My mother, when asked what she would like to do for her day, said that she wanted to go on a picnic. So, on a picnic we went! I had found a very nice, new little stream-side park that was near their house. The ground wasn't too uneven, the picnic tables were new, it had a great view of one of the many covered bridges that grace Vermont. DS and I put together some GF oven fried chicken, deviled eggs, a tossed vegetable salad and lemonade. I have a great picnic kit that does not see enough action, so we had a table cloth, cloth napkins, plates and flatware to boot! It was peaceful and the air was filled with birdsong. The only blot on the landscape was a fisherman on the opposite side of the stream who decided to practically strip naked while he fished. And there was a LOT of pink naked on that fella. After lunch we sat on a bench by the river and enjoyed most of the view.
|Photo thanks to my DS.|
The rest of the weekend was spent in pure, unadulterated labor. The temperature was 87 in the shade (Spring, hast thou forsaken us? Yes, indeedy.) so I didn't get as much done as I had hoped. I am not good in heat and humidity, which is why I tend to stick to wintry places. I did get my beans and cukes in, two out of three potatoes planted (trying Rose Finn and French fingerlings this year), planted a Bleeding Heart near the front deck, did copious amounts of laundry, and then forced myself to stop at 4 (it wasn't a hard sell this time) so that I could do chores, take a shower and share a bottle of wine with a friend. Since she and I have the same breakneck schedule on weekends, I knew that neither one of us would stop to eat - so I whipped up my favorite finger food: farinata and tapanade. The farinata is a type of flat bread that takes less than an hour to prepare and is a wonderful vessel for toppings. The tapanade was out of desperation, as I thought I had enough feta cheese for a whipped feta dip, but was mistaken. So, out came the olives and capers, chopped with a splash of sherry vinegar and a glug of EVO.
The farinata is very simple to make:
2 cups of garbanzo bean flour
1 tsp sea salt
bunch of grinds of black pepper
3 tablespoons of grated cheese (I use Asiago)
7 tablespoons of EVO, divided
1-3/4 cup of water
Mix flour, salt, pepper, cheese in a bowl. Stir in water and 3 tablespoons of EVO and mix until smooth. Cover and let sit at room temperature for a half hour, allowing the water to be absorbed-ish. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F, pour the remaining EVO into a large, flat, oven-proof pan - like a pizza pan, although I've used a large cast iron skillet and have settled on my paella pan. Put the pan in the over to heat the oil. Remove the pan from the oven, pour in the batter, and put it back in the oven for 10 minutes, or until golden. Take it out and let it cool to room temperature. Cut in wedges.
It travels well, too: