Sunday, May 22, 2011

bonne nuit, mon cheri

this has been a truly deliciously lazy day.


i did zero "work".

i cooked. i ate. i slept. i took pictures. i wrote. i cooked some more.

it was quite nice.

i have a pot of veggie stock cooling on the stove. my collection of scraps and leftover cuttings of various produce had reached a critical mass in my freezer and i thought it was appropriate to make the stock of the kale stems, leek tops, carrot tops, etc. etc. my place smells cozy....and the street noise is beginning to wane....as folks are likely wrapping up their weekends and getting ready to approach the typical work week. i'm looking forward to cooking some lentils in this stock...and perhaps making a soup with it this week as well.

before anyone things that i've become so incredibly virtuous....i've always squirreled away veggie scraps to make stock...it appeals to my sense of practicality. also, as a way to balance out my making veggie stock, i'm actually noshing on left over clafoutis that i made earlier this week. well, it is sort of a balance. this to....was a result of my sense of practicality.

earlier in the week, i decided that i wanted to de-pitt the last of a batch of cherries i had bought. i was about to make another compote with honey and a spirit...but then as i looked at the cherries, i decided that i should do something different.

then, i'm not certain why, but then i thought..."hey, what about a clafoutis?" so i went into the authentic french savuer cookbook that i have and found their very simple recipe for clafoutis and realized that i had what i needed to make a version of it.


i say a "version" of it....because i wasn't about to go to the store to buy ingredients for this dish right at that moment. if i use a recipe, i generally use it as a guideline....especially if i am not cooking for guests. i allow myself a lot more flexibility with on the fly experimentation if i'm not cooking for guests. i have a feeling that some of my loved ones with french ancestry will be cringing at my decisions for making the clafoutis. in my defense, i pretty much just wanted to make this with what i had on hand...which was milk (nonfat....yes, i know...i know), eggs, sugar, vanilla, and a spanish sherry (instead of kirsch). i also do not have confectioner's sugar in my pantry at this time. nor did i have the right kind of baking dish for it. also.....while i was putting in the vanilla, i also decided on the fly to add almond extract....just to see how it would turn out.





are the french folks cringing yet? probably.


yet, despite my on-the-fly modifications....it was all surprisingly simple.

as i made this rather humble bastardy version of clafoutis, i could see why things like full fat milk would have made the consistency more silky and how the kirsch would underscore and bring out the flavors of the cherries even more. also, because i used the baking dish that i did....i had to cook it for much longer than the 30 minutes...which was perfectly ok.

it is one of the things i do love about cooking....in that there are actually quite a few ways to get to one's end goal....and while there may be a recipe or a "plan" i expect to modify how i do things...in response to what the food is telling me....or what i need from the food....or what it needs from me.


quite a bit like life itself isn't it?


when it was all done....it was still tasty.


perhaps i'll make this dish again, when i have all of the "right" ingredients.....or perhaps when i feel like it. yet, i'm not going to stop myself from not trying something just because i don't have all of the "right" ingredients at my fingertips. if i didn't give it a shot...i wouldn't be enjoying a slice of it right now....as i type out these words....and that would have been an unrealized missed opportunity.

i'd rather know...and make mistakes along the way....then not know at all.

well, i think it is time for me to put away my cooled stock and get ready for the end of the evening.

bonne nuit, mon cheri.

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