"Virtually" is about the only way you can come into my kitchen because it is so small! And not nearly enough cupboard space. I have baking equipment in my root cellar, extra pots and pans in the laundry room, and my favorite pasta pot and risotto pot are in the linen closet. But I make do…..although I would love to have a kitchen like Michael Ruhlman's or one of those ads from Gourmet or Fine Cooking. And I especially want a very high quality gas stove, as well as a built-in electric oven. I HATE my oven. But that’s another story.
Living in north Idaho, I have some of the best food. Morels in the springtime, huckleberries in summer, an abundance of game, lakes and rivers for fishing, farm-raised beef, pork and lamb, and a garden that overwhelms me every year. And for any fruit or vegetable I don't raise, why there's always the Farmer’s Market.
And like many people, I could turn to the web….although I try to depend on local food and sustainable food. Unfortunately, living in this small rural area where the next closest town is either in another country or an hour away, any sort of 100 mile diet just doesn’t allow enough diversity to satisfy a food lover like me….
We do cheat in our household on the locally grown because we usually visit Seattle at least once every two months. Our son is in Seattle at the University of Washington, we do research at the university library, and two very good friends are on the Olympic Peninsula. Plus the book sales, book stores, antiquarian book fair, and well, that’s also another story….
Back to the food, last week I found two, big, local, smoked ham hocks, and stealing from a meal we had at Feierabend in Seattle during their Oktoberfest celebration, I coated them with Dijon mustard and brown sugar and then cooked them in a low oven for several hours on top of some shredded cabbage. They were so big that we had them two days in a row, and this is how they looked on the second day before we decimated them.
I decided to repeat this idea for Christmas. I bought a ham, will follow the hocks idea, but this time I'm cooking it on top of shredded red cabbage, with some homemade spaetzle, brussels sprouts with chestnuts, fresh baked bread, and something else to lighten up the dinner a bit. I'm thinking of salad but we'll see. For dessert, an old Bon Appetit recipe, Pots de Creme Turinois (December 1980), pots de creme with chestnuts. Yummy!