The light over here, on the kitchen side of the house, is soft and low key.
Firstly, I feel I must draw your attention to an oversight. While setting up a shiny new recipe index, I noted a distinct lack of chocolate among these pages. Not at all reflective of how we eat, it needed some correcting.
So, I present part of Stephanie Alexander's flourless chocolate cake, made for an unexpected Shabbat.
Best I've ever eaten.
Cooking has been a slow task, one which scared me for a while. Things simply wouldn't work. Even Deborah Madison failed me. (Truth be told, I suspect it was I who failed her.) So I took a deep breath and we tried again, Deborah and I. I doubled the batter and used a little more of it per Scallion Crêpe. Pretty, but also brilliantly useful. They will appear over and over again in my kitchen.
Things began to fall back into place.
The garden keeps giving me things. There was a fight in the fledgling veggie patch on Saturday between three birds and I found this lovely thing the next morning. It's just a magpie's feather, but it made me look more closely.
Soft light it is, and subtle.
I kept coming back to this carrot soup; completely raw and served cold. A show-stopping shade of bright, bright orange, whipped into airy mouthfuls with avocado. It's glorious and quite, quite grown-up. Integral to it's success however, is, for the juicer-less among you, über-fresh juice. Frothy and made by you mere moments before blending. I juiced the ginger with the carrots and tossed the diced avocado with cumin rather than curry powder, but otherwise, I followed Molly precisely.
Perfect for the sweltering days to come.
Saturday morning, the garden yielded most of what goes into Madison's Garlic Soup. It's a delicious recipe, pulled out every year, when the garlic is young and juicy. Adding handfuls this time of sage, thyme and parsley I used more than 2 heads of garlic. You should too. A pot of nettle tea, re-introduced by a rather clever friend had a subtle but significant impact on the flavour.
Superb. Best version yet.
Then there was this. Rather suggestive that photo, don't you think? Then again, it was that kind of dish. Groans were definitely audible.
A raisiny, boozy, honey-soaked concoction of fresh and dried pears. Scattered near the end with a crumble of nuts - pistachios, walnuts and sliced almonds - made using just a tablespoon of butter and another of soft brown sugar. Grand Marnier and excellent, fudgy dried pears, soaked back to tenderness made this incredibly voluptuous.