Finally we were able to pick a handful of figs from our little trees/saplings. They aren’t perfect, but they taste luscious with a few slices of prosciutto. It’s an elegant way to end the week. Have a lovely couple of days off, dear friends.

 

A mushroom risotto, chock full of local chanterelles and parmigiano-reggiano, for lunch today. Buon appetito!

 

It looked cloudy and cold through the window when we had a minute to glance outside. So we made kabocha squash and scallion pancakes dressed with butter and maple syrup, and rashers of crisp local hickory-smoked bacon for lunch today. Believe it or not, these hotcakes are light as feathers, but full of rich fall flavors. When we took an after-lunch-walk (instead of a nap), turns out it is a positively balmy 75 degrees!

 

Well, as is always the case, you can look at things two ways…we had a hankering for a lovely block of KeriGold Irish butter that was in our fridge or, we bought the last twelve ears of corn of the season at our local farm stand and we’re rolling them on a block of KeriGold. Along with glasses of cold beer it seems like a great lunch and now we are smiling big corny smiles. We’re running out for toothpicks.

 

The garden is still pumping it out. This morning we picked long swollen string beans and fat soft tomatoes. We cooked the vegetables separately in heavy pots until the tomatoes melted into their flavorful juices and the spoon tender beans burst opened to reveal their lavender jewels. We ladled everything into soup plates then added a drizzle of good olive oil, some minced shallots, and a sprinkle of Maldon salt—a damn fine lunch.

 

Day five of “One Bird Feeds Two Women for Five Days”. So we threw the old bird into a pot with lots of sliced fresh ginger, some celery hearts, kaffir lime leaves, an onion, a few black peppercorns, and about 6 cups of water.  It gently bubbled away on the back of the stove for a couple of hours. The resulting broth was the chicken’s swan song and what a beautiful aria it was. We strained it and added shiitake mushroom caps, silky tofu, fresh greens, rice noodles, cilantro, and a good squeeze of lime—are you thinking Stone Soup? Have a lovely weekend, dear friends.

 

Day four of “One Bird Feeds Two Women for Five Days”. We’re down to one chicken breast to split between us. Pas de problem. We sliced the breast into four paillards, dusted them in flour, then pan-fried them in butter and olive oil. We served them with a lemony caper pan-sauce and a warm chanterelle, lemon, and parsley salad. One breast could’ve served four, but we were feeling somewhat gluttonous today. Pardon our piggishness.

 

 

Day three of “One Bird Feeds Two Women for Five Days”. The woods have been too dry to gather chanterelles, but yesterday we were blessed with a good soaking rain. This morning dawned clear and beautiful, so we headed into the woods and managed to find a handful of golden chanterelles. We tossed them into the pot with our two chicken thighs, along with some peeled summer tomatoes, and thyme snipped from the balcony. When the chicken was fork-tender, we napped the braised thighs with heavy cream—chicken cacciatore (for those mushrooms we “caught”).

 

 

Day two of “One Bird Feeds Two Women for Five Days”. On this warm stormy afternoon, we are having an indoor picnic of fried pimenton-spiced chicken legs and wings with pickled onions and bread & butter pickles—crisp and crunchy meets sweet and sour.

 

For Monday, we poached one of the breasts, then slathered it with mayonnaise, and served it with sliced late-summer tomatoes and toasted olive bread that we rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil. We snipped chives and parsley from the window box to garnish this lovely afternoon lunch.

 

 

This is a great big beautiful chicken that we are going to cook all week. One bird feeds two people for five days. Let the games begin.

 

 

Look what we hauled in from the canal this morning! Just kidding. It’s a lovely plat de fruits de mer for our Friday lunch. We’ve thrown caution to the wind and opened a bottle of dead-cold Sancerre to sip as we slurp. Have a wild weekend dear friends.

 

We found an ambercup squash this morning at the farm stand down at the end of town. We roasted it along with some plum tomatoes from the garden, and a few rashers of smoky bacon. We tossed the chunky “sauce”  with some al dente ricciarelle, and lots of chopped fresh parsley. We each had a tiny glass of the last splash of our summer rosé with our pasta. Now we are both ready for a nap.

 

It’s instant cassoulet for lunch today: 2 cans cannellini beans, 2 D’Artagnan confit duck legs, some good homemade chicken stock, and a few cloves of garlic.

 

 

Today’s lunch is Hugh Mangum’s—Mighty Quinn BBQ—smoked brisket with our braised cabbage and onions. A match made in heaven. We are easing ourselves out of summer into fall food.

 

We had Sunday supper with the Abruzzese family who own a great restaurant, The Pineville Tavern, in nearby Pineville PA. Andrew continues the tradition of his grandmother and makes fresh pasta and “gravy” for the extended family who gather almost every weekend. A three foot long platter of the generously sauced trenette with parsley and lots of grated Parmigiano was ceremoniously placed right in the middle of the table along with big bowls of polpette and the fork-tender meat cooked in the sauce.  Everyone helped serve, passing the plates, twirling up the long strands of pasta on forks then sliding them onto waiting plates, all the time laughing and talking, voices and arms crossing over each other. We left with a brown grocery bag that held a plastic container of sauce and a box of rigatoni. So here is our great secondary gain—leftover sauce and pasta for lunch. What a great way to start the week. Keep looking forward and proceed as the way opens.

 

Yesterday it was the beginning of fall’s wild mushrooms, today it is the last of summer’s stone fruit. We are brunching on sugared white peaches with garlic chive blossoms and fresh thyme leaves and long toasts slathered with good salted Irish butter. It has been a good week for straddling the seasons. Try a little foraging for yourselves this weekend—in the woods, at an orchard, or at a farmers’ market.

 

We’ve had nothing but dense humid air and scattered rain showers all week long—perfect conditions for fall mushrooms. We headed into the damp woods this afternoon and picked a basketful of big, fat golden chanterelles. So it’s a late lunch today of sautéed Cantharellus cibarius with sour cream and lots of chopped fresh parsley and chives over buttered toast.

 

Still catching up, so a bit of a fridge/freezer lunch of chicken thighs (freezer) in a stew of onions, golden beets, and crowder peas (veg drawer) with cilantro and chives (the garden). No matter what, you gotta eat.

 

Greetings friends! We had to leave Canal House and go out into the world for the month of August, but now we are back and so happy to be here. Our gardens still giveth, so we made the simplest fresh tomato sauce (dead-ripe tomatoes and salt), picked little zuc’s (no, we aren’t tired of them yet), diced some fresh mozzarella, and tossed it all together with al dente ciriole. We have 15 more days of summer so we are going to eat our way through the garden until the last tomato falls.