Reuben Rave

September 8th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

HG ate, with much gusto, a classic Reuben sandwich for lunch. Shockingly and surprisingly tasty. The ingredient that took it over the top was sliced corned beef. Gifted (and thoughtful) Daughter Lesley R. bought it at the Farmers Market during the recent visit by Lesley R. and husband, Massimo R., with HG/BSK on Prince Edward Island. The corned beef was the real deal, as good as the wonderful stuff HG consumed at Gitlitz, 2nd Avenue Delicatessen and Katz’s (New York heartburn shrines). To construct the Reuben, HG was forced to use supermarket rye rather than New York Jewish rye (available on line from Zabar’s). Oh, well. The other ingredients were Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing. All good. Lesley R. also bought Montreal smoked meat (a northern cousin of pastrami) from the Farmers Market meat smoker. More jolly sandwiches in the future. HG is thinking about the Montreal product with cole slaw and mustard. BSK’s pickles on the side. Yum.

PEI and Covid 19

September 7th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

Prince Edward Island is sane, serene, gentle, green, democratic. It is the direct opposite of violent, racist USA under the Presidency of a would be fascist dictator. Millions of Americans have been infected with Covid 19. Some 180,000 have died (so far). How has PEI dealt with Covid 19? Here are the numbers released yesterday (Sept. 2) by Dr. Heather Morrison, PEI’s chief public health officer: Since the pandemic began there have been 44 confirmed cases of Covid 19 with no hospitalizations or deaths related to the virus. All 44 have recovered and there are no new cases. HG/BSK arrived on PEI mid June and went into strictly monitored self isolation. After the isolation, HG/BSK observed almost universal mask wearing and social distancing. Yes, PEI is Canada’s smallest province but it demonstrates what can be done when the health of its population is threatened. Democracy works when it is not undermined by political expediency.

Another Perfect Meal

September 6th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

September Prince Edward Island weather continues to be sunny and moderately warm. For some reason, the sunsets and cloud formations are unusually colorful. With each passing day, the sun sets a further distance in the east. The forty feet of large windows in HG/BSK’s oceanfront home allow comfortable viewing of the natural splendors. BSK noted that it’s like having a super-colossal TV tuned to an imaginative “nature” show. Happily, the colors are at their peak during dinner. Perfect meal last night. BSK fried super fresh hake last night. BSK’s frying technique which utilizes a special non-stick Paderno pan over moderate heat, results in crisp, juicy, not greasy, fish filets. Accompanied by local mustard pickles, lemon slices and Frank’s Hot Sauce, this is a true sea treat. HG started the meal with six Malpeque oysters. And, since the season continues, buttered and salted ears of Blum’s corn were consumed with pleasure. Sliced tomato and feta cheese salad on the table. Slightly chilled red wine was drunk. Perfect.

Corn Treats

September 5th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

Sure, buttered ears of fresh corn (Blum’s of Montague, Prince Edward Island, best corn in the universe), are a treat. However, there are a multitude of other ways to enjoy corn. This morning, BSK used much leftover corn for a hearty breakfast of corn pancakes with Candian maple syrup. Warm sun, clear skies, calm sea, pancakes with maple syrup. Perfect way to start another happy day at HG/BSK’s PEI oceanfront paradise. A few more weeks of corn season. HG looks forward to a cod, mussel, bacon chowder replenished with corn kernels. There’s also a Chinese soup of chopped chicken breast, corn kernels and swirled egg HG/BSK might try. And, of course, more corn on the cob and pancakes. Farewell to corn and oysters when HG/BSK return to New Mexico. For HG, there will be a consolation: Green Chile Menudo, the incomparable tripe stew available at El Parasol, the friendly eatery close to HG/BSK’s Jacona home. In HG’s opinion, this spicy wonder is better than French, Italian and Spanish tripe stews. As HG’s New Mexican neighbors might say: “Viva, el Norte !!”.

Swell September

September 3rd, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

September is one of the best months on Prince Edward Island. And, ushering it in, September first was a perfect day. Sunny, warm (not hot), clear blue skies, gentle breezes. Made old HG glad to be alive. HG motored to Atlantic Shellfish and picked up splendid Malpeque oysters selected by gracious Cindy Dockendorff. Before shucking, HG/BSK lounged on the deck of HG/BSK’s oceanfront paradise, admired the sea, the emerging sunset, the scenic “corn” moon. BSK sipped white wine. HG had the usual vodka and Campari on the rocks. The weather cooled as night moved in. The oysters were big, briny and lush. (Oh, HG will miss this best of sea treats when returning to landlocked New Mexico). Dinner was three ears each for HG/BSK of buttered and salted Blum’s sweet corn, the world’s best. Salad was composed of sliced tomatoes, feta cheese, pungent basil leaves (from BSK’s garden). Serenity, natural beauty, food pleasures. That’s September PEI.

Happy 50!

