August 30, 2008

WHO I AM NOT ~ a poem



WHO I AM NOT

I am not twenty~
No longer lean, smooth, unmarked.
Now my body is strong,
still lithe,
under a cloak of yielding softness.
My skin is not pearly
in winter.
Nor flawlessly unlined and brown
in summer,
from idle days spent perfecting
just the right look.
My scars, my cicatrices,
both inner and outer
have been earned;
often suffered for.
Reminders of where I have been.
I am not a girl
who falls asleep to dreams of possibilities.
I am a woman
who lives them.
Building on adventures lived,
planning explorations yet to come.
My body, although there is more of it now,
holds my soul.
Be kind.
As I am learning to be.
-GNB 08/2008 c.

SIMPLE SEAWEED SOUP




Whenever I get the chance, I like to gather seaweeds from the rocks on our coast. I especially love sea lettuce, when I can find it. It's not only delicious, it's beautiful! The smell of seaweed makes me happy - the briny, green freshness that translates so well into many dishes. But, soup is my favorite way to eat it and I have it often.


This can be made with fresh or rehydrated dry laver or wakame. I use wakame, as I like its more substantial bite. This is just the basic recipe, to which you can add virtually anything you like -- shredded daikon radish or carrot, tofu, ginger juice, yam noodles or bean threads, sliced bok choy leaves, sliced shiitake mushrooms, etc. Healthy, light and delicious!

Ingredients:


5 c. water

2 pkgs dashi no moto (or make your own dashi)2 T. shoyu or good quality soy sauce

1 c. fresh, chopped seaweed, or rehydrated seaweed to make 1 cup

3 scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated

1 T. white or yellow miso paste, dissolved in 2 T. cold water

2 eggs, beaten

Directions:


In medium stock pot, combine water, dashi no moto and shoyu and bring to a boil. Add seaweed and white portion of green onions and simmer for five minutes. Turn off heat, but leave pot on burner. Gently stir in the beaten eggs and add the miso paste. Cover pot and remove from burner. Serve with green portion of the sliced onions. Add additional shoyu, to taste.

Serves 4-6

August 13, 2008

GRILLED LAKE TROUT


No, I didn't catch these, but after the gorgeous day at the lake yesterday, trout seemed the perfect thing. The smoked paprika adds a nice depth of flavor and the smell as it comes off the grill will make your mouth water. I served these with freshly dug small potatoes and onions from the garden -- I cut them into chunks and drizzled them with olive oil, red chile flakes and some herbed salt. Baked them covered with foil at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, then uncovered it and baked another 5 minutes, then broiled them till crispy. Yummy!

Ingredients:

2 fresh, cleaned trout - head and tail on
White wine vinegar
2 sprigs fresh tarragon, 6-8 inches long
2 tsp. smoked sweet paprika powder
1 garlic clove, sliced very thinly


Directions:

Pat the insides of the trout dry. Hold fish on its back as you work. Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of the white wine vinegar into the cavity. Insert the tarragon, with a few leaves sticking out the front. Lay half of the sliced garlic along the tarragon. Sprinkle one teaspoon of the paprika over all. Lay fish down and repeat with other trout. Have coals on the grill ready at medium heat. Put trout on grill and watch carefully. Smaller size trout will be done in about 12 minutes, turning over halfway through cooking. Large size trout will be done in approx. 15 minutes. Toward the end, I like to move the trout to the hottest part of the grill and crisp the skin. I love that crunch!

August 4, 2008

CIME DI RAPA & CANNELLINI BEAN SALAD


Wow! A recipe from me that includes neither meat nor rice! This is a summer salad, served warm or at room temperature. Cime di rapa, also known as broccoli raab, rapini and other monikers, is a member of the brassica family of plants. The florets that may bloom yellow are also edible, so don't throw them away. The flavor is of slightly bitter, young broccoli. It is very popular in southern Italian cuisine. As usual with Italian recipes, the ingredients are few, so best quality of each component is a must! You can choose to soak and boil dried cannellini beans, if you wish, but, since it's summertime - what say we don't get the house any hotter than we have to? All you need to go along with this is some iced tea or...my choice...well-chilled Pinot Grigio, Verdicchio or even Gew├╝rtztraminer.


GAYLE'S CIME DI RAPA & CANNELLINI BEAN SALAD


2 15 oz. cans Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2/3 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1.5 lbs. cime di rapa (broccoli raab)
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
A dozen fresh sage leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Trim bottom inch or so off of the broccoli raab, then cut into 3 inch lengths. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to boil and cook until nearly tender. Drain well and transfer to salad bowl. While it is cooking, heat half of the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat and add stemmed sage leaves to the oil. Stir gently but constantly, until leaves are crispy, but don't let them turn brown. Remove leaves to a plate. Add garlic to oil and turn off heat. Don't allow garlic to brown. Heat beans, sage leaves, garlic with oil and broth in a saucepan and simmer for five minutes. Pour beans over broccoli raab and gently toss with salt and pepper, to taste. Allow to cool down to warm temperature. Just before serving, pour remaining olive oil over salad and toss once more.
Serves 4 as main course, 6 as salad course.

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