November 28, 2011

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

William Carlos Williams

A favourite poem from highschool days that comes immediately to mind when a cold plum presses against my lips.

Summer plums from Sapo Bravo Farm in Lytton, BC.

November 25, 2011

Wine Cellar

We're trying to increase the frequency of posts to two per week by making a regular food and wine post.

Aya's father is always very generous with his wine cellar, sharing amazing bottles with his lucky guests. On a recent visit we found his cellar in disarray.  Keith was happy to take on the task of cleaning and reorganizing it.

Some cases of new arrivals on the floor and in the wood box on the left. The rack on the right contains some real treasures. They were precariously suspended by only the neck and heel with no support between. Japan, as you may recall, is known for earthquakes.

After (1):
Moved the flat wooden boxes up to the shelf. These are all mid-range wines, from Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and New Zealand. We put them high up for easy, regular access.

The bottom shelf has older bottles and jars of ume-shu (plum liqueur).

After much searching, we ended up with the strongest, most practical shelves we could find. From Ikea. Sigh. They fit nicely under the staircase. The short shelves are for champagnes and other treasures that will be kept for a long time. The two towers on the right have Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhône wines, most worth keeping for a decade or so.

Here are some of the special wines in the collection. Keith learned about most of them in his International Sommelier Guild courses, but had never seen them in person.

We have had Barolo before, but when we opened this one we finally understood what all the fuss is about.

November 22, 2011

Giant Apple Fritter

Lee's Donuts on Granville Island still makes apple fritters.

Look upon their work, ye mighty, and despair!

Dollars-to-donuts, it holds the most best Quantity Price Ratio. It toasts up nicely, too, which is good because it takes days to get through one of them. Yes, that is an iced coffee. Remember sunshine and blue skies?
The fritter reminded me of my encounter with a "Texas Wheel" at Randy's Donuts in Los Angeles. This was in 1999 and the world was a different place; anything seemed possible to a young man with a dream and a high metabolic rate.

November 13, 2011

Vancouver Rain

Vancouver's rains have started and we are into another winter; the low, grey skies that darken early; the cold, wet pants cuffs; the constant "do we need an umbrella? Will we?"

Here are some shots of summer flowers, from only a few short months ago, to remind us of how different it can be.

November 8, 2011

Puffball Mushroom

Giant puffball!
Found on a walk near Mum's cottage on Amherst Island.

Thick, floppy slices. The interior pure, soft and springy, like marshmallow but not spongy.

The thick, leathery rind peels off all in one piece.

Into the hot butter.

Golden, and filling the house with a deep, earthy aroma.

Just some salt and pepper. Wishing we had a cold Chardonnay or a cold-climate Pinot Noir. 

Next round: smaller pieces to encourage more crispy golden edges.

We tried some with sautéed garlic, too. Absolutely delicious!
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