My kitchen looks like a bomb went off, when I cook.
Summer’s winding down leaving us short on time to spend with friends here at the farm, so we doubled booked this weekend. Friends over-night Friday then different friends over-night Sunday. To make sure that I’m as present as possible while our guests visit, I prepped all day Friday. Sound like a perfect opportunity for a blog post? Nope. When I shoot the photographs for my posts, I agonize over every detail; light, mood, composition and angle. It takes time to capture the image I want. To the one picture you see, I’ve taken a dozen shots. More than all of that is styling the photographs. I want each picture to tell you part of the story. That a critical eye. What’s important to the shot and what’s distracting. I had too much food to prepare Friday, so food styling and my usual kabillion food shots wasn’t going to happen. Then it struck me. Why don’t I just capture what’s happening exactly as it is. No prettying things up. Glare, clutter, mess, purple sneakers and all! And so that’s what I’ve done. This is what my kitchen really looks like when I cook. I didn’t wait for the sun to move past my window or get out my diffuser. Wrappers, bad angles, appliance cords, old dish cloths, whatever was there is here.
I usually start with a few appys to serve with cocktails before dinner. You can see here my prosciutto wrapped asparagus spears; recipe compliments of my dear friend and food blogger Heather Chase. If you scroll down a little, you’ll see where I’m pan frying miniature zucchini fritters. Both of these appetizers can be made hours in advance then quickly finished in the oven just before serving. Note the zip-lock bag above in the corner of my shot. You have no idea how stressed out that makes me. Ugh!!!!!!!!!
Ralph always grills something on the barbecue, when we have company, which leaves me to round dinner out with a few sides. I did an eggplant salad that can be served at room temperature. The longer this salad matures the deeper the flavour making it a summertime go-to.
Everyone loves homemade bread so time permitting I’ll whip up a batch. Friday was tight so instead of yeast bread I use a quick bread instead. These biscuits are the recipe that I developed for Billy’s Seafood Company so I can’t share it with you or I’d be in big trouble. I marinated top sirloin in a dried fennel seed rub then served it with a pungent salsa verde. Friday night was filled with laughter, wonderful stories, relaxing food and a great big sky full of stars. Had I been focusing on this post instead of being present in the moment, you would see the food as I served it, my friends reactions and the glorious heavens.
I know you understand. XO
Thanks for reading.
- 1 eggplant, cubed in ¾ inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- Extra Virgin Olive oil
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- 2 tablespoons flat parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons basil, chopped
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- Sprinkle eggplant with coarse salt and let sit 1 hour then pat dry.
- Heat ¼ cup of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add eggplant in small batches, removing to a bowl as it becomes soft and golden.
- Add additional olive oil as needed.
- When eggplant is finished, saute onion until translucent.
- Add peppers and garlic and saute until peppers are soft
- Add eggplant to pepper mixture.
- Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Reduce balsamic vinegar by half.
- Remove from heat.