what’s cooking

Angus (dearly missed, when are you coming to visit again?) asked me recently what’s been cooking in the kitschenette household of late. Hmm, well there is always a lot of cooking going on around here, but much of it is less than stellar, and certainly nothing to write home about – I’m talking about the everyday school lunches and breakfasts (filled pita breads, muesli and cornflakes, toast and preserves, pastas, spätzles, pizzas and so forth, you know, the stuff you make with your eyes closed and that you know are crowd pleasers).

But it is autumn, and if I think about it I can remember a few recent pleasures of a distinctly seasonal ilk:

  • Pasta with blue cheese, toasted walnuts, spinach and cream, a hint of garlic and a few generous grinds of black pepper (well, to be truthful, I made it with a mellow camembert, but I intended to make it with roquefort, except the woman at the cheese counter somehow forgot to include my chunk of stinky blue with the rest of my cheese, and I only discovered the loss as I had the pasta cooking, the spinach wilted and the walnuts toasted. Still tasted good, but my original notion of blue cheese would have been just about, well, perfect for a windy, wild Sunday afternoon late lunch).
  • Fresh walnuts from Bruno’s parents’ garden – deliciously nutty, without any of the raspiness-in-the-throat business that you sometimes get from fresh walnuts.
  • Pears, juicy and sweet.
  • Roast chicken with garlic mash and deliciously caramelized carrots (the chicken sits on a layer of carrots, and as it cooks the savoury, lemony juices trickle down to the carrots –  a real treat, especially the semi-burnt bits)
  • Brownies, lots of brownies!
  • Treasures from the Sion weekly market, thanks to Bruno’s parents: salametti (special request of Max), home-smoked trout,  soft fresh goat’s cheese wrapped in a broad leaf (from a mystery tree).
  • The afore-mentioned soft cheese for breakfast, with home-made spiced zwetschge (plum) jam.
  • Poached eggs, with coffee: I had a sentimental moment or two last week when the greyness closed in for what seemed like days on end and I thought fondly of Oz, blue skies and a good Sunday morning cafe breakfast – poached eggs, a roasted tomato or two, smoked salmon and/or avocado, maybe bacon…or hotcakes or pancakes, or garlic mushrooms, or fresh bagels, or, or or….anything that I didn’t have to make myself. So this morning Bruno made poached eggs, with crusty warm wholemeal bread, cheeses, jams. So good, if only I had remembered to buy enough eggs for the whole family!
  • Bacon-wrapped chicken, pan-fried then roasted until just tender, surrounded by more bacon, mushrooms and onions and a splash of red wine. 
  • Prune ice-cream, late at night : )

Good things to come:

  • Fondue!
  • Warm spiced plums, with ice-cream
  • Sticky date pudding with toffee sauce, packed and posted, for Donat, who is away for 3 weeks on military service.

It’s only 4.45pm and the skies are already dark. I think actually that autumn has passed over into winter already…it might be dessert for dinner night, apple strudel and custard, mmm!

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