen:

These little yellow gems are from Dan's garden. He has the Italian touch with tomatoes, and all his plants are putting out truly sickening amounts of fruit. (bastard!) But in his favour, he has given me carte blanche to take whatever I want, especially the yellow ones, which he doesn't much like, and were mostly rotting on the plant. The red beauty in the upper left corner is one of my mother's tomatoes, waiting patiently to be used in something delicious.

These guys were just a little bit past their prime, and did not make the cut for breakfast. Back to the compost for you, boys.

Sizzling up in some butter. mmmmm, delicious butter.

Aaand - breakfast. Sautee'd tomatoes, free range eggs, butter and cheesie toast. Amen. Please excuse the messy plating, I was in a rush to eat this awesome-smelling food. But I'm well aware that that kind of shit would not cut it in the real cheffy world.

And now, into the garden:

One of my mom's tomato plants - despite being left untended for like 5 weeks and having no trellis or support, this sprawling plant is producing dozens of big fat delicious tomatoes. Jealous!!

My little heritage plant is finally making some big tomatoes, but the weather is starting to turn, and I'm worried that they'll have to be harvested green.

But one or two of them will definitely be ripe in time. Some interesting pathogen growth on the one on the right there.

Even if I don't get a single other ripe tomato, I feel that this guy here, glowing orange and just about ready to be plucked, will totally have been worth it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bright Harvest 2 - Back For Breakfast

Alas, it's just about time for me to say goodbye to my delicious garden-fresh lettuce - aboohoohoo. There's just barely enough left for a sandwich, but I'll have to get it quickly before the caterpillars finish it off. I probably could have gotten one more generation of seedlings going if I'd been on the ball a few weeks ago. Ah well, it's back to the pricey store-bought stuff for the winter. I love you lettuce, it's been fun.

Also, check out this big ripe strawberry, which formed the cornerstone of my healthy, well-balanced breakfast yesterday.