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June 2004

Friday's Olive Oil Tasting!

The other evening , I had the most surprising and pleasurable experience! I was invited to an olive oil tasting by a new friend of mine, and although I wasn't sure what to expect, I accepted her invitation happily. Sally has a dear friend,Sara who writes for a great little wine magazine in town, and the article that she is currently working on is a comparison of some pretty remarkable olive oils. I was delighted to be able to help with the research, and eager to meet some new "foodie" friends!
When Friday evening arrived it was beautiful, an abundant spring feast with great smells in the air and birds singing endlessly. I arrived at Sara's home, and thought to myself, "What a glorious way to spend a friday evening!" and dove through the door!
Sara and her friends were delightful to meet, but the most fun was yet to occur. Laid beautifully on Sara's dining room table as if they were bottled in flasks of precious gold, were eight of the most intriguing bottles of olive oil that I have ever seen. With them were silver spoons for all of us and lovely plates, napkins and a bowl of water crackers to cleanse our palates!
Sara began to explaining the process by which we would be tasting these luscious oils, first we were to take a tablespoon of each oil and place about 1/3 of it in our palms, rubbing the oil with our fingers until it was warm. Then we to inhale the aroma of each oil and allow the individual fragrances to emerge. Needless to say, this was delightful! I hadn't realized until that evening that olive oils came in so many different varieties and they all have very complex natures, just like really exceptional wines.
Some were fruity, some buttery,other's had the aroma of freshly mown clover hay. There was even an oil that had the distinct aroma of leather and wheat!
As soon as we had experienced enough of the aroma, we were to taste the oil that was left in the spoon, sucking it slowly through our teeth, then allowing the taste to explode on our tongues and eventually swallow, so that we could experience the finish. Incredible...Each oil when experienced in this way, really gives up it's secrets. They were by turns lovely and velvety, resinous and vey spicy. Some slid down your throat like melted butter, others had such a pepery finish that they left you breathless. Each was wonderful!
When the tasting was over, Sara brought out a beautiful platter of shrimp, Maytag bleu cheese and St. Andre, gorgeous red grapes and a lovely Italian red wine. It was the perfect finish to such a lovely evening! Who would have ever thought that tasting eight tablespoons of olive oil could have been such a lovely and sensuous experience! Driving home a passionate bit of opera on WKSU 89.7 kept the experience alive. I've not looked at olive oil in the same way since then. They are so readily available, a bit of molten, fruity gold that we can use as liberally as we choose on so many different foods. For me, the evening was an instant trip to Italy or the sun drenched south of France. For the record, we tasted seven Italian oils, and one exquisite oil from California. I adored the the oil from California. It was sweet and tasted like clover and fresh honey. It's pricey, a commanding 45.00 dollars for the bottle, but absolutely worth it. I probably wouldn't cook with it, but I'd use it to dress a plate of fresh greens, or on some pasta with some fresh tomatoes , garlic and aged parmesan. You can find this treasure at www.longmeadowranch.com
They make two types of oils and the one that you're looking for is named "Prato Lungo". I promise that you will love it! Bon Appetit!


Friday's Olive Oil Tasting!

