Wednesday, January 12, 2011

through mountains of snow

A recap of meals over the holidays. My favorite is the Christmas eve dinner I made for 8: salad with greens from my parent's garden- in Missouri in December they were still growing under just a light sheet of plastic. main feast. risotto with sauteed veggies, roasted eggplant slices, finished with fresh parm cheese, with a roasted tomato (also from their garden) reduced whit balsamic vinegar sauce. Served with roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted root veggies and steamed broccoli. Finally, my parents and I spent the night before making pierogies, a traditional polish dumpling, filled with sweet or savory goodies. We made sauerkraut and cabbage ones, cheese and potato, apricot and prune. for dessert
I made a flour less chocolate tart in an almond date crust. delicious! (sorry no photos)

Here in Montpelier I woke up to snow, went to work to snow, and as I write this still snow. They have little plows that plow the sidewalks, many folks were in the cafe this afternoon who took off work and wanted to be cozy with a hot beverage. I am settling in well to my new life here. I absolutely love working in a job where I feel competent, respect, and have lots of fun. I love cooking for myself at night, making breakfast in my pajamas, using my cell phone- simple things I haven't been able to do for a year.
The holidays in St. Louis were really lovely, but far too short. An update, in photos, of food from the holidays. The night I got back to st. Louis was the annual Christmas caroling on the street where I grew up and my parent's still live. I spent some time talking to a neighbor who's daughter I grew up playing with. When I was little they opened an amazing bakery in town that had focaccia to die for. We use to bring it as a gift when we would visit out of town friends, and I have vivid memories of driving to Nebraska, and Minnesota sitting in the back seat of the van with these amazing smelling breads next to me and not being aloud to eat any. The way this bakey made them they were like little pizzas, made with tons of olive oil, coarse salt and piles of onions, sun dried tomatoes, cheese and other delicious toppings. Anyway, the night of caroling, Julie who owned the bakery, gave me the super top secret family recipe for their focaccias. It was the best gift ever. I made them for the party we have after Christmas eve mass, and again for New Years Eve. Amazing!!!

The sadness that has been with me this week comes in the form of the loss of a dear family friend, John Wiedmann. Our families have been friends since long before I was born, and I can't imagine how hard it is for his family, friends, and all the students he has taught over the years. He was an English teacher, musician, outdoors man and just a really good human. I remember being in highschool and trying to understand Thoreau. He came over for dinner and talked me through he finer points of appreciating Walden Pond... Sending much love to the Wiedmanns and the whole St. Louis family today.

love, Lylee

the dough once it relaxed; the secret is dimpling it. finished focaccia!!

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