Pu’uhonua 1992, woodcut, 22 x 22 inches (included in the Sharkive)
Last Wednesday was an exciting day here on Blue Mountain Road. Stephen and Pedro from the CU Art Museum arrived to pick up 3000 prints and associated materials from the Shark’s Ink. flat files.
Roseanne, Bud and I worked with Stephen and Pedro, emptying our Sharkive drawers into the beautiful boxes they had made. We spent the morning unloading and then began the transfer. At noon we stopped for lunch.
I had prepared most of the dishes the day before – carrot soup, Royal Corona beans to top a salad, and cookies – so I needed only a half hour to ready our meal.
For the soup:
Chop a pound of carrots and a small onion. Gently sauté them, in a covered pot, in two tablespoons of butter. Add a tablespoon of basmati rice, the secret ingredient. It provides some thickening and adds an elusive, delicious note to the soup.
Then pour over a quart of so of chicken broth. Cook until the vegetables are soft. Cool a bit then whizz in the blender until smooth. Salt to taste. Add broth, water, or cream if the soup is too thick.
Lunch included a green salad incorporating marinated giant Royal Corona beans, a cheese selection, a baguette from the St. Vrain market, and for dessert, tangerines and Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread, (a recipe from the NYTimes’ Alison Roman.)
We finished the packing and loading in record time. The Shark’s Ink. studio now has eighteen empty drawers ready for Roseanne to reorganize and refill. The bulk of the Sharkive is resting safely in the museum vault.
Then it was Sunday – Easter and the start of Spring. My sister Susan, Charles, Corey and Liz joined Bud, Zoë and I, for a celebration lunch. Bud made baskets from a discarded Ana Maria proof and I filled them with chocolates.
I made asparagus tarts, hot-cross buns, a quinoa salad, a golden beet and arugula salad (The Little Things) this time with crumbled bleu cheese. Zoë brought hazelnut/chocolate stripe cookies.
This tart recipe may be made with other vegetable fillings. Try mushrooms, cheese and ham, spinach. For one crust, a simple recipe from Patricia Wells:
Combine 1 cup unbleached flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup cool water. Press into pie/tart tin.
For the filling for each tart: sauté a leek, chopped, in a tablespoon butter until tender. Cool. Cook, in your favorite manner, a dozen or so stalks of asparagus until just done. Cut into 2 inch pieces. Grate enough gruyere, or cheese of your choice, to make 1/4 cup, packed.
Strew half the cheese across the bottom of the tart, followed by the leeks. Add the asparagus.
In a measuring cup, beat together three eggs. Add enough milk to make 1 1/2 cups. Pour this over the vegetables and top with the rest of the cheese.
Bake at 375° for 35 – 40 minutes or until just set and lightly browned. Cool a bit before slicing.
The recipe for the hot-cross buns is from Gourmet, a clipping I stuck in my binder years ago. Very delicious made with butter, eggs, currants, sultanas, orange and lemon zest and a touch of cinnamon. Instead of a pastry cross, I made an X cut in the buns.
A quinoa salad is a regular on my menus but this time I added mango, chives and chervil. (These herbs are some of the first volunteers up and flourishing in the garden.)
Cook a cup of quinoa. For the dressing : combine the juice of a lime, a couple teaspoons of maple syrup, a teaspoon freshly ground cumin, a big pinch of hot red pepper flakes and 2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil. Salt to taste after dressing the warm quinoa. Add diced sweet red pepper, a cubed mango, herbs – chervil, chives, cilantro or your favorite – to taste.