Monday, May 11, 2015

Family, Farinata and Flummoxed.

I got to spend some quality time with my youngest DS (Dear Sister, Spiderjohn - just in case you think I have a son stuck in a closet somewhere...), where we enjoyed a fabulous repast and shared a bottle of very fine champagne.  The dogs got to throw themselves at their Auntie Cynthia - I do notice how Scrappy leans heavily into friends and family, while casting the stink eye at me.  He is such a character.

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:
Today's lunch.
After all my smugness, I removed the screen door top from my cold frame to water the spinach was gone.  Vamoosky.  Eaten to the ground.  Bloody rodents.  I am going to try and reseed it in the hooped bed and hope for SOME spinach this year.  I really don't know why I keep trying...


DFW said...

Susan, I don't your weekends would be complete without some type of labor involved. You are one very busy woman. Fat almost naked people are a pet peeve of mine. Cover it up for heaven's sake, nobody wants to look at that!

DFW said...

I don't 'think' your weekends....

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i HATE this weather for many reasons but one of the biggest is seeing unclothed peoples body parts. there are some really grody toes and chests out there!

Sue said...

Perhaps the "gods" will bless that half naked man with a full body sunburn!

And I concur with DFW--you and a labor filled day just go hand in hand. We wouldn't know you if you were not going full speed ahead!

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

Sounds like a lovely time spent with family and a picnic too!!

Mama Pea said...

Geesh, and here I am trying to lose some of my hibernation fat so I don't feel too self-conscious in shorts and a tank top. Your nearly nekkid guy probably has twice as much ugly, pink skin as I do and yet he's flaunting it! What are people thinking? Have they no modesty or self-respect? Guess not.

What kind of varmint is it that is eating your spinach?

Unknown said...

Looks good! I think we're having a early mild summer here, maybe at least we'll have earlier tomatoes, etc. 75 ish and nice, more rain tonite. It's so GREEN! Next year I'll ask my kids to do a picnic for me, great idea!

Carolyn said...

What a great family picnic! And yummy leftovers to boot :)

Sandy Livesay said...


What a lovely idea for Mother's Day with your Mom......a picnic!!!! It sounds like the weather was beautiful on this day to enjoy some sun, great food, and family.

Erin said...

I grow Rose Finns too, they are delicious! I admit you had me wondering too about the DS… except I kept seeing "she" or "her" following DS so I was becoming thoroughly confused!