The other evening , I had the most surprising and pleasurable experience! I was invited to an olive oil tasting by a new friend of mine, and although I wasn't sure what to expect, I accepted her invitation happily. Sally has a dear friend,Sara who writes for a great little wine magazine in town, and the article that she is currently working on is a comparison of some pretty remarkable olive oils. I was delighted to be able to help with the research, and eager to meet some new "foodie" friends!
When Friday evening arrived it was beautiful, an abundant spring feast with great smells in the air and birds singing endlessly. I arrived at Sara's home, and thought to myself, "What a glorious way to spend a friday evening!" and dove through the door!
Sara and her friends were delightful to meet, but the most fun was yet to occur. Laid beautifully on Sara's dining room table as if they were bottled in flasks of precious gold, were eight of the most intriguing bottles of olive oil that I have ever seen. With them were silver spoons for all of us and lovely plates, napkins and a bowl of water crackers to cleanse our palates!
Sara began to explaining the process by which we would be tasting these luscious oils, first we were to take a tablespoon of each oil and place about 1/3 of it in our palms, rubbing the oil with our fingers until it was warm. Then we to inhale the aroma of each oil and allow the individual fragrances to emerge. Needless to say, this was delightful! I hadn't realized until that evening that olive oils came in so many different varieties and they all have very complex natures, just like really exceptional wines.
Some were fruity, some buttery,other's had the aroma of freshly mown clover hay. There was even an oil that had the distinct aroma of leather and wheat!
As soon as we had experienced enough of the aroma, we were to taste the oil that was left in the spoon, sucking it slowly through our teeth, then allowing the taste to explode on our tongues and eventually swallow, so that we could experience the finish. Incredible...Each oil when experienced in this way, really gives up it's secrets. They were by turns lovely and velvety, resinous and vey spicy. Some slid down your throat like melted butter, others had such a pepery finish that they left you breathless. Each was wonderful!
When the tasting was over, Sara brought out a beautiful platter of shrimp, Maytag bleu cheese and St. Andre, gorgeous red grapes and a lovely Italian red wine. It was the perfect finish to such a lovely evening! Who would have ever thought that tasting eight tablespoons of olive oil could have been such a lovely and sensuous experience! Driving home a passionate bit of opera on WKSU 89.7 kept the experience alive. I've not looked at olive oil in the same way since then. They are so readily available, a bit of molten, fruity gold that we can use as liberally as we choose on so many different foods. For me, the evening was an instant trip to Italy or the sun drenched south of France. For the record, we tasted seven Italian oils, and one exquisite oil from California. I adored the the oil from California. It was sweet and tasted like clover and fresh honey. It's pricey, a commanding 45.00 dollars for the bottle, but absolutely worth it. I probably wouldn't cook with it, but I'd use it to dress a plate of fresh greens, or on some pasta with some fresh tomatoes , garlic and aged parmesan. You can find this treasure at www.longmeadowranch.com
They make two types of oils and the one that you're looking for is named "Prato Lungo". I promise that you will love it! Bon Appetit!


Mother's Day!

Every now and then you get these experiences that just fly you back to old memories and open the doors for wonderful new ones! Every mother's day since Alex was born, he and Jim get up and make me the most amazing breakfast, eggs scrambled with onion and garlic, mushrooms and tons(literally!) of american cheese! Oh and of course the MAGIC ingredient, really good kosher hot dogs! My very large dog lives with my parents, and it's my job to walk him and feed him everyday (that's his room and board payment!), so I decided to get up and walk him first and then come back for my gourmet breakfast!
So I drove to my parents house, got "Wolfie" and walked into the back yard. There is no adjective available that can completely describe describe my mom and dad's yard. Alex comes the closest I think when he calls it one of the most enchanted places on earth! My father has such a green thumb! Everywhere you look are beautiful things, special plants that you've never seen before, things that I am sure are brought there by the Fairies! This morning though something caught my eye that I hadn't really seen for years.
When I was a little girl, every mother's day I would race into the yard, and my chubby fingers would start to hunt through the ivy and myrtle for the Virginia Bluebells that would poke their lovely faces through spotted, sun dappled leaves. I always picked them for my mother on that day, thinking how perfect they were as a mother's day gift, all cheerful pink and blue.
When I grew up and got married and had a son of my own , mother's day changed a bit as we added our own traditions. Yet this mother's day is a bit different. My parents are older now and will probably be selling their beloved house this year. As my eyes set upon the bluebells, I realized that this was probably my last chance to pick them for my mother on this special day. The little girls chubby hand reappeared, grab a huge fistful of the happy little flowers. Running into the house, sneaking past my mom in the bathroom, I grabbed her little Warterford vase and ran into the bathroom where she was putting on her makeup. "Happy Mother's Day , Mommy" I said and proudly handed her the flowers. She looked at me and smiled and said, "Oh , isn't amazing how they've always bloomed on Mother's Day, ever since Stephen was a boy and used to pick them for me!" Over and over she said, "Isn't it amazing that they always bloom on mother's day!" I was so happy when I saw how much she loved them, and when I left to go home I began to cry.
It's amazing how magical the little things are when you allow yourself to see them, and when I walked through the door of my home I saw Jim, Alex and our adopted son Zack (Alex's best friend!) standing in the kitchen making my mother's day breakfast. We sat at the table eating, laughing and listening to Garrison Keilor on National Public Radio. It was a whole new mother's day memory having Zack with us . We keep Oreo cookies around for him, and our couch is fondly referred to as "Zack's Couch! " He comes and goes in our house as he pleases, walks the dog for us and generally lives here every weekend. Alex has been blessed with the loyalty of his friendship since they were young boys, and there is no more LOYAL friend than Zack. After breakfast he got up to leave and I settled down to do some writing. About 2 minutes later, he came bursting back into the apartment with the most beautiful pink gerbera daisy plant that you've ever seen, and a card. "Happy Mother's Day" he said. " "You may not be my real mom, but you're definitely my mother." I hugged him tightly, and burst into tears.


