Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I've Been Kidnapped By Sudoku

Not much blogging lately. Too busy with my new obsession. Go see, and if you get all involved and forget to make dinner, don't blame me.
Well, I haven't actually forgotten to make any meals yet. I just find I'm not feeling as creative lately. Yet, with all the wonderful local foods in the house, and our commitment not to cheat with take-out or non-local, it seems our meals are just instinctively more creative than usual.
Yesterday we made a potato gratin with Marin potatoes, Marin onions, cream from Petaluma, Sonoma cheese, salt from the Cargill evaporating ponds on the Peninsula, dried paprika from East Palo Alto, and herbs from my patio.
The idea for the herbs came from an image I couldn't get out of my head: Cypress Grove's Humboldt Fog goat cheese, with its thin horizontal stratum of ash inside. I layered the little casserole half-full with potatoes, cheese and onions, then strewed a handful of chopped herbs, and piled on the rest of the taters and stuff. Doused with the cream, popped into the oven, and my -- it was tasty.
All the pictures were dogs, though. (I'm going to a digital SLR class in an hour...)
So here's my picture today. Dried fennel pollen.
Turns out some of the plants BH&CC picked have started to go to seed, so I saved those in a different jar. Gonna use this stuff all winter.


Jennifer said...

And how, pray tell, will you use the dried fennel pollen? It looks lovely as a sonnet, but I confess to being perplexed as to how it might be parlayed into something tasty to eat. Can't wait to find out.

Monkey Gland said...

pics are looking great there cookie, have fun at your class!

cookiecrumb said...

Jennifer: A couple weeks ago we sprinkled fresh fennel pollen over broiled oysters for that Rockefellerish anisette flavor. Last week we stirred some into a very lightened-up "cioppino" (petrale sole, homemade tomato sauce, white wine). We placed some fresh buds on a pluot-cottage cheese salad, and it was divine. I'm dreaming of dusting some fried scallops with a wallop of dried pollen (once this local challenge is over), served atop squid-ink spaghetti. It's just an alternative to imported spices. Google it; you'd be surprised.
MG! Now I know what all those buttons do. Class was great. Thanks for the sweet words.

Rozanne said...

"salt from the Cargill evaporating ponds"

That sounds pretty scary, I must say.

cookiecrumb said...

Rozanne: I know. Have you ever seen those ponds from the air? Planes from SFO take off right over them. All kinds of red, creepy swamp water. Hey: But local!! (Ew.)
I'm waiting for my Sonoma Gourmet sea salt.
What do you use in Portland?

Rozanne said...

Well, since I'm not doing the Eat Local thing (although a lot of what we eat just happens to be local), I have no qualms about using Hain sea salt (and plenty of it). For all I know, it comes from the Dead Sea. Highly unlocal.

Actually, we just ran out of it (we've been eating corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes from the garden--both wonderful vehicles for salt), so I had to break out an old box of Morton's lurking in the back of the cupboard.

I've never flown over the evaporating ponds. They sound sinister!

Jennifer Maiser said...

next time you find a puzzle site PLEASE DON'T POST IT. actually it's funny because I just recently discovered those types of puzzles when I was on a trip to LA, so I am glad to have found them. I am blaming my minimal amount of blogging lately on you, cookiecrumb.

cookiecrumb said...

Hah! Jen! I was just waiting for a sudoku addict to step forward and own up. Wouldn't you know it would be a local foodie? xx
Now get back to work!