farewell to the bitter end of winter

Daniel plucking pheasants
Plucking all these pheasants takes my back to my culinary training–a long time ago. Don’t you think my kids should be doing this? How else will they learn?!

Preparing winter meals can be more interesting than those in the summertime. In summer there’s bounty, delicious fresh food practically bursting out of the garden, everything producing and reproducing. Half the time, you use a little splash of olive oil, a little lemon juice, and you’re good to go. If you just look around you and choose what’s ripe at that moment, you can’t go too far wrong.

In the winter it’s different. This season rewards the “long game” in the kitchen, the planning and preserving, where you draw on your root cellar and pantry.  All the different options of game, large and small. All the magic of pickling, aging and preserving get me through these dark months without my garden.

To celebrate what I hope is the end of winter, I’ve scheduled a supper club meal for this Saturday, March 7. I’m using sour cherries I’ve had preserved in spirits since summer, a persimmon vinaigrette, and candied kumquats, among other things.

Also local pheasants that I plucked myself. Having the chance to experience some of these “food handling” techniques is very special to me as a reminder of where food comes from and the time honored traditions of preparing it. After a plucking a few pheasants I had a renewed respect for those who have done and continue to do jobs like this–so that most of us don’t have to!

dinner with Daniel on Saturday, 7 March 2015

  1. Serrano Ham, Daikon, Granny Smith Apple, Pimentón Jelly
  2. Salt Cod Soup
  3. Treviso, Mushrooms, Persimmon, Tomato, Jalapeño Pepper
  4. Pheasant, Foie Gras, Sour Cherry, Butternut Squash
  5. Crémeux de Bourgogne, Membrillo, Albariño, Toasted Oat Sourdough
  6. Tocinillo, Pinenut, Saffron, Lemon, Dark Chocolate

Buen provecho!

Winter sky
Winter has its charms–but they’re wearing thin. 😉
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