Mother's Day!

Every now and then you get these experiences that just fly you back to old memories and open the doors for wonderful new ones! Every mother's day since Alex was born, he and Jim get up and make me the most amazing breakfast, eggs scrambled with onion and garlic, mushrooms and tons(literally!) of american cheese! Oh and of course the MAGIC ingredient, really good kosher hot dogs! My very large dog lives with my parents, and it's my job to walk him and feed him everyday (that's his room and board payment!), so I decided to get up and walk him first and then come back for my gourmet breakfast!
So I drove to my parents house, got "Wolfie" and walked into the back yard. There is no adjective available that can completely describe describe my mom and dad's yard. Alex comes the closest I think when he calls it one of the most enchanted places on earth! My father has such a green thumb! Everywhere you look are beautiful things, special plants that you've never seen before, things that I am sure are brought there by the Fairies! This morning though something caught my eye that I hadn't really seen for years.
When I was a little girl, every mother's day I would race into the yard, and my chubby fingers would start to hunt through the ivy and myrtle for the Virginia Bluebells that would poke their lovely faces through spotted, sun dappled leaves. I always picked them for my mother on that day, thinking how perfect they were as a mother's day gift, all cheerful pink and blue.
When I grew up and got married and had a son of my own , mother's day changed a bit as we added our own traditions. Yet this mother's day is a bit different. My parents are older now and will probably be selling their beloved house this year. As my eyes set upon the bluebells, I realized that this was probably my last chance to pick them for my mother on this special day. The little girls chubby hand reappeared, grab a huge fistful of the happy little flowers. Running into the house, sneaking past my mom in the bathroom, I grabbed her little Warterford vase and ran into the bathroom where she was putting on her makeup. "Happy Mother's Day , Mommy" I said and proudly handed her the flowers. She looked at me and smiled and said, "Oh , isn't amazing how they've always bloomed on Mother's Day, ever since Stephen was a boy and used to pick them for me!" Over and over she said, "Isn't it amazing that they always bloom on mother's day!" I was so happy when I saw how much she loved them, and when I left to go home I began to cry.
It's amazing how magical the little things are when you allow yourself to see them, and when I walked through the door of my home I saw Jim, Alex and our adopted son Zack (Alex's best friend!) standing in the kitchen making my mother's day breakfast. We sat at the table eating, laughing and listening to Garrison Keilor on National Public Radio. It was a whole new mother's day memory having Zack with us . We keep Oreo cookies around for him, and our couch is fondly referred to as "Zack's Couch! " He comes and goes in our house as he pleases, walks the dog for us and generally lives here every weekend. Alex has been blessed with the loyalty of his friendship since they were young boys, and there is no more LOYAL friend than Zack. After breakfast he got up to leave and I settled down to do some writing. About 2 minutes later, he came bursting back into the apartment with the most beautiful pink gerbera daisy plant that you've ever seen, and a card. "Happy Mother's Day" he said. " "You may not be my real mom, but you're definitely my mother." I hugged him tightly, and burst into tears.


