Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Short Takes

Reruns are a nuisance. Nowhere is this more true than with America's Test Kitchen. When that's in-season, it tends to produce our dinner plans, because they are so talented at inspiring me with experiments to try. But I made their chili just a few weeks ago, and while it was very good, it's enough work that I'm not doing it again so soon.

So instead, tonight's experiment is an attempt to replicate (or at least approximate) Bertucci's Nolio pizza. This isn't on their menu any more (hasn't been for years), but you can still order it, and it's our favorite. Caramelized onions and prosciutto in a cream sauce: we were introduced to it by Gwydden and Fiammetta, our original apprentices, and still love it. So now that ladysprite has gotten me started down The Road of Pizza, it's time to figure this one out. Recipe to follow, if it's any good.

Main project for the afternoon was shopping. We're nearly out of perry, so it was down to Nashoba Valley for a fresh case. They were jammed beyond belief -- they do apple picking in season, and there must have been a couple hundred people there. Good to see them doing well, though -- their fruit wines are a particular favorite of ours. Picked up a new blackberry port that they've just come out with, which we're looking forward to trying.

On the way home, we stopped at Derby Farm in Stow. This is a cute little apple orchard on route 117, much smaller than most of the big farmstands out in that area. It's our favorite place to get cider in season, though, because it's the only place I know that still sells it unpasteurized. So every year, we get a couple of half-gallons, stick them in the back of the fridge, and forget about them for a month or two. Once they've started to puff out dangerously, they're ready -- the result is a thick, intensely-flavorful hard cider that I just adore. Never underestimate the power of good farm yeasts.

It takes a stop by Victory Market (where we stopped for dinner fixings) to remind me of how truly awful the Shaw's near us is. I mean, I expect Whole Foods to be good -- it's a fancy, expensive yuppie market. But Victory is just a good downtown market, and it puts Shaw's to shame. It's a real pity: when we moved to this house, the Star Market was a fine place to shop. But it's been going downhill ever since it was purchased by Shaw's (in one of those "must trade stores to avoid market-concentration lawsuits" deals), and now it's just sad. Surely someone else can move in here, and put them out of my misery.

Our Elder Statescat has many names, as any cat should. In the shelter, he was "Ben"; that was far too dull for a self-respecting feline, so we named him "Comet" not long after taking him home. (This being back in the days when he was much faster-moving.) These days, he's mostly just "Senior" (as opposed to Merlin, who is "Junior").

But then, there are times when he earns his additional nickname: "Droolmeister". This mostly comes up after sex, unfortunately. Once things have quieted down, he is very fond of jumping into bed, knowing that there are now relaxed people who are likely to scritch him under the chin. The problem is that he is congenitally incapable of purring intensely without drooling a river as he does so. Which, given that he's usually leaning over one of us in order to be scratched, does put something of a damper on the mood. (So to speak.) Fortunately, he can be pulled up and used to wipe up the resulting puddle he makes. There's nothing quite like having cats...

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