Weekend Eats (and Drinks)

late bloomers

It was quite the eventful weekend at Chez Dietschyblossom. I spent much of it out in the back yard, and not just because of the blue skies, unseasonably warm temperatures, and the tomatoes which are continuing to ripen despite the fact that Halloween is almost upon us – no, I had a few other reasons:

Two boys and a girl, probably about 6 months old, and presumably litter mates – they’ve all got the same gorgeous amber eyes. They’re still a little fearful of us, but they’re coming around – the little grey tiger even licked my finger yesterday.

As if those three cuties weren’t enough of a distraction:


…lovely miss Funny Face delivered her litter on Saturday. Not in our yard, but nearby. We haven’t seen the little ones yet, but we’ll be on the lookout. We were hoping not to have to go through this again, but people in our neighborhood keep putting perfectly lovely cats outside, unaltered, to fend for themselves, and they all seem to find their way to us. And frankly, I feel an obligation to at least make sure they’re fed. It’s a small thing to do.

Anyway, this weekend was mostly about feeding our growing feline menagerie, but Mike and I did manage to feed ourselves as well:

Dinner:  October 19, 2007

Grass-fed ribeye steaks and creamed kale on Friday night

Dinner:  October 20, 2007

Flying Pigs pork chops and a salad of arugula, fresh flageolets, roasted Delicata squash and a warm anchovy vinaigrette on Saturday

Dinner:  October 21, 2007

and to close out the weekend, the latest version of my favorite chicken stew, flavored with leeks and tomatoes, Provencal herbs, a healthy splash of absinthe and enriched at the end with a bit of cream. Mike had taken apart a whole chicken for me early in the day, and the wings and carcass went right into a stockpot where I let it perk away most of the afternoon.

stock pot

I got a gallon of gorgeous chicken stock out of it – some of the best I’ve made yet – and it was a fine addition to the stew.

We’ve got another hectic week ahead, and at least one more weekend of overtime for Mike, but I do have a few fun meals up my sleeve… stay tuned.

11 thoughts on “Weekend Eats (and Drinks)

  1. Looks like you definitely didn’t go hungry this weekend! My favorite of these dishes is the chicken stew – it looks so rich and flavorful!

  2. Jennifer Hess says:

    It was pretty straightforward, really – I warmed a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a small pan and added a smashed garlic clove and a couple of anchovies. I let them cook until the anchovies sort of melted down into the oil, then whisked in a couple of tablespoons of sherry vinegar. I pulled out the garlic and poured it over my salads – easy peasy!

  3. Mary Coleman says:

    Well, Ms Jennifer.
    This is the best yet. Just finished your chicken stew and you rock.
    The only thing different that I did was to do half chopped fennel and half celery.
    And I didn’t have any cream . Did have the fresh tarragon. It is absolutely raining cats and dogs, so Groom was sent outside with an umbrella and scissors and strict instructions on the tarragon and thyme detail. It was raining so hard he couldn’t find the thyme. So, c’est la vie..used dried.
    As we say in Tennessee…Lord Today!!! This is absolutely one of the best things I have ever done. The dijon and wine is the key.
    I raise my glass to you, my dear. To die for.

  4. Stunning pictures. I am curious about the absinthe in the chicken stew. Did that “healthy spalsh” carry any strong results to the taste? or was it a background note? I’d like the recipe please 🙂

    Glad I found your website.

  5. Jennifer Hess says:

    Mary – I’m glad it was such a hit! The nice thing is, it really lends itself well to interpretation – I certainly would have added some fennel if I had it, but instead I used some absinthe to impart a bit of that anise-y flavor.

    Absintheur, I used absinthe because my husband is mixing with it these days and we had it on hand; I’ve used pastis in the past with similar results. The flavor is definitely present in the stew, but it’s subtle. My basic recipe is here; I added the absinthe to the softened veggies to deglaze the pan a bit before adding the wine/dijon mixture.

  6. What sweet kitties, and great pictures! That pork chop is magnificent.

    I love the look of the delicata/arugula/bean salad. Did you base that on a recipe from somewhere or did it just sound good at the time?

  7. Jennifer Hess says:

    Thanks, Frieda 🙂

    That salad was loosely based on a salad I had had at Marlow and Sons last year. That version had a base of bitter greens, roasted winter squash and mushrooms, beans and I think hen of the woods mushrooms. I did a bit of a spin using stuff we had on hand, and the anchovy vinaigrette just sounded tasty.

  8. What a trio of beauties! I will never understand how people can just get rid of animals or keep pets without having them spayed/neutered. I hope you’re able to find loving homes for the kittens.

  9. Jennifer Hess says:

    I know, it just makes no sense to me, and as nice as it is to have the company of cats both indoors and out, it’s frustrating that people don’t take responsibility. We’ll do as much as we can for them – I just hope it’s enough. 😦

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