The Best Whipped Cream Ever!

copperbowlThis is one of my favorite recipes! I discovered one night that whisking organic heavy cream in a copper bowl produced a whipped cream unlike anything that I'd ever experienced! Unknown to me was the fact that the French have been enjoying their cream this way for many years! It's surprisingly simple, and you can flavour the cream in so many different ways depending upon what you're serving it with! I am particularly fond of infusing the cream with lavender essence and honeyand serving it over chilled poached pears! For some reason, the copper bowl helps to create whipped cream of an incredible consistency. It's definitely not as wonderful in a steel bowl, and a lot less romantic! The recipe is simple....take a pint of good,organic whipping cream and begin to whisk it in the bowl...pay attention as it can turn to butter quickly! If this happens don't despair, it's delicious butter! When the cream is the correct consistency, add the flavorings to taste!


The Best Whipped Cream Ever!

copperbowlThis is one of my favorite recipes! I discovered one night that whisking organic heavy cream in a copper bowl produced a whipped cream unlike anything that I'd ever experienced! Unknown to me was the fact that the French have been enjoying their cream this way for many years! It's surprisingly simple, and you can flavour the cream in so many different ways depending upon what you're serving it with! I am particularly fond of infusing the cream with lavender essence and honeyand serving it over chilled poached pears! For some reason, the copper bowl helps to create whipped cream of an incredible consistency. It's definitely not as wonderful in a steel bowl, and a lot less romantic! The recipe is simple....take a pint of good,organic whipping cream and begin to whisk it in the bowl...pay attention as it can turn to butter quickly! If this happens don't despair, it's delicious butter! When the cream is the correct consistency, add the flavorings to taste!


Welcome!

2004_0603image0066_1 I'm so glad that you've found your way here. As you discover   these pages you will find many seasonal recipes,new ideas for feasting and celebrating, food musings and in my "Dear Brides to be and all of my other Friends! "column lots of suggestions for creating a wonderfully romantic life, lived fully as an endless celebration!
I'm simply passionate about good food and entertaining for friends and family, with the emphasis on FAMILY! All of the beautiful things that we collect, should be used frequently for our families ,  not just occasionally for our guests! Those dinners spent together everyday and any excuse for a holidays are the gifts that our children remember the most when they grow up. My passion in life has been to make everyday a special day, or as my mother has always said "A day for candles and wine!". There are so many reasons to celebrate, and everyday can be an excuse to express creativity and joy. The ceaseless turning of the wheel of year continuously provides us with excuses for celebration! Come explore local farmers markets with me, and experience the magic to be found in living so closely with the seasons. Taste the wild , wonderful foods that live in the backyards , fields and forests and you will begin to develop an entirely fresh connection to the world. Come join me in making every season and everyday, a remarkable treat to be experienced by everyone that you love!

Deliciously Yours,

Beth


Welcome!

2004_0603image0066_1 I'm so glad that you've found your way here. As you discover   these pages you will find many seasonal recipes,new ideas for feasting and celebrating, food musings and in my "Dear Brides to be and all of my other Friends! "column lots of suggestions for creating a wonderfully romantic life, lived fully as an endless celebration!
I'm simply passionate about good food and entertaining for friends and family, with the emphasis on FAMILY! All of the beautiful things that we collect, should be used frequently for our families ,  not just occasionally for our guests! Those dinners spent together everyday and any excuse for a holidays are the gifts that our children remember the most when they grow up. My passion in life has been to make everyday a special day, or as my mother has always said "A day for candles and wine!". There are so many reasons to celebrate, and everyday can be an excuse to express creativity and joy. The ceaseless turning of the wheel of year continuously provides us with excuses for celebration! Come explore local farmers markets with me, and experience the magic to be found in living so closely with the seasons. Taste the wild , wonderful foods that live in the backyards , fields and forests and you will begin to develop an entirely fresh connection to the world. Come join me in making every season and everyday, a remarkable treat to be experienced by everyone that you love!

Deliciously Yours,

Beth