Tuesday, May 25, 2010

3 Birthdays

We celebrated a couple of May birthdays...and one that was rescheduled from the February blizzard this past week. It is an honor to be part of celebrations. All three birthdays this weekend were a pleasure– made up of some people who we just met for the first time this weekend and many who we have been fortunate to get to know over the last year since we have been cooking at home.

We served many firsts of the season- tomatoes, baby zucchini, porcinis, celery, squash blossoms, rabbit, summer truffles...We are looking forward to another birthday dinner for an old friend this weekend.

The menus were all a bit different– here is Saturday nights food and wine:

BBQ Whitmore Farms Rabbit
Scrambled Eggs with Sorrel
Kaleidoscope Carrot Soup
Asparagus with Lemon and Garlic Chives
(Caves Jean Bourdy) Cremant du Jura Brut NV

Wild King Salmon with Beets, Beet Ketchup, Spring Onion and Summer Truffle
(Gerard Boulay) Sancerre ROSE 2008

Pasta with Baby Zucchini, Squash Blossoms, Young Garlic, and Porcini
(Vercesi) Pinot Nero Bianco "Gugiarolo" 2008

Pork Chop with Red Mustard Greens, Grits, Leeks and Celery
(Dom. des Hauts Chassis) Crozes Hermitage "Les Chassis" 2007

Tome des Recolletes with Olive Oil Cracker

Strawberry Pie with Frozen Mint Coconut and Candied Pistachios
(Grange Tiphaine) Nouveau Nez - Sparkling Montlouis 2008
Tiny Chocolate Birthday Cake

Cookies: Lavender Oatmeal, Peppermint Chocolate Chip, Salty Rosemary Walnut Biscotti

Friday, May 14, 2010

Spring Wedding

A few flower photos from a wedding this spring at The Fairmont Hotel.
Thank you to Alejo and Theresa of Flutter Photo for the fabulous photos...and congratulations to them on their marriage this weekend!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Overfished Species

We are fortunate to get both our fish as well as fish information from Jim Chambers. These days between health and environmental concerns it is complicated knowing which fish to eat.
Wanted to share a recent email he sent:
If you ever want to know which popular fish species are still in trouble (due to very low population levels) and have been listed by the federal government as "Overfished" in the annual report to Congress, see this link, then for the detailed list, choose FSSI and non FSSI Stocks.

The list is arranged by geographic region with the Northeast first, followed by the Southeast, then Gulf of Mexico, etc.

To understand how severely some populations have declined, look at the Bmsy ratio (next to far right column). A Bmsy of 1.00 means the population is "healthy" (as a fisheries biologist would say, it's at its Maximum Sustainable Yield). When Bmsy gets down to 0.05, it is nearing extinction. Anything below 1.00 is officially "overfished," which in itself is not too bad (as it can be rebuilt by controlling fishing pressure), but when it gets down below 0.50 things are getting very serious. Below 0.10, the population may never recover even if all fishing were to stop.

Seafood Guide
For a quick way to evaluate various seafood choices, I recommend using the Blue Ocean Institute's Seafood Guide.

All the seafood Prime Seafood offers is from sustainably managed fisheries and they are free of dangerous contaminants. Did you know that the cheap farm-raised salmon which is readily available from seafood vendors contains cancer causing contaminants (PCBs and PAHs) in concentrations high enough that eating "just one 6 oz. meal a month poses a high risk" of cancer?
This time of year we are enjoying Jim's King Salmon, Ivory King Salmon and Pacific Halibut.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Last Weekends Dinner Music

We cooked a few dinners last week. Monday night was at a friend's home in honor of guests from abroad. Friday night was an open Home Restaurant with some repeat diners and some who joined us for the first time. Saturday night was a joyous 50th birthday celebration.
We love cooking this time of year, the ingredients are exciting...dinners this week included morels, fiddle head ferns, soft shell crabs, ramps, wild shallots, rhubarb, king salmon, fava beans, sorrel, chervil and stinging nettles.

Friday and Saturday nights at the Home Restaurants we dined and cooked to a great play list that John put together:

How Deep Is The Ocean?, Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton
Jeepers Creepers, Doc Cheatham & Nicholas
Stardust, Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton
Black And Blue (Aka What Did I Do To Be So Black And Blue?), Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton
Save It Pretty Mama, Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton
Lush Life, John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman
Bye Bye Blackbird, Miles Davis & John Coltrane
Kathy's Waltz, Time Out, The Dave Brubeck Quartet
Ruby My Dear (Take 3), Solo Monk, Thelonious Monk
Summertime, The Blue Note Years - Volume 1 - Boogie Blues & Bop, Sidney Bechet
Moanin', Blue Note Years Vol 2- The Jazz Message (Disc 2), Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers
My One And Only Love, John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman
Everybody's Jumpin', Time Out, The Dave Brubeck Quartet
Cantaloupe Island, Cantaloupe Island, Herbie Hancock
Three To Get Ready, Time Out, The Dave Brubeck Quartet
In A Sentimental Mood, Duke Ellington & John Coltrane
Song For My Father, Blue Note Years- Vol 4 Hard Bop And Beyond (Disc 1), Horace Silver
Monk's Mood, Thelonious Monk
Freddie Freeloader, Kind of Blue, Miles Davis
Off Minor (Take 5), Monk's Music, Thelonious Monk
But Not For Me, My Favorite Things, John Coltrane
Strange Meadow Lark, Time Out, The Dave Brubeck Quartet
Misty, Compact Jazz:, Sarah Vaughan
They Say It's Wonderful, John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman
April In Paris, Thelonious Monk
The Sidewinder, Lee Morgan
Take Five, Time Out, The Dave Brubeck Quartet
Epistrophy, Monk's Music, Thelonious Monk
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat [Unedited Form], Mingus Ah Um [Remastered], Charles Mingus
Watermelon Man, Cantaloupe Island, Herbie Hancock
My Romance (fr Jumbo), Keith Jarrett Foundations, Keith Jarrett
Driftin', Fingerpainting: The Music Of Herbie Hancock, Christian McBride, Nicholas Payton & Mark Whitfield
Dolphin Dance, Fingerpainting, Christian McBride/Nicholas
I Was Doing All Right, Stan Getz & Oscar Peterson Trio
Little Sunflower, Number Two Express, Christian McBride
Fingerpainting, Fingerpainting: The Music Of Herbie Hancock, Christian McBride, Nicholas Payton & Mark Whitfield
Speedball, The Blue Note Years, Vol. 4: Hard Bop & Beyond 1963-1967 [Disc 2], Lee Morgan
Detour Ahead, Stan Getz & Oscar Peterson Trio
A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing, Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn, Joe Henderson
Asiatic Rates, Goin' Up, Freddie Hubbard
The Eye Of The Hurricane, Fingerpainting: The Music Of Herbie Hancock, Christian McBride, Nicholas Payton & Mark Whitfield
Smells Like Teen Spirit, These Are the Vistas, The Bad Plus
If I Were A Bell, Relaxin' With The Miles Davis Quintet, The Miles Davis Quintet
As Time Goes By, The Other Side Of Round Midnight, Dexter Gordon
All The Things You Are, West Coast Jazz Box (Disc 2), Hampton Hawes Trio
Tea For Two, I Got Rhythm, Vol. 3, Art Tatum
I Fall In Love Too Easily, I Remember Miles, Shirley Horn
Big Nick, Duke Ellington & John Coltrane