Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pounded Walnut and Lentil Soup

...and grapefruit whiskey sours.

A quick supper really, from our favorite Deb Madison and her terrific book on vegetable soups.

The lentils should be soaked for an hour or two, so you can put them up and come back to them later when you're assembling the other ingredients. You'll need about 5 cups stock. If you don't have time to soak the lentils you'll need about 7.

Serve this with plenty of parsley to brighten everything and a simple maché or cress salad.

Pounded Walnut Lentil Soup

Soak 2 cups lentils in water for an hour or two
Prepare 5-7 cups stock

3 Tbsp butter
1 onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
2 medium carrots, finely diced
1 plump garlic clove
1/2 cup walnuts
1/3 cup créme fraiche or yogurt
finely chopped parsley

Melt the butter in a soup pot and add the onion and bay leaf, sautéing about 10 minutes. Drain the lentils and give them a rinse. Add them to the onions and give them a good stir. Add the stock and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil and lower the heat, allowing the lentils to tenderize, about 20 minutes.

Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic clove and 1/4 tsp salt together. If the walnuts haven't been freshly shelled, slightly roast them in a cast iron pan. Pound the walnuts into the garlic and salt, adding 1 tsp of créme or yogurt at a time to create a smooth paste.

Add the carrot to the soup and continue to cook until everything is just tender.
Spoon a dollop of walnut paste into each bowl and sprinkle with a little handful of parsley.

. . .

Yep, Canadian Club makes a really good cocktail.

Whiskey Sours
ice cubes
Canadian Club or Jameson
ruby grapefruits
sparkling mineral water
raw cane sugar

Sugar the lip of a highball glass and drop 4 ice cubes in. Pour 1 ounce of whiskey over them. Juice 1 lime or 1/2 grapefruit per glass and pour the juice over the whiskey. Sparkling water is a nice 3rd layer if you're inclined to a less potent taste.
Garnish with a wedge of grapefruit for lime, and vice versa for grapefruit.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring Equinox

as overseen by Alice who's been reading a lot of Cooks Illustrated and admiring the exquisite illustrations:

Broiled asparagus and lamb on shallot polenta
Kale w/ mustard and pine nuts
Double chocolate brownies w/ ganache

CI has come out with some lovely "Best" cookbooks in the last few years and i s'pose it goes without saying that they're more than worth the $22 CAN each. I bought the vegetable one last summer and've already loved it into a dogeared state.

After dinner a few episodes of Planet Earth with dear Mr. Attenborough:
The Poles
Fresh Water

and drawing.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Singles Doubles Triples

Some of the doors of Casgrain.

Here's a great resource for architectural antiques in Montréal that I was fortunate to discover last fall on a scout for coat hooks and drawer pulls.

Plus nine today. Alice and I were out all afternoon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Can You Feel It?

...the crocuses, maydays and lilacs coming soon.

The days have warmed up above zero, crusty snow and ice are melting, and today we had our first super windy Montréal spring da - the shingle ripping kind.
Alice and I took a long walk. She off the leash, chasing her own tail, tearing it up with her buddy Chico, running in circles in the one patch of grass peeking out at the parc, so happy to be free and not freezing ...then home for a little snack, a warm bath and a nap on the bed.

c o m e o n s p r i n g

In the meantime have a sit down with a tall glass of fizzy water and something tart in it while you enjoy W. Eggleston's 1974 film Stranded in Canton

Friday, March 6, 2009

Jason Logan

They don't call me the thing for nothing

Jason Logan is one of my favorite illustrators and authors and one of my favorite people on the planet. We met in 2002 and became fast friends. I'm thinking of Jason today, in part because his latest book iGeneration: Shuffling Toward the Future is now available. And in part because of the weather ...this pre-spring state of things which reminds me of the locale whence we were in 2002.

iGeneration contains observations on technology culture. ieverything. You can view and order it here and here, and read a review here.

His previous book If We Ever Break Up, This is My Book is available here.

Above is an image from his Penguin blog and below is the beautiful little announcement he sent out for his first son Kes's impending birth in 2005. Click on it to enlarge.