I want to encourage everyone to eat more meals that take all day to prepare.
To inspire you, I am including some snapshots that show how Claire, Anicka and myself did just that. In honour of Claire's Mom's birthday, we went out to her ranch on the September long weekend, and made food preparation and appreciation our only agenda (other than reading and petting horses).
(And just so you know this picture is supposed to look all blurry and mysterious, but delicious at the same time.)
We started off Friday night by popping a bottle (or two) of sparkling wine. Anicka had brought an assortment of cheeses, cherry preserve and chocolate truffles from Meinhardt's, which set our gourmet, "we're-not-kidding-around-here -about-snacks-or-anything-else" tone.
The next morning we left early to hit the Salt Spring Market to buy many of our ingredients for our meal plans. Wish I could capture here the delicious smells of the fresh basil and date-ginger bread at the various stalls. I also bought earrings, which I did not eat, but we can agree inspired us all.
The unbelievable pizzas we made that night included ingredients from the market and Claire's Mom's garden. Claire made a fabulous homemade crust while I picked tomatoes and basil. Perhaps in a future post I will include the details of our basil-mozza-fresh tomato with fresh-tomato-sauce pizza and our smoked salmon-dill-caper-cream cheese pizza, but maybe the titles say it all.
Sunday morning was an outstanding brunch of fruit-nut french toast, veggie sausage, roasted potatoes, freshly picked blackberries and vanilla yogurt. From there, we launched straight into making the birthday dinner.
While making said dinner, we stopped for gourmet breaks including watermelon-feta salad by Anicka...
...and some fresh chai made by yours truly with spices featured in this photo (please note the very cardamom pods that provide the fragrance and essence of this blog)...
Our delectable dinner menu included yam-leek-aged gouda pirogie with buttered sage, fig-smoked tofu-asian plum salad with honey-whiskey dressing (a new invention inspired by, you guessed it, whiskey) and beet-walnut stilton salad with fresh lavender (good one, Anicka!). We made the pirogie pockets by hand, which was labour-intensive (especially on Claire's part) but well-worth it. It's not like we had anything else to do, although the ranch animals may have felt ignored during this particular "all-hands-on-deck" portion of the preparation. The pictures are great and all, but let's face it, you had to be there. I actually felt high afterwards. Good wine helped.
We (and by "we" I mean Claire) made peach-berry pie with homemade crust entitled "best-ever-crust" but because we were so satisfied (and by "satisfied" I mean "stuffed like pigs") from our dinner, we had pie for breakfast. Yes, pie for breakfast--I know you are jealous now, but you can do it too someday if you are emboldened by this blog. I would like to note that the peach pie included cardamom and vanilla bean, and that Claire relished cracking each and every pod.
We finished off the weekend in a frenzy of plum-picking which we sauced up with lemon rind and other good stuff (Anicka knows). This went on ice-cream, which was our lunch. See, all your dreams CAN come true.
Now get out there and make a weekend of it! And invite me over when it's ready...