Smoked Salmon

smoked salmon

It feels like summer, fire up the grill! In this case the smoker. A friend gave us a smoker and everything needed to get started with the instructions to ‘Have fun with it, you can’t go wrong!’. True enough, randomly planned I did little to prepare the salmon other than a sprinkle of salt and a thin rub of brown sugar.

smoker wood chips

We set up a table and chair under the trees for a little cook camp by the work shed and invited all those around the dock to join us for a meal in honor of Memorial Day. Nothing fancy, a simple can of 3 bean salad and some coleslaw rounded out the plate. The salmon was divine.. close your eyes and savor every bite good!

Smoked salmon plate

We noticed our neighbor who complains about the dog going into his yard sitting in his backyard. We cautiously approached him with a plate of food as a small peace-offering. He loved the salmon so much he went inside and came out with a big piece of his home-baked cake from scratch. Said he’ll bake us a whole cake today! Amazingly, in a few minutes our relationship did a 180 turn around.

cake from scratch

Goes to show the power of a small and random act of kindness, and food to bring us together. I wish we lived in a world where there was no need for the existence of military. Where problems could be solved with a piece of cake or by sharing a meal and stories of the ones we love. Till then I give gratitude to all those who have bravely served for our freedom!

memorial

In loving memory and admiration of veteran Renee Esposito.

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Dandelion, I will eat you.

A Eurasian plant (Taraxacum officinale)

A Eurasian plant (Taraxacum officinale)

 

So I took a walk today to explore the many wildflowers that are blooming right now…

flower2Phlox, geranium, violets and wild mustard are painting the fields with the color that my winter encrusted eyes have wishes for for many months.

Duane came from the market with a bunch of freshly harvested Dandelion greens. They were quite mature and I asked myself what we would do with such bitter foliage. I sought some advice from a few internet sites and discovered that the bitter best not be covered up…for it would be no use. Better to join the bitter flavor with other complex bitters.

dandilion2

I put some fresh ginger in the pan with some peanut oil and then some garlic and onions. Can’t go wrong there. Then I added some soy sauce for salt and a splash of rice vinegar. Some toasted sesame seeds.

rice vinegar

I was also pushing and puling with the flavors of my pan cooked salmon filet. Also fresh ginger, soy, and garlic. You can see a peek of it off to the side here. The honey created a golden color.

detail dandilion

In the end I served them up side by side with some crushed walnuts (also bitter). They bit back a little, but not too hard. It was also really nice to eat them with something else kind of sweet. Sweet!

“I am no more lonely than a single mullein

or dandelion in a pasture, or a bean leaf, or sorrel,

or a horse-fly, or a bumblebee. I am no more lonely
than the Mill Brook, or a weathercock, or the north star,

or the southwind, or an April shower, or a January thaw,

or the first spider in a new house.”

– Henry David Thoreau

 

Pea Soup Please

Peas Please Me

Peas please me.
PEAS RELEASE ME!
Never forget pea.
It’s all about pea.
SO SUE PEA.
Let it pea.
It wasn’t meant to pea.
I need a pea.
Be the best that you can pea.
CAN’T YOU PEA?
What you think you pea is only
What you want to pea.
Eat, drink and pea merry,
For tomorrow we die,
And/or get put in a pie.

http://poemsaboutpeas.wordpress.com

peasoupI made some pea soup, not exciting, not fancy. Just peas with carrots. Lots of pepper. Peas love pepper.

peasSplit peas cook faster than whole peas when dried. Cook them in broth, chicken or veggie. Half of the cooked peas were processed or creamed in a blender and added back into the mixture with cooked carrots, garlic, onion and spices (cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper).

 

Birds Nest Pancakes

Birds Nest pancake

Pancake bird’s nest and veggie sausage patty

Hey Lori, what’s the good eats word ?!!

Many years ago your Dad Charles introduced me to the bird’s nest breakfast by cutting a hole in a piece of bread and dropping an egg in it. Breakfast game changer! I love it and have made it many times since. I’ve never been a big fan of pancakes, too bready and sweet, but a dippy egg in the middle balances the sweet with savory and is a good alternative to bread onboard – just add water and presto.

pancake with hole

Make up a batch of pancake batter as usual and heat a skillet on low. Add a generous pat of butter to coat the pan. You’ll need a round object that will withstand resting in the pan heat for a minute (glass or metal) to create the hole you’ll drop the egg into, nothing too big. Pour pancake batter around the edge of object, letting the batter set up a minute before removing your egg place holder. Drop your egg in the pillowy center. You’ll want the pancake and egg to do most of it’s cooking on this one side before flipping to quickly finish off the other side. The batter will puff up and bubble when ready to flip. Now the tricky part – flip with a spatula careful not to break the yolk! Keep the heat low. Cook for a couple more minutes, just enough to finish setting up without over cooking the yolk.

osprey

The osprey are back in the Chesapeake from their winter hiatus south, busy repairing their waterfront nests atop navigational sign posts from winter damage. Gotta take their lead this year and follow them south!