Happy New Year all! I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions or any of that kind of thing. Instead, my husband and I reflect on the year just ended and talk about lessons learned during the preceding year, things we are proud of, what we hope remains positive in our lives, and what we hope gets better in the coming year. To aid in some of that, we cleaned out our detached office that we’d had built almost exactly 3 years ago, in preparation for the arrival of our little girl. The problem is that we emptied our spare room and simply dumped it in the office. I claimed we’d go through it before she arrived (we didn’t know she was, in fact, a she until the day she came into this world) and, obviously, we never did. We found some pretty hilarious things that should’ve been thrown out long ago–Encarta Encyclopedia CD-ROM from 1994, anyone?
It’s nice to clean out and de-clutter in our lives as it makes things feel more spacious, literally and psychologically. This segues nicely into the soup I made for this week’s FFWD. Simplest Breton Soup. It was simple to make: It took about 45 minutes all told–not bad for a weeknight! I didn’t have it on my list the week before Christmas, but I came down with a cold post-grading and so I made this on the 22nd, just before we were leaving to visit my family. I got some nice fish broth at the Whole Foods 50 minutes from me as well as some beautiful mussels and cod. Broth with cod, mussels, potatoes, celery, shallots, carrots, and leeks over a hearty slice of French country bread was all that I’d hoped for with my cold. It was warming–and the saffron I added per the bonne idée added to that effect–and hearty without being heavy.
Makeups: Chunky Beets and Icy Red Onions, Bistro Paul Bert Pepper Steak, Smoked Salmon Waffles
As I mentioned a few blog posts ago, now is the time for beets in my CSA. Beets for months! I also mentioned I’m not the biggest fan of beets. I’ll eat them, sure, but I don’t choose them often and usually try to give them to someone. (Beet greens, however…love them.) Anyway, I made the Chunky Beets and Icy Red Onions and very much enjoyed it! I can see why some people preferred this to the Honey-Lime beets I made around Thanksgiving. I topped mine with some tomatoes from the CSA since my husband dislikes fresh tomatoes (sigh). I also added some crumbled herb goat cheese and plated them over arugula, per the bonne idée.
New Year’s Eve Menu
I made Arman’s Caviar in Aspic (see this space next week for the exciting conclusion to the New Year’s Eve Menu post!), Smoked Salmon Waffles, and Bistro Paul Bert Pepper Steak.
The smoked salmon waffles were quite good and we both enjoyed the interplay of waffle/bready texture and flavor with the bite of the scallions and chives and then the smoky salty salmon. Mmmm!
The Pepper Steak with its brandy-cream sauce was also good, as expected, and was lovely with some salad and potatoes after the attempted eating of the caviar in aspic and then the very much enjoying of the waffles.
I closed off the night with Mardi’s Chocolate Coeur à la Crème, which I didn’t take a photo of. Needless to say, the little girl (who lately wants to be called Nemo or Elsa, and I am Dory or Anna) exclaimed, “I like this!” after merely seeing the ramekins. And, indeed, we did like it.
Thus ends the first post of the final year of FFwD. It’s been a lot of fun cooking and blogging with all of you again. Thank you so much!