Hearth and Board

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Angel Biscuits
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Heavenly

The rains have begun and Nathan is sick, so the weekend is all about hearth and home. That means Saturday baking and a Sunday all-day stew. All day, that is, after the cruise to the beach for a fancy breakfast and stops at Rockfish Bakery, Trillium Natural Foods and Bob’s Books.

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Friday, we had one of our favorites, Dippy Food Dinner. This meal includes olives, pickles, cheese, bread, fruit, hummus (or other dippy dip), olive oil/balsamic vinegar/sea salt (“eyeball”), and most importantly, a nice, tasty bottle of bubbly wine, usually Cava, because it’s good! (And Nathan doesn’t complain, because it’s always under $15!)

Saturday, we baked Angel Biscuits and cooked up some brown rice and a salmon fillet and feasted on it over a bed of arugula. We caught up on old episodes of Luther and the week’s Daily Shows and Colbert Reports, roasted coffee and played games. We even smoked the leftover salmon… indoors! In the cast iron bean pot!

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Sunday, after our adventures in town, we lit the wood cook stove and started stewing the lamb. I made the kale salad
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early so the dressing had time to soak in. Rockfish’s perfect, chewy, crusty ciabatta loaf went perfectly. The whole day was infused with this amazing smell of bubbling stew.

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In defense of illness, we drank bottomless pots of tea, ate delicious, healthy food, kept a cozy fire and laughed at each other’s jokes.

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Recipes

Kale Salad
Stem and rip up enough kale to fill your favorite salad bowl. Add 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds. Drizzle with dressing: olive oil, tamari sauce, maple syrup and fresh minced garlic, maybe a squeeze of lemon. Let sit until crazy delicious.

Lamb Stew
Brown lamb shank(s). Remove from pan. Cooked diced onion, celery and carrots in lamb fat. Add minced garlic. When the whole room smells of cooking garlic, add chicken broth and simmer for a few. Add shank(s), fill with water. Add 1/2 cup dried flagolet beans. Let stew for 3-4 hours. Add potatoes. Stew for another hour. Enjoy all week!

Angel Biscuits
Put a package of yeast in 1/2 cup warm water with a teaspoon of honey. Sift together 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in 3 tablespoons butter. When it looks like cornmeal, add 1/2 cup milk to the yeast mixture and toss into flour mixture. Knead lightly, roll out about 1/3″ thick. Cut round shapes with the mouth of a drinking glass. Cover with kitchen towel and let rise for an hour. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees. Cool on baking rack.

Crispy Salmon
Heat a cast iron pan until very hot. Slip in salmon, skin side down. Cook until crispy. If the fillet is more than 1/2″ thick, put into oven to finish cooking. It is done when a fork inserted meets with no resistance. Do not over cook. Serve skin side up.

Pottery Protrusions

Our friend, Careen, a fabulous potter, gave us a box of beautiful kiln mishaps.

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Key Holder near front door

These are glass green flowing pieces we will use as candle and key holders.

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We have broken cups and plates we mourned that will also be worked into the design.

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Little cup with cob head

Little things, like pottery protrusions and big things, like sculpting 10 ft high, 2 ft thick walls from clay dug out of the earth, make cob worth the time.

Our House

by Sophie Cabot Black
2007
Though the leaves have turned their backs on us
And the lilac gives over to dusk, nothing
Is ever certain, not even the house, stubborn

In twilight as it outlasts the grove
It was wrestled from, and those left behind,
The oak and ancient elm, lean against each other,

Begin to die. Out of dirt, out of
Some small mistake, comes the seedling.
It too has learned to watch, as we walk in and out

Of what wilderness was, and will again become,
As we enter our home, the way we enter love
Returning from elsewhere to call out
Each other’s names, pulling the door closed behind us.