Sunday, November 14, 2010

Filler & Musings

OK, so I was sick for three days week before last and posted two blog posts. God knows I can’t get sick anymore this year, so I have no idea when I’ll be able to put together the time to write an actual post. I figured that someone might be interested in what I’ve been cooking. Since I keep a computer kitchen journal and post meals at and anyway, it’s easy to cannibalize those things to provide a post here.

The Child went to Charlottesville to go apple picking a few weeks ago and got us some gorgeous ones. Mr. Kim inquired about the possibility of apple fritters. I’ve never made them before, but thought that they would make a wonderful fall breakfast. Fritters:


This was a recipe from Ree at and they turned out exactly right. I love her site – she takes lots of pictures and that makes it easy to follow a new recipe.

I had some extra chopped apples, so I simmered them with a little apple cider and maple syrup to pour over the fritters:

I’ve never seen a lily that I couldn’t gild.

Mr. Kim will tell you that he doesn’t cook. However, he can shine on occasion. For instance, he makes a mean Split Pea soup. It is an Emeril recipe that he’s adapted. A couple of weeks ago his office had a soup sale to raise money for our local food bank and he made his split pea soup. Luckily there was enough left over for us for dinner:

We had Mr. Kim’s mom, Jo over for dinner the other night. We had our first whisper of autumn and so I decided to plan a seasonal menu – soup, sandwiches and apple dessert. My chicken noodle soup:

This is a recipe that I’ve been developing for years. The most recent variation involves roasting the bits and bobs with olive oil, poultry seasoning, parsley, tomato paste, and mirepoix until browned. I use this to make a really rich chicken stock. Then, when every bit of flavor is wrung out of the solids I strain, defat and use the stock to simmer the breasts, legs and thighs. I adjust the seasonings, add cooked kluski (egg noodles) and carrots and serve. I’d also like to try it with long grain and wild rice, thickened up a little. We sent some home with Jo and put some away in the freezer, so this good soup will figure into more fall meals.

The sandwiches were Panini:

Made with ham, turkey and Swiss cheese, spread with Dijon and fig preserves on raisin bread. These are favorites of ours. Some odd ingredient magic goes on in the press – an amazing combination. In order to ‘glue’ everything together, you end up using 3 pieces of cheese on each sandwich, so you have to find a really good deli person who will slice your cheese SUPER thin. And you have to watch out for the napalm-like fig preserves when you are taking them off the press. I had a blister for a week.

Salad was an apple, fennel and endive slaw:

This was a new recipe for me and we really loved it.

It was a very good, and very seasonal menu. But dessert was what I was waiting for. A few years ago, Lisa2K at eGullet posted about this wonderful sounding Granny Smith sorbet and a Fig/Apple/Mascarpone tart. I got the recipe and have made it every fall since then. Easy, make ahead and delicious – all things that I love in my kitchen.


This could not be more simple – apples, sugar, Calvados and water. One of those ‘greater than the sum’ things. Pure apple essence.

The tart:


Drizzled with a little Dulce de Leche (more lily gilding).

Mr. Kim and I were reminiscing this morning about childhood toys. Viewmasters came up.

I have way too many collections as it is, but I could go crazy on ebay if I let myself. They have vintage reels that would be so cool to have. I found one batch that had Cinderella, the Wizard of Oz and Jesus Christ (???). Some juxtapositions are just too jarring:

The one toy that we both remembered most fondly was this:

The Show and Tell Record Player/Slide Show. Oddly enough, neither of us ever had one and deeply envied friends who did. It was an amazingly cool piece of early technology. It looked like a television with a record player on top. The records came with a slide with pictures on it. As you played the record and listened to the story, the slide would advance and pictures would appear on the screen. There were all kinds of stories – fairy tales, Disney stories, nature features. The one that I remember best is a decidedly peculiar one – Jane Eyre. It was a truncated version, to be sure, with many of the horrifying parts expunged, but it was complete enough to give us a complete case of the willies. I remember the locked up madwoman particularly vividly!

This really was a wonderful device – even The Child was charmed by it when I described it to her. What was magic and coveted in your childhood?


  1. What fantastic looking food. Nothing better than ANYTHING made with apples. My nephew and his wife bought an apple farm in New Hampshire and my visit to them a couple of years ago was delightful. They had a little store they ran connected to their home...and I was delighted at the little stove where people could gather in snowy weather. They made Apple cider in the barn.
    Thanks for sharing!!!
    I hope you are better..I am coming down with a bad cold and am fighting it off! Wish me luck!
    Take care, Kim!

  2. That was some SUPER SUPPER!! I think I"d have had the sorbet between every course, and perhaps tart twice, as well.

    It's always so great to see you pop to the top of the "Hot Now" column---you have the most wonderful thoughts and ideas, and how you get all this marvelous food done with all the other things calling upon your time, I cannot fathom.

    Did you make the dulce as well?

    My two happy covets were those peek-hole Easter eggs with the wonderful little tableaux inside. Caro and I used to make them for each child in our church.

    And Cootie. How I wanted a Cootie game! I'm going out this week to find one---we're meeting the GA Grands at a TN lodge for a long weekend after Thanksgiving.

    We DO have a Viewmaster---with Cinderella, Bambi, and Rudolph reels. There just something so magical about those little about-to-touch you figures in all their glorious colors.

    And thank you BOTH for the LOVELY comments on the Blog Anniversary this week!!

  3. Rachel - Thank you ma'am! I did NOT make the dulce. I TRIED to make the apple cider caramel that is called for in the recipe, but it came out oddly bitter (can't figure out why - I tasted the cider and it was fine), so I refused to stress and went and bought a jar of La Salamandra dulce at The Fresh Market. It is incredible stuff - a sneak down to the kitchen in the middle of the night and eat with a spoon kind of comestible. I STILL covet those Easter eggs - as a child, I wanted to crawl inside and we have a few that I tuck into the china cabinet to hide until they come out at Easter. Learning how to make them is on my culinary bucket list! So is Little Miss fascinated with the Viewmaster? I love how certain toys really are timeless in their charm and attraction for children. Mr. Kim still remembers one that they had that was like the black metal one in the picture.

    Mona - I agree! We love apple picking and all the accoutrement - the crisp, cold air, being in the mountains (that's where VA apples tend to be), apple cider, mums and caramel apples back at the barn. And APPLE CIDER DONUTS!!!! Apple cider donuts certainly help to offset that whole Garden of Eden thing, don't you think? I am all better now, thank you for asking. Hope you are feeling better soon, too.