Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Menu de mes jours


Recipes I'm giving up on, sadly or otherwise:

. Leek & Goat's Cheese Picnic Loaf, which sounds delightful for a shady afternoon among the hedgerows quoting P.G. Wodehouse, with its Dijon, thyme sprigs, and double cream.  I copied this out by hand one afternoon not long ago in London, but find it by far too labor intensive for me, now, already, after all.

. My mother's Dilled Salmon Patties, which go way back to childhood ("and can go back right away, as far as I'm concerned"—as the old quip says).  They always sound like a good idea, as do salmon burgers, but somehow I need my salmon whole and brooking no nonsense instead of flaked or ground or otherwise deconstructed.

. Amish Friendship Bread, the very idea of which even now, almost thirty years later, makes my blood run cold.  My life was given up to Amish Friendship Bread for what felt like eons, ruled and confined by the obligation to deal with its continual and relentless demands, making travel impossible or even the odd stolen weekend out of town.
  Day One:  Stir and cover.
   Day Two:  Stir and cover.
   Day Three:  Stir and cover.
   Day Four:  Stir and add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, and 1 cup cold
         milk.  Stir until smooth and cover.  Transfer to 2 quart container.
   Day Five:  Stir and cover.
   Day Six:  Stir and cover.
   Day Seven:  Stir and cover.
   Day Eight:  Stir and cover.
   Day Nine:  Stir and add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, and 1 cup
         cold milk.  Stir until smooth.  Place 1 cup batter in three
         separate containers (total 3 cups).  Cover and give to two
         friends, keeping one for yourself to start the whole process
         over again!  (**&*!xx%?!*)
         To the batter remaining in the bowl (from which the three
         cups have been taken) add 2/3 cup oil, 1 cup sugar,
         1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder, 1/4 tsp. salt,
         1/2 tsp. baking soda, 3 eggs, 2 cups flour.  Stir in 2 cups of
         any of the following, or combination thereof:  blueberries,
         strawberries, raisins, dates, nuts, mashed bananas,
         applesauce, pineapple, dried fruit, granola, etc.  Use your
         imagination!
         Pour into two buttered and sugared loaf pans.  Bake at
         350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until tests done with
         a toothpick.
         ("Starter purchased at an Amish fair in New York and
         brought to California by plane in the summer of 1989.")

. The jaunty (gentille) Herbed Bluefish Flamed with Gin.  In another lifetime, maybe I would make this for a dinner party after work, one snowy February.  In that parallel lifetime where I'm living in Boston as I almost have three times, walking a French bulldog along the Charles River, working as assistant curator at the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum in the Fens, or at the Map Room in the Public Library.



image:  Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Luncheon of the Boating Party (The Phillips Collection)

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