September 1st, 2020 § 1 comment § permalink

Joyous, exuberant, delicious Sunday night dinner at Noel M. and Yossi M.’s verdant Ocean Mist Farm on green democratic Prince Edward Island. Noel and Yossi (BSK’s sister and brother-in-law) were joined by HG/BSK; neighbor, Amram and wife, Marina. Amram, an Israeli, farms on PEI and is an acknowledged irrigation expert. Marina, a Russian, is a lovely woman and talented baker. Amram was home on PEI for a brief reunion with family before returning to Uzbekistan where he is part of a team working on an ambitious irrigation project in that arid land. The group raised glasses high to toast N. and Y. on their 50th wedding anniversary. All wished the couple many more years of health and happiness together. The anniversary food was fabulous. First, of course, were buttered ears of Blum’s sweet corn, a seasonal treat. And, then there was a sliced leg of lamb (the lamb was raised by Noel and Yossi smoked it into rare, crusty, juicy yumminess). This was accompanied by smoked potatoes and dilled string beans (both from Yossi’s extensive vegetable garden). There were side dishes of Greek yogurt and a peppery salsa. Dessert was a Russian cake crafted by Marina using sour cream and preserved fruit in the mix. Wine was Cabernet. Alcohol lover HG consumed vodka before dinner and Canadian whiskey after. Happy old gent. Amram’s dinner conversation about Uzbekistan made HG recall another celebration, Son Jeremy’s 45th birthday party at a Jewish Uzbekistan restaurant in the Rego Park section of Queens, the most diverse of New York’s boroughs. On that jolly night, copious amounts of vodka were drunk with enormous platters of food and bowls of pickles. N. and Y.’s 50th-anniversary dinner was a bit more restrained.

Bittersweet

August 30th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

Dinner last night was delicious (as usual) but the mood was slightly bittersweet. That’s because Gifted Daughter, Lesley R., husband Massimo, and their delightful dog, Pip, end their stay on Prince Edward Island and leave for their Rhode Island home in the early morning. Sadness. They will be missed but hope to be together again at Christmas. Farewell dinner concentrated on PEI favorites. First, there were big Malpeque oysters–on the half shell and poached (Massimo did his expert shucking). Then, Lesley cooked four pounds of mussels with PEI potatoes, tomatoes (from Yossi M.’s Ocean Mist Farm); onions, garlic and chopped fennel. This wonderful briny stew displayed Spanish, Provencal and Portuguese influences. The family drank much wine and exchanged many farewell hugs. There was Face Time with son Jeremy and his family in Tokyo. It was Maiko Sakamoto Freeman’s birthday and the wonder chef /wife/mother/daughter-in-law looked radiant. HG had HG’s usual after-dinner snifter of Canadian whiskey and contemplated the good fortune in having a talented and loving family.

Paella

August 28th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

BSK has long wanted to make a big pan of paella, the Spanish rice dish, on Prince Edward Island. With sister, Noel M., and Noel’s husband, Yossi M., invited for dinner, BSK collaborated with Gifted Daughter Lesley R. on making a large and lusty paella. (Lesley and husband, Massimo R., have been on a long and joyous Prince Edward Island visit with HG/BSK). Italian arborio rice (Spanish bomba not available) was slow-cooked in the traditional manner (flavored with saffron) and adorned with chicken, chorizo, steamed mussels and shrimp (the shrimp was served on the side due to BSK’s crustacean allergy). BSK, Lesley, Massimo, Noel and Yossi devoured it (murmurs of joy). But, not HG. HG had been suffering for hours with a weakening, distressing cough. (HG thinks it was caused by chopped vegetables and herbs that had lodged in HG’s throat—a throat very narrowed by cancer surgery). As always, BSK came to HG’s rescue. Solid food was out of the question so BSK made the ultimate chicken soup for HG. This was chicken soup stracciatella. Hot chicken broth, thin German soup noodles, beaten egg swirled into the soup to make thick strands of eggy goodness. Magic. HG was restored, thanks to the love of HG’s life for some 57 years.

Salmon

August 26th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

When HG/BSK had a loft in the wonderful city of Vancouver, B.C., the duo often dined on superlative (and relatively inexpensive) fresh wild salmon. In New Mexico, HG/BSK sometimes buy pricey wild salmon at Whole Foods. On Prince Edward Island (site of HG/BSK’s oceanfront home), only farm-raised (in Nova Scotia) salmon is available. It’s surprisingly good. Recently, BSK used it to make flavorful gravlax. Last night, BSK marinated salmon in a miso, soy sauce, ginger and maple syrup mixture. Gifted daughter Lesley R. (she and husband, Massimo, have been on a long and happy PEI visit with HG/BSK), roasted the salmon on a sheet pan to the perfect level of pink succulence. Served on a bed of PEI potatoes and yellow beans (plus BSK’s vinegar peppers) this was a rich dish that went perfectly with a bottle of chilled pinot noir. Joy.

Masterpieces From The Atlantic Ocean

August 25th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

During a Prince Edward Island exploration, BSK discovered a unique fish store on the northeast end of the Island. (Selfish HG will not reveal its name). The proprietor said they often had fresh-caught tuna and swordfish in stock. BSK called the store two days ago. Yes, they had tuna and swordfish caught that morning. Happy news. BSK and son-in-law Massimo R. (he and HG/BSK Gifted Daughter, Lesley R., are visiting) were off to the store and brought back sea kissed tuna belly and swordfish steaks. The tuna was cut into small cubes for poke. Dressed with sesame oil, a dash of soy sauce, chili oil and lemon juice. Numerous vegetables and herbs were sliced and chopped. Each of the diners had a big bowl of fluffy rice. The rice was topped with fish and vegetables. Chilled white wine. A meal masterpiece. The next night swordfish starred. First, there was a starter of BSK-steamed soft-shell clams dipped in melted butter given some heat with Frank’s excellent product. Swordfish is tricky. Unlike salmon, it can’t be served medium rare (HG’s choice with salmon) but has to be cooked through. Very often this results in dry, flavorless fish. Happily, Lesley R. is an expert at swordfish cuisine. Her swordfish was moist, juicy and full of sea flavor. Lesley R. cut it into chunks which rested on a lovely bed of peppers, onions, garlic, yellow beans, baby lettuce and tiny PEI potatoes. Another meal from the sea masterpiece.