Weekend Eats (and Drinks) – Long Weekend Edition

So this was our weekend. We had a bit of a rough start due to the fact that I woke on Friday with some sort of 24-hour bug (I’m feeling better now), but in the end, it was a good one.

wrap it up

We cooked a lot. We ate, a lot. (A lot of leftovers, actually, starting with tacos made with some of last week’s braised pork, cooked down and shredded, stuffed into tortillas and topped with crunchy shredded cabbage, crumbly cheese and three different “salsas” – harissa and tomatillo and a salsa cruda made from our few ripe patio tomatoes.)

Dinner:  October 11, 2008

I made meatballs. We had been talking about them for days, but then Deb posted hers and it was all over. Meatballs. Beef, pork and veal, browned and drained and then finished in a big pot of sauce made from ripe plum tomatoes I had blanched and peeled and frozen at their late summer peak. I made enough for leftovers, lunch for us one day this week. (I *might* have snuck downstairs yesterday morning while Mike was in the shower and plucked one out to eat, cold, while standing in front of the fridge in my bathrobe. I’ll never tell.)

We walked.

I still can’t get over how beautiful it is here.

Sunday morning, 10.12.08

We lingered over coffee and the Sunday Times, a treat we don’t indulge in often enough. We read most of our news online these days, but a big fat Sunday paper is always a treat. (And I, like others, will encourage you to read what Michael Pollan has to say.)

contribution #2

We baked (yes, even me. Dorie’s EVO loaf, again. It’s that good, and foolproof.)

scene from a cookout

We shared the (probably) last cookout of the season with new friends, sitting under the trees in the crisp air as the sun went down, the quiet, peaceful evening punctuated with laughter, the smell of peppers and onions and eggplant and burgers on the grill mixing with the smell of crunchy autumn leaves.

salted and spread

I made butter, from scratch, and it was so easy, and so yummy, that I want nothing more than to make fresh butter for us every week. But as good as that butter was, this was the best thing I ate all weekend:

Mike’s biscuits. We plucked one from the baking sheet while it was still piping hot, split it in half, smeared it with some of my butter and ate it standing up. And then we had another.

We probably could have continued in this manner until there wasn’t a biscuit left, but we decided to show a little restraint and eat them as I had intended, with chicken stew (leftover roast chicken, carrots, leeks, celery, green beans and the last of our spring peas and favas from the freezer, in a creamy, tarragon-spiced broth). Again, there’s enough left over for lunches.

Dinner:  October 13, 2008

It was a good weekend. And today I have biscuits for breakfast.

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19 thoughts on “Weekend Eats (and Drinks) – Long Weekend Edition

  1. Carishma says:

    I’ve been wanting to make butter at home for so long now, but never have. My mum always made ghee at home. Perhaps I will this week.

    Does Mike have a favorite biscuit recipe?

  2. Jennifer Hess says:

    Thanks, everyone! The butter was ridiculously easy – I just put a cup of really good quality cream (from Butterworks Farm) in the bowl of my Kitchen Aid, let it whip until it turned from cream to butter, then stirred in some chunky sea salt to taste. It was a little soft this time so I may let it go longer next time around.

    As for the biscuits, the recipe Mike used (subbing in home-rendered leaf lard for the butter in the original recipe) is in the current (Fall 2008) issue of Diner Journal, which I’m going to encourage you all to pick up/order/subscribe to. It’s a quirky little publication which is really great reading for food enthusiasts. 🙂

  3. Jen, do you think if one wrapped the butter in cheesecloth and squeezed, some…whey (?) would drain away and it would be firmer? Understand I’m basing this on ancient English fiction absorbed over the years.

    And who are the weirdos that snuck in here. As they say in South Africa, Voertsek! — or, hie thee to Argentina!

  4. Jennifer Hess says:

    Marie – Yes, I actually forgot to mention that bit! I did wrap the butter in cheesecloth and set it in a strainer over a bowl. A small amount of buttermilk came out on its own, and I squeezed out a wee bit more (about 1/4 cup all told), but I am probably going to try weighting it down with something next time around to press out even more. This is going to be an ongoing project, I think. 🙂

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