Kitchen's awaiting...

With the holidays just around the corner, it's high time I start forcing myself to get into the spirit of things. It's strange how as a child you count down the days until Christmas and feel as if you're about to explode from anticipation. Nowadays, exploding sounds like it might make a nice respite from all the pressures of everyday life and holiday preparation...

I paint a grim picture. Actually, things aren't that bad here. It seems, however, each year that passes the holidays creep up on me again and I can't fathom that another year has gone by with such lightning speed.

Received the holiday issue of Gourmet last week and I'm enraptured with their cookie recipes. Thinking about making grasshopper squares, seven-layer Italian almond cookies (also known as 'rainbow cookies'), limoncello for the adult folks, candied citrus, and ginger syrup for the ultimate spicy sweet ginger ale. We'll also no doubt be whipping up multiple batches of the famous Yori Italian 'S' shaped lemon biscuit and perhaps cucchidati (shortbread stuffed with a fig-chocolate mixture).

I'm lacking in photos today. Here's a pic of my new kitchen, all clean and prettied up. It's a rare occasion when we can actually see the countertop amidst the scattered papers and random bowls and containers that gather on its surface.


Husky cherries and sour Montreal farmers

These, my friends, are husk cherries. Didn't know about these little critters until this summer when we spotted them at a farmers' market in Montreal. I thought they were some sort of tomatillo until the seller took one, dehusked it in one firm snap, and popped the bugger in his mouth. The look of surprise on my face caused him to laugh and offer up a sample.

Unpeeled, it looks like a pallid grape with white veins. Taste is sort of nutty and semi-sweet, and the texture is similar to a tomatillo with hundreds of delicate little seeds that wedge their way into teeth crevasses you never knew existed.

Unfortunately, the farmer didn't speak English, and I don't speak French. When I asked what these novel little fruits were called, he turned to his female companion for an answer. She gave Tony and I a quick once-over, huffed and rolled her eyes. "Those are husk cherries, for God's sake!" she said in a thick French-Canadian accent. We got the feeling she wasn't so fond of explaining her wares to unworldly Americans, so we bought a pint and moved on.

I was thrilled to eat food indigenous to Montreal! It was only a few weeks later when I spotted the papery fruits at our own local farmers' market. We scooped up another pint, but they weren't as sweet or satisfying as the ones we bought while traveling in Canada.



Hello world! Yet another go at the world of blogging. How do all you blogpeople have so much time to do your entries on a daily or weekly basis? I guess I need to get my priorities straight. That's why I'm doing this at work (heh heh).

So I'm participating in a BBM hosted by Cathy of my little kitchen.

Even without a blog, it needed to be done. Jenn from BeastlySum was kind enough to be one of the quickest package mailers in the West - I hadn't even thought about putting together my package when hers showed up on my doorstep last weekend. Check out her goods! Opening up a box from a stranger can be one of the exhilarating (or frightening, I suppose) things one can do in this lifetime. I was thrilled to be fortunate enough to open such a cool gift from Jenn.

Contents: Jar of homemade fiery pepper jelly, a fun turtle sticker, mint candy reception stick things, jar of Arthur Bryant's famous BBQ sauce, pumpkin pie cheeseball mix (can't wait to try this - I'm fascinated with the cheeseball concept), air-roasted Guatamalan coffee fromThe Roasterie, pumpkin pie spice mix, family recipes including a pastry made with gouda cheese, a photo of her fabulous kitchen, a chai recipe, and much, much more!

I'm so glad I was the recipient of her package. Sorry, Jenn, that I can't do you justice with my modest little blog.

See below for close-up of the pumpkin cheeseball mix and other edible delights.



Test-bloggin' on blogger.com since I've grown weary of AOL journals and am too cheap to actually shell out money for a real web site (and too lazy to learn proper html!)

See my old site: http://journals.aol.com/shinyeel/moschophaven/

New news: I'm doing a fry up knit along!

Soon this fabulous morning repast will be sitting on my head and hung from my shoulder. Dogs and old British men will swoon when I walk